These are scary times. The news is full of virus updates every day. The grocery stores across the nation have empty shelves. People are hoarding food. Schools have been cancelled. Many parents have children home all day. How do you keep children happy and busy during this crisis?
Keeping the mind busy is the key. Busy minds help alleviate fears during uncertain times. There are so many different fun ideas that can be accomplished right in your home that will keep your children’s minds busy, active, and happy.
You might have some of these items at home; others can be ordered online.
Check out these four ways to be quarantined and happy!
Mindware's Color By Number
Mindware publishes these awesome coloring books. The company also produces colored pencils to match the numbers in the coloring books, but you don’t have to buy the colored pencils. Any set of markers, crayons, gel pens, and/or colored pencils will work.
These books are a great resource for children who love coloring. With the intricate designs, the book(s) will provide hours of entertainment! The company also offers a variety of themes.
ThinkFun's Logic Games
Thinkfun has produced many logic games for all ages. The logic games come with challenges. The easier challenges are simple, meant for younger children, but the challenges progress into harder puzzles to solve. The harder challenges are mind- stimulating for older children and adults!
Most of their games are for one player, but there are some for multiple players. The games that are for one player can be easily converted into multiple player games, taking turns solving the puzzles.
There are so many. The themes are fun and varied, including dogs, cats, cars, dominos, marbles, and many more. The one above features sweet treats. I carried this one recently with me when we traveled. The game comes with a puzzle book that features easy to hard puzzles. Each puzzle gives clues where to place the treats on the puzzle board. The first ones are very easy, but as the puzzles progress, the game becomes harder and more challenging.
These games provide hours of entertainment! Logic puzzles help develop skills that are beneficial for high school math courses. In high school math, logic skills are helpful when solving problems.
I have never been disappointed in ThinkFun’s games.
Mindware's Extreme Dot-To-Dot
Extreme dot-to-dot puzzles emphasize advanced counting skills. The puzzles require children to count into the hundreds as they connect dots to draw pictures. Once the pictures are drawn, the children can color the pictures if they choose.
These books provide hours of entertainment!
Read, Read, and Read Some More
I homeschooled my children for 13 years. One of my favorite activities to do with my children during those years was reading books to them. I researched public school reading lists online, and then I went to used library book sales to find the books. I spent $0.25-$1.00 per book in the used library book sales. I also shopped the used options on Amazon and eBay, spending $5 or less. I built a whole library for my children over a period of years that they still treasure to this day, even though they are grown now. We moved recently, and my son definitely insisted that I bring the whole library with me.
There are so many fun adventures that you and your children can have together through reading books. From America to Africa to Antarctica, geography can be explored. From animal stories to survival stories, reading allows you and your children to dive into another world as you explore life from another viewpoint. As you read, activities can be done. Your children can draw as you read aloud. Your children can build something they hear in the story using Legos or other building blocks. Your children can create dioramas as you read. The sky is the limit. Once a book has been read, you can watch the movie based on the book, such as Charlotte’s Web, To Kill A Mockingbird (for more mature children), and Stuart Little.
Many, many precious memories can be made reading books together. I read to my children from the time they were born until they were seniors in high school. My boys both scored very high on state standard reading tests, and I credit all the books that we read together. I constantly checked their comprehension skills as we read.
As these days of uncertainty pass, there are many activities that can be done in the home to keep minds busy. Having a variety of different activities from which to choose is ideal. The goal is to give children a happy childhood despite circumstances that are beyond our control.
I was compensated for this blog post but the opinions are my own.
Becky Hill lives in Green River, Wyoming, with her husband of 29 years. She has 3 grown children and 2 grand dogs. Becky earned a Bachelor of Arts degree from Ouachita Baptist University, in Arkadelphia, Arkansas, in 1990. She earned a Biblical Studies Certificate from Trinity Evangelical Divinity School, in Deerfield, Illinois, in 1993. Becky began homeschooling two of her children unexpectedly 13 years ago. Despite many challenges along the way, Becky creatively enabled both of her children to succeed. While her homeschooling adventures are over, she loves tutoring children and helping them to conquer subjects with no fear. Her specialty is mathematics. One of her favorite hobbies is creatively incorporating games into tutoring. The goal, she believes, is no tears, no fear, and a competent, confident, and happy child.
A note from ThinkFun
At ThinkFun, we love it when learning and fun collide. It’s why we do what we do. Every game, puzzle and brainteaser we create is aimed at igniting a spark in a young mind. Still curious? Check us out on the web, Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, YouTube or Instagram.
Are you a former or current educator who is interested in guest blogging for ThinkFun? Please contact us for more information! You could be featured in our next blog post and TeachFun e-newsletter!