Author Topic: Activities to Keep Ourselves and Our Children Sane During Self Isolation  (Read 2288 times)

dcozad999

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To preface, I've suffered from Generalized Anxiety Disorder my entire life. I had been doing quite well until the last few weeks.
And after 3 days without leaving the home (I have gone outside), I'm already starting to go nuts. I also need to find a way to keep my 8 year-old occupied . He's pretty good at entertaining himself, but I'm sure he'll hit a wall as well.

I do have a decent workout area/home gym, so I'm getting a daily dose of exercise. I even doubled up yesterday

I thought maybe we could all chime in with activities we can do to chase the boredom and anxiety away.
Here's some obvious ones:

1. Take a walk
2. Go on a hike
3. Exercise to a workout video
4. Shoot hoops in the driveway
5. Read a book
6. Watch a movie/show
7. Play Board games/Video games
8. Teach my 2nd grade son his times tables

Psychstache

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Check out busy toddler mom on Instagram she has lots of cool stuff.

Sibley

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There's all the boring stuff too. Spring cleaning, bulk cooking, organizing, decluttering.

My teacher friends are posting all sorts of free stuff for kids online. A lot of the sites they use are adding free registrations, etc. So check social media, and specifically contact your child's teacher. Some of that is intended to be fun too. But a routine is good for kids.

GoCubsGo

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W bought my son canvas's and art supplies.  He been doing Bob Ross tutorials.  This is a kid who plays 3 different sports and wakes up to lift at 5:45 am every weekday. He's always at some practice or game.  It's nice to see him try something new other than sports and video games.

My wife and daughter are trying new recipes.

keepingfocus

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Make a pinball machine out of cardboard - there are a few resources on YouTube and Pinterest.

gatortator

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are you involved with scouts?  There are lots of fun activity ideas within these to keep kids occupied.

Girl Scouts brownie (2-3 grade)

https://www.girlscouts.org/en/our-program/grade-levels/what-brownies-do.html

Cub Scout Wolf (2nd grade)

https://www.scoutbook.com/mobile/references/cub-scouting/ranks/wolf/adventures/

Cub Scout Bear (3rd grade)

https://www.scoutbook.com/mobile/references/cub-scouting/ranks/bear/adventures/


Edited:  just re-read and saw your 8 yr old is in 2nd grade.  For this,  our favorites were Digging in the Past and Motors Away, and Running with the Pack.

Digging in the past 
Complete the following Requirements.
1.    Play a game that demonstrates your knowledge of dinosaurs, such as a dinosaur match game.
2.    Create an imaginary dinosaur. Share with your den its name, what it eats, and where it lives.
3.    Complete one of the following:
(a)    Make a fossil cast.
(b)    Make a dinosaur dig. Be a paleontologist, and dig through a dinosaur dig made by another member of your den. Show and explain the ways a paleontologist works carefully during a dig.
4.    Make edible fossil layers. Explain how this snack is a good model for the formation of fossils.


great resources available from the Indianapolis Children's Museum
https://www.childrensmuseum.org/sites/default/files/Documents/Educators/K-2_Dinoshpere_UOS.pdf

Motors Away
Complete the following requirements:
1.    Do each of the following.
(a)    Create and fly three different types of paper airplanes. Before launching them, record which one you believe will travel the farthest and what property of the plane leads you to make that prediction.
(b)    Make a paper airplane catapult. Before launching a plane, record how far you believe it will travel and explain what information you used to make this prediction. After you make your prediction, launch the plane and measure how far it flies.
2.    Make two different model boats and sail them. Choose different shapes for your boats.
3.    Create a model car that moves under its own power.


Google  "cub scout wolf motors away".  There are MANY pinterest and blogs devoted to this.

Running with the Pack
Complete each of the following Requirements.
1.    Play catch with someone in your den or family who is standing 5 steps away from you. Play until you can throw and catch successfully at this distance. Take a step back and see if you can improve your throwing and catching skills.
2.    Practice balancing as you walk forward, backward, and sideways.
3.    Practice flexibility and balance by doing a front roll, a back roll, and a frog stand.
4.    Play a sport or game with your den or family, and show good sportsmanship.
5.    Do at least two of the following: frog leap, inchworm walk, kangaroo hop, or crab walk.
6.    Demonstrate what it means to eat a balanced diet by helping to plan a healthy menu for a meal for your den or family. Make a shopping list of the food used to prepare the meal.


Use a 2x4 as the balance beam and other objects around the house to create an obstacle course.  Cook together.  again pinterest has MANY ideas.
« Last Edit: March 17, 2020, 12:07:46 PM by gatortator »

mm1970

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To preface, I've suffered from Generalized Anxiety Disorder my entire life. I had been doing quite well until the last few weeks.
And after 3 days without leaving the home (I have gone outside), I'm already starting to go nuts. I also need to find a way to keep my 8 year-old occupied . He's pretty good at entertaining himself, but I'm sure he'll hit a wall as well.

