Hello friends. At my house, we are officially starting week two of working from home, and my first grader, after “enjoying” April vacation, will be starting online learning.
I have literally no idea how I’m going to make this work. Conduct virtual meetings, interviews, numerous phone calls, and teach my child math, reading, music, library, art, health, and gym?
I don’t mean to complain. I realize that I’m lucky to even have a job right now, and my hearts go out to those of you who are filing for unemployment, even if it’s temporary.
That being said – I’m also lucky to have a child who’s relatively clever and can probably do a lot of this with minimal supervision (but still, she deserves better than that). Either way, it’s a daunting task, and worse, I have no idea how long we’ll have to keep this up. My understanding is that some states have already closed schools for the rest of the year.
My plan right now is to figure out some sort of schedule for her and stick to it. Make it as much like school as I can, with a planned lunch hour where she and I and our chihuahua can get out of the house for a bit and away from our screens.
But what about all those other hours we are home? I know many of us are having trouble concentrating enough to read, and there are only so many decent shows to binge. So here are some of the things my daughter and I are doing to try and keep ourselves sane.
This is probably one of the most relaxing, mindlessly fun activities I’ve discovered in recent months. You can find kits for less than $15 on Amazon and they will keep you busy for many, many hours depending on the size.
The downside, I realize, is some children will find this boring, or simply not have the level of focus required to sit at a table and stick plastic gems to a page.
Cooking and Baking
With restaurants across the country closed for dine-in services (I hope we were all able to stock up on food), what better time to take up cooking? My daughter loves helping me in the kitchen, and I love a good meal (and a good dessert). Admittedly, baking is not even remotely my strong suit, but it’s more about the decorating for the kids anyway.
Some of our favorite things to make include: Tacos (make them kid friendly and bite size by using Tostito’s Scoops as your shell), Pizza, Spaghetti and Meatballs, and Chef Marcus Samuelsson’s Mac and Cheese.
Virtual Family Game Night
I actually stole this idea from a coworker. His family is using ZOOM to video conference with his family and play trivia games. Trivia questions are easily available for free online and players could take turns prepping and hosting the game.
Build a Fairy Garden
My daughter and I have been doing this every spring since she was three years old. We typically incorporate plants or flowers into ours, like above, but I would imagine those might be hard to come by right now. (Don’t worry, fairy gardens are still cute even without real plants.) You can purchase some fun fairy furniture online, or even better, you can make some yourself using items from around the house or found in your back yard, like the DIY furniture found in this video.
Okay – admittedly, I stole this idea from two sources. One was a random list of stuff I could do at home with my daughter and the other was from a team building exercise we did at work.
There are plenty of museums offering free virtual tours (including the Louvre!). To make it more interactive, pick your favorite piece, and do your best to recreate it. My seven year old is super passionate about her artwork, so this is something I’d absolutely love to take advantage of while we are stuck at home.
Quilling is taking strips of paper, rolling them up into different shapes, and gluing them down to make a picture. Again, kits like this can be found on Amazon for less than $15, and have everything you need to get started. Some of the shapes are more difficult than others but otherwise this activity isn’t as difficult as it looks and the resulting pictures are very pretty!
And of course, I hope we’re all getting outside for some fresh air. I’ll be very happy when the weather is warmer in our neck of the woods.
What are you all doing to keep from going stir-crazy? Have you got any fun ideas we can try at our house?