Coronavirus outbreak: Sew, dance, take flight with the kids - Hindustan Times
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Coronavirus outbreak: Sew, dance, take flight with the kids

Apr 06, 2020 12:14 PM IST

The ongoing lockdown has given parents that rare opportunity to spend all day with their kids.

The ongoing lockdown has given parents that rare opportunity to spend all day with their kids. But a kid in lockdown is a restless kid, so parents are using that pent-up energy to try new things, learn new languages, get creative — even travel to a make-believe airport for an in-flight meal and movie.

A kid in lockdown is a restless kid, so parents are using that pent-up energy to try new things.
A kid in lockdown is a restless kid, so parents are using that pent-up energy to try new things.

“The way to make the most of this time is to create a routine that is both productive and fun. This helps the child and the entire family plan the day better and turns this into truly quality time,” says educationist Sonia Agarwal Bajaj.

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Some parents are following a routine where they too learn something new with their children. “As a working mother, I’m taking this opportunity to be with my kids in ways I can’t otherwise. So my son Tigran and I learn Spanish online, at 11 am every day,” says Lilit Margaryan, a product manager from Mumbai. In a week, Tigran, 14, has made good progress. “He is already able to hold a very basic conversation in Spanish,” Lilit says.

Jayostu Chanda, 13, is being taught, by his mother, to stitch. “As he can’t go out, this is an ideal time for him to pick up some life skills. We’re using this time to tackle baseless gender stereotyping too,” says Debalina Mitra Chanda, a teacher trainer. “He sees that all the work in the house is being shared by the entire family, and he wants to pitch in too, so we’re teaching him to mend his own clothes — he’s become fairly adept at buttons.”

Fly at home

But it can’t be all work and no play, so parents are pencilling fun into the schedule. Rachana Adalja has decided to do something special every few days for her six-year-old daughter Vedika. So, last week, she turned their flat into an airport, with tickets, baggage check, and an in-flight meal and movie.

“Playing indoors and doing arts and crafts was getting a little boring for her. So I thought of making her feel like we were going on a trip,” Adalja says, laughing. “I just put up simple homemade signs. Hot Maggi and soup was served during the ‘journey to Denmark’ and she and her friend watched Peppa Pig on the ‘flight’.

It’s going to be hard to top that effort, and Vedika now wants more like it. “It was so exiting, it seemed like we are on a real plane. I want to do it again. I also want to do a sleepover party,” she says.

Learning from imitation

For Riddho Deb, 3, this period with his mother has meant some training in the mudras (hand gestures) of Odissi.

“I would see him imitating the hand and body movements when I practised but never really got the time to help him learn,” says Paroma Maiti, an editor at a publishing house. “Now, I get more periods with him when he is in the mood to learn. And I would love to see my son grow to appreciate and learn this art form.”

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