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news News Wednesday, April 22, 2020 Wednesday, April 22, 2020 11:05 AM - Wednesday, April 22, 2020 11:05 AM

Child life specialists offer expert tips on keeping kids engaged and entertained during coronavirus crisis

Child life specialists offer expert tips on keeping kids engaged and entertained during coronavirus crisis

The child life department plays an integral role in the multidisciplinary care offered at Shriners Hospitals for Children — Greenville. Tasked with caring for the emotional and social well-being of patients who may spend prolonged periods of time within the four walls of South Carolina’s only freestanding children’s hospital while undergoing care, the child life team is uniquely equipped to offer ideas for those now at home with children for an extended period.

From toddlers to teens, our child life specialists have developed this lengthy and lovable list of engaging and entertaining ideas for parents:

Preschool

School age

Teens

  • Movie/book club.
  • Virtual outing.
  • Gardening.
  • Plant an indoor herb garden (can use eggshells to start it).
  • Make a vision board by cutting out or printing pictures of what you want to do, what you want to learn and what you want to be this year.
  • Bake something yummy with parental supervision. This is also a way to sneak in some math skills.
  • Keep a diary or journal.
  • Interview a family member.
  • Stay up late and stargaze (use an app like SkyView Lite or Night Sky).
  • Make a family tree.
  • Draw a map of your home/neighborhood.
  • Make a nature bookmark. Collect flowers, leaves, etc and place them between Kleenex or wax paper in a book. Place other books on top to press the flowers. Remove after a day or two and use them to create your bookmark.
  • Paint/decorate smooth rocks that you find in your yard or on a nature walk around your house.
  • Write a thank-you note to your mail carrier.
  • Decorate a thank-you poster for all of the delivery workers that are coming to your house during this time. You could also decorate your front window to thank them for all of their help.
  • Build and paint a cardboard fort out of all those delivery boxes your family has been receiving over the last few weeks.
  • Do PE class with Joe Wicks (The Body Coach). He does a 30 minute class every weekday at 9 a.m. for kids to keep them on track during this quarantine.
  • Create a flag that tells the world all about you.
  • Make a kite out of sticks and newspaper and try to get it to fly high!
  • Make ice cream in a bag with your parent’s assistance. Yum!
  • Read-a-thon Bingo. Here is an example of a Bingo card.
  • Plan the menu for a picnic with your parent. Help assemble it and either picnic in your yard or indoors on a blanket if needed.
  • Work a Family Pieces puzzle. These puzzles have three different size pieces so everyone can work together without frustration.
  • Bird watching. Try to identify and then do a little research on the birds you see in your area. Try an app like Merlin Bird ID.
  • Grow some vegetables using only water.
  • Make homemade musical instruments.
  • Virtually ride these Disney rides.