Play-Based Games for Kids During the Coronavirus Pandemic: Imaginative Activities That Help Kids Write & Play by Jocelyn Greene
The challenges of suddenly homeschooling our kids because of coronavirus are real. Here are some play-based games that can get the creativity flowing and support our kids learning during the pandemic:
- Elf-Kid on the Shelf: Have your child pretend to be an imaginary (invisible) creature and write clues or letters and leave them around the house. When parents find them, you have to act accordingly. Like Elf on the Shelf, but with your kid as the elf.
- Kids Write a Parachute Letter: Make a parachute person with plastic bags, LEGO people and string. Use a big world map to pick a place and do a little internet research. Then kids write a letter to an imaginary person who lives there. Attach the letter to the “parachute” and send it flying!
- Play Jewel Thief: Hide some costume jewelry under a bowl and have kids write out a map of the “museum.” Put up streamers with some tape and have them get through the lasers to find the jewels!
Coronavirus-Themed Writing for Kids
It might feel weird and hard to lean into the virus for inspiration, but it’s literally in the air. Therefore, it is not just healthy for kids to put pen to paper about their experiences, it is also probably pretty easy. Beyond that, when kids write about things that grownups are going on about (hand washing!), it helps give them a feeling of control. Writing is certainly, powerful and here are ways that they can claim expertise and practice those letters at the same time:
- Make a poster for the bathroom about the steps of hand washing.
- Create a pamphlet for the lobby of your building about ways to stay safe.
- If you are into making DIY face masks, break down the steps of how to make a mask and send the instructions to a friend.
Physical Games That Help Kids With Writing
Staying active while staying home is like living an oxymoron. Above all, any writing exercise that can also incorporate movement is a winner. Here are some:
- Make a list of 10 crazy things to have your parents do. (Please note: my son wanted my husband to pretend that he was at a wedding with me!!)
- Write the activities of a relay race or obstacle course. The exercises can be simple things like 20 jumping jacks, twirls, stretches or just running back and forth in the hall. Film it on time-lapse setting on the phone and enjoy watching it back!
- Kids can make a list of their favorite songs for a playlist and then play Red Light Green Light or Freeze Dance.
Writing Games That Help Executive Function Skills
- Find a recipe that your kid loves and help them write out the ingredient list or directions like they are the chef.
- Create your own word wall.
Writing Games That Foster Empathy
- Write a letter to a grandparent.
- Write to a buddy from school that they miss.
- Get a pen pal in another state or country.
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