Psychologists reveal top 10 activities to keep your children healthy at home during lockdown
PUBLISHED: 12:30 14 April 2020 | UPDATED: 10:04 16 April 2020
Sharon McCutcheon / PEXELS
With schools closed across the county, we reveal the top 10 activities to keep your children healthy during the coronavirus lockdown.
According to new research by psychologists, video gaming and learning a new language are amongst the top activities for kids to maintain brain health.
Experts at Audley Villages, including positive psychology practitioner Ruth Cooper-Dickson and Dr Rachel M Allan, have complied the list of things you can do without leaving the house.
1. Video gaming
After spending some time in the sun, playing video games could be a great option for keeping your children occupied indoors or after dinner. Playing video games increases the size and competence of parts of the brain responsible for visuospatial skills, a person’s ability to identify visual and spatial relationships among objects.
2. Learning a new language
Learning a new language is not only an excellent skill your child can carry through life but also brilliant for their brain development. Mastering a foreign language causes area of the brain associated with memory to increase in size.
Want a dose of creativity? There are plenty of art galleries that are displaying collections online so you and your family can view historic masterpieces without leaving the house! When appreciating a piece of art, you are creating new neural pathways and stimulating a state of inspiration.
4. Go Fish
Card games don’t have to be complex, simple card games like Go Fish are a fun way to exercise your child’s brain from the comfort of your home.
5. Mindfulness meditation
If you or children are feeling stressed during the current climate or anxious that you can’t leave the house, meditation is a great exercise to incorporate as part of your daily routine or to wake you up on a sunny Saturday morning. Long-term meditators tend to have better-preserved brains than non-meditators.
6. Playing board games
Board are an amazing activity that the whole family can do together. Individuals who play board games are over 35 percent less likely to develop dementia than those who don’t. But no arguing in Monopoly!
A healthy diet is an essential part of your child’s development and can help to boost their immune system and fight disease. Healthy meals also offer a variety of support for brain function and protect against cognitive decline. Why not use the long weekend to cook some delicious and nutritious meals with your children.
8. Bonding with siblings
Bonding with siblings can have a positive effect on children’s early development and their ability to form social relationships later in life. Encourage your siblings to appreciate the quality time that they can spend with brothers or sisters during this time.
9. Listening to or playing music
Stick on a fun playlist this weekend or make some DIY instruments from household items! When children listen to music and play music, their entire brain lights with increased neural activity. Those who play music regularly can develop the connection between the two sides of the brain, making it more agile for problem-solving. Listening to music can reduce anxiety, blood pressure, and pain as well as improve sleep quality, mood, mental alertness, and memory.
Why not put on a sing-along movie or musical for the whole family? Singing is known to release endorphins and decrease the levels of a stress hormone called cortisol in your blood stream.
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