“When will the schools reopen?” For weeks Italian parents, and with the passing of the days also parents of other countries, hear this question from their children surprised and “suspended” because of the health emergency due to the coronavirus infection. Confronted with the unusual condition of isolation, children teach us how creativity and tenderness can help to face a health emergency, being more united and supportive!
Coronavirus: what to do with children
Our children are at home and not only because the schools are closed but also because the institutions and doctors ask us for full responsibility, avoiding as many as possible crowded places and strolls. And so what seemed to be a temporary school break of a few days is turning inexorably into real social isolation, both for us and for the children.
The older ones have seen remote teaching programs activated and manage to engage part of their days carrying out tasks assigned by teachers, going ahead with the programs independently or doing online lessons with the professors, and then they spend the rest of the time playing video games (very often in connection with those friends who are also isolated, so they no longer feel so distant), reading books and comics, watching movies.
Activities for the little ones
But the little ones? How can we keep them busy with activities that somehow mimic what is done in kindergarten or primary school? If there’s one thing we’ve learned in this Coronavirus emergency is that technology is finally revealing its positive nature, the one that allows us to connect, to talk to each other, to support each other.
It’s as if we’re only now discovering that technology is not just a compulsive use of social media and of more or fewer leisure apps, but it can bring about great changes for the whole community. From smart working to online education we are tearing the veil that covered an infinite world of opportunities which finally put technology at our service, freeing us from our role of “tech slaves”. And this is good even for the little ones! Here are some activities that I do with my little son Matteo (8 years old)
- We watch children’s shows and theater online, On YouTube, there are many channels that present traditional fairy tales in a video key, such as ‘pills’ of a few minutes, for children, teens, and adults. The fairy tale pills are short films with actors, images, animated sequences, and music, to rediscover in a poetic key the beauty of the stories that we have all listened to who knows how many times.
- Children’s stories to listen online, many volunteer teachers and artist are providing their voice and time to tell fairy tales online.
- Experiments and science, in these days to take children off the screens and make them learn something new while having fun, we can also spend some time experimenting. On YouTube, of course, there are plenty of tutorials to make experiments, from the easiest to the most complex ones!
- Movies in streaming, many channels have given free access in these months of quarantine. We can catch up on an entire movie saga or organise movie nights with popcorn and cookies.
- Creative activities, of course, we’re all struggling with paper, glue, moldable pasta and more. If we are running out of ideas and imagination, let’s get help from those who have made themselves available online.