Creative ways to stay busy during this time!

Hey guys! I wanted to share some of the things we’ve been doing while being stuck at home. I know it’s a scary, odd time for all of us while the world is fighting this invisible war, but there’s a silver lining in all of this; to grow closer to our families and to love and appreciate time with them. I know several parents are wondering how to fill their days, so I thought I’d share what seems to be working with our family. My kids do best on a schedule- I’ve learned this simply from this first week at home with them. When we’ve gone off the schedule that’s when there seems to be more bumps in the road, more tantrums (myself included 😉 ) and more struggles. But sticking to this makes our days go smoother and makes us all happier!

7am- 8 Wake up, get dressed, make bed, brush teeth

8-10am- School work, eLEARNING

10am-11 Play time

11am Lunch

11:30am-12:30pm Centers

12:30-1pm Chores

1:00pm Nap, Quiet time, TV (once chores are done)

3:00pm Story time/Read

3:30/4pm Afternoon walk- Look for shamrocks and rainbows in windows

4:45pm Clean up, Play outside

5:30pm Dinner/bath

Also, as a former teacher, I’ve found the benefits of planning fun activities for kids. To be honest, my kids love these “centers” I’ve developed for them. They don’t have to be anything fancy or creative, you can simply use things around the house like legos. For example, some of the centers we have done include: legos, tracing, yoga, coloring, puzzles, play doh, etc. But they have worked wonders this past week, and the kids are asking every day, when can we do centers!?!? They also take up a good hour of the day so it’s definitely a useful time filler. Here’s some pictures of the centers we’ve done. I’ve even incorporated some differentiating so they can all do something at their appropriate age level. For example, Ella Rose works on her legos, Owen on his legos or duplo legos, and Arabelle builds her blocks. We pick three/four centers for that day and the kids rotate to each center after 15 minutes once the timer goes off. They can be done individually or together. They seem to really enjoy this part of their day and so do I! I also linked some of these items below if you’re interested.

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Tracing light up pad

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Blocks

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Legos

Letters and white board

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Puzzles

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Ella Rosie watching her teacher on Google Classroom. Yes, she has to wear her uniform still for their Zoom conferences! 😉

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Enjoying the fresh air

Cosmic Kids Yoga

Lastly, we went on a nature walk today and that was really nice to leave the house, if you can. The kids loved this. We also let the kids earn rewards at the end of the day/week if they’re well behaved. For example, if Ella Rose is good all day (does her school work, chores, and doesn’t fight with Owen) she gets to stay up later and play checkers that night. If Ella Rose and Owen are good ALL week, they earn a Friday night movie night. We all love this one (we usually pick old school movies Brendan and I liked- Casper, Beethoven, Little Giants, etc!
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I hope we can all find some moments of peace during this chaotic time and continue to pray that it ends soon. I loved this quote I read the other day from Pope Francis, “Tonight before falling asleep think about when we will return to the street. When we hug again, when all the shopping together will seem like a party. Let’s think about when the coffees will return to the bar, the small talk, the photos close to each other. We think about when it will all be a memory but normalcy will seem an expected and beautiful gift. We will love everything that has so far seemed futile to us. Every second will be precious. Swims at the sea, the sun until late, sunsets, toasts, laughter. We will go back to laughing together. Strength and courage. See you soon!”

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