I do have a decent workout area/home gym, so I'm getting a daily dose of exercise. I even doubled up yesterday

I thought maybe we could all chime in with activities we can do to chase the boredom and anxiety away.
Here's some obvious ones:

1. Take a walk
2. Go on a hike
3. Exercise to a workout video
4. Shoot hoops in the driveway
5. Read a book
6. Watch a movie/show
7. Play Board games/Video games
8. Teach my 2nd grade son his times tables
We are doing all of these plus
- jigsaw puzzles
- art/ coloring/drawing/ writing
- math and English worksheets (for the 2nd grader)
- learning programming (that's the husband teaching the 14 year old)
- make forts with blankets
- two square/ four square
- cooking/ baking
- spring cleaning/ organizing

(sorry, it's been raining non-stop, so a lot of indoor stuff.  I think the rain is done now until later in the week, yay!)

Schaefer Light

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These are all good ideas.  The problem is that there's nothing you can do that will alleviate the loneliness that comes from this level of social isolation.  Even though I'm a very introverted and independent person, I've gotta' admit that this is a tough time to be single and living alone.  It's not easy to be alone all day and all night (and all weekend) with no opportunities to be in close contact with other people.

MoolahLula

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I really feel for the parents of cooped up kiddos right now.  I do not envy you.  If you have crayons, markers, or colored pencils and a printer handy you can print a large variety of coloring pages from the internet.  If you have yarn handy you could YouTube some knitting or crochet tutorials.  There are YouTube tutorials for all kinds of things:  you guys could learn the foxtrot, waltz, knitting, the ABCs in Russian or Spanish.  The libraries also seem to be broadcasting a lot of kidsí reading alouds and linking to other interesting sites on social media.

wellactually

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I work in public arts and communication. I've attached the non-local resources I put together. These are arts heavy and screen heavy, but plenty of other stuff on there too.

I'd also add that I've heard great things about cosmic kids yoga on youtube.

Good luck!



gatortator

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today we made pony bead crafts.  the kids loved it and worked on them for over 4 hrs.

example--
https://www.thesprucecrafts.com/beaded-gecko-lizard-keychain-4145338
« Last Edit: March 27, 2020, 06:45:08 PM by gatortator »

seemsright

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I am at my wits end. My routine has been turned upside down. This weekend will be a Christmas movie marathon complete with a 'fake turkey' aka a roasted chicken because that is what it could find dinner.

At this point I have no idea how I will get through this sane.

Poundwise

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We have been organizing Zoom conferences between my younger children and their friends. My kindergartner did a "Mystery Reader" activity with a friend, whereby we called them via Zoom and read her friend a story, and her friend read us a story.

We've also been cutting and sewing a lot of cloth masks.

lhamo

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Grow stuff!  I got a big order of seeds from a local supplier that focuses on open pollination stuff (so I can share seeds later from what I grow).  There are also several articles floating around the internet about how to grow various plants from things you would otherwise throw away -- I have an avacado seed rooting now, along with some green onions  and bok choy I am resprouting in water. I also have basil I started from seed last fall, some cilantro sprouts I started from seed a few weeks ago, rosemary growing from clippings I took last fall, and a couple of houseplants.  Oh and outside I have some bay laurel cuttings rooting to add to my food forest.

NV Teacher

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A few ideas.

Learn/practice cursive writing
Master math facts appropriate for the age
Learn magic tricks with a deck of cards
Coding activities
Start learning basic words or phrases in a new language
Keyboarding skills
Take turns doing read alouds
Put on a readerís theater with simple costumes
Take a favorite book and rewrite it as a play or skit
Pull random ingredients out of the pantry and make a meal
Put together a scavenger hunt
Pick something (a country, an animal, an occupation) and do a research project
Have some quiet time every day
Take turns setting the schedule for the day
Make sock puppets or stick puppets and act out a story
If itís warm enough set up a tent and camp in the back yard

MoolahLula

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I forgot to mention DuoLingo.  Iím refreshing my Spanish with it.  Iím not sure what ages itís geared to but from what I see itís simple enough for an 8 year old.  Itís also harder to worry when youíre trying to learn something, in my experience.  Good luck!

gatortator

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in honor of 5/4,  we did cosmic kids Star Wars yoga.

don't. know how accurate our poses were(and it doesn't really matter) but it was a lot a fun and we laughed a lot

https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=BEPxPkQY6V8

Freedom2016

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Don't mean to hijack this thread, but am just wondering if there are other introvert parents reading this thread who - besides looking for creative ideas to keep kids busy - are losing their fucking minds like me?

