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Arts, crafts and storytelling help parents deal with restless kids during the lockdown

Parents are utilising this downtime to bond with their children by engaging in fun indoor activities like learning arts, crafts, traditional games

Arts, crafts and storytelling help parents deal with restless kids during the lockdown
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Amritha; Janaki Sabesh, Storyteller

Chennai

With schools shutting down until the coronavirus spread is contained, parents are finding ways to smoothly transition children into at-home life. Being on lockdown isn’t all fun for many parents and children. Experts from various fields share tips to help children keep themselves busy and productive during this long break.


Storyteller Janaki Sabesh suggests that parents can do several activities alongside their kids that facilitate active and engaged learning. “This is the best time for parents to rediscover their children. I am not saying they aren’t doing it otherwise. But sometimes, we miss it in the hustle and bustle. Since many parents are working from home currently, they get more time to spend with children. So, just be with them and listen to them. Kids can surprise you in ways that you cannot even imagine. I keep telling parents to allow children to be bored. When children are bored, they rediscover themselves and in the process, they get creative,” she says.


Janaki also suggests in inculcating reading habits among children. “Children are always wired for stories — a father or mother can read books with their kids. Reading interactively with children will help in building language skills. There are a lot of books available online; parents can select books depending on the age of the child. Also, you can narrate some interesting folktales that you have heard from your parents. Parents can also teach children traditional games like thattangal, pallanguzhi and so on,” she adds.


A few parents consider this as an opportunity for children to spend quality time with their grandparents. “When kids are busy attending schools, they don’t get enough time to spend with grandparents. But now, my children are spending more time with my parents. I have limited the screen-time and instead, engage children in fun indoor activities. I am also consulting with them about cooking plans. They love to become an equal participant in the household activities,” says Binoja, a work from home parent.


For blogger Antara Pandit, a blend of focused activities like daily school work to be done via digital learning and free play is working well. “Pretend play has always been a big part of playtime with both my boys. For example, building a fort made of pillows and blankets, setting up a kitchen area inside with toy fruits and veggies, etc, keep them engaged for hours. Information and Communications Technology (ICT) is a super important part of a child’s learning from the time they are in pre-school. Now with schools closed, my boys’ school has prepared and sent their daily class schedules do be executed at home with parental supervision. For my 3-year-old who is in Toddlers, his homeroom teachers have created videos of their songs, dances, literacy and numeracy concepts, etc, and emailed it to us. So, my son watches these on my laptop and practises,” shares Antara.


Amritha Venketakrishnan, who runs Hindustan Trading Company, saw an increase in the sale of art and craft materials for children. “I think the best way to engage children is through interesting art and activity. Whether it’s colouring books, DIY, origami these are some of the ways we can entertain them,” remarks Amritha.

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