Parents look for activities to keep children engaged during pandemic

parents and teachers have been coming up of innovative tactics to curb the side effects of being stuck at home for children. (Photo: Freepik)
AMMAN — Amid suspensions of schools, gyms, and clubs, in addition to the imposed curfew, parents and teachers have been coming up of innovative tactics to curb the side effects of being stuck at home for children.اضافة اعلان

Safaa Joudeh, a mother and a teacher at a private school in Amman, told Jordan News over the phone that temper tantrums have been or the rise among children, who are feeling stressed and overwhelmed by online schooling, as well as long hours spent on electronic devices playing video games, which raises concerns for their psychological health.

“Youngsters need to let off steam as they used to do in schools, summer clubs, or alleys with other children,” continued Joudeh, explaining that “even games like football, hopscotch, or hide-and-go-seek became impossible nowadays as they need a fair number of participants, as well as space.”

The teacher mentioned that her son began to focus on drawing and painting as the main alternative to his usual outdoor activities. He would also play cards and board games with his siblings sometimes.

Raising pets and taking care of a plant are alternative children activities adopted by a mother of three since the onset of pandemic, hoping that it would “greatly develop their sense of responsibility as well as sympathy,” Buthaina Mustafa told Jordan News.

She added that one of her children “really loves art, and spends hours learning from the web how to draw and sometimes create comics and visual stories.” 

This, according to Mustafa, also helped him develop an interest in photography, noting that he started posting his artwork on social media.  

Her children also utilize digital platforms to learn how to cook or make desserts, craft new works from waste, and learn tricks with Rubix cubes and Legos. She said that such activities help release some of their pent-up energy.

“Communication is what they really need to maintain mental health and self-esteem,” Mustafa said, explaining that even her 5-year-old daughter makes video calls for hours with her young friends and cousins.  

Nonetheless, the mother stressed that physical activities are the best form of activity for children. The only alternative they have under the COVID-19 restrictions is “to carry trash bags to main containers multiple times a day.”

Ruba Mizony, a member of the charitable organization “Ibdaa Center”, recommended that youth between 6 and 16 years of learn how to program by playing puzzle-style electronic game.

In an interview with Jordan News, Mizony emphasized that educators and parents “should take advantage of the technology available,” as the digital-native generation needs to be directed according to their interests.  

Mizony spoke of how educational centers, including Ibdaa Center, should give youth opportunities to learn about “robotics, artificial intelligence, and engineering, all through playing with a highly developed software and online platform, through which they also get to meet and communicate virtually with others, deliver presentations, and practice problem solving.” 

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