Just because “social distancing” and “travel ban” may be dominating our vernacular, that doesn’t mean you have to put your family’s life on hold. As a mother of two very active kids in a downtown condo full of high-risk individuals, I’ve had to pivot both my family at home, and my extended family of students at Explorer Hop to keep my community happy and healthy during these changing times. Here are my tips on how you can engage and occupy your children in the age of COVID-19.
Take advantage of online learning tools. It’s time to embrace technology for our kids. By that, I mean using technology for practical creativity and innovation (not hours spent scrolling Instagram or on their Nintendo Switch). With weeks to spend doing essentially nothing, it’s the perfect opportunity to teach your child real-life skills in a fun, stress-free learning environment. At Explore Hop, we have embraced the challenge that COVID-19 poses, and have moved all our March Break camps and After-School Programs online. Tomorrow, we launch our first e-Camp where kids will learn not only how to create their own board games, but also how to get it published on Amazon.
Create your own e-store. Do you have an aspiring young entrepreneur at home? Or know someone who has always wanted to start their own business? There is no better time than NOW to learn about it and launch an e-store. Absolutely everyone is shifting their products and services to a virtual platform at the moment—from online math teachers to online chess teachers. Even my child’s violin teacher is online now! If you ever needed a captive digital audience with a demand for new products and services, it’s your perfect opportunity to launch your startup! What better use of Snapchat than to showcase your child’s business acumen?
Learn how to invest! The stock market has hit historic lows, which at the same time presents an incredible investment opportunity. Therefore, it’s important to benefit from this and get some amazing gains in the future. I’ve met numerous adults who wished they and their kids had learned financial literacy sooner, but kept putting it off. Now is the time! What better time to teach yourself or your child money management than when there is nothing else to do! At Explorer Hop, our new e-Camp Millionaire will convert you into an investment pro in 5 days.
Math!: So many parents are wondering how their child will “keep up” with Math. Firstly, they don’t need to “keep up” with anything - because everything is shut and including those math classes with onerous math worksheets whose printers are thankfully offline. Secondly, printing every math worksheet you find online and making your child complete them will just make the days longer and their love for math diminish even more. This is however, an opportunity for you to work on their practical math skills. Make it a game. Let’s say for example, toilet paper is in short supply and you have 50 rolls, with 100 sheets each for 4 people. It has to last you for 3 weeks. Have your child calculate how much each of his siblings can use. Take that Math class and make it into an Instagram post, Tik Tok it and even turn it into a Houseparty!
Want to improve their writing? Let them write a blog! Social Distancing through the eyes of a 13 year old is so different from that of a 40 year old. I suspect they simply would not even notice because they are still online! You could even make it completely publishable ready - by asking family members of different generations to write a blog each and then share all the posts only at the end. This would be the ultimate inter-generational piece of literature in modern times!
Create! Create! Create!: “Necessity is the mother of invention”, Plato’s saying from 2400 years ago is truer now than ever before. Use your child’s time to allow them to invent—from their own cookie recipe to a rocket ship design. Take this down time to let their creative juices flow and allow them to really find an interest they love doing.
Learn History from grandparents - just virtually! We have an Amazon Echo Show and it’s a fabulous very easy way for grandparents to keep seeing their kids throughout the day. Put it on and let the live stream begin! Or set up a Zoom account and video conference them. What better time for kids to learn how their grandparents survived the war and rationing. It’s history, it’s real and it’s relatable!
Send thank you notes to everyone who is on the front line. Like seriously, we have doctors, nurses and paramedics who are putting themselves at risk on the front line of COVID-19 in order to keep the rest of us safe. If there ever was a time to say thank you to them, it is today. Not sure where to send the note? Click here to Thank a Paramedic. Want to make it simpler? Tag Explorer Hop (@explorerhop) on IG and we will make sure the correct person in Toronto Paramedics and Toronto General Hospital gets to see it.
During this extended period at home, it’s important to remember to cherish time together with your family and leverage technology to be a fun, educational tool for your children. Many years from now, when our children will be talking to their own kids about this experience, we want them to look back and have a really good story to tell!Want to step up your prolonged March Break game? Sign your child up for one of our exciting new online camps today!