Set The Tone for Your Family
- Children can sense their parents’ emotional state. It is only natural that parents are feeling overwhelmed, anxious and even angry or sad, but children need their parents to be the captain of the ship – confident and positive!
- Waldorf kindergarten teachers practice mindfulness techniques because they know that children learn by imitating. Not only words matter, but the energy you emit, body language and gestures.
- Parents need to put boundaries on their adult conversations. Don’t let children hear you on the phone, fearing for your job or angry at the mobs clearing out the toilet paper.
- Commit to checking on news updates at key times during the day – not constantly!
- Take up a mindfulness practice – as a family!
Managing Increased Screen Time
- Screen time issues are challenging to navigate, whether because of new online learning opportunities, the sheer amount of time everyone is sitting at home, or because it’s an easy way to pass the time.
- Establish routines and screen time rules, but don’t fear boredom or over-plan.
- Being in nature is the perfect cure, so take walks if you can to break up the day.
- Offer options for screen-free activities – board games, puzzles, art projects, baking, yard work – even housework!
- Remember that being bored empowers children to create their own meaning, be resourceful, and get to know themselves better. When young minds are free from constant input, they develop the will and the creativity to find their own fun!
- Resources for managing screen time include Screenagers- TechTalkTuesdays, ccfc, and Common Sense Media.
Projects & Activities
- Consider identifying daily or long-term projects that you can chip away at during this long home stay.
- When someone comes in to observe a kindergarten class, they are often struck by how purposeful and busy at work the children are as one child may be sanding a wooden stick, three others are peeling carrots to chop for their Stone Soup snack, and another group are busy making a fort complete with an underground parking garage. The key for kindergarten teachers is a routine and open-ended materials.
- Free play all day would result in sensory overload and many disciplinary challenges. There are many times that a child needs to have focused play or work that is meaningful and purposeful.
- Finding a wooden stick on a nature walk and then sanding it and even carving, or adding yarn to decorate or beads will produce a functional walking stick for the next ravine walk.
- Taking yarn and winding it into a ball will be then used for finger knitting to create a belt.
- These activities provide fine motor skills, help build regulation and patience, and produce many useful things that a child can be proud of because they made it!
Next Blog: Three simple and affordable kid activities and projects that can be repeated or reused