With the outbreak of the Corona virus, none of us expected our children to be at home this early and this long. And if the shutdown continues it seems that our children will be home a little longer; as we all rally together in the fight against the Corona virus. It is therefore understandable that most parents are getting concerned with the activities that their children are involved in.
In this article, we are going to look at safe activities that our children can be involved in. These activities (and toys) shall focus on the mental growth of your child in these self isolation times.
1. Learn chess with your children
I know, you didn’t expect this to be anywhere on this list. However, there are an incredible number of benefits in learning chess as well as other board games. These benefits are useful in keeping your child’s mind busy and alert in this period where there is no school. Here are a few benefits of playing chess.
Increases a child’s problem-solving skills.
A child’s life is full of adventure (or misadventure in some cases). Discovering new things, learning complex new life skills and socializing with their peers and elders. Each of these new things are a cause for
different challenges; emotional, ethical and logical challenges. Chess has been proven by multiple studies to help a child in solving logical problems. This will help build the self confidence and independence of your child.
It improves your child’s memory.
Any one who has ever played chess will attest to the importance of having a good memory. I mean, while playing chess you should remember your opponent’s move. Remember which positions can help him/her in certain situations. Nonetheless, just remembering, most of the openings, and all that the tips and tricks are enough to improve your kid’s memory
Chess teaches planning and foresight.
Every parent would love to see a sense of independence I their child. The ability for your child to plan their study time, balancing it with their TV and play time. In addition, your child having passion and foresight for the future is the best gift a child can give their parent. Chess is a game of rules and discipline your child gaining passion for this sport allows for rule following discipline and planning to be part of their character.
The mental health benefits of chess seem to be endless. Organizations such as Mini Chess Kenya have done phenomenal work in incorporating chess into children’s day to day life. Visit their site (http://minichess.co.ke/) and learn about their events, curriculum and how to introduce your young one to the game of Kings.
2. Keep your children active
Yes, yes, we are very much aware that there is a state sanctioned partial lockdown. However, this should an excuse for inactivity in any household. According to Johns Hopkins hospital, inactivity is a leading cause for cardio-vascular diseases (https://www.hopkinsmedicine.org/health/conditions-and-diseases/risks-of-physical-inactivity). So why not dust off those bikes and have a ride around in the estate with your kids, having wholesome family fun while keeping them an eye on their physical social interactions.
3. Get your children engaging toys.
Truth be told, a toy isn’t just a toy anymore. There are a wide range of toys that have been specially designed for different age groups to help in mental development. Dr. Claire McCarthy, a pediatrician with the Harvard Medical School, says that these toys can help children be happier, smarter and successful. So which toys are these?
Toys that build a child’s creativity and imagination.
Toys that encourage your child to build something out of their imagination can be a great help in Early childhood development. Toys such as building blocks are great in a child’s early development.
When it comes to the tween and teen years more complex toys such the SmartMaker micro bit powered robot help improve more that just the creativity of your child. A toy that can be coded to do various specification will improve your child’s imagination as well as their computer skills.
– help improve more that just the creativity of your child. A toy that can be coded to do various specification will improve your child’s imagination as well as their computer skills.
Toys that encourage social interactions.
No one want’s their child to be a social pariah. Getting them toys that encourage them to ask questions and interact with their siblings or with you as the parent can be crucial to building their social skills. Board games like chess, scrabble, monopoly and others can help them grow their social interaction skills. Educational toys are also great in increasing interaction as your child tries to understand how some of the toys work or the concept that said toys represent.
Toys such as the SmartMaker 3d wooden planet model, 4in1 and 2in1 educational robots are amazing educational toys that spark questions and conversations between you and your children.
Toys that encourage movement.
As earlier stated, inactivity is dangerous to your child’s health. Therefore, toys that encourage movement are great in keeping your young ones healthy. Getting them soccer balls, jump ropes, bicycles, or roller skates can be a great form of exercise and keep your young ones busy and active.
In conclusion, we are in tough times but that doesn’t negate our responsibility to raise our kids in a sociable environment and help them in growing their mental, ethical and social capabilities. We hope that everyone keeps safe in this time and keeps their kids engaged socially.