The year 2020 started as a roller coaster ride with frequent bouts of struggles, especially among parents. At the onset of remote schooling, complaints about proper academic schedule surged. Enticing kids to study became a tug-of-war and without teacher authority, they get easily bored.
If you’re keen on helping kids stay productive, even during this pandemic, might as well fill their extra time (outside academic time) with these 3 activities to nurture their skills and help them grow.
1. Paint by Numbers
Painting is a form of art that benefits children’s hand-eye coordination. A special way to improve this is by trying the ever-popular “Paint by Numbers,” a kind of oil painting activity that is sold in a set. The complete set usually includes a drawing cloth (the canvas), 3 oil painting brushes of different sizes, and a pigment kit of 24 colors. Each pigment has a number corresponding to the number in the drawing cloth. It is advisable to paint directly without adding any water, in order to cover the number and give full color.
This activity teaches children to be patient as there are plenty of small areas to paint. It also improves their skill in holding brushes, thus strengthening their motor skills. It comes in various subjects, so they can choose whichever they like and it is readily available for purchase online (e.g. Lazada or Shopee).
Nothing compares antiquated activities like “sungka” (soong-kah). This is a perfect traditional Filipino game, which can be learned indoors. It only needs a wooden board called “sungkaan,” which can be bought in native shops selling souvenirs. It consists of 14 small holes on the sides (bahay) and 2 big holes (mother or head) on both ends. Tokens can come in the form of pebbles, marbles, shells or similar small objects. Every player will be given 49 tokens, which will be distributed equally in their bahay. The goal of the game is to have many tokens inside their corresponding mother/head.
This activity is a champion in refining the mathematical skills of children and boosting their strategic ability. It also fosters patience because every player will have to wait for their turn. A complete set of sungka with tokens can also be bought online. Its price is affordable (not more than ₱300).
3. Diamond painting
Diamond painting doesn’t use real diamonds (of course), instead, it uses colorful resin diamonds that are tiny enough to represent the different pigments of an actual painting. It comes in a set including an applicator, a tweezer, sticky gel and a tray (where you’ll be sticking the gems). Every diamond corresponds to a particular number or letter on the canvas (just like Paint by Numbers). Once done, kids can be proud to see their sparkling painting.
This activity doesn’t require any prior skill in painting, thus anyone can do it (including adults). It is a relaxing activity that reduces stress and anxiety. It also enhances the ability to focus.
Rigorous learning needs a break in order to optimize the well-being of a child. To maximize their productivity during these free time, it is best to provide them with opportunities that’ll help them become better persons in the future. The three activities above are sure-fire ways for getting kids entertained while allowing them to have real learning, rather than an enforced one.