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Fun ways to keep your child productively engaged

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As the COVID-19 lockdown gradually eases, unfortunately, schools are still not allowed to resume, hence parents will continue to explore fun ways to get their kids engaged, says parenting enthusiast and founder Fabmum.ng, Jayne Augoye. The following are fun ways to keep your child productively engaged:

Enrol in Online Activity Classes: It is important to try to follow-up and understand the interests and hobbies of your kids. Accordingly, you can enrol them in different activity online classes like General Knowledge, Art, and Craft, Music Classes, Coding, Writing, etc. Then give a specific fun task to do based on what they have learnt in the activity class. This will help channel their energy to doing something creative and productive.

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Setup A Creative Space At Home: Setting up a creative space for your kids with lots of craft supplies such as paper sheets, glue, a makeshift canvas, pom-poms, tapes, kid-friendly scissors, glitter and craft kits, will encourage your kid to create something new every day using those supplies. The task may be to create a simple cutout or anything of his/her choice or you could prepare a list of art and craft, or other indoor activities for the day or on a weekly basis.

Educational Games: If you have a computer or tablet available to your kids during your busy hours, educational computer games are a great way to impart some fun and keep your child productively engaged at the same time. These mobile games keep kids thinking and that keeps boredom at bay. However, consider setting a time limit in advance on electronic games, even educational ones, because children can find it really difficult to disengage from their screens, even if you yourself are tempted to let them carry on for hours unending, because of the peace and quiet this engagement option brings to your home.

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Reading: This is majorly for your primary school children, from ages eight upwards. Yes, many kids younger than eight can read, for reading to be an independent activity, stimulating fun and productivity, a child needs to attain a certain level of proficiency. However, there are a couple of wordless or nearly wordless children’s books that can engage kids of all ages and reading levels. And those are a great place to start because if you send a reluctant or struggling reader off to read something difficult while you work, you might just succeed in making that child dread reading instead of doing the opposite. To encourage reading, therefore, you can let kids choose several books from the library- they will find it way more fun, reading a book they chose themselves. But even when you do this, you should pick a few yourself in case they are unhappy with their choices later. Better to have some unread than to not have a good book on hand when needed. If you have an e-reader, a tablet, or an iPad, that’s awesome, but having some old-fashioned books on hand may encourage browsing through, which can turn into reading.

Drawing/Painting: Colours are always a fascination for children and almost all of them love to squabble, paint, sketch, or whatever it is that they really do. Art is a great medium for children to express their imagination; an important part of brain development, besides being an excellent fun way to keep children engaged and productive indoors. Some paint and canvas, or drawing sheets and crayons (if you think you can’t deal with the mess of actual paints), and you are good to go. They can have a reference picture to paint or colour, or they can go abstract, all from their imagination.

Assisting In Household Chores: Picking beans, vegetables, doing dishes, wiping dust off surfaces, playing kitchen assistants, or any suitable chore for their age grade; involve your child with your daily house-keeping activities. It’s a great way to engage children at home and at the same time, get the job done. It’s a win-win for all. Household chores imbibe in children cleanliness, discipline, time management, and most importantly how to look after themselves. See to it that they are simple tasks and that your child doesn’t get stressed by them. Additionally, you can create a to-do list for them. Watching the to-do list shrink will be a great motivation for your child.

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