5 Activities to Do with Your Toddler While Quarantined
Are you, like me, listening to the news reports thinking to yourself that this has to be “fake news?” They are blowing this way out of proportion! What happened in other countries could never happen here! Then school is cancelled, and you find yourself scrambling to figure out who is staying home with the kiddos...do you ask the grandparents? Then, in the next 24 hours, you are trying to figure out the next week and wondering if you have enough supplies. You find yourself running on adrenaline, rushing to the supermarket and drug store to scoop up every possible item that you can think you will need, and the shelves in the store look as though they have gone through a zombie apocalypse!
Now that you have had time to process the fact that you will likely be working remotely or going to work in a very limited capacity, you have to think of what you are going to do to keep your little ones busy. Let’s face it, between school, work, and activities, parents rarely feel like they have enough time with their child. Now all of those “distractions” have been removed, and it is time to spend some quality time with your little beans. Sure, you could turn on the TV, but all you're going to see is the climb in the latest numbers. You could give them your iPad and let them veg out on an app, but that only leads to greater issues down the road.
Instead, use this time to be the teacher and create some lasting memories around this trying and troubling time. Let’s not forget how vitally important pretend play can be, especially at a time like this! Melissa & Doug has a great Get Well Activity Center that is not only fun for the kids (we’ve had one set up in multiple store locations and it’s always a hit!), but it couldn't have more meaning than right now. You can even use this activity center to help you explain to your kids why it is important to wash your hands or why you are checking their temperature on a regular basis.
Kids love making a mess and what better time to let them (it’s not like you are having company over!) One of my favorite things to do with my daughter is arts and crafts. Filling up a notepad of blank paper with either finger paints or Do-A-Dot Art, anything that she can get her little hands on, is exceptionally fun. It may not be a Mona Lisa, but as soon as you put it in a frame - it’s a masterpiece! I also think that the Bitty Books are an amazing way for you and your little one to express your journey. There are markers, stickers and a small case to store them.
Get outside! Just because you're quarantined doesn’t mean you can’t go outside (just keep those social distancing guidelines at the top of mind). Have them exhaust some of their energy on a scooter or Stomp Rockets! Set up an obstacle course in the driveway or the street, or take a family walk. Maybe they have a passion for science; get down to their level and dig up the dirt. Once they find their first bug or worm, they will want more! You can contain all of nature's creepy-crawlies in this container to get a closer look. You don’t want them to play with bugs, dig up some rocks. Maybe you will inspire a passion for geology.
We all know that the weather can be unpredictable, particularly in New England where we’re located! Remember to have some handy indoor games for family fun. One of my favorites is Here, Fishy, Fishy, it is great for developing hand eye coordination and color recognition. Plus, the box is where you play the game; to quote one of my colleagues, “I love games that put themselves away!” Another one that I really like is Monkey Around. This is a fun game where you hold a banana while hopping on one foot or giving a hug. We could all use a safe hug these days!
Hopefully we will have the opportunity to look back on this time that we have to be with our little ones and the ones we love with only the best of memories. Take this time to hold them close; if COVID-19 teaches us anything, it's that isolation can be boring, but it doesn’t have to be lonely if you are fortunate to be with the ones you love most!
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