As we, and many around the world, are looking to save money, families are spending more time inside the four walls of their homes. If you need a hand preventing the kids from bouncing off those very same walls, we’ve got you covered!
Here are eleven ideas aimed at not only entertaining your children but bringing your family together as you learn about different cultures—and have a whole lot of fun doing so.
1. Look after yourself with this handy action plan
It can be tricky to prioritise our own wellbeing, especially during these challenging times.
In theory, we know how important it is to look after ourselves. We know the immense value God has placed on us, and the Biblical call to treat our bodies as temples of the Holy Spirit. Yet, when it comes to day to day life, busyness and other demands can easily take over.
Based on aspects of the Compassion curriculum, our wellness action plan is inspired by the 2.2 million children we’re serving around the world. Even though some of our projects have had to adapt our holistic child sponsorship programme to meet urgent needs, we’re committed to caring for every area of a child’s life including their mind, body, heart and soul!
Take part in our 7 day wellness action plan individually, or with family and friends and care for your heart, mind body and soul.
2. Make a meal from your sponsored child’s country
Get creative in the kitchen with Rose’s recipe for Filipino Noodles.
Grab the kids and discover another culture in a hands-on, delicious way, by preparing a meal together! Pick a recipe from the country the child you sponsor lives and you can tell them about your culinary experience in your next letter. A quick Google search will reveal hundreds of recipes to choose from. Why not try making one of these iconic traditional meals?
- Peanut Stew—a delicious west African dish often served with maize.
- Mandazi— Rwandan pancakes that are quite similar to doughnuts in texture.
- Pancit noodles—discover how to make Pancit Bihon or Filipino Noodles with this step by step guide by Compassion graduate, Rose.
- Pupusas—the stuffed flatbread is El Salvador’s national dish.
- Nasi Goreng—literally meaning ‘fried rice’, this is a popular dish in Southeast Asia.
- Matooke—boiled and mashed plantains are a staple in Uganda.
- Lugaw—this rice porridge with chicken is a favorite breakfast for Filipino children.
- Empanadas—turnovers stuffed with delicious fillings are common in South and Central America.
3. Watch this fun video
Children in northern Colombia were given video cameras to document their day.
Have you ever wondered what the child you sponsor experiences at their Compassion project? Experience it for yourself—through their eyes. We gave children at a project in Colombia video cameras so they could record their day and share it with you.
Watch the children as they learn, play, eat and pray.
4. Play a game from another country
In the Philippines, Anthony and his friends enjoy a game of Tumbang Preso.
Call the children over because it’s time for PE class—Philippines style. Tumbang Preso is a popular game played across the country, requiring only an empty can, bottle or milk carton, and flip flops.
These are the rules:
- One player is ‘it’ and guards the can, while the others stay behind a line.
- The objective is for players to knock the can over with their shoe, and for ‘It’ to turn the can upright before trying to tag one of the children.
- If It can tag a child before they retrieve the shoe and make it back to safety behind the line, they become the new It.
- If a player is unable to retrieve their shoe, others can ‘save’ them by hitting the can with their shoe.
5. Take a family photo
In Brazil, 14-year-old Ana Maria has eight brothers and sisters.
Take advantage of everyone in the family being in the same place at once by snapping a few pics! Not only will grandparents love them, so will the child you sponsor!
If you’re looking for inspiration, check out these fascinating family portraits from around the world.
6. Read an inspiring story together
Ryany visited the sea for the first time in Brazil.
Trying times call for heartwarming stories and this one is bound to bring you joy.
Compassion’s church partners in Brazil asked children what they wanted to experience for the first time—and then made those longed-for dreams a reality for 11 children.
Despite living close to the ocean, poverty meant Ryany’s family could never afford to make the journey. When her dream became reality, it was a day she will never forget.
“I hardly slept, thinking about what it would be like to see the sea for the first time!” she said. “It’s much bigger and more beautiful than I imagined.”
Read the full story here>
7. Pray and worship together
“I’m convinced that one of the most powerful forces on earth is the prayer of a child.” —Wess Stafford
This season is a great opportunity to spend time praying with your family. Together, why not write a list of the things you’re grateful for. Then write anything you’re concerned about. As a family, commit these things to God by praying about them.
You can also find useful prayer resources to help guide you in praying on our prayer pages. And if you’re looking for family worship songs, we can recommend this great live stream worship for kids every Sunday at 3pm from one of our Ambassadors, Shell Perris.
Plus be encouraged—Compassion staff around the world are keeping your family uplifted in prayer, too. We’re all in this together.
8. Watch nature as a break from your screen
Stress, as well as screen fatigue can be a real problem when working or studying from home, but nature can be a great antidote. Did you know that bird song is proven to be soothing?
The thousands of species of birds around the world, just like Tico the parrot pictured here with four-year-old Maisa from Brazil, show God’s creativity and help us reconnect with His beautiful world.
You can make this wonderful pinecone birdfeeder to hang in your garden, then watch, wait and listen. How do you feel after this activity?
8. A photo project for the family
Why not encourage your children to capture moments of happiness? Five intrepid Compassion-sponsored youths in the Philippines did just that. Armed only with a phone or a camera, they set out to capture moments of joy.
They took photographs of cute children in Compassion’s programme as they enjoyed their breakfast without a care in the world. Their photos certainly brought a smile to our day. A photo project with the family to capture moments of joy may do the same to yours!
8. Indoor family sports
A family that exercises together, gets stronger together! If you are getting bored with loo roll keepie uppie and online exercise coaches, have a look at what Compassion-sponsored children are doing in El Salvador.
They recently participated in a national competition called Sports at Home and sent in pictures of their exercise routine for an opportunity to win an official football.
“This contest keeps children entertained and free from the bombardment of news around this crisis. It helps their physical health by avoiding a sedentary lifestyle and uplifts family relationships,” says Pablo Siliezar, Compassion El Salvador Sports Specialist.
Are you up for the challenge? It could be fun to find new ways to stay fit as a family.
9. Send a letter from the family
In this digital age of emails and zoom calls, a physical letter we receive in the mail is something truly special. It may not travel very far, or it could cross oceans to bring joy to another.
During lockdown you can write a letter of encouragement to your friends and extended family. You can even get the family together to write to your Compassion-sponsored child.
If you are stuck for inspiration, here are some helpful tips to write that heartfelt letter even during a time of crisis.