How to keep your kids amused when the weather isn’t cooperating
Nothing spoils outdoor plans like cold, blustery weather, particularly for kids who thrive in an open-air environment. When considering how to keep your children occupied while indoors, sitting them in front of the computer may be the last thing on your mind — especially considering statistics suggest kids are already spending two hours a day on their mobile screens as it is.
However, the internet is a virtual goldmine of fun, yet educational activities for mind, body, and spirit. Who knows? You just may be able to change the way kids utilize their screen time even when the weather conditions are perfect.
Making Math and Science Fun
Unless your kid is a true enthusiast, math and science are rarely associated with the word “fun,” yet it’s not an impossible concept to grasp once textbooks are swapped for engaging projects and experiments that showcase reasoning applicable in everyday life. For example, a lesson plan that educates young girls about world-renowned female architects while giving them the tools and knowledge to design their version of Barbie’s dream house. Or, you can put together a simple science experiment that involves making a glass of lava. The purpose of these activities is not to replace school education. Instead, these projects make it easier to understand the subject matter, as it’s presented in a more relatable manner.
Head to a Virtual Summer Camp
Kids and summer camp go hand-in-hand, especially in the US, but there’s no reason to wait until the warmer temperatures kick in to enjoy many of the activities that make the experience both fun and educational. Virtual camps make it possible for youngsters to partake of enriching activities such as coding (think making their own emojis and GIFs), hands-on art classes, music tutorials, food exploration (a good one if you have either a picky eater or aspiring chef), reading, and much more. While some camps are free, others have a fee — but it’s a good investment, as your kids can get some mileage out of it for more than one dreary afternoon alone.
Learn a Foreign Language
There are copious benefits to learning a foreign language at a young age, including improved test scores in core concepts, elevated abilities in their native tongue, increased ability to empathize, and prevention of age-related cognitive decline. Learning a new language also trains the ear to learn music better, improves career opportunities (and salary) down the line, makes traveling more fulfilling, promotes cultural awareness, and increases out-of-the-box thinking. Along with the language itself, online courses teach kids about people, places, and cultural nuances that make a country unique.
De-Stress with Yoga
Make no mistake: Yoga is not just an adult activity. In fact, given its stress-busting benefits, it’s perfect for kids, too. Along with obvious stressors like homework, school, and peer-related issues, other factors that have children frazzled include divorce and world news. The YouTube yoga videos geared towards youngsters are shorter, easier, and less “Zen-like” than those for adults, but the benefits are still the same.
Transforming the way your kids view the internet can feel like a challenge at first, but it doesn’t have to be. In fact, you may find that it’s easier to do than making severe restrictions on their usage. Encourage them to become inspired by what they see online versus becoming completely absorbed by it. For example, perhaps they can compose a song, develop a hobby, or be a part of the conversation in a positive way by live-tweeting about a cause that’s close to him or her. The breadth of information your kids have access to these days is both a blessing and a curse, so make a dubious effort to steer them in the right direction. You’ll also notice that your efforts come in handy during the summer on rainy days.