Saskatchewan

Wondering what to do with your kids while they're out of school? Here are some ideas

Now that schools are shutting down and parents are working from home, many parents are wondering what else they can do with the kids at home.

There are many more options than handing them the iPad

Elementary and high schools are shut down in Saskatchewan, possibly until September. (The National/CBC Archives)

With elementary and high schools shut down in Saskatchewan, possibly until September, parents may be wondering what productive activities to do with their children at home.

Claire Miller, the founder of Wildernook Fresh Air Learning, has some healthy ideas for families. Her company focuses on "nature play care" with a strong focus on the environment around you.

Miller said heading outside is best.

"There's plenty of opportunity with just a few of the loose items that you find in nature, such as logs or sticks, to create an obstacle course, pretend the ground is lava, or make art out of found objects," Miller said. 

She said that as parents and caregivers, you can provide prompts that connect kids with nature while still allowing them to maintain social distance. 

"You could be playing camouflage if you've got multiple kids. That really encourages kids to get out and spread out and have that direct contact with the natural world but still be spaced out and not directly near each other."

Miller advised avoiding touching and tagging type games and focusing instead on individual exploration. 

She said it is important to realize how many opportunities there are within cities and the nature spaces they have.

Sharing Indigenous knowledge online

Since universities have ceased in-person classes, many professors are turning to technology to help students stay educated. One of them is Chris Scribe, director of the Indian Teacher Education Program (ITEP) at the University of Saskatchewan. 

Chris Scribe is a Nakoda/Cree from the Kinosao Sipi Cree Nation and Nakota Oyate Assiniboine Nation and the director of the Indian Teacher Education Progam (ITEP) at the University of Saskatchewan. (CBC News )

Scribe said he will teach one half-hour class each day for elementary students stuck at home via Facebook live video.

Classes are from 10 a.m. to 10:30 a.m. CST every day for students in Grade 1 to Grade 8. Topics will include Cree language and storytelling.

Chris Scribe created a Facebook post in response to elementary and high schools being closed. (Chris Scribe/Facebook )
 

Scribe is encouraging his fellow ITEP graduates to donate their time to do the same and said the response has been great.

"There's been so much uptake from community and people are just super pumped about participating and it's not only in Saskatchewan," Scribe said.

He said people have tuned in from as far as Oklahoma, British Columbia, Manitoba and Alberta.

The rules that Chris Scribe created for educating students on Facebook during COVID-19 isolation. (Chris Scribe/Facebook)

Scribe said that while his courses focus on Indigenous subject matter, they are not specifically for Indigenous people.

"It's open to everybody, because we can all learn all of those things that are important to Indigenous people."

About the Author

Ntawnis Piapot is Nehiyaw Iskwew from Piapot Cree Nation. She has a journalism degree from the University of Regina, and is a graduate from the INCA Media and Intercultural Leadership Program from the First Nations University. Ntawnis has been a reporter for CBC Saskatchewan, APTN National News, CTV Regina, VICE News, J-Source and Eagle Feather News. Email: ntawnis.piapot@cbc.ca