What to do in quarantine with children?

As schools and daycare centers close due to emergency measures to counter COVID-19, thousands of young must stay at home. A real headache for their parents. In an exceptional situation like that of quarantine, children must maintain a routine and freedom of play.

The role of an adult caught in a quarantined house is to install the premises so that the child can execute himself and choose what he wants to do, explains pediatrician Jean-François Chicoine, from the Hospital Center Sainte-Justine University.

According to him, stimulating children too much exhaust them and makes them more reactive. “Children will continue to develop well as soon as the adults are near them, but also leave them alone to play,” he said.

The parent must, therefore, give the child a perimeter of activity so that he can manage. “If he wants to sell vegetables and he is four years old, he will sell vegetables! If he wants to do DIY, he will do DIY, “says Dr. Chicoine.

Although certain determinants of the routine are turned upside down during confinement, it is essential to keep a structure during this difficult period, says the pediatrician. “There will be fewer people receiving dinner, a lack of going to the cinema or the sports center,” he said. Life goes on at home, but also outside the home. ” He adds that it is important to keep the same disciplinary framework.

Some suggestions for activities and their benefits:

Go outside

Quarantine does not mean that you cannot go outside, on the contrary. It is important to go out especially to get your daily dose of light. Children under the age of seven must play at least three hours a day freely. Although you cannot have fun with the neighbors, it is still possible to go to the park, to walk or to ride a bicycle.


Instead of increasing children’s screen time, it’s time to tell stories in a group and get the older kids to read. Since it takes a few weeks, the ideal is to coordinate fifteen or thirty-minute reading sessions each day, depending on the age of the child. Dr. Chicoine proposes to install a reading corner with classical music.


In order to introduce cultural elements to the home, this medical specialist also proposes to innovate on the dance side. Getting kids moving with Wii is one way to use screens wisely.

Play games

Board games and card games are sure to keep the kids occupied. However, when confined to the home, it is sometimes difficult to go and buy new board games. Nothing better than making one yourself.

From identical flyers, it is possible to build a memory game by cutting out pictures of fruits, vegetables, toys or clothes for example. From tissue boxes, the child can make a pocket set.

To cook

Kids love to eat, but it’s a time that parents don’t always have. The forties are an opportunity to settle down with your family to try recipes. According to Dr. Chicoine, two hours a day can be spent cooking.

More specifically, here are other suggestions for educational and fun activities that are easy to carry out.

  • Go on a treasure hunt or geocaching: Identify potential caches around your home and go looking for them.
  • Create a herbarium: During a walk in the park, collect the different leaves and plants and find the name of each specimen collected.
  • Gardening: If you have a garden, invite your children to help you with the various tasks surrounding it. In particular, they will be able to better understand how food grows.
  • Give exercises: Without playing the teacher, give exercises to do to children during this forced school leave, in particular using the free applications of Allô prof Congugo and Irregular Verbs Challenge.
  • Make a puppet theater: With socks, each child can create their own puppet before bringing it to life in a show.