Today’s trip to the grocery store for my normal stash of weekly groceries became a hunt for anything that would work. “Yes, we have no bananas” was the theme song of the day. All the normal bread was gone; just the high fiber loaves left behind. That doesn’t work well when the toilet paper aisle is empty. Home For A Long Spring Break.
Now school is shut down early and on through Spring Break. Moms everywhere are suddenly making adjustments to the plan now that plans everywhere have changed.
So… what now? Of course, the kids will have e-learning (“Yay!” say moms everywhere) to do for part of the time. My kids will also accompany me to my shop for part of their time out of school. They remind me very often that it’s not their favorite place to go, yet, work still has to be done. For the other part, we’re all hoping for wonderfully warm weather to help us out during this time.
Here’s my quick list of how we may occupy the time apart from the screens. For reference, my children are 11- and 9-years-old:
• Read. My kids love to read, so this is an easy one.
• Paint. I have to close my eyes and just let the mess begin. This is mainly my daughter’s interest, and she has guidelines, like cover the painting surface with anything that we can throw away.
• Beads and Bands. More crafting time. My daughter loves arts and crafts, and I’m sure the bracelet makings will come out.
• Basketball or soccer. Our son has new sports balls. He’s outside all the time shooting hoops, and kicking his soccer ball into the goal.
• Make cookies. And eat cookies.
• Clean the house. This hasn’t made the list of favorite activities, but it is on the to-do list. We already have a chart of things that need to be done every day and chores that are farther apart, such as once per week.
• Make a fort. Make one inside if it’s rainy, outside if it’s not. We have a strip of woods at our house, so the sticks are plentiful. There are all sorts of creations waiting to be made from tree junk.
• Play board games. My kids like to call them bored games. Either way, they are a fun way to connect with each other.
• Solve puzzles. Metal finger puzzles, Rubik’s cubes, crosswords, word search, jigsaw, etc.
• Make a treasure hunt. Instead of the usual treasure hunt for clean pants and the right shoes, this can be a fun hunt for random things with a treat at the end.
• Build a Lego city. We have enough Legos to build a full-scale city. These are great to build engineering and problem-solving skills.
• Make a marble run. Use Legos, all those empty toilet paper rolls, boxes, bottles, and any other junk from around the house that would be useful to that end.
• Make a dollhouse. I made a dollhouse from a box when I was a child. I used junk (I don’t mean to repeat that word so much!) from around the house to make furnishings. I had better dollhouses later, but the most fun I ever had with a dollhouse was with that ugly box. My eyes saw it as a grand mansion, and that’s all that mattered.
• Carve sticks and wood. Our son always has to be moving his hands, and carving is something fun for him. I taught him the proper way to hold the knife, and he has been able to carve sticks. Even though there is the potential for a finger cut, I know he’ll never learn to hold a knife unless he’s allowed to try it. Smaller risks for smaller fingers.
• Kids’ night where they plan and make dinner. Just eat it, and don’t make faces. Enjoy the effort and love that goes into it.
All these ideas can be summed up as: give their curiosity a playground and let them experiment.