Is it just us or have you also noticed a 100% increase (okay now obviously take this number as seriously as you take the speed limit on SMBZ) in Family centric posts on IG and FB since the lockdown? Not that we’re complaining.
Around the globe, lockdown and closure of educational institutes have put immense pressures on families. From the financial pressure of running the house on a reduced pay or the loss of job to the emotional pressure of keeping the kids entertained and educated. This has been particularly tasking for Moms, who along-with already being the masterchef of the house, to the primary caregiver, home pharmacist, taken-for-granted-nutritionist, unofficial official home-sanitization expert, now also have to be the entertainment providers for the children.
We caught up with a few UAE influencer Mums on how they’ve been coping with keeping their kids busy at home since the lockdown, and here’s how they’ve been faring. Read up as they share some trade secrets on how to exhaust your child at home….er, we mean how to keep your children more engaged while at home.
“I have a 4 year old little monster and with home-schooling, I have to literally run out of ways to keep her off screen time. She is now at the age where she starts to realize and pick up what is happening around her. With 2 months of summer break and no e-learning, I need to come up with “strategies” to keep her entertained. It’s a huge task especially for the mums on top of work and running a household. I took this opportunity to introduce her to cooking although she used to sit on the kitchen slab and watch me cook when she was about a year old. Slowly, she would use her little hands to roll the dough and add ingredients. Now she can make dosas and tea with a little supervision. She knows where the things are kept in the kitchen and now I have to hide her away from noodles and chocolates. We baked eggless cake for daddy’s birthday, made pasta together and paneer butter masala too!!
The other thing which she likes is to sing and dance. She can pick up the beats much faster and dance to her favorite songs. Recently, I discovered a page on Youtube called the ‘Kids Cosmic Yoga’. It’s a great way to release their energy by doing yoga in the form of stories. This keeps her entertained and gives me a little ‘me-time’.
She also loves painting and playing with clay. These help a lot in developing their motor skills. At times I catch her applying makeup. Although I get angry, it also makes my heart sink as she doesn’t have the opportunity for an outside play. Hence I was so relieved when I received a doll house made from cardboard. She is so proud of it and loves to play. Infact, she can sit for hours with her doll friends.
Gardening is a way to connect with nature. We make her water the plants and she enjoys it as much as we do. No evening is complete without praying. These are the times when many kids experience behavioral changes and mood swings. So, it is very important for us to lay a foundation of spirituality within.
Utilize this time with them and build relationships. I am cherishing these moments now and hope I have the chance to freeze these lovely moments with her.”
- Rheema Menon
“I'm Sneha, a Dubai/Toronto based mom. Other than running Sugaholic, my cake shop; I am a full time activity specialist for my son. You will find lots of baby and toddler activities on my Instagram.
Entertaining Reyan has not been easy since the pandemic started! The fact that i have to do all the housework along with being his teacher and play date too has been one big task. Coming up with different activities and ideas needs serious dedication and research. Here we are enjoying an afternoon on a weekend playing with our favorite dough and color matching some ice cream sticks to the dough.”
“I am sure by now we all have our quarantine survival guides and routine. Especially parents who have to keep their toddlers entertained. I have a 3yr old daughter Kimaya who is hooked to Peppa Pig and Ben &Holly. Relatable right?
Parenting during the coronavirus pandemic is filled with challenges. Between keeping an entire family healthy and quarantined, leading kids in home-based learning and fulfilling household duties without any domestic help. I feel I have 5 jobs: mom, teacher, blogger, house cleaner and chef.
Initially, I too was struggling with the lack of structure and routine and was guilty too of Kimaya’s increasing screen time. Thankfully parents across the globe are sharing meaningful lists of activities for different age groups on the internet. Many include reading together, baking, board games, drawing & painting, papercraft, gardening, lego games, etc.
Gradually I tried doing these activities with Kimaya and realized the best way to spend time with your kid is to figure out what they like doing the most. She thoroughly enjoyed realistic activities like home chores which involved a lot of play and learning. I started involving Kimaya in cooking activities. She helps in mixing a few ingredients, washing veggies while playing in the water, rolling breads, setting up baking trays, and a lot of other things.
Creating learning opportunities for your kids at home doesn’t have to be complicated. Children learn by touching, tasting, feeling, smelling, and listening. This practical experience of cooking allows kids to develop fine motor skills, sense of color and smell, the idea of measurements, follow directions and even getting introduced to early concepts of math and science.
Involving children in the kitchen, from a young age, cultivates a habit that will have lifelong benefits and most importantly their interest in eating healthy food.
For all the Mom’s, don’t feel compelled to do every activity, kids may spend a whole day doing one or two activities. As long as kids are moving, creating, or playing, they’re learning. Intrinsic learning takes place within the real-world. Let the inquisitiveness within them be their fun and mentor.”
- Pooja Biswas
“My not-so-little kids do need some sort of entertainment during the hot summers. We are a family of foodies, so once a day we venture into the kitchen and spur up a dish with the ingredients we have at home. We also love card games. Five crowns and Monopoly Deal are what we reach for. We also love making vision boards and scrapbooks. The time spent with my children are ways of me depositing treasures in their memory bank. So grateful for all three for wanting to spend time with me even if it means cuddling up all day long.”
- Zohren Husein
Good work there, ladies! We’re certain once the lockdown is over, all you Super Mums, across the globe, are going to come out equipped with even more factual and emotional knowledge on children’s activities (...and most importantly, an urgent need for a well-deserved break).