Well – life is sure interesting right now. Things have changed a whole bunch since our podcast talking about COVID-19, otherwise known as Coronavirus, was posted. In the mere three days since then, we are seeing schools and theme parks (Disneyland!) close, major events cancelled, and we are being advised to practice social distancing as a way to prevent the spread of illness. Great idea! But, what do we do when our day to day life is on its ear, and we suddenly find ourselves home, with all of our kids, and no access to our normal social groups to keep us grounded? Here are a few ideas:
Stay in Touch electronically
The rest of this post will be about what to do with the kids, but let’s start with what to do about us. In times of stress, we especially need to connect with our peers, friends and loved ones. This is where the beast that is social media comes in handy – reach out to your people often, and keep an eye on them, too. If someone is scared, listen. If you are struggling and getting cabin fever, let people know. In my social groups, they are starting virtual events so that we can still “see” each other, even though all of our fun plans got canceled, which also include an opportunity to purchase from the many businesses who are suffering from the cancellation of events. Helping your community is a great way to keep the spirits up! And don’t forget to call, text and Facetime – this is where technology can help so much.
And now… how are we all going to stay sane when we can’t go play in big groups with other kids? Here are a few thoughts:
Learn to Cook Together
You guys are all probably better at this than I am, already, but I know that one thing we are going to do at my house is working on cooking skills. It can be a little hard for me, in my busy life, to be patient while the kids learn to bake, etc., and now is the perfect time. I found this post of fun recipes to do with kids to start us out: https://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/packages/recipes-for-kids/cooking-with-kids/recipes-kids-can-make
Catch up on Crafts
I don’t know what you have in your UFO (UnFinished Object) pile, but I have a bazillion sewing projects to finish up. My children have various art projects going as well, including crochet, doll-making, painting, and ceramics. This downtime is the perfect time to tackle these projects and get them off of our plates. If you don’t already have projects going, here are some ideas for crafts to do with little kids: https://www.happinessishomemade.net/quick-easy-kids-crafts-anyone-can-make/
Focus on Fun Education
Homeschoolers already know how fun learning at home can be, but if you are new to it, now is a fantastic time to find out all about the learning resources that are online. Just today, one of my friends posted this super cool website that shows us museums that do virtual tours online: https://www.travelandleisure.com/attractions/museums-galleries/museums-with-virtual-tours?fbclid=IwAR1vZG-B31y2s_y39A0Rf0BXMapWYoDhHEaQoon2Fb0N9drQQ4uY5cAodZ4
practice some quiet time
It’s tempting to fill this downtime with “doing” a whole bunch of stuff, which is our usual routine. But, I urge to take just a little bit of this time to do… nothing. Maybe sit in the backyard and watch the kids play while you drink some tea. Or snuggle up on the couch under some blankets and watch too much TV together. Sleep in. Get extra hugs and extra kid talks. Goodness knows we don’t usually have enough time for all of that really important stuff.