Coronavirus Distancing: Help With Your Kids
Feeling overwhelmed with the coronavirus events unfolding before you?
We have some important words of encouragement for you AND some fun practical ideas to help pass the hours and days with levity and even some learning along the way!
Before we get to that we have a VERY IMPORTANT request … do not watch or listen to the news, or talking head programs, with your children in the room. The voices, tones and scenarios that are being expressed do not need to be heard by young ears, they do not have the ability to process them and shouldn’t have to try. You needn’t discuss the happenings within earshot of them either.
Your children will long remember their days “cooped up” at home…how do you want them to remember them? What if I suggested you have the opportunity to turn this into a family memory wrapped in something other than fear?
I received a text from my 27 year old daughter last night that read, “I got to thinking about what you would be doing if we were young right now, it made me think — dangit, I wish I could be a kid at home with the four of us during this it would have been SO FUN!!!!!”
Thus…I got to thinking and remembering the fun I chose to create at my home, regardless of our circumstances, and I felt compelled to write up some ideas that could brighten up your home!
I have always lived by the adage, attitude is everything! So decide now mom to choose to have a hopeful, positive attitude towards the days ahead. Let me help you, help your kids! And then you pass it on, while adding to, with some of your ideas!
I have always been big on guiding and helping children to find creative ways to play and have fun, at times I remained in the middle of it, at times I got them started and then backed off. Unfortunately, it is almost certain that left to themselves children may choose to park in front of a screen for way too many minutes. (As do adults.)
Special Activities While Remaining Homebound
- Form a pots-and-pans band. Very loud … but fun!
- Scarf dancing (hold scarves, play music, and make the scarves dance to the music) — select the random setting on your playlist so the music tempo/style changes a lot! Or pick some of your old favorite songs … they’ll be impressed you know all the words. You could even show them your moves!
- Read a story and have your kids act it out.
- Plan an imaginary road trip! Have each kid pick a place to “imagine visit” and have them reveal on a map where you are headed, what you will do while there through a series of photographs (internet, books) and fanciful descriptions of the fun you are having. They are the tour guide to your “imagine visit” across the globe!
- Create art with shaving cream, toothpaste, or even conditioner — anything they can slide their hands around in. Use cookie sheets, large casserole dishes, or a table you don’t mind cleaning up.
- Have extended bath time; kids love to play in water. Sit on the floor in the bathroom, leaning against the closed door, and read — adding oohs and aahs every now and then to whatever they want to show you.
- Pick a wall somewhere in the house and actually “allow” crayon drawing on it. Tell them this is a one time thing, that it will stay that way, so future visitors can see what the family drew during your time homebound. Maybe tell them at some point the family will paint it back to the way it was (or not!).
- My kids loved to make “trails” all through the house with things (I used a big box of lids we had saved), but also they did it with cards from a few card decks. We got out a map and talked about the road systems all over the U.S. And I told them to build their own road system all over the house. Then they could use matchbox cars to drive. Sometimes they didn’t even do that; they just built the road! They also built roads with books, too. Literally ALL over the house.
- Make paper plate art. Use crayons or scissors, or both.
- Dance off. (If you don’t know what that is…shamey on you! Take turns seeing who has the sweetest moves … ham it up!)
- Put on masterful plays using stuffed animals as actors … or as the audience.
- I would lay down on my belly they’d put a sheet over me and some pillows around me and I’d be the road and mountain and valley for the matchbox cars — great way to sneak a one-eye-open nap and keep them busy!
- Hop in the bed while they get to read and look at books with a flashlight under the covers. I’d sneak a nap … or at least rest!
- Create your own “Toy Story” scenario and imagine what all the toys in your house do when you are not around. Ideate a story line together, and then go have them make it happen with the toys.
- Pillow jumping. We would gather all the pillows in the house — even couch cushions — and put them in a huge pile. They would pillow jump, and I would judge their “form” with numbers.
- I got out the old Easter Eggs and hid them all over the house — empty — they just loved to hunt. If you don’t have the Easter Eggs, come up with something else. At my mom’s house, she once hid a bunch of little soft, fake strawberries all over her house. Anything you have in mass you can hide, give them a basket, and let them hunt. This one lasts a good, loooooong time, and they want to do it over and over. Then let them hide for you; they love to watch me look and give me hints!
- Make sock puppets, and then put on a show. Or do the old-fashioned draw-on-your-hand and turn your hand into a puppet. Duck behind the couch and use the top of the couch as the stage. Have them act out a story they already know from a movie or something you’ve seen or read recently.
- Shadow puppets are always fun too!
- Build fort tents under tables, chairs with sheets, pillows, etc!
- Sing old camp songs and teach the kids how to sing them.
I hope these ideas, an adventurous attitude, and less screen time will turn your days ahead into something that will put smiles on all your faces.
Maybe put the ideas in a jar and each day allow your child(ren) to draw one out … or you choose and each morning “present” your idea for the day. But present the ideas in a big way … make it a production … drum rolls, guessing game, hidden somewhere in the house they have to find, taped under a chair, not available until chores are done…need I go on? (Because I could … all day … I am not referred to as the “RIG” for nothing. Random Idea Generator.)
Moms your attitude towards the coming days, weeks, months trickles down. Choose levity!
Therefore I tell you, do not be anxious about your life, what you will eat or what you will drink, nor about your body, what you will put on. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothing? Look at the birds of the air: they neither sow nor reap nor gather into barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not of more value than they? And which of you by being anxious can add a single hour to his span of life?
Your children will actually teach you to have a more playful attitude. Learn from them! I pray someday you get a text like I did … it might make you cry too … as you sit alone and remember the gift of children in your home.
Unwrap your gift daily with love and care.
Blessed are you among women.
What will REALLY help!
First: Be encouraged – you got this mom! Know that you can do this! You are the mom God has chosen for the children He has entrusted to you. Rest in that.
Second: Which is really first…pray. Prayer is a lifeline. Prayer is kryptonite to fear. Prayer is a direct line to the Father which results in a life of peace. That’s why MomLife Today has always sent you Mom Prayers to pray over your children, your family and yourself.
Prayer truly does attendeth your soul.
Third: Read your Bible. Have your children read their Bible. God’s word will provide the peace you need. How about the family read through the Psalms together.
And, for the record, you don’t have to read it as grown ups do. Let your kids act out what you read. Read the Bible in different accents. Let them read out loud to the tune of Happy Birthday. Let them read standing on their head. Simply put, get God’s word in their minds and hearts.
…so is my word that goes out from my mouth: It will not return to me empty, but will accomplish what I desire and achieve the purpose for which I sent it. You will go out in joy and be led forth in peace;…
Free time, creative play and more importantly, time with the Lord, is something your children could learn to crave through these events … show them the way!
Look for practical ideas on ways to help your children experience being homebound with a sense of adventure and possibilities. MomLife Today is one of many trusted on-line resources available to you. We share many ideas and Mom Prayers daily on Facebook and Instagram.