How to Keep Kids Occupied & and Your Sanity during Self Quarantine

Posted by Ethan McConkey, Moderator @ethanmcconkey, Mar 17 7:47pm

With school closures and social distancing, parents are tasked with being around their kids more than ever, especially for those used to working during the week, and going from activity to activity over the weekend. The question becomes, how do we keep our kids occupied during this time, and how do we keep our sanity?

My wife and I with our infant and two-year-old had this to practice over the weekend and were able to maintain our sanity largely through separating when needed. Our two-year-old is extremely hyper-active so when he was getting antsy, he and I would run races from one end of the house to the other, or would go downstairs to our play/motor room in the basement and play basketball on his toy hoop, taking turns dunking and then yelling “DUNK!” afterwards, in efforts to try to release that energy that gets built up while being cooped up with nowhere to go. Meanwhile my wife would take care of the infant and if our two-year-old was calm and wanted to read than maybe we would sit together as a family and read some books. It worked for us extremely well over the weekend. Hopefully as the weather warms we can go outside to our pretty good-sized backyard with some natural boundaries where we can run around and get energy out that way, while still practicing social distancing.

I for one would be extremely happy for additional ideas, as the next two weekends my wife will have to work her shifts as a nurse over the weekend giving me solo duty for half the weekend with running errands not an option.

What are some other ideas you have found successful or have wanted to try? All ideas appreciated and welcome!

You are doing extremely well under these circumstances. It's very apparent that you and your wife are wonderful caring parents. My grandson is under 2 so I understand it's not easy to entertain them. I have a friend who has 3 kids under 6. I feel for young parents. I remember when my kids were young, we used to build a fort using big couch pillows and sheets, they liked it better than their own beds. Sometimes it's ok to be a little messy around the house!

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Hello @ethanmcconkey : Yesterday, my wife had a virtual baking lesson with two of your granddaughters. We called it Granny's bake off 2020. We used face time. This activity was in three steps so it took up a bit of time. Our family is five hundred miles away, this was an excellent way for them and us to bond a bit and DE-stress as we find ourselves spending a lot of time at home.

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Here is something that I read on yesterday's Mayo News Network –
"Even though being stuck at home may seem out of the norm, consider this time together as an opportunity for your family to make good memories."

60+ years ago I was a stay at home mom for our 2 sons. There were no cellphones or the technology like we have available today. So being creative to keep 2 healthy boys busy was a constant.
One thing that my guys loved (and occupied them for hours, and even days) was when I used a bed sheet or a blanket and draped it over a sturdy table or whatever handy/sturdy peice of furniture that was available to make them a tent. They loved their tiny space, and I let them keep the tent up and operational over the course of several days.

Helping kids cope with the COVID-19 pandemic
https://newsnetwork.mayoclinic.org/discussion/helping-kids-cope-with-the-covid-19-pandemic/
PS- a big cardboard box with openings for door and window is a favorite, too.

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@ethanmcconkey I love to get on Pinterest and find great science experiments for the kids. So many simple ones that use household items. My grandchildren love them!

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@rosemarya

Here is something that I read on yesterday's Mayo News Network –
"Even though being stuck at home may seem out of the norm, consider this time together as an opportunity for your family to make good memories."

60+ years ago I was a stay at home mom for our 2 sons. There were no cellphones or the technology like we have available today. So being creative to keep 2 healthy boys busy was a constant.
One thing that my guys loved (and occupied them for hours, and even days) was when I used a bed sheet or a blanket and draped it over a sturdy table or whatever handy/sturdy peice of furniture that was available to make them a tent. They loved their tiny space, and I let them keep the tent up and operational over the course of several days.

Helping kids cope with the COVID-19 pandemic
https://newsnetwork.mayoclinic.org/discussion/helping-kids-cope-with-the-covid-19-pandemic/
PS- a big cardboard box with openings for door and window is a favorite, too.

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@rosemarya

Hi
I did the exact same thing with my large dining room table when we had snowstorms in NY and the kids couldn’t go outside.
Had picnic lunches and naps under there too with sleeping bags. It really occupied my son and daughter.
When my first born daughter was toddler age and we lived in an apartment, I had a large roasting pan in the kitchen and usedto buy boxes of cheap oatmeal to pour into the pan, give her a wooden spoon and cups so she could play with the “sand”. Lasted a few days before I had to throw out and replenish. And it wasn’t a problem if she decided to taste some.

We’re not use to using our imagination anymore….a good lesson for the younger people.

