School is closed for three weeks and moms are suddenly wondering, “what will we DO for three weeks with the kids at home?” My boys are still in preschool, so lucky for us, we’re not yet in the phase of home lessons. Here are some of the new activities and adventures we’ll be trying at our house.
Talking About the Pandemic
At ages three and five, my boys are not too young to understand that something is going on. Without scaring them, I will continue to talk to them, as honestly as possible, about the troubles our community is facing and how we can take small actions, like washing hands and staying out of school, to help.
Getting Active Indoors
My little monkeys start to climb the walls if I don’t give them the chance to exercise their bodies. So we’ll be doing yoga, physical challenges (how many times in a row can we jump our knees to touch our tummy?), indoor gymnastics, etc. One of our favorite games called “Touch Points” involves putting a piece of tape at the end of the hallway, with their name written on it. The challenge of Touch Points is simply to run to their tape, jump to touch it, then run back again. And over and over as many times as they can. It never ceases to amaze me how excited they are to play this game!
Writing to Penpals
The handwritten note is becoming a rare and lost art in today’s world. We’ll do our part to bring it back, at least temporarily, by writing (or drawing) notes to classmates, cousins, and grandparents across the country.
Playing With Water
It never ceases to amaze me how intrigued my boys are with water play. I think they’d stay in the bathtub or shower for an hour, or even two, if I’d let them. Toss in bath bombs, floating toys, a few random kitchen utensils (strainers, measuring cups, tongs, etc) and I’ve just bought myself a minimum 30 minutes of free time. I don’t mean free time to chat on the phone or clean the basement, but I can get through folding a couple of loads of laundry or painting my toenails while they splash and play (in the same bathroom I’m in of course).
Speaking of painting nails …. I have two boys and that doesn’t stop them from wanting “beautiful toenails”. Who wouldn’t want rainbow colors on their toes?
Tapping Into On-Demand Exercise
One of my favorite apps, Studio Sweat On Demand, has a Kids’ section, full of fun classes and activities designed for kids. We’ve also tried Cosmic Kids Yoga, a surprisingly fun, somewhat silly approach to yoga that the kids really love.
Cooking, Baking, and Smoothie-Making!
I’m excited to try new recipes together, especially those that are super hands-on. Pasta, sushi, pies, bread, any recipes that involve squashing bananas, etc. We plan to do breakfast in bed, “picnics” in the attic, and grilling dinner out on the deck.
Building Forts and More
Whether it’s forts, tents, pirate ships, or whatever else our imagination conjures up, our floor becomes hot lava, crashing waves, quicksand, or a pond full of alligators!
Putting on a Show
In our house this involves setting every stuffed animal we can find on the bed, in bleacher-style seating, then closing the window shades to make the room as dark as a theatre. One of the boys points a flashlight while the other performs an activity that may involve singing, dancing, stomping, twirling, or any other movement he deems show-worthy. A round of applause always follows! We haven’t made tickets for our shows in the past, though I can foresee this in our near future.
Planting (or Playing) in Our Garden
In addition to water play, another thing my boys can’t seem to get enough of is … dirt! Scooping it, shoveling it, digging holes in it. We’ll tend to our small city garden with renewed focus, even trying our hand at growing some vegetables, fruits, and herbs.
Good luck to us all as we keep our kids safe, healthy, and happy these next few weeks. Please share your ideas for activities while home-bound in the comments below!