March 16, 2020

Parents everywhere are going to be at home with their kids for a long time. It is a unique and unprecedented situation, and one that is hard for so many reasons. And I want to help. After some thought, I’ve decided to start a series on my blog, offering bite-size ideas and activities that parents can try at home with the kids. No full day schedules or long lesson plans here. My hope is to offer ideas that are some combination of the following:

Once in a while, I’ll share an idea that might also be active or outdoors. Those aren’t my main goals, and I know some parents won’t be able to supervise their kids outdoors while they are working indoors. But it’s always nice to have some active and/or outdoor activities in our back pocket for those antsy times when cabin fever hits.

I’m hoping to accomplish most of these goals most of the time, and to make life perhaps a little bit easier or more pleasant for you as you start this “new normal” with your family. Even if you aren’t cooped up at home with your kids right now, these are tried and true activities that I have seen kids enjoy, and I hope yours can, too!

But let’s be honest, screen time is going to happen

No arguments here. Our kids are already getting more screen time than usual, and I’m fine with it. As a matter of fact, I’m hoping to compile and share a list of shows and movies that we like, or that we look forward to watching soon. We also have apps and websites we love, which I’ll share here in bite-sized posts soon. If you have any recommendations to add to that list, please share!

What about my toddler? HALP!

Most of my ideas will be for kids ages 4+. For those of you with younger ones, I will point you to two other mom-educators I have been following who have lots of great ideas and resources for the younger set:

  1. Days with Grey: Beth is a mother of three young boys, and has created a beautiful site with lots of great ideas. She is the brain behind The Breakfast Invitation, a collection of activities that you can set up ahead of time and let your kids engage in while you sip a cup of coffee in the morning (or any time of day!). The ideas might take a little more than five minutes to prep for, but I feel like that is generally true of most things in this stage of parenthood.
  2. BusyToddler: Susie is another former teacher who is sharing ways to make it from hour to hour in these early years. She is working hard to offer lists and relevant activities for the challenges parents are facing today. I’ve followed her on Instagram for a while, and can really feel her passion for helping others become equipped and empowered as parents of little people!

Stick around and share your ideas!

I’ll be updating this page with links to relevant activities, so feel free to bookmark and share it with others. If there’s anything in particular you are looking for, I would absolutely love to hear your ideas in the comments below! Although we’ve been hearing a lot about “social distancing,” I hope we can think of it more as “physical distancing” and actually take advantage of the technology that allows us to connect with others, even if we are not in close proximity. I think this is a crucial time for us to look out for and connect with others, and I hope to use this space to do just that!

Related Links (will be continuously updated):

Fun Math Games for Children (Ages 6+)

Cooped Up with the Kids #1: Insect Catchers (Ages 3-12)

Cooped Up with the Kids #2: Screen Time that Can Count as P.E. (Ages 3+)

Cooped Up with Kids #3: Sidewalk Chalk (Ages 3+)

Cooped Up with the Kids #4: Shadow Tracing (Ages 6+)

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