2020 Mar 25
While the Twitterverse is full of people joking that their small humans have already turned on them, there’s no shortage of things for kids to do — with each other and with their larger humans. And if they’re occupied, they’re less likely to band together against us … right?
In areas that have been most affected by the coronavirus outbreak, schools and daycares have been closed. Even though our kids’ lives rotate around social gatherings—birthday parties, playgrounds, public libraries, zoos—we have to keep them isolated from other humans, large and small, in the interest of public and personal health.
So what can you do with a toddler if you can’t bring them to a playground or those kiddie spaces that seem to be popping up at every junction? Well, we conjured up an aunty-approved list for you so that you can sneak in some quality family time but also keep them occupied while you deal with the madness outside home.
Take them through all your childhood games
It would be a fond reminiscent of the good old simple times and also a lovely bonding activity. Growing up I used to play ‘Sellam Gedhara’ and ‘Gas maaru’, very simple concepts but loads of fun. Sellam Gedhara was basically us acting like grown-ups (why were we so excited to start being an adult and going to work is beyond me). So get your camera ready cause your little cherub is going to look super cute in a makeshift lama sari and a briefcase. Show them the ropes and get involved as well. Maybe some ‘Athuru Mithuru’ as well. Easy to play, you don’t need much except the song and fingers. Tin Kadanawa and Wala salli are good short burst games too.
Themed movie marathons
Your imagination is your only limit. You can have a dress-up Disney movie marathon or even a marvel marathon where you finally introduce your child to the beautiful universe of Disney and explain origin stories the right way.
Arts and crafts day – go nuts
This can fill up a whole day if done right. Create jewellery or have an art competition. Paint your pots at home if you don’t have the resources or time to go get it. Maybe even paint some demon masks with paper plates or anything around the house with your kids and tell them the story of Ancient Sri Lanka of Yakshas, Nagas, Devas, and Rakshas before Prince Vijaya’s invasion. A little history lesson would not hurt.
Create a story or a play
Let your kids embrace their creative side by making their own mini puppet performance or play. Give them a whole day to prepare and tell them to really dedicate themselves to the storyline and costumes. It would be a hoot and a precious family moment in all honesty.
Cook up a storm together
Let your kids roll out dough to make bread and rottis and and they will be infinitely fascinated by how squishy the dough is. This will make them feel important and part of the process. Cupcakes are also an easy recipe. They can decorate the cupcakes to their heart’s content with different coloured icing.
Gardening – Start an indoor herb garden or terrarium
You can start an indoor herb garden by using eggshells as planters or make a terrarium out of mason jars. Teach them the importance of the earth and all the plants it holds. If they can not stay focused and they just do not seem interested just end up watering the garden in a fun way like a water balloon or hose fight.
You can’t go out to see people. You want to keep your child indoors. One idea might be to encourage your child to practice writing letters to their friends, relatives and family members, maybe even to the old achchi down the lane who would appreciate that in such times. Allow them to decorate them with stickers and drawing as they please.You can also give them a tour of the stamps of famous Sri Lankans and make it a little impromptu casual history lesson.
Set up a treasure hunt
Treasure hunts are pretty easy and depending on how many items there are, could last a while. Hide anywhere from 10 to 20 items around the house or outside to keep kids occupied for a few hours. Easy as ever and this gets you time to snuggle in and relax during these hot months.
Get messy with science
There are lots of resources listing experiments you can easily do at home, whether that’s making slime, fizzy balloons or your own rock candy. Watch Bill Nye the Science Guy and get on board. Make your own playdough or slime, Need a recipe? All you need are quart sized bags, all-purpose flour, salt, cream of tartar, water, veggie or coconut oil, and food colouring.
We hope this list serves you well during these precarious times. Tell us what tricks you have employed to keep your kid entertained below.