Too much screen time has often been linked with behavioral issues, sleep problems and obesity in children long-term. Unfortunately, screen time has surged during the COVID-19 pandemic according to news reports, with children ages 6–12 spending at least 50% more time in front of screens every day. For parents already struggling to set a limit on screen time when their kids were in school, this presents a challenge.
If you’ve run out of ideas to engage children while in quarantine – without resorting to TV, movies or video games – consider the power of music. Music education is incredibly important during the school year and should be worked into your child’s schedule while they are learning from home.
There are several ways to incorporate music into day-to-day schedules. For little ones, play a song and have them find the beat. Let them jump, hop or clap through the song. Finding the rhythm can take practice, and an exercise like this can make it fun. For older students, challenge them to use their concentration and creativity to come up with an original song. Encourage them to practice and share it with the entire family. Once they’ve performed it, praise them for a job well done. Singing in front of a crowd takes courage!
If you want to focus on instrumentation, build a percussion band using pots and pans. To help direct the activity a little bit more, you can put on a song and have them tap along to the beat. You can also encourage your child to create a new instrument using household objects. Empty tissue boxes and rubber bands make a great guitar! This project can double as art class, too.
Activities like these will help mix up your child’s day, giving them a creative outlet while they’re stuck at home—without resorting to a screen.