Worried about how you’ll keep your kids entertained for four weeks without leaving the house? We have ideas.
Usually around this time, you’d be madly scouring the internet to find out what fun events are being held during the Easter holidays. But, since everything from egg hunts to movies is indefinitely postponed due to the coronavirus pandemic, it’s time to be resourceful.
Here’s how to spend 4 weeks at home without going mad. Good luck and stay safe!
Many moms were hoping that, if trips to movies or the mall are out, they could at least turn to play dates to keep kids busy. Bad luck: although some American online resources have suggested that you pick a family to mingle with, and you both agree not to see anyone else until the time for social distancing has passed, our own government has requested that play dates be put on hold. This is because kids tend to be super spreaders of the virus, even though they are frequently asymptomatic. This is also why a visit to your local playground isn’t advisable. But that doesn’t mean you can’t go to your local park. Bring the dogs to turn it into a family affair, stage a sports day with sack races, three-legged races and egg-and-spoon-races, or challenge your kids to a scavenger hunt. Tidying up the garden is satisfying, too.
One of the most striking features of the virus scare is how many companies have stepped forward to provide assistance in various forms. Scholastic is one of these, having created a free learning website to keep kids engaged.
Contemporary artist Lillian Gray, mother of two, has extended her art classes into the virtual space, by creating some exciting tutorials on her YouTube channel. Lillian explains, “Creating art is an awesome way to help children relax and keep them busy at home. They are also absorbing all the adult’s stress surrounding the Pandemic. Art teaches kids to plan and to make choices and solve problems. Every step involves making a decision: what colour to use, how to make a line, what size to make something. With every choice, the object becomes more and more their own”.
Lillian’s tutorial series focuses on a variety of techniques such as mixed media, printmaking, drawing and acrylic painting to name a few. Lillian is also keeping it interesting with themes such as endangered animals to help create awareness as well as “African” to keep it relevant and local.
Her tutorials are aimed at younger children and teenagers/young adults, depending on their skill levels.
Watch the first few tutorials on:
The next time you venture out for groceries, make sure you stock up on craft supplies: scrapbooking materials, glue, scissors, ribbons, sequins, crayons, paint – in fact, anything that you can colour and create with. There are literally hundreds of websites offering free printouts and craft patterns – or, if your little one is more laboratory-minded, science experiments may be the order of the day.
But what about work?
For those of us fortunate enough to be able to work from home, there are still deadlines to be met – not easy when you have little people who don’t understand why they can’t have your undivided attention. Make it easier by scheduling work while they sleep, or setting up a desk for them next to yours. Stock it with stationery and give them a task so that they can feel they are being just as productive as you are. It may also help to schedule work into chunks of time, so that you can take a break with them after completing a task.
Schedule, schedule, schedule
Kids crave continuity. For many, it’s not just the tedium of being housebound, or the fact that they can’t see friends, that poses a challenge – it’s the lack of routine. Help them out by creating a timetable that they can follow just as they would at school, with time for exercise, outdoor play and reading.
In her 16 years as journalist, Lisa Witepski’s work has appeared in most of South Africa’s leading publications, including the Mail & Guardian, Sunday Times, Entrepreneur and Financial Mail. She has written for a number of women’s magazines, including Living & Loving, Essentials and many others, across topics from lifestyle to travel, wellness, business and finance. She is a former acting Johannesburg Bureau Chief for Cosmopolitan, and former Features Editor at Travel News Weekly, but, above all, a besotted mom to Leya and Jessica. Lisa blogs at whydoialwayscravecake.blogspot.com and lisa.witepski.blogspot.com, and tweets at @LisaWitepski.