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Managing Kid’s Play during COVID-19

01-02-2021

As you no doubt will have heard, all indoor playgrounds in Toronto will have to be closed until the next announcement for reopening. While this is a blow to children and families everywhere, as well as indoor playground operators, we believe that there are still many ways to ensure your children will have a safe environment at home to play in during these times.

 

It is vital to think about the ways you can provide a fun environment for your child at home during these times. 

 

COVID-19 has made it impossible for kids to play in public settings. With the new restrictions, they cannot even enjoy the outdoors as much anymore. This has caused children to not only get less physical activity—many are also feeling socially deprived. In addition to the drastic adjustments they have had to make in terms of their schooling, there is a risk that children may be faced with impending feelings of anxiety and dejectedness.

 

1. Schedule Set Play Times for the Family

During these times, a child’s main source of socializing will be from you, the parents. While it can be taxing on parents, what with their own work schedules to maintain as well as the added pressure of having to care for the children 24/7 now, we believe there are ways to make this more manageable. Make a timetable or set a schedule for dedicated work, rest, and play times. This way, your children will understand when certain times are off limits, and when they can expect to play. During these set play times, dedicate your attention to your children. You do not always have to undertake intensive activities—arts and crafts, puzzles, and board games are examples of less physically-taxing activities for adults that children can still enjoy.

 

2. Enforce Safety in the Home

Children will now be spending the vast majority of their time at home with the closure of locations such as indoor playgrounds. You can promote physical activity in the confines of your home, but not without first enforcing safety. You can purchase foam products to be tacked onto any sharp edges of furniture in the home to help prevent injury in the event of collision. Many children will be spending a lot more time online as well, so make sure you have the appropriate parental controls implemented. If you allow your children to play in the backyard or driveway, make sure you monitor them closely so that extreme injuries do not occur.

 

3. Get Creative

Monotony is to be expected with everyone staying at home every day. Try to introduce variety by purchasing new gadgets, games, or gizmos. If you do not want the additional clutter, there are many low-budget or even free ideas that can get your kids excited. Miss the outdoors? Make your own campsite in your backyard, complete with a firepit and smores! Miss indoor playgrounds? Set up your own obstacle course out of cheap materials such as cardboard boxes, pillows, and more! Miss socializing? Set up a Zoom call with your kids’ friends so they can all play an online game together of their choice! Even if you do not have any video games, you can still utilize video calling while playing board games or icebreakers.

 

As you can tell, there will be an intensive period of adjustment what with the closures of indoor playgrounds, schools, and other locations frequented by children. Help your children get through this difficult period by being more empathetic to their needs, and don’t be afraid to be creative or let your kids into your own interests as well. Ultimately, these activities can be as beneficial to you as a way to unwind as they are for your kids.

Stay tuned for more updates on indoor playgrounds! We hope to be able to open very soon.

 


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