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7 April 2020

As COVID-19 sees families spending more and more times indoors away from regular community connections it can be difficult to think about how to spend the hours of the day keeping young children engaged, calm and centred. Jewish Care has developed a few ideas for games and activities you can use with your young family. We hope these suggestions provide your family opportunities to connect in harmonious and fun ways.

DANCE:
What you need: Music; Yourselves.
There is a well-known saying: dance as if no-one is watching you!
How to do it: Just have fun dancing around the room together.

BLOW BUBBLES:
What you need: Bottles of bubbles or pour 1/2 cup of dish soap into the cup and 1 ½ cups of water and 2 teaspoons of sugar – gentle stir and there you have bubble mixture.
How to do it: Blow bubbles with the children. See who can blow the most bubbles.
Time how long it takes for the bubbles to pop/reach the ground.
See who can blow the slowest.
Let each child take a turn to blow bubbles for you and the other children to catch (allow each child a turn of around 1 minute at a time).

MAKE PATTERNS:
What you need: a big tray; raw oats/dried beans; egg timer/smart phone with timer.
How to do it:
Spread the oats/dried beans on the tray. Give each person a chance to have one minute to arrange the oats/beans into a shape (e.g. square, triangle, worm, first letter of name etc) and let everyone try to guess what shape they are making.  
Even if there is a correct guess before the minute is up, let the person have their whole minute to complete the shape if they want to.

FOLLOW THE LEADER:
What you need: Yourselves
How to do it: Sit in a circle
Let each person have a turn to start an action that everyone else must follow e.g. waving, clapping, tapping shoulders, nodding head etc

FAMILY ORCHESTRA: (adapted from an activity of Ken Gardner and Lorri Yasenik outlined in the booklet Favourite Therapeutic Activities for Children, Adolescents and Families: Practitioners Share Their Most Effective Interventions. Edited by Liana Lowenstein, MSW)
What you need: egg timer/smart phone with timer; yourselves.
How to do it: Let everyone choose one ‘noise’ that they can make with a part of their body eg: clapping, stamping feet, banging hands on the ground, clicking fingers, making noise opening and closing mouth like a fish.
Allow everyone to have a one minute turn to be the ‘orchestra conductor’ to ‘create a piece of music’.  The conductor can guide the pace of the ‘music’ (eg: quick-quick-quick-slow-slow-quick) and how softly or loudly the family should ‘play’ the ‘music’.

DELIGHT IN YOUR CHILD AND OFFER YOUR CHILD THE OPPORTUNITY TO DELIGHT IN YOU!