Happy Friday my loves! It’s now week 2 of our quarantine, week 2 of no school, so needless to say we’re going a little stir-crazy over here! With schools and daycares across the state closed due to the pandemic, these past couple weeks have definitely been a challenge to navigate through this new and uncertain time. As much as I’m grateful for all this quality time with my family, it’s been challenging to figure out a work-from-home routine while taking care of Ále and finding new ways to keep her entertained at home everyday. But what keeps me sane is knowing that we’re not alone and many parents are facing the same situation. Today I wanted to share some of the activities we’ve been doing at home to keep Ále entertained, plus a few of our favorite online exercises and yoga videos that I showed on stories the other day. And most importantly, I wanted to remind you guys that in this uncertain world that we’re living in, family and creating fun memories together is the most important thing.
How are my mama’s out there coping with the lockdown? Would LOVE to hear your suggestions too! Leave me a comment below and add to this list!
1. Kids Yoga/Exercise
One of Ále’s favorite activities is her Cosmic Kids Yoga sessions! She always gets so excited to do her morning stretches and yoga poses before breakfast! Cosmic Kids Yoga is an online yoga and mindfulness program for kids. What I love about it is that the founder Jamie makes each video fun and engaging through storytelling and animations! It’s always such a great family activity and helps us stay active together. As some of you may know, Ále is very active and has a lot of energy so being able to watch her attend to 15 minutes of focused yoga everyday is amazing. I’ve also been streaming the meditation classes to mellow her down before bedtime and highly recommend it for any parent!
Whether your kids are 3 or 7 years old, videos are sorted by age and activity level so you can choose easy beginner-level videos for younger kids and more challenging videos for older kids. What’s great is that you can always stream these videos for free on Youtube. And if you want to become a regular, they have an app that you can subscribe to for just $10 per month.
2. Build a Fort
Forts were usually our rainy day entertainment, and now they’ve become apart of our quarantine routine ha! What’s great about building forts (minus the mess) is that it can keep your kids entertained for hours! To get started all you need is a couple blankets, couch pillows, and all the fluffy pillows you can find. You can even make it more like an adventure and snuggle up with your kids and read them a few bedtime stories too! Ale loves her forts because it makes her feel like it’s a space just for her.
3. Keep In Contact
Stay CONNECTED! Let your kids stay in touch with their school friends and family members during this time. Social interaction is so important to maintain right now! There are tons of video chat services these days like Zoom, Skype, Google Hangouts, FaceTime, etc. Facebook’s Portal is still our favorite way to stay in touch with our family and friends that are spread across the country. We use it in our kitchen during breakfast or connect it to our TV when we’re in the living room.
4. Bring Out Some Board Games
Bring out some of your favorite board games! We’ve been teaching Ále how to play Jenga! Next up, Colorama and Candy Land! And if you want to move your game session outside, tic-tac-toe and hopscotch are always two super easy, DIY options you can do in your backyard or driveway.
5. Play Restaurant
If there’s one thing Ále can’t get enough of it’s her Milton & Goose Play Kitchen set. She loves grocery shopping, cooking, making tea, and even tidying up after she’s done! Having a pretend play-kitchen in your home is great because it will make your little ones feel like they’re adults! Play kitchens are always a win win because you can come up with a new scenario for everyday to keep them happily engaged and discovering new things. For example, you can make a different menu everyday and have them make you 3-course meals. You can also label little baskets to put into the refrigerator and have your kid organize the contents and shelves. We have our play kitchen alongside one of our living room walls so it’s convenient to have her play while I get some work done on the couch! After she “cooks” her food, she brings it to me and once I take pretend to take a bite, she heads right back to make something else! For kitchen props, I like this wooden food set and tea set.
6. Set Up A Crafts Area
Set up a little crafting area in your home and create a little workshop for your kids! Bring out the play-doh, crayons, coloring books, and sticker books! Let them use their imaginations and get creative! Providing your kids with a selection of fresh art supplies can spark creativity and keep them occupied for long stretches of time so you can squeeze in some work or self-care. If you don’t have many arts and crafts at home, you can always bring out paper plates to make masks and animals, sock puppets, or make airplanes/boats/music instruments out of boxes (as long as their sanitized). For older kids, vision boards can be a great activity that will also keep them inspired and motivated for better days ahead.
7. Have an Outdoor or Indoor Picnic
It’s so important to get your kids up and moving everyday. If you live in a warmer climate, backyard picnics are also a great way to get some fresh air and Vitamin D during this time. Create a nice little spread by wrapping up some mini sandwiches, fruits, and snacks. Bring out a blanket with some pillows and enjoy some sun! I like to also bring out a portable speaker, some bubbles, board games, and sidewalk chalk to keep her entertained. If the weather isn’t in your favor, switch things up by spreading a blanket on your living room floor and doing a little family picnic, indoor style.
Here are a few kid-friendly picnic food ideas for kids of all ages:
– Mini Quesadillas with your little one’s favorite protein, cheese, and veggies
– Fun-sized tea sandwiches
– Fresh fruits like apples, bananas, watermelon etc.
– Peanut butter banana caterpillars
– Pizza toast
8. Dance Parties!
For those of you who follow me on IG, you know how much the Santiago’s love a good dance party (see here and here)! Now that we get to spend mornings at home, we’ve been starting out our days with a little song and dance class! Ále loves anything Lion King or Frozen and we’ve been teaching her how to salsa too!
9. Create a Scavenger Hunt
Create a fun scavenger hunt for your kids! Whether you have one child, two or three, it’s a fun and easy way to liven things up. Plus, you can pretty much turn anything into a scavenger hunt. Of course a scavenger hunt for a 3 year old versus a 10 year old will be different, but it all starts with a clue and ends with a prize. And with Easter coming up in just a few short weeks, you can start a little early and do an Easter egg hunt!
Would LOVE to hear what other fun activity ideas you guys have! Leave me a comment below!