FLMary

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Can someone tell me how to please unsubscribe from this thread…I can't handle all the emails I am receiving I tried to unsubscribe from this thread that is at the bottom of each reply and I have done this 3 times..thank you

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@pizon

Can someone tell me how to please unsubscribe from this thread…I can't handle all the emails I am receiving I tried to unsubscribe from this thread that is at the bottom of each reply and I have done this 3 times..thank you

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Pizon, it sounds as if you are doing the correct thing to unsubscribe from each thread you are getting emails from. When you click on "unsubscribe" in the email notification, does it bring you to a new window where you can select the option to stop receiving emails? If so, make sure you select that option and click update. If you are still having troubles, I suggest using the Contact a Community Moderator form for additional help, https://connect.mayoclinic.org/contact-a-community-moderator/.

Screen Shot 2020-03-19 at 12

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Our son said that he and granddaughter had a successful 1st week. She is in 1st grade, and finished all her assignments, they took a hike, and she got to have phone time in the afternoon.
He said the only crisis is that they ran out of glue sticks on Thursday afternoon.
Mommy starts working from home tomorrow, So that is going to be a big adjustment for all of them.

Parents, How was your 1st week?
@ethanmcconkey, Is your son still playing DUNK?

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@rosemarya

Our son said that he and granddaughter had a successful 1st week. She is in 1st grade, and finished all her assignments, they took a hike, and she got to have phone time in the afternoon.
He said the only crisis is that they ran out of glue sticks on Thursday afternoon.
Mommy starts working from home tomorrow, So that is going to be a big adjustment for all of them.

Parents, How was your 1st week?
@ethanmcconkey, Is your son still playing DUNK?

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I had a video chat with my children this afternoon. My daughter said zoos are doing virtual tours. Dallas zoos is one of them. I'm sure you can use Google to search more. She also said museums are doing the same thing. This should be interesting for all ages.

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Hi. For older kids (age 6 and up) I'd recommend 'Super Sculpy'. It is a resinous clay from Michael's or Hobby Lobby. Can order online. They can make beads or sculpt animals, cars, ornaments, or whatever from it. It is a good time consumer as they will have to sculpt it, bake it on 200 degrees, then paint it. Can Google ideas for things to make with it.

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@windwalker

Hi. For older kids (age 6 and up) I'd recommend 'Super Sculpy'. It is a resinous clay from Michael's or Hobby Lobby. Can order online. They can make beads or sculpt animals, cars, ornaments, or whatever from it. It is a good time consumer as they will have to sculpt it, bake it on 200 degrees, then paint it. Can Google ideas for things to make with it.

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@windwalker Or for the younger ones, there is always PlayDoh or homemade salt clay. My grandson must have played with his for an hour yesterday. I reminded my daughter about how much she and her sister loved their blanket tents – our grandson always wants one at our house. She is going to try it today when he gets bored.
Sue

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Someone posted a video yesterday on Facebook where they made an obstacle course for their kids using pillows, chairs, etc., and with painter's tape to show how to run it. They put arrows on the floor and cushions and so forth, using blue painter's tape. It was really cute and the kid that was running the course in the video seemed to be having a great time. Just one more option for those parents whose kids are starting to get a little stir crazy in the house.

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Another kid idea: Bowl drawings: ea. one chooses topic: charades: movie, animal, cartoon…etc; or a play activity for break; google search for "question of the day? safe to flush kleenex down toilets? or other smiles I have a stash of "stored seeds" will send some easy-to-sprouts like radishes, Swiss Chard, marigolds, zennias…etc

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@rosemarya

Our son said that he and granddaughter had a successful 1st week. She is in 1st grade, and finished all her assignments, they took a hike, and she got to have phone time in the afternoon.
He said the only crisis is that they ran out of glue sticks on Thursday afternoon.
Mommy starts working from home tomorrow, So that is going to be a big adjustment for all of them.

Parents, How was your 1st week?
@ethanmcconkey, Is your son still playing DUNK?

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Hi @rosemarya he is! He wasn't able to focus on it as well this weekend as the previous, but we busted out his new cozy coup from his "Ya-ya" (my wife's mom) and that entertained him for a long time on Sunday. We were able to move things around in the basement so he could ride it around down there since the weather wasn't very good.

I also, love the ideas everyone has been sharing! Would be great to hear from others!

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Today's science lesson was to learn about a habitat and make a drawing. My creative son took the lesson outside as it is in mid 70's here today.
He also informed me that they are chalk bombing the sidewalks in front of neighbors houses!

Timeline

Liked by fiesty76

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