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Clever, DIY ways to keep kids occupied while staying at home

While my colleague Justin Barney is loving this time at home – catching up on movies and music – I am struggling! As an extrovert and a single mom of two kids (ages 3 and 6), I find that each day of this isolation is challenging for me.

I’ve rearranged my home to make room for my “office.” I’ve swept and vacuumed and reswept and revacuumed. I’ve disinfected. I even online grocery shopped for the first time – and forgot a bunch of stuff, of course.

Add work on top of every day life? I’ve researched new virtual meeting platforms to accommodate physical distancing. I’ve seen more of my face on my computer screen than I would ever have liked. I’ve had to get used to emailing instead of walking across the office to talk to my coworkers.

Add kids on top of that? I feel like we’ve done a bit of everything, art projects, scooter-ing in the house, baking, painting in the bathtub, movie nights, sleepovers on the floor, reading, etc., etc., etc. I think I’ve made more hot cocoa this past week and half than I have in my entire life.

Between our daily tussles to put actual outfits and to brush Penny’s hair and to eat meals at semi-regular times, I find it difficult to keep in mind that this isolation is hard for them too. Penny and Dashiell can’t go out and play with our next-door neighbors, so we’ve resorted to changing up our window art displays so they can look at our new projects when they go outside (we have mermaids, flowers, and a cast of characters in our windows now, they have dinosaurs). We’ve spent a lot of time on FaceTime with Dashiell’s friend from school and my parents – Mimsy and Grummin (watching my parents deal with this technology is absolutely hilarious). And they’ve probably had more time with their tablets than recommended.

I’ve resorted to virtual happy hours with my friends, riding my new exercise bike daily, daydreaming about living in Wales because of a show I’m watching, but then realizing I would butcher the pronunciation of every person and place.

Balancing my kids’ needs, my needs, work, and daily household tasks is a work in progress, but I’m doing my best to remember, and not always so gracefully, that this is new territory for everyone. I am continually trying to figure out ways to engage my kids in projects so I can have extended moments of concentration. So, if you’re looking for ways to distract your littles, here is a “recipe” book of doughs, paints and projects!

Download this recipe book

Membership Manager | Radio Milwaukee