Let the Storytelling and Play Begin

House Time with Kids Pre-K to Early Elementary?

This may be a good time to ask our grandparents about World War II, or the Depression. They say the hard times, even with social distancing, can also unite us. On that note, if our days at home include small kids, among other things, we can loose their creativity (and ours) in a mix of stories, house chores, and independent play. 

In WIRED Magazine, Senior Editor Adrianne So, herself the mother of a five year old, gives a few suggestions for parents and kids, alone and together, to turn isolation into family time. We hereby shorten, paraphrase, and pass along some of So’s great input.

1.     If you use screen time, make it story time. As appropriate, check out kid-focused podcasts such as

·       Stories Podcast (both episodes and series; a new story every week)

·      Circle Round (folktales from around the world, 10 to 20 minutes each)

·      Fierce Girls (true stories of she-ros, from athletes to spies)

·      Planet Storytime (classical mix of entertainment and education)

·      Story Pirates (stories and fun with links to book series)

·      Brains On (best suited for kids 8-12)

·      Earth Rangers (especially for kids who like digging in the dirt)

2.     Engage your kids as helpers. Citing the American Academy of Pediatrics, Adrienne reminds us that children as young as three years old can benefit from having chores in their routines. “Personally,” So says, “I’ve noted that the younger the child is, the more they enjoy doing chores alongside me, whether that’s pulling laundry out of the dryer or vacuuming with their own personal hand vac.” In the kitchen, So suggests a “crinkle chopper” for a youngster on a footstool to safely chop hardboiled eggs or fruit. 

3.     Let the creativity begin. Kids pre-K to say, second grade, still love the box and paper as much as any gift inside. (A gift is just a gift. A box can be almost anything.) Washi tape, wrapping paper . . . raid your recycling bins, So says, for funky things to cut up and put to new use.