With Ramadan’s timing and routine, many mothers - especially those abiding by social distancing - find themselves at home with the kids much more than usual. It may be tricky to find new ideas to bond with your kids (or at least keep them busy during the day). This may be more of an issue with the wave of upcoming holidays, unless you’re hitting the beach ;)
Here are a few ideas that will keep them entertained and give you a chance to take a break from running around.
Ages One to Five
For toddlers, anything and everything is a toy. They’re incredibly creative at turning everything into a toy. So gather up some old boxes, newspaper, and paint and watch them get creative. Make a tower, or a train or whatever else they fancy. It’s also quite common now to limit the damage your kid’s “art” can do by guiding them to sit inside the cardboard box and go crazy with the colors!
We’ve heard so many parents talk about this at the beginning of the lockdown, but it never gets old. Help them build a fort with pillows and sheets so they can play inside it. This will probably be their favorite ongoing adventure, and they’ll love you for it. Don’t forget to tuck your little perfectionist back into its closet and embrace the messy looking room!
Sort Toys by Size or Color
A great way to keep them engaged while also instilling some organizational habits in them. See? We suggest chaos, but we also suggest order. You gotta love Little Blessings!
This is such a fun sensory activity. Buy some fresh flowers and let your kiddos make a flower arrangement. It’s a fun way to teach them about nature in terms that they’ll understand while they experience some different scents and textures. Make sure you remove any sharp ends or thorns first.
Ages Six to Ten
Have a birthday coming up? A big milestone for one of your family members? This is a perfect opportunity to make a gift with your little ones. Get some craft tools and get going. Make a card, a photo album, or even a bookmark. Makes a great gift for their older siblings as well, and instills the concept of giving.
Science experiments can be fascinating for kids (and adults!!). Look up some safe and simple experiments that your kids can do at home to get them excited and learn something new too. Make some bath bombs with baking soda, citric acid and safe dyes. Drop a mento in a coke. There are so many ideas online. We’re sure you’ll find something that interests them. You never know, it could spark a new love for science they never knew they had.
Bury a treasure somewhere around the house, draw a treasure map with some simple hints (age appropriate) and let your kids go wild. If you have older children they can also help you with clues and ideas.
Chores (for lack of a better word)
This may seem like the weirdest idea but kids love to feel useful (don't we all!!). You can have them help you around the house with tasks that are age appropriate, and it’s so easy to gamify and make these tasks fun and achievement-like.
Here are some ideas: Setting up the table for Iftar. Folding napkins. Wiping tables. If it's suitable for their age, maybe juice some oranges or cut up some ingredients. You’re sure to know what your kids find interesting and are able to do.
If you're switching out your closet for the new season, this may be a good opportunity to involve them in organising and also introduce them to the great habit of passing on clothes that no longer serve you to others who might benefit from it.
Board & Card Games
We all love games. Battleship, monopoly, or UNO, whatever your kids fancy can be a great family activity. You can even start a family tournament with a prize for the winner.
Gardening is a beautiful way for a family to bond and for kids to learn some very important skills. If you have a garden, mark a small area for your family vegetable patch and help your kids plant some seeds. This is a long-term project where they get to see the fruits (or veggies) of their labor. If you don't have a garden, no worries!! A lot of veggies grow beautifully indoors in pots. Just make sure they receive enough sunlight and have appropriate drainage.
These are just a few ideas to get you and the kids out of a rut but the possibilities are endless. Are your kids older than 10 years old and you feel left out? No worries, stay tuned for part 2 of this article where we're covering activities for older children.