My entire crew and I are settling into hibernation as the “new normal”. My toddlers have been adjusting to it all surprisingly well perhaps because my husband has also been working from home. Or maybe, it is because we have been having a TON of silly, family fun! 😝 Here are some of the activities that we are enjoying during “hibernation” aka quarantine:
Build a cardboard house/igloo: Nothing says world of fun like an old moving box converted into a play fort. Put on your creative hat and design a basic structure using old cardboard and packing tape. It doesn’t have to be gorgeous–just structurally sound (Note: Add extra tape for little boys! Trust a woman who knows 😉 )
The Basket Shuttle Dash: Amy (the personal trainer behind BodyFit by Amy) first published this game on her Instagram feed. Since learning of it, my crew has enjoyed playing it as a family for a little burst of indoor cardio fun. Each time that we play, we do about three or four rounds (about 30 minutes) and laugh the entire time. Mix up your routes, add additional toys, and play a little light defense as ways to enhance your play experience each round. However, do not knock this seemingly simple game until you try it! Click the link for the “instructional” video: Basket game instructions
Puppet show with sock puppets: We had a blast on “Give a Moose a Muffin” Day. We baked muffins for breakfast, read the book together, and then, enacted our own sock puppet shows just like the crazy moose in the story. This was our first foray into sock puppets and puppet shows, but my three-year-old loved it! After a couple rounds of mama-led puppet stories, she began to create her own. All you need is some creative scenery for a backdrop (like our crayon drawings below on the cardboard) and some old socks (we just put regular socks on our hands to expedite the fun–if you know what I mean). Give your puppets a couple of fun locations to play at–like a forest, a city, and a house. Then, let the fun begin!
Wheels on the Bus: What toddler doesn’t love driving a good bus/truck/van? Grab the dining room chairs (and high chairs, if applicable) and arrange them into a 3 rows–one seat in front for the driver and two rows of seating behind the driver. Now that you have your vehicle, it is time to get the wheels on the bus rolling. Sing the “Wheels on the Bus” song, dance along in your seats, have all of the passengers swap seats, pickup/drop-off passengers (or stuffed animals), and just have a great time role playing on this toddler “party bus”.
Rock Band: My kiddos love to sing songs on and off all day long. So silly! However, they get extra excited for formal music making time. First, we sit down together with whatever instruments we can find (tambourines, maracas, oatmeal canisters, plastic eggs filled with beads/beans/rice–basically anything that can make noise to a beat). Second, we catch the basic beat, shaking our instruments to a basic “one, two, three, four” count. