After a month of home-based learning (HBL), the month-long June May school holiday is here, in the middle of the extended circuit breaker period. With the restrictions in place, parents of school-going children are finding themselves shelving plans for an overseas family trip or a fun day out; and with entertainment outlets closed and outdoor activities kept to a minimum; some might be scrambling to find ways to keep their children entertained.

Perhaps it’s time to flip the switch. Instead of stressing over how to keep your kids occupied, see the time you have at home now as the best period to spend some quality character-building time with your kids.

Here are some meaningful activities to keep you and your child and occupied without having to step out of your house:

Catch up on educational cartoons

Catch up on educational cartoons during June Holiday 2020
Singa and the Kindness Cubbies animation. Photo: Singapore Kindness Movement

Who says television and cartoons turn your brain to mush? Granted, not all cartoons are equal and limiting TV time is essential, but educational cartoons or movies can greatly enhance your child’s mental and social development while teaching them important life lessons. Who among us can forget watching Sesame Street growing up? Some kids may also absorb better through watching and hearing over reading, and studies have shown that some programmes even improve “school readiness” in children.

Not all children’s programmes are made overseas, however. Kids can always tune in to local productions like Junction Tree or Mat Yoyo. If you want to portion TV time for your child, Singa and the Kindness Cubbies is a great option as each episode is about 7 minutes long. Allow your child to join Singa and his friends on their daily adventures as they learn new lessons on kindness and graciousness from one another.

Widen your horizons by going on a virtual adventure

Widen your horizons by going on a virtual adventure
Explore the great outdoors from your own home. Photo: Google Arts & Culture

Travel has always been a great way of exploring different landscapes and cultures, learning to appreciate the environment and respecting another country’s heritage. Even though we can’t visit our local museums for now, we can still get our dose of arts, culture and history from the comfort of our homes through virtual tours by the National Heritage Board. For those who are keen on exploring the great outdoors beyond our shores, you can join rangers on interactive virtual tours of stunning national parks in the USA; and for those who are curious about anything else in the world — from festivals to the human anatomy — hop on to Google Expeditions.

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Get active, stay healthy.

Get active, stay healthy.
Image source: Shutterstock / PR Image Factory

So your kid may be a ball of energy, bouncing around the limited space at home and driving you up the wall. Channel that energy into something you and your child can do together. While Covid-19 may have thwarted your plans of enjoying a day out, you can still get your heart pumping and that rosy flush on by joining a virtual race like the SG Circuit Breaker Virtual Run. You can even get a finisher medal to help your child feel like a champ! For those who are not into running, ActiveSG has curated a list of family-friendly workouts that includes games and circuit exercises.

Give back to society

Give back to society
Image source: Shutterstock / SMuangtim

While you take care of your family’s health, show care for others around you as well, especially the vulnerable. Round up your family to sew some reusable cloth masks. Once done, all you have to do is to place them into an empty envelope addressed to ‘Masks Sewn with Love’ and drop it off at your nearest post box. No address or stamp is needed. This makes for a great family bonding activity while learning something new and helping the community at the same time. If sewing is not your thing, check out other ways you can give back from SGUnited.

Take part in Kindness Day SG.

Take part in Kindness Day SG.
Make Singapore Shine on Kindness Day SG 2020. Photo: Singapore Kindness Movement

Kindness Day SG falls on Friday (22 May), although we should be celebrating kindness all year round, there is no better time to celebrate this than during the May school holidays. On 22 May, gather your family to help make Singapore shine by turning the nation bright and yellow. Wear a yellow shirt, print some yellow props, download the custom yellow Zoom backgrounds, take part in a Tik Tok challenge, and share it on your Instagram to pass the kindness on.

Staying home during the school holidays doesn’t have to be a gloomy affair with so many activities that can be done in the comfort of your home. Take some time off your child’s schoolwork and focus on some healthy fun by holidaying from home.

Stay home, stay safe and we can overcome this as one.

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