As the coronavirus pandemic continues, many people are finding themselves wondering how to keep kids entertained during quarantine.
Farzam Jedinia, 10, a fourth year student at Olde Creek Elementary School in Fairfax, Virginia came up with a creative way to stay connected with his friends and classmates during the quarantine. While he enjoyed his days off from school during the pandemic, he soon realized that he was truly missing his school days, teachers and his friends.
With his father’s assistance, Farzam created a YouTube channel, where he regularly posts videos of a variety of creative and affordable indoor activities and games for friends to enjoy while encouraging them to stay home.
“Coronavirus pandemic forced many children out of school including me. It is good to play some simple games at home and stay away from screens and video games for some time. I decided to provide videos with the help of my dad to make the home stay easier for other school children, and we decided to encourage them by using the hashtags of #StayAtHome and #FlattenTheCurve,” said Farzam.
Coronavirus disease is affecting day-to-day life of families and kids around the world. In addition to taking daily simple precaution such as proper hand hygiene, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) advised that families put distance among themselves and others in an effort to prevent the spread of covid-19. As a result, businesses and schools are temporary closing.
For many kids, the pandemic creates a unique situation where they found themselves staying home more than normal. Thus, it is important to stay healthy during this uncertain time while navigating social distancing.
Farzam’s mother, Afrooz, stated that like most kids, her son Farzam found it very challenging to practice social distancing at the beginning of the pandemic, as he was accustomed to being friendly and enjoying his friends’ company.
“It is still hard for Farzam not to see and play with his friends, but learning the risks and threats this novel virus brings, he decided to open a new pathway towards his friends on the virtual environment by introducing simple games at home and encouraging his pals and peer group to stay at home,” said Afrooz.
While observing social distancing measures, Farzam said that posting games and indoor activities on his YouTube channel brings him closer to his friends who appreciate his efforts.
“The games were very simple and joyful. I played many of them at home with my sister,” said Fatima, 10, from Montgomery County.
Farzam aims to fight the loneliness of social distancing. He believes that creative games increase fun, generosity and connection with friends during the coronavirus crisis. In his videos, he demonstrates games that are easy and simple. The games do not require anything other than materials available in most households such as paper plates, spoons, and ping-pong balls.
“I improvise games with my dad and try to share these games with my friends and other children around the world who are experiencing the same situation of lockdown at home,” said Farzam.
Adjusting to any new situation can be challenging, especially when it involves the uncertainty of a new virus. In addition to filming YouTube videos about
indoor activities and games, Farzam is adapting to his new daily routine. With school closed, Farzam no longer rushes to school bus as he used to, but rather, he found himself rushing to his laptop in the mornings to join his virtual classroom. He is enjoying the virtual learning experience because he always wanted to know how home schooling works.
“My daily routine has changed, it is not easy, keeping up with school work is kind of challenging as I forget to finish my assignments sometimes because I am at home and feel more relaxed and detached from the school environment. However, it is more relaxing and less stressful,” said Farzam.
Farzam told the Baltimore Times he believes that games and indoor activities can bring families and friends together during these heavy times. Thus, he will continue his regular virtual hangouts by uploading videos and games on his YouTube channel to both challenge and entertain kids worldwide.