Wednesday, April 8, 2020 / by Sarah Palmer
Hello friends and family! If you care to know the great challenges of keeping a 3 1/2 year old entertained all the while working at home during a pandemic; stay tuned for a couple of quick tips, ideas and maybe a couple of “lol” moments.
While it’s been so much fun at home with my daughter, it’s the simple things I miss most like dropping her off at preschool (always late because she eats each individual Cheerio like it’s a mini doughnut). I even miss the things I thought I’d never miss, like the nice long shower you take after returning from a night at Chucky Cheese or searching out a clean seat at the skating rink for hours of going round and around. Yes, I’ll take anything but staying home!
But seriously, one thing the whole pandemic has taught me was that there are many fun and creative things that you can do to keep your little ones entertained and less monstrous.
A great way to eat up some time and make a real mess is baking with them. My daughter loves helping me make anything, especially cookies or cupcakes. Making them from scratch seems to be more fun and involves many more steps for them to follow. This makes it a great learning experience, not to mention they taste much better!
While feeling stir crazy a few weeks ago, my husband and I recently had our bikes tuned up and we purchased a bike trailer for our daughter to ride along. On nice days we take long bike rides together and she really loves it. It’s also great exercise to help us burn off the “recreational/diversion eating” that happens when stuck in the house.
Another great activity for kids is FaceTime with friends and family. It is so important to see our family during this stressful time, and why not? It’s a great way for them to talk with friends and show off for Grandma and Grandpa while giving you a needed break from “entertainer-in-chief” for a moment.
My daughter and I have also spent a lot of down time doing fun projects like making play-dough slime from shaving cream, baking soda, glue, food coloring and other strange and fun ingredients from a recipe found online https://www.livescience.com/59941-how-to-make-slime-with-glue.html.
The weather has been so nice lately and it is the perfect time of year for gardening and planting future fruit snacks like raspberries and strawberries. All you need is a flowerpot, soil, seeds and sunshine and you can have your little ones help you plant them and keep them watered.
With all of this downtime, we still try and limit her screen time as much as possible by enticing her with playing in the sandbox, coloring a picture, drawing with sidewalk chalk and just going on walks with us around the block, but naptime is my favorite! In fact, I’m off to suggest it right about now!
So good luck out there and never let them know that they’re in charge! Keep your patience and your sanity intact and hopefully a few of my ideas might help you get through these trying times.