A pandemic like Covid-19, this is something so unknown that I found myself wondering what our daily lives would look like. And I know I’m not alone.
The first time I sat down to write out this article, my computer died two sentences in. Isn’t that just how life is at the moment? You start something resembling normalcy, but then hit a barrier.
When Newsymom reached out to me to ask if I would guest write, I started running through ideas I could try out with my school-aged kids. But a little voice in my head kept telling me, “You’re just as stuck as every other parent.” And that voice was absolutely right. If you would have asked me a month ago what I would do if my kids were home for a month or more (think summer break), I would have been able to come up with a wealth of ideas. But a pandemic like Covid-19, this is something so unknown that I found myself wondering what our daily lives would look like. And I know I’m not alone.
I’ve been asked what is something I’m doing with my kids during this time. In all honesty, we have just been trying to get by. Every day has always been something new; schools closed, restaurants closed, businesses closed. When you don’t know what two days from now is going to look like, how are you supposed to come up with things to do and develop a routine? I’ll admit, my boys didn’t put on pants every day last week. And in this circumstance, that’s ok. Because none of us have been in this place before.
As parents, we often feel pressured into planning our days full of activities because we think our kids need to be kept busy and constantly doing. Please don’t fall into this mindset, you are going to burn yourselves and your children out. In this time, we can’t replicate a classroom setting in the home or even a homeschool setting. Use the resources provided by your school districts, and reach out if you haven’t heard the plans for distance learning yet. For our littles who aren’t in grade school yet, keep building their basic skills. Work on holding a pencil properly, practice colors, read together. These are the things that will keep them in a learning mindset.
Be intentional with your play. Rather than letting it be a screen time free-for-all (like my house slipped into so easily), find those activities that engage your children. Try a scavenger hunt, either inside or around your neighborhood, or let the kids paint the windows. Play hopscotch outside, or set up an indoor obstacle course. Do the simple things that keep their minds and bodies moving. And eat ice cream, it’s a lifesaver right now.
While I wish I could invite all of you to come to play with us at a STEAM Centers pop-up, we have canceled all of our spring events and I’m not certain when or if any of them will be rescheduled. But we will be having events again once this uncertain time is past, and until then, here’s a fun activity to try with your kids:
Washable Window Paints
Mix equal parts water, flour, and dish soap and stir until smooth (I recommend a whisk to help break up clumps). Separate it into bowls and stir in food coloring, adding water if it becomes too stiff. I had my boys do this on the outside of our backdoor after wiping it down with a wet towel. You could tape out designs with painters tape or just let them do their thing. We used large paintbrushes, but foam brushes may work better.. And make sure to lay down something to protect your floors from drips. Happy painting!
More information on kid-friendly learning activities here.