Playtime with Family Flavor

Family learning experience from UNICEF staff

Songporn Leelakitichok
A mother in the runner clothing kneeling beside her young son smiling.
Wasin Chimmanee
04 June 2020

The spread of the COVID-19 has put the working world to flexibility in the workplace.  As parents adapt to working from home, children also learn to adjust themselves. For some children, it could be difficult to distinguish a holiday from a normal day.

Apirada Khachonpan, UNICEF Communication Assistant, has foreseen this coming with her 10-year-old son, Pu. “He initially wanted to play all day,” she said. To find her way around this, Apirada decided to get together with her son to plan out his daily schedule. “We explained to him that it was important to adjust to this new normal together and encouraged him to make the most out of the stay-at-home time,” she continued. 

With his parents’ guidance, Pu proposed how he would organize himself balancing both study time and, of course, playtime. So, the family now spend time together with Pu actively helping with house chores in the morning, a study in the afternoon, and, particularly, a family exercise in the evening – a new healthy habit for Pu. 

Pu also studies to prepare for school re-opening. But being at home surrounded by his favorite toys and games, he can sometimes be easily distracted. “When we notice that he is no longer focusing on his school books, we would alternate him to watch a science quiz show and try to find answers together,” said Apirada.

Two photos. One the left, a mother and a child are playing monopoly together. On the right, a father is teaching his son his home work.
Wasin Chimmanee

The playtime experience also gives more offline flavor. “Pu loves his favorite video game but now we introduced him to interactive board games and wooden blocks that we can play together as a family,” she told us. It turns out to be a wonderful experience for Pu as well as a nostalgic one for his parents to get to play their all-time favorite game again – and this time with their son. 

Pu also gets to witness that his parents are working very hard and learns to appreciate the value of their time more than before. “He still asks for toys but asks for cheaper ones now!” Apirada closes cheerfully.

 

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