Practical Activities to Get You and Your Kids Through School Closures
March 18, 2020 No CommentsCategory: Motherhood, Parenting
Tags: Activities for Kids, Coronavirus, Kids entertainment, Learning, Montessori, No school, Parenting, Preschool
With the Coronvavirus pandemic resulting in school closures for weeks, many of us parents are panicking. Not only are we concerned for the safety of our families but also left scrambling to figure out how to create some sort of normalcy and routine for our children.
While “social distancing” will be challenging for all of us, I’ve decided to tackle this as positivity as I know (what choice do we have, right?) and thought of some activities that will continue learning in a realistic way. I know my strengths as a mom and what I can tolerate (I cannot play imaginary games for hours on end!!) so I also want to set up activities that I want to actively engage in 😂
Create a Responsibilities Chart
In our house we have assumed responsibilities for Chloe (“pick up your room”, “brush your hair/teeth”) but haven’t really thought through or formalized age-appropriate responsibilities for our now 4-year-old. I used this Weekly Chore Chart and my trusty laminator to make it permanent so we can show her progress daily and reward her every week. This will motivate her, I’m sure!
Get Kids Involved in Cooking Dinner
It’s now become part of our routine that Chloe helps me with dinner. I make an effort to figure out kid-friendly responsibilities for every meal like washing vegetables or fruit, chopping ingredients, peeling carrots or potatoes or even grating cheese.
I used this chopper when Chloe was a toddler and now she uses these kid-friendly knives. We also use this to clean veggies and fruit. With supervision, she is now learning to peel and grate cheese which takes some practice!
Water Plants in the House
With school closing, we were sent home with a classroom plant which automatically gave Chloe a sense of ownership with this activity. I’m also going to make it a point to go around the house every week with her to not only water our house plants but also pick off / throw away any dead leaves.
Bake Together for the Week
Rather than baking a dessert, consider working with your kiddo to create breakfast for the week – cheesy egg bites or chocolate chip waffles are a favorite over here – or banana bread in the form of mini muffins as snacks. I love to get Chloe involved by using measuring cups, mixing ingredients and pouring mixtures into smaller baking pans. These pans with small openings really help with hand/eye coordination and control and force her to take her time.
Cut and Arrange Flowers
This is a favorite Montessori activity that is easily translatable in the home and most importantly, can brighten up any situation. Buy a bunch of flowers and have your kiddo practice cutting off the stems and make them into their own arrangement. We have a lot of small mason jars and vases that I leveraged to help spread out the flowers around the house in different rooms.
Give Your Pet a Bath
Let’s kill two birds with one stone, shall we? Your pets need a bath and your kiddos need something to do! This teaches them to be “the parent”, too, which I know Chloe loves. She also learns how to scrub, dry off, brush hair – all useful lessons.
Make-Your-Own Pizza Night
This is a perfect activity everyone in the family can get in on and kiddos will enjoy. Roll the dough, spread the sauce and let everyone pick their pizza toppings. Don’t forget the wine! 😉
Plant an Indoor Veggie or Herb Garden
We just hosted a birthday party for the kids with a Peter Cottontail theme in mind so planting our very own veggie garden seems like an easy next step. We have lots of seeds and soil to plant and all you need is a small container with a hole to get started, so you don’t have to worry about weather being a factor. The best part about this is that kids can have fun doing it and also take responsibility to water their plants and see the fruits of their labor – literally.
Here is a simple, herb kit that you can start off with if the thought of collecting all of the items needed seems intimidating.
Make Fresh Orange Juice or Lemonade
I don’t know about you but I stocked up on everything at the grocery store – bags of oranges included. One day this week I plan to cut them with Chloe and squeeze them into orange juice using a strainer. You could also do this with lemons and sugar. Easy!