With everything going around us, it can feel like the world is caving in. We are having to rearrange our schedules, our time, and basically life as we know it. While we cannot control what is going on, we can control how we react to it. So let’s discuss how we can put positive energy into the world during this time…
Write letters to loved ones
What happened to a good, old-fashioned love letter? Use this time to teach your kids their writing lessons — while doing something positive. Write letters to family and friends. Or write letters to the elderly who are shut in, nursing home residents, or soldiers stationed out of the country! Spread some love and brighten someone’s day with a handwritten note of encouragement, good vibes, or a picture. For the address and tips on what to write to a soldier, please visit Support Our Troops.
Take a virtual vacation
I know a lot of spring break plans were canceled, and we have lots of sad kids (and adults too)! We may not be able to physically go, but we can virtually visit and make the best of it! Places like the Cincinnati Zoo and Georgia Aquarium are broadcasting live and sharing their webcams so you can have a front row seat to their animals and habitats. This is a fun way to teach the kids something new and enjoy a show free of charge!
You can also pick a continent or location you would like to visit for the day. Dress up, decorate, listen to the music and cook a meal all based on that location. What a fun way to include all the members of your family in an interactive, learning experience!
Time to get out your board games, puzzles, and cards and enjoy some good, old-fashioned family fun. Sure we had game systems like Nintendo when I was growing up, but I remember playing games like Monopoly and Uno as a child. Those are some of my best memories with my parents and sister. Make it fun, give small prizes for the winner, or make up trivia to quiz the kids. Create a maze with party banners, yarn or string (just don’t use toilet paper — we know that is in short supply)! Go on a treasure hunt in the house — bonus points for including chores or cleaning duties in it. Time to let that inner creativity and those Pinterest boards you have been saving shine!
Learn a new hobby
Maybe there is something you have been wanting to do but feel you never have the time. Perfecting that biscuit recipe, learning a second language, sewing, or becoming a master at computer programs such as Excel. There are so many things we save for another time or a rainy day. Why not work on self-improvement? Involve the kids by asking if there is something specific they would like to learn while they are home and out of school. Teach them age appropriate life skills: balancing a check book, changing the oil in the car, how to cook, how to load and unload a dishwasher, or laundry.
Don’t Emotionally Distance Yourself
Social distancing doesn’t have to mean emotional distancing. There are people who need to be connected to others for their mental health. Check on your neighbors, family, and friends. Use FaceTime, Zoom or Facebook Messenger to call and see each other face to face. You may not be able to gather people together, but you can drop a bag of coffee, a package of cookie dough, or toilet paper off on your neighbor’s porch with a note of encouragement in these times. Take this time to slow down, stop texting and emailing, and call that person you haven’t spoken to in a long time. You would be surprised what a good, old-fashioned phone call can do for the soul.
Balancing Working from Home with Your Kids
I know working from home with the kids around can be a challenge, and I empathize and experience this everyday. This can cause stress when you still have work responsibilities and are balancing a new normal. Schedule your days ahead of time. Block off the time to have your work meetings or calls, and then block off time on your calendar to devote to your kids. There are many resources that are being offered free currently to help entertain the kids. Some of my suggestions are Scholastic, ABC Mouse (use code SCHOOL7771) and National Geographic Kids.