May 24, 2020 | Brasilia, Brazil |
As a result of the suspension of classes in order to prevent the spread of COVID-19, the recreation of children and the management of their learning is now handled within each home, presenting new challenges for each family. The restrictions now imposed on our lives lend us to hearing and saying “NO” more often than perhaps we’d like.
The writer Ellen White points out in relation to children and their entertainment that “we must provide them with innocent recreation, to lead them along pleasant paths in which there is no danger. No child of God needs to live sad and lamenting. This is demonstrated by divine orders and promises. The paths of wisdom “are delightful paths, and all their paths are peace.” 
Today I invite you to focus on the “YES;” yes we can strengthen ties with children, yes we can strengthen communion with God, yes we can read that book of interest, yes we can develop a diet change and exercise plan, etc. These new circumstances are an opportunity to do those things that, due to lack of time before, were regularly set aside as “someday” goals.
Below, I present some ideas for practical and engaging recreation for children, which can be adapted by increasing or decreasing the level of complexity depending on the age and interests of each child.
Crafts with recycled material 
Among the favorite activities for the smallest of the home are crafts with recycled materials. Children enjoy creating toys with random boxes, toilet paper rolls, plastic bottles, lids, cans, egg cartons, newspapers, straws, etc. It is time to raid the recycling bin! Encourage your children’s creativity as well as their care for the environment.
This is the perfect opportunity for children to start discovering the fun that traditional games can bring. In the same way, we have the opportunity to share those activities that, as parents, we enjoyed as children. They will see and value the family bonding that emerges from this exercise.
Cooking with the family
Cooking is an ideal way to pass the time and combat the boredom of our children. Even children can develop a passion for preparing meals, playing cook, and inventing recipes of all kinds. In addition, it is an activity that develops aspects such as teamwork, communication, autonomy, and fine motor skills, not to mention mathematics practice as they measure ingredients, and reading as they interpret the recipe. This kind of activity also supports the development of healthy habits.
It only takes a few sheets of paper to teach this wonderful ancient technique. Constant practice reinforces creativity, memory, and concentration; it also releases stress and relieves anxiety, which makes it a necessary activity for the quarantine period–for both children and adults. In this way, we can help our children understand that God has given each one of us the ability to develop new learning, no matter how old or young we are.
Now on YouTube you can find videos recorded in 360º with which children can visit places such as the seabed, observing the life of wild animals in their natural environment, etc. It’s a wonderful way to, with supervision, explore God’s creation.
Promote readingThis time of confinement is also a good time to cultivate the mind by fostering good reading habits in children. We can select content that is uplifting and in the case of the smallest, support reading with the use of puppets.
Creating a reading corner at home would be ideal, and it is important to develop the space as a family. Reading Bible stories at a set time of the day can be a special time for discussing with the family the lessons that can be learned.
“Our heavenly Father, in giving his Word, did not forget the children. Can there be found among the writings of men something that has so much influence on their hearts, something so adequate to arouse the interest of the little ones, such as the stories of the Bible.” 
These are just a few ideas which will allow our children to develop spiritual lives, trust in God, vocabulary, expression, and creativity, among other virtues.