2020 has proven to be a year of trials and growth for all of us. With a new school year in full swing (as full as it can be at this time...), it’s important to have an open dialogue with our children about what to expect, how to stay safe and how they can express themselves even with certain restrictions.
GET THEM A MASK THEY CAN BE EXCITED ABOUT
Children don’t have the full scope-of-understanding about this virus like us adults do. They may be confused, find it frustrating that they have to cover half of their face (which is a means of self-expression) and not be able to function in a way that they’re used to.
Getting your child a mask that they enjoy may encourage their desire to wear it, thus keeping them and others around them more safe. Affordable and unique masks can be found on sites such as Etsy and can range anywhere from $5-15. I have masks in my office and can make them to order as well, just ask!
Private sellers make masks with anything from floral print, to superheroes and video game characters such as Spider Man or Fortnite. I favor Marvel, Star Wars and Harry Potter for the kids myself.
RECESS GAMES AT A DISTANCE
Depending on your governing state and the rules that they apply when it comes to COVID-19, you may find your child becoming antsy not being able to play with their friends at recess like they used to. Here are some fun socially-distanced activities that you can incorporate so that kids can still enjoy their play time.
Fitness Relay: Set up into teams of 3 (ensuring everyone is at least 6 feet from one another). Set up cones in front of each team in a straight line to distinguish the start and finish areas. The leader will call out an exercise (jumping jacks, pushups, toe-touches, etc.) and when the leader yells “go!” The first players of each team will run to the cone and perform that exercise. Then, they run back to the starting cone and the next person goes. The first team to have all players finished, wins!
Mirror, Mirror: Players pick a partner and face each other keeping at least 6 feet of distance. One child is deemed the leader, and the others must mirror their movements. Talking and/or giving hints isn’t allowed! So pay close attention. The leader tries to come up with as many movements as possible while the others follow along. Switch leaders after 2 minutes.
MOBILE APPS AND GAMES
There are some mobile apps that can be downloaded on cell phones to help kids stay connected while social distancing. Of course, we encourage family discussions before a game is downloaded to ensure that it lines up with online safety as well as family values.
That being said, a few apps that we have found to be fun include Online Uno (a classic card game), Animal Crossing: Pocket Camp and even Pokemon Go!
Rebecca M H Kitzerow is a Licensed Acupuncturist practicing in La Center, Washington. With over a decade of experience she has won 10 Nattie consumer choice awards from Natural Awakenings Magazine since 2014.