It didn't really register with me until the last few days how two months of having NO MEANINGFUL, UNINTERRUPTED TIME to recharge my batteries has caused me to completely waste away on the inside. I hit a wall on Friday and had a complete parenting fail day, to the point that I had to apologize to my kids for how impatiently and angrily I behaved.

I don't think I fully realized how much alone time I got (and actually need) pre-COVID, to re-center myself, to get my work done (my work is white collar *thinking* work and I can't think worth shit these days), to fill the tank back up to re-enter the world of our two kids (ages 8 and 5). Two kids who bicker seemingly constantly, and/or are unable to go more than 15 minutes without needing to show me something, and/or complain about what's for dinner, and/or whine that we told them to clean up their mess, and/or fight against doing their online schoolwork, and/or express righteous indignation that their sibling got to pick the first bedtime book two nights in a row.

I get that some/a lot of that is my kids' anxiety about coronavirus, it's just that I have nothing left to respond to them compassionately.

DH and I will be working on solutions and experiments in the coming week to help me get to a better place, but man. It just hit me today that I can count on two hands the number of times in the last 60 days that I've had 15 minutes to myself without my kids "needing" me.

chemistk

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Don't mean to hijack this thread, but am just wondering if there are other introvert parents reading this thread who - besides looking for creative ideas to keep kids busy - are losing their fucking minds like me?

It didn't really register with me until the last few days how two months of having NO MEANINGFUL, UNINTERRUPTED TIME to recharge my batteries has caused me to completely waste away on the inside. I hit a wall on Friday and had a complete parenting fail day, to the point that I had to apologize to my kids for how impatiently and angrily I behaved.

I don't think I fully realized how much alone time I got (and actually need) pre-COVID, to re-center myself, to get my work done (my work is white collar *thinking* work and I can't think worth shit these days), to fill the tank back up to re-enter the world of our two kids (ages 8 and 5). Two kids who bicker seemingly constantly, and/or are unable to go more than 15 minutes without needing to show me something, and/or complain about what's for dinner, and/or whine that we told them to clean up their mess, and/or fight against doing their online schoolwork, and/or express righteous indignation that their sibling got to pick the first bedtime book two nights in a row.

I get that some/a lot of that is my kids' anxiety about coronavirus, it's just that I have nothing left to respond to them compassionately.

DH and I will be working on solutions and experiments in the coming week to help me get to a better place, but man. It just hit me today that I can count on two hands the number of times in the last 60 days that I've had 15 minutes to myself without my kids "needing" me.

You are 1000% not alone.

We have 3 kids - 5, 2.75, and 6mos (all boys).

We're losing our damn minds.

We ran out of meaningful activities weeks ago and the older two are really too young to entertain themselves for more than maybe 30 minutes at a time before needing intervention or assistance of some kind. Toss in a baby whose priorities and needs seem to be changing daily and you've got our life.

I do not wish our home life right now on our worst enemies. We, like you, get very little time to ourselves. And we get zero time as a couple these days.

I'll admit here and now that screen time is shoring up what little sanity we have. I'll choose "Mickey Mouse Clubhouse" and "Odd Squad" over unreasonable screaming and fighting between the boys 11/10 times.

Oh and our 5 year old's favorite hobby is extracting his baby brother from wherever he is and carrying him around the house/playing with him. We've had at least a dozen near misses with drops and falls.


Freedom2016

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Thank you for responding - amazing how much it helps to know we're not alone in this. You have it worse than us, so my heart goes out to you! Is there anything that seems to help you manage it all?

DH and I are not quite on the same page about screen time (he wants to limit it more than I do) but our Monday experiment so far is working for me:

--We messaged to the kids that when one parent is on duty, the other needs to be left alone. Full stop. 
--I was on duty for a 3-hr chunk of time this morning, with the pre-arrangement that we swap at noon and I get 4 glorious hours to myself. I was in a much more calm place this morning just knowing that I would get alone time today.
--I was in a good enough place to keep playing w/ the 5yo (we were putting together a Lego kit and it was pretty fun) for almost an hour after it was my turn to be off duty.
--After handing off to DH, I am now holed up in the bedroom, with two closed doors and a floor between me and the kids. And I have hours ahead of me to just do...whatever. Catch up on the news, send a few work emails, maybe finish painting the kids' adirondack furniture that I've been refinishing for the past couple of weeks...or just zone out. I'm psyched!

gatortator

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how many of the blanket fort styles has your family built this quarantine? Cave has absolutely been the most popular in our house.

https://mymodernmet.com/ikea-blanket-forts/