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February 4, 2021

10 Indoor Activities To Enhance Your Relationship With Your Child

Jacqueline Lau

Black father connects with his child as they eat waffles for breakfast.

Connecting With Your Child

Regular quality time with your child strengthens family relationships.

The majority of 2020 has seen many families spend more time indoors due to Covid-19. The pandemic has reminded individuals to slow down and the value of spending time with each other. With the second state-of-emergency and extended school closures, it appears families will continue to remain at home for much of their time. It is normal and valid for parents to experience mixed emotions about our current circumstances as well as the impact on their families. Parents across the country are doing the best they can. While we’re not able to change certain things, we can look towards aspects of our lives we have control of and proactively make the most of our circumstances.   

Your Child’s Well-being

These are not typical times and children and teens require support from their parents and caregivers more than ever. One way you can provide support is by forming a habit of connecting with your child on a regular basis. Parents lead busy lives and even more so in recent months as they have been required to wear different hats. Thus, it is important to note that the quality is more important than the quantity of time spent together.

Connection and Mastery 

Children and teens thrive on connection as well as learning and mastering new skills. Connection and mastery are one of the foundations of healthy child and youth development as it strengthens relationships, teaches life skills, and fosters self-confidence. The way you connect with your child sets the stage for your time together. This means giving your full, undivided attention without the distraction of electronics, making eye contact, and genuinely taking an interest in your child. Here are 10 activities you can try with your child or teen to keep them (and perhaps you as well!) entertained in the coming weeks.

Activities

  • Scavenger Hunt - This activity allows parents to be creative. You can begin by creating a list of items you would like your child to find, such as food (i.e. candy) or inanimate objects. You may choose to have themes (i.e. Emotions scavenger hunt: Find 1 item that makes you feel happy, proud, sad, worried, excited, etc.). Oftentimes, this will encourage deeper conversations and gave us a glimpse of a child’s inner world.
  • Cook Together - Plan a meal (or more) together. Involve your child or teen in meal prep as much as possible, such as grocery shopping and food prep, with supervision. Your family’s favourite recipe is bound to be a hit. Menus can be planned around a theme (i.e. Each dish must incorporate something green). You could also look up age-appropriate YouTube cooking videos and follow along. There are many videos with kids and teens as the demonstrator. If you’re feeling creative, make up your own unique recipe!
  • Work Out – Regular physical activity promotes healthy development and mental well-being. Studies show exercise reduces stress and anxiety. Some gyms are offering free virtual workout classes online and various on social media. There are many YouTube exercise videos that are tailored to different age groups. Depending on your child’s interest, you could also plan a workout together.
  • Build a Fort - Younger children will enjoy creating a space that they can call their own. It can also be a designated place for a specific activity (i.e. A reading corner). Pillows, blankets, throws, and bed sheets will help create a cozy space.
  • Board Games or Card Games – Board games provide opportunities to teach life skills. They allow opportunities to work on teamwork, communication skills, critical-thinking skills, logic and reasoning, problem-solving skills, turn-taking and listening skills, just to name a few. Allow your child to choose a board game or have all individuals select their preferred game and rotate.
  • Read or Listen To a Book - If you have avid readers in your family, try to read or listen to a book together. Find a book everyone will enjoy so you can talk about it together when you’re finished reading. Some books include discussion questions that may help facilitate conversations.
  • Movie Night – Choose an age-appropriate movie or involve your child or teen in the selection of a movie. Consider choosing movie based on a book you have read together. Don’t forget the popcorn, treats, or a snack bar! No movie night is complete without munchies. 
  • Bake a Treat - If you and your child have a sweet tooth, this will be an activity you will both enjoy. Allow your child to choose a dessert and together, research a recipe that you would both like to try. Alternatively, you could use a tried-and-true recipe. Remember to involve your child in as much of the process as possible (cleanup included)!
  • TikTok (for older youth and teens) – If you’re not already familiar with this popular app, chances are, your teen is. TikTok is an app that allows users to watch, create, and share videos. Videos range from dances to life hacks (look up #tortillatrend). Experiment with a life hack or depending on your comfort levels, consider creating a video or learning a TikTok dance together, just for laughs.
  • Write – Use this as an opportunity to allow your child to connect with friends and family they may not have seen in a while. You and your child can decide on electronic or mail delivery. Another related activity is starting a gratitude journal together and sharing about the things you are thankful for. This will help deepen the appreciation for certain things or people in your lives.

These are some ideas to help you get started. Be creative and make tweaks to activities to suit your family’s interests and lifestyle. The take-away is to take an interest in your child’s well-being and create engaging activities around their interests to enhance your time together.

Have fun!

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