Across South Florida, families are anxiously awaiting to find out if and when schools will be closed due to the Coronavirus. Some moms are bracing themselves to have the kids at home for weeks. They are checking on Pinterest for activities to entertain the kids and asking each other in mommy FB groups for ideas.
What if I were to tell you it’s not our job to entertain our kids?
We are not clowns (I can’t help to think back on that Goodfella’s scene -sorry I am old-lol) But seriously, it is not our job to entertain them. It is good for kids to be bored, it sparks creativity. Remember what happens when you give kids a cardboard box? Lots of magical things and hours and hours of fun, right?! Exactly! It is not necessary to carefully select Pinterest activities for our kids to have fun. To be honest, do any of those Pinterest activities ever turn out well? (if yes, well then maybe it is just does not work for me–oops). Going back to basics is so much easier.
Let’s think back on the times when families have been home after a hurricane, with no power or no wifi (EEK!). Kids eventually found something to do, they took out their old toys, toys they never looked at or forgot they even had. Teens began drawing, reading and talking to parents!
Yes, the first few days are brutal, but its part of the detoxification process from this busy, hectic and technology-filled world we all live in nowadays.
Granted we will probably have internet access in the weeks we are at home. But that is precisely what we want to avoid. We do not want kids or families to be home, ignoring each other because they are behind a screen.
So I urge you if you are already in planning mode, develop a plan to limit screen-time. Come up with a schedule so that we do not get caught up in other tasks and end up allowing hours and hours of screen-time. This is more likely to lead to irritable children and frustrated parents.
Kids nowadays need more free time, away from screens. They need more family time, they need to snuggle more, talk more and connect more.
Bring back the 90’s, trust me they will thank you for it..(eventually).
Here are some old school activities to start this off:
- Board games
- Playing cards: Rumi, GoldFish, Spit, War, etc
- Balloons: tap back and forth, while saying the ABC’s
- Bubbles: pop them, blow them
- Thumb war
- Ball: catch, hot potato, monkey in the middle
- Arts and crafts, coloring books, drawing
- Build a Fort
- Hide and Seek
- Hand Clapping games: for example: Miss Mary Mac Mac
- Make paper airplanes
- Telephone game
- Pillow fights
- Read together
- Nerf gun battle
- Floor is Lava
- Hot and Cold
- Simon Says
- Make up a dance routine together
- Play with their toys in their room or playroom.
- Involve them in chores (I am serious but make it fun and collaborative)
- Cook meals together
Okay, okay I know what you are saying, in the 90s we had TV. True but we usually watched it together as a family. You can add family movie night to your schedule. Be creative on who gets to select the movie, for example, you can have them pick out of a hat.
I saved one of my best ideas for last: Let Them Play! preferably outside in the yard. Children need Vitamin D and fresh air especially now.
Take care and enjoy your kids. They are only little once.