Explaining an unprecedented global pandemic to the average Joe is hard enough. Getting the point across to your kids is a whole different story. Fortunately, embracing precautions and practicing responsible social distancing doesn’t have to be exponentially difficult. Here are eight ways to make social distancing a little easier—and even fun.
1. If you’re working from home, don’t be afraid to tell your kids, “I’m here if you need me.” We’re all in this together, so it’s not the end of the world if they wind up in the background of a conference call.
2. Break out the bikes, Rollerblades, scooters and hiking boots. Head to a semi-secluded park and enjoy the open air (but avoid the playground, where germs linger on equipment).
3. Now is the time for at-home baking. With all the hand-washing happening, a messy, flour-ridden counter will be all the more rewarding. Biscuits, breads and buns, here we come!
4. Try to keep the curriculum going. Kids won’t be learning the same way they would be in school, and that’s OK. Open a book or solve some problems, but keep the pressure off. This isn’t a test, and distractions are inevitable.
5. Sign them up for an online music or dance class. It’ll make them feel engaged and they’ll learn something fun. Many schools offer free classes for the public while kids are stuck at home.
6. If your kids (and you) are going crazy without outside stimulation, choose a neighboring family that takes social distancing as seriously as you do. Meet outdoors, and maintain 6 feet of distance.
7. Prioritize playtime. You may have work to do, but the fact of the matter is that everyone’s productivity is going down during social distancing. Meet your kids in the middle.
8. If you have the space, pitch a tent in the yard or a fort in the living room. Don’t be afraid to let your kids doze off in an atypical environment. It keeps things fresh!
Words by Rachel Curry. Published as “We’re In This Together: Social Distancing” in the Spring/Summer 2020 issue of 302Health magazine.