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March 25, 2020
How did we get here? I can't tell you how many times I've wished to have more time to organize my house, do activities with my kids, craft DIY projects from pinterest, new recipes etc. Now I have ALL the time because of social distancing and quarantining my family and I feel like I'm going crazy.
It is a really challenging time for parents right now between homeschooling, trying to work, and keeping kids occupied. I believe one of our goals is to try to help our kids feel safe so they don't absorb the anxiety we're feeling.
It's an emotional rollercoaster of feeling fulfilled by using your time wisely followed by a day wasted from lying around and then guilt setting in. It's like grounds hogs day in a Black Mirror episode! Some days I'm productive and the others I'm just trying to keep my kids some what "sane" without losing my sanity. All of this is ok, all of this is normal, and I'm trying my best, and so are YOU. Those thoughts on repeat as I'm eating peanut butter out of the jar awkwardly staring out the window....I'm fine, really....
So what do we do? We support each other, help generate new ideas, do OUR part in staying home and soon enough this will all be over. A new sense of purpose will arise and the silver lining in all of this is that our mother earth is healing. With all of that being said...after asking around, researching online and just reaching out to friends I just composed a list of things to do to keep your kids occupied at home. Some of these will work, some won't. You're not failing, it just depends on the mood your kid is in.
I hope we can all focus on the positive part of this quarantine, which is time with our families. Of course there will be days where we're overwhelmed and just need to Netflix and chill. Then some days hopefully we can wake up with a smile, hug our babies and plan some fun activities. You are all doing a great job!
1. Write a letter to relatives- This is a great way for kids to express their feelings, tell grandma or auntie what they've been doing, draw a picture or just cover it with stickers. Have them make a list of who they want to write to, this is also a great way to practice writing and have them keep in touch with classmates away from the smart phone.
2. Puzzles- There are a TON on Amazon for all levels. Get a bunch. This is a great way to exercise your mind. Buy really simple ones as well and make it into a race. My family and I used to always do puzzle races as kids.
3. Read a book out loud- Take turns reading a book page by page out loud. Set a timer for 10 minutes to start and have your kids decide if they want to extend it for longer. This gives them the option to continue if they're really interested and if not, that's ok. Maybe tomorrow.
4. Put on a play- Let your kids dig into your closet, makeup, etc. Whatever you're willing to share and have them put on a play. Record it, kids love to watch themselves.
5. Introduce them to Yoga or Meditation- try these 2 links. If they know it's something they can do with mommy, they're usually on board. Here's 2 great videos for kids...one of them being Trolls (win in my house for sure).
6. Cook with them- There are many easy recipes that kids can "lead" with in the kitchen. Have a look online or use the list below as a guide. My favorite on this list is the Peanut Butter and Jelly Sushi- super cute and easy to make.
7. Movies- This is always great. Make a list of their top 5 choices and put it in a hat to make it more exciting and fun to choose. Want to take movie watching up a notch? Build a fort to watch them in...a classic that stands the test of time. Even I love sitting in it. Stream some Christmas lights around it for some extra fun!
8. Scavenger Hunt- go on a walk or spend time in your backyard and come up with a list of things for them to find. Rocks, a piece of grass, flower, or even bring items from the house to hide. Make it an educational hunt, whatever they find they have to look up online one fact about it. Still need more time outside? Make an obstacle course and time then. This will keep them active and physical activity will calm their mind.
9. Make a sensory bin- For toddlers and babies this is essential hands-on tools for children to learn about their world and their senses! Sensory play may calm a child, focus a child, and engage a child for a period of time. Fingers crossed. Or they may dump it upside down and demand a cookie...never know. Need sensory bin ideas? Click below:
10. Arts & Crafts- from play dough to coloring. Order a new coloring book online here and there to keep their attention going because The Frozen coloring book no longer serves us in this house.... Ask them what they want to make and use online references and ideas to do so. My kids wanted to make animal ears for their play, I didn't have construction paper so we used white paper and colored them ourselves.
Honestly the list is ENDLESS. Luckily we have the internet to keep new ideas flowing. Let me know what works for you and your kids!! Best of luck and sending healing vibes and huge hugs to you all!
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