21 May Social distancing with toddlers? Three ways to make the most of your time together.
These are strange times together as parents as we readjust to our lives in quarantine. Some days will be good while others not so much. And that’s OK. I am a mother of two children under 3 by day and a neonatal nurse by night. I wear multiple hats and love to keep busy so this whole quarantine initially through me for a loop. What to do? Where to go? No where. For the days that seem to last forever, I have discovered three ways that have helped me pass the time, and sometimes, even enjoy the new quarantine life!
- Take Advantage of Children’s’ Entertainment Online
I spent a couple days hemming and hawing over how to fill 12+ hours a day with two young children without the typical plethora of options the Boston area has to offer. All it takes is a little social distancing and every museum, playground, park or children’s class closing their doors to remind you just how lucky we are to live here. That being said, I have found that many organizations are taking the opportunity to provide children’s’ content over the internet for those stuck at home. For example, the Boston Children’s’ Museum, the Discovery Museum in Acton, and we at The Loved Child have all developed virtual classes or ideas to help keep our children stimulated and engaged. I would be remiss if I didn’t also include the importance of music in our day. Every morning after breakfast, we start the day with a live sing-a-long (courtesy of Jeff Jam). The kids have come to expect it and look forward to hearing their names embedded in the lyrics and I look forward to a few extra minutes to drink my coffee.
- Be Crafty
I have also found that social media has proved to be an excellent sounding board for other parents to share craft ideas, games, new outdoor activities and ways to be resourceful with items around the house rather than buying every new toy on the market. We have also been digging deep into my craft memory box and repeating every egg carton and milk jug craft you can think of that I did in my childhood. We’re on birdhouse number 6 made from milk cartons… Not to mention LOTS of water beads, homemade playdough, scavenger hunts, chalk “stained glass”, planting projects, cardboard castles, homemade bubbles, forts and many other things to entertain my kids that I previously overlooked. But to remain completely honest, I have absolutely had multiple deliveries to my front door step…
- Remember Self-Care
I should also emphasize that every activity mentioned above is fueled by a little self-care and A LOT of coffee. My husband and I feel like we could open a coffee shop post quarantine because we’ve become such cold brew aficionados during this time. I have also fully embodied the same mentality I have with a newborn, “fake it until you make it” since being stuck indoors. I find that I feel 100% better when I at least put on my “day time sweat pants” or better yet, a full outfit and a little blush. As many of you know it’s hard to muster the energy to exercise in the evenings once the day is over and even harder to do something while the little ones are running around so I have made it a part of my daily routine to walk with them at Fresh Pond in the morning. Fresh air is invigorating and having both kids strapped in a stroller is the closest I’ll get to feeling relaxed while they’re both awake. Fresh Pond has proved to be my lifeline when almost everything else is closed or taped off. Please say hello if you see us there! I can be spotted pushing a double stroller, with our labradoodle Franklin running around and usually a scattering of Goldfish crackers around us. Snacks keep the kids happy and they’re the only thing our dog consistently responds to when off leash!
Covid-19 has oddly forced our family into more of a structured schedule, and the kids seem to thrive on it. I’m beginning to wonder if they’re more positive things I can take away from this experience than originally thought. So while this is an unconventional time for sure, I have concluded that with a little creativity, a lot of coffee and fresh air we can get through it together.
For other ideas (125!) to keep your kids entertained during Coronavirus see the following link:
Stay safe and stay healthy!