There is no mistaking that we are in a very unusual and some might even say scary time, but we have to remember to look for silver linings and to control what we can control and rest in the knowledge that we have done just that. One of the silver linings of the “shelter-in-place” directives is there may be more time in the day for your kids and for your family to incorporate things into your new norm that provide fulfillment.
Creative activities are often one of the first things we as adults let go of when our lives get busy, and it is one of the best things we can do for critical thinking, focus, incubating ideas and solutions, and improvement of mental health. And as for our kids, we know they love being creative and have the most amazing imaginations. Here are a couple challenges for you and your children to do together or separately. They can modified very easily for different aged children by throwing in some math and other challenges for the older kiddos and simplifying it for the younger.
A lot of kids don’t know anything about landscaping and the process that goes into designing a great outdoor space. There are a number of challenges that going into landscape design. Encourage your child to create a landscape design for your home. If your home’s landscaping is already in tip-top shape, have them design their own terrarium or succulent garden, or have them create their dream backyard with a swimming pool and a skate park.
This is video you can watch with your kiddos – it is a peek at what a landscape designer does during a typical day! This video created by Lowes, gives the basics on what to consider when you are creating a great outdoor space. Google images will give you hundreds of landscaping plans to give your budding designers a place to start drawing and planning.
Recycling is not only good for the planet, but it can also be a great medium for creating beautiful and fun pieces of art. Kids can make tree sculptures using old palettes; bottle cap lid mosaics can be extremely interesting and fun to create. Even paper towel and toilet paper rolls can be used to make visually appealing abstract artforms. Whatever you are collecting in your bin is sure to spark the imagination of your youngsters, and if the materials don’t get their creative juices flowing there is always pinterest.
Our kids are rarely encouraged or allowed to play with their food, but sometimes, it is MANDATORY! Make this edible sculpting clay and your kids will have a ton of fun playing with and eating their food! After washing their hands (for a long, long time), they can take a can of white frosting and a bag of powdered sugar and make a sugary medium for art creation. All they have to do is gradually add and mix the powdered sugar into the frosting until it is too difficult to stir. Shazam, you and your kids have an edible and moldable medium! They can create some minimalist sculptures or add some food coloring and create all sorts of colorful and delicious art forms.
Everyone loves field trips, and we love them even more when we can’t go on them! Fortunately, there are a number of museums that allow visitors to virtually check out a number of their exhibits. How about each week your family chooses a new museum. Each person has to pick out their Top 3 pieces in the museum and share what they are and why they like them!
- Smithsonian Natural History Museum
- Science Museum
- Google Arts & Culture (Links to a number of museums)
- Eternal Egypt
Shelter in place can make many of us, kids included, feel confined and anxious. But, using this new found time together in positive productive ways can lead to new norms where families feel closer and more connected. Try a few of these missions and see if they don’t help you and yours relax and enjoy hunkering down (at least for the time being).