We are going on day 22 of staying inside but it feels more like day 30537. The nights are long, and the days feel longer.
When this is over, I know I will remember what this time of Covid-19 has taught me. But it can be overwhelming. Being at home and not being able to do anything is challenging; but I have peace of mind at the same time. There are others that are risking their lives daily! And I know that I’m doing my part to stay home and help flatten the curve. By doing this, I know I’m keeping my kids safe and healthy to the best of my ability.
But honestly, some days are better than others. I get super self-conscious when I go on social media! Especially when I see some parents with a full color-coordinated schedule filled day for the kids.
I look at them and wonder how they can stick through and run that schedule when I have days that I’m barely surviving. There are days where I’m on a call and rolling playdoh at the same time because my 4-year-old is begging me to play with her. Or the days where I’m in a meeting and must put remind myself to press mute because I’m yelling at the kids to SHARE and play nicely for the 100th time.
Last week, I had a breakdown. Either my kids woke up on the wrong side of the bed; or my patience being alone while everyone else in my household is considered “essential” finally wore out. It’s funny how I’m sitting here trying to analyze everything. Which I shouldn’t be because you’re bound to have off days, especially at a time like this! But if you’re like me, and are constantly fighting yourself to not feel like a failure, I’m with you. And I get it!
I can say that we are surviving and definitely not really thriving! So, if you are going a bit stir crazy, then you’re in luck! I compiled a list of some of the things that we do as a family to keep us entertained. Or things that I use to keep the girls busy while I work. And I’m sure most of them you are doing these already, but if there is an item or two that you haven’t quite done yet, then, by all means, bust it out on those “I’m going to lose my mind” days.
Staying inside and making use of things you already have
If you’re on a toy rotation, it’s the perfect time for you to take out toys that your kids haven’t seen or played with in a while. I have a few storage bins of toys that are not always out, and I’ve brought a few of those out in the last few weeks.
They get super excited when they forgot they had something and they get to play with it because it feels new. Speaking of new, if there are toys that you’ve hidden that they got from Christmas, now will also be a good time to bring them out.
Puzzles may be something that your kids play with on a normal basis, but there is still a way for you to make it exciting. Time your kids while they put a puzzle together, and then have the see if they can beat their own score. You can even have them draw a picture and then cut it out like puzzle pieces using thicker paper (like cardstock) to make their own puzzle. It could even be a cute fun gift for them to send out to family members!
Legos are also something that is never in toy rotation because the kids play with them all the time, but maybe have a Lego building contest! Or have them build something and have another parent or sibling guess what is built.
Here are some other things that you may have on hand, or if you don’t should be inexpensive to buy online:
- Board Games
- Have a family movie night
- Color, paint, or do crafts together like playdoh
And when all else fails, if your kids are little enough, put your kids on a big blanket and just pull them around the house. My kids get a kick out of it, I don’t know what makes it more fun for them, the ride, or the struggle they see me having by pulling around 50 pounds! HAH!
Staying inside and using your imagination
Being indoor for most of the day calls for us to bring out our imagination and think like a kid. I had to think back to when I was a kid and there was not such a thing as the internet, movies that you could stream, or apps that you could play on your Ipad.
I’d think back to what I would do in the summer with my cousins when we were all out of school. A lot of our fun was outdoors but on the days that we were inside, we’d have to get creative. My grandma one of those luggage holders that are used in hotels (not sure why she had it) so we would play hotel. We’d have a front office check-in and each bedroom was a room. I think about it now and I can’t help but smile at how much fun those times were.
Here are some other ideas for indoor/creative play:
- Simon says
- Bake something or have your kids help you make a smoothie
- Make a fort
- Put on a princess fashion show
- Have a spa day with a real or make-believe hair salon or makeup makeover, and nails
Take the fun outside
Every day if the weather permits, I try and take my kids outside. It’s never for very long, maybe an hour or less. We usually stay in our backyard or garage or a short walk around the neighborhood. It’s a good way for the kids to “get out” of the house, breathe in some fresh air, and push the reset button, especially if you’ve been cooped up in the house for most of the days. Things you can do outside:
- Bike ride
- Play with bubbles or water balloons
- Draw with sidewalk chalk
- Start a garden
I saw that some neighborhoods have started putting stuffed animals in their windows so that when families go walking, they can point it out. I thought this was a super cute and fun thing for the kids. (See the post).
Staying inside and keeping them active
Kids have a lot of energy and need moments in the day where their bodies are active. It’s good for them and its good for you! Put on a video on a video from you tube and exercise! Every single time I’ve done that, my girls always want to join in on the fun.
Have a dance party! I put on a bunch of Disney music like Frozen or Descendants and let my girls have it. It’s super fun and a very easy way to keep them entertained.
Or have a scavenger hunt. You can do this outside or inside, but it’s very easy to make a scavenger hunt or a treasure map that will allow them a surprise at the end. If they are a little older, you can make them find things from each letter of the alphabet, like an apple for A.
I hope you’ve enjoyed this post. I know that it can be difficult during this trying time, but all we can do is take it one day at a time. Staying inside every day without going anywhere, especially when you’re trying to balance work and kids is beyond difficult! But hang in there and just know you are doing great! Hopefully, this will all be over soon and we can go back to doing the things we now missed so much.
If you enjoyed this post, you may like:
- Parenting Tips: Making life easier with sick kids
- Mom hack: How to organize little girls toys
- The aftermaths of your child’s meltdown
Scroll all the way down and enter your email address to stay updated with all my posts! Thank you for reading! XOXO