Let’s start this article with one fact:
With the recent “situation” the entire world is facing, we are bound to stay home for the sake of our safety, and the safety of our loved ones. If you are someone who has a tiny kid hovering around in their household, this article is written with the pure intention of easing your anxiety a teeny tiny bit. If you are a young mommy overwhelmed by house chores, not knowing what to do with the little creature attached to your leg, this article is written to tell you: you’re not alone, and let’s try to fix this together.
I’m not going to try to romanticize the situation here. What I’m going to do is to try to give you some tips that have worked for me. I’m not going to lie: I have never used all of these tips in one day because if I did, it would be a perfect day, and that perfect day only exists in our imagination!
- Wake up before your kids
The day I wake my son up, I lead the day. The day my son wakes me up, he leads the day!
If you wake up just one hour before your kids; you will have the time to pray, have a decent breakfast with a nice cup of hot coffee, work out for 10 minutes, maybe have a quick shower to freshen up, but most importantly: write down your day’s tasks, what you want to do, what you need to do, how you want your day to go.
2. Block your time
The time blocking technique is based on giving a certain number of hours to certain activities. Once the time block is over, you move on to a new activity.
I know this might seem too perfect, but Parkinson’s law of time management states that “work expands so as to fill the time available for its completion”. If you think about it, it’s true, if you leave yourself unmonitored you might spend the whole day in the kitchen with the kids watching TV. But, when you say I’ll get this done in 30 minutes, you most probably will.
3. Water playtime
With the Coronavirus on the rise, we are advised to wash our hands frequently and have our kids wash their hands frequently. There’s no better way to do that than to let your kids play with water a bit. You can have your kids stand by the sink on a stool, or if you have a balcony/ garden, you can have them sit on a mat. Give them multiple containers and a limited amount of water and soap. They can pour water from one container to the other, practice washing their hands, and also washing their toys.
4. Plan your kids’ activity time
My plan might be to revise some letters, numbers, colors or shapes.
My options would include:
- Playing with cars.
- Playing with animals.
- Playing with bricks.
- Coloring using crayons.
- Coloring using water colors.
- Playing with dough
Every day, at our activities time, I lay out my options and my son gets to choose.
If he chooses coloring, for example, I am focused on teaching him everything about what he’ll be coloring.
An elephant is Blue.
E is for Elephant
B is for Blue
An elephant has a long trunk, 2 big ears, and walks on 4 legs.
This way, he does what he wants to do, but still learns along the way. If you want more ideas, you can Google or Pinterest a zillion activities. But trust me, there’s nothing better than using what you already have.
5. Have your kids participate in your daily house chores
When I’m doing laundry, I let my son (who is 2 years old) separate white from colored clothes - which is also a great way to teach him colors. Then, I let him place them in the washing machine.
If I’m cooking it gets tricky, he can’t really help with cooking. But, I keep my plastics in a lower cupboard, and I open it during cooking time. He immediately starts playing with all the plastic bowls. Again, it’s a great way to teach him colors and sizes. If you have older kids, it might be easier as they can actually hand you stuff, or clean up while you’re cooking.
Remember that the goal is to keep your kids busy, away from electronics all while teaching them responsibility. The goal is not to actually clean or do laundry. We’re talking toddler level here!
Also, don’t forget to thank your kids, and praise them for their role in the household ;)
6. Take your toddler out for a walk.
We need it, and our kids need it. It can be just around your house, as long as you keep your distance from people on the street, sanitize, and take all the precautions advised by the WHO.
If you live in a very crowded area and this can’t be done, at least dedicate some time for an activity in the balcony during sunlight hours. Worst case scenario, open the windows, let the sun in, and let the kids feel the outdoor breeze early in the morning. If the kids feel trapped and imprisoned; we’ll be saving their physical health, but taking a risk on their mental health. And this is the last thing we need!
What about you? What are your precautions against Coronavirus? How do you keep the toddlers at your household busy? Do you have any tips that you would like to share with us? Tell us all about it in the comments