As the coronavirus pandemic continues to spread, many people are in isolation to most effectively stop the spread. A lot of us find ourselves at home with our children, as all schools have closed. This self-quarantine will give parents and children another chance to be together during the day, even if working from home.
But… what to do? How can you keep children entertained during the coronavirus crisis? Whether you’re a stay-at-home parent or living that WFH life, there are plenty of ways to keep the whole family from going stir-crazy.
Think of this as an opportunity to be free of distraction and really bond with one another. Give the news a break and get in touch with your inner child. Here are some things that have been our favorites over the past few weeks!
1. Bird Feeders – We received two bird feeders from Brome Bird Care and they have definitely been one of the most actively engaging part of our day. We sit outside or watch from the window, spot a bird and look up it’s call. In a matter of a week our girls both know over 10 species and love to watch as they revisit. Bonus – these feeders are squirrel proof!
2. Baking – You name it, we have baked it! Cookies, brownies, cake, banana bread, etc… it is a fun way to spend some time with a reward after. My girls love measuring and mixing… and yes making a mess!
3. Board Games – Our girls are at the age where they both enjoy playing board games, which makes for a lot of fun. My First Rush Hour by ThinkFun is such a fun game for young kids – challenging them to use logic to solve the game.
4. Rope Swing – Nothing says fun like a rope swing! We love this one from HearthSong – it can fit both of our kiddos, is very well made, and provides hours of fun! We have used rope swings that have been uncomfortable, but this one provides so much comfort, my kiddos lay on it to sleep!
5. Trampoline – We got a trampoline during quarantine – and say what you will about them, my kids now are occupied all day long. We opted for a 7ft trampoline that is made for littles, as it takes up less space in the yard and the perfect size for our younger girls. The Bounce Pro was easy to put together and well made (and we got it in 2 days ordering online from Walmart)! If you are looking for a trampoline for young children, or one to keep indoors – this is for you!
6. Go Fish – Can you beat a classic card game? Even our two year old plays with us. Watching their minds work when trying to decide what card to ask for is adorable.
7. Boat/Pirate Swing – Need I say more? This heavy duty canvas sailboat swing sits two sailors (or pirates as my kids like to be) and is made for some serious backyard fun. Let their imaginations run wild in this Hearthsong Swing, there are two built in seats which is perfect for play or relaxation.
8. Puddle Jumping – Rainy day got you down? Grab your rain coat and boots and get out there! There is something pure and good about playing in the rain – don’t let the weather stop you! Rain boots can be heavy and clunky on children (I do not understand this), so our favorite lightweight rain boots for kids are made by Outdoor Master! They are rubber, no lining inside to get wet, and super light weight for optimal puddle jumping! Get yours here!
9. Gardening – Now is the perfect time to get outside and garden! We make a vegetable and herb garden every year, but due to the pandemic we did not want to leave the house this. GrowJoy to the rescue! This amazing company delivers everything from house plants and shrubs to veggies and herbs to your front door! Gardening is a great learning experience for children, and teaches them responsibility. Our girls were overjoyed when our box arrived at our steps – we unpacked the plants (GrowJoy packages them very securely and they arrive quickly) and got to work. The kids loved planting their own veggies and watering them. Now we check on the progress every day – giving us a happy way to stay busy at home! We also got indoor plants to add joy to our home, go ahead and order your happy plants today! Our girls have some amazing outdoor tools they used for gardening by Hearthsong– having their own really gives them a sense of pride!
10. Chalk – Chalk is a fun way to be artistic outdoors. My littles enjoy mixing chalk with water and coloring with a paste – bonus this takes a lot of time and they love it!
11. Journaling/Drawing Books – My 5 year old loves to write books and make her own illustrations – enter Seize the Bug blank books. She loves how her imagination comes to life as a real book! These are also great for travel journaling!
12. Swimming Pool – We do not have a neighborhood pool, so we usually cooled off on hot days in the sprinkler. My girls are so excited to now have their own inflatable pool. Minnidip is the first designer inflatable pool brand, giving your backyard a fun trendy area to swim. They are a great size, and when its chilly out they make for a perfect place to put pillows and blankets for a fun afternoon.
13. Reading – We have spent SO much time reading, and I love it! Our current favorites are the Bible, Winnie the Pooh, and Harry Potter.
14. Insect Lore – Ignite a love of science in your children with this life cycle & metamorphosis kit. We ordered this kit on amazon here and within a few days had five caterpillars at our door with everything included! It was so easy and our kids really loved watching them grow and transform into butterflies. They also land on you and like to hang out when you release them… bonus!
15. Glow Stick Fun – Even as an adult, I love glow sticks! We had a bunch of packs (here) for my daughter’s fifth birthday party that is postponed, so we took them out for some fun! I taped the glow sticks to my girls clothing and turned the lights out – we had an epic dance party! Afterwords we used them to spell and make shapes.
Tell me how you are creating and playing with your children! Until next time…