While screen time is likely to be high the next few weeks, make it count by finding good how-to videos for things like tuning up a bike, which older kids can try to accomplish on their own.

“It’s a great time for kids to work on their tinkering skills and puttering,” Karlen said. “And there’s no pressure to make it work perfectly the first time.”

Thinking of the larger world

In times of crisis it’s important to instill in children the need to help and volunteer, however this particular situation, which requires people to stay largely at home, presents a unique challenge.

Karlen suggests thinking of elderly people within your family’s network and sending them letters to let them know you’re thinking of them.

“Snail mail’s an innovative program (for children) these days,” Karlen said.

Social distancing doesn’t mean to children have to stay inside all day.

Karlen suggests looking for a lesser-known or populated trail or green space for children to get some wiggles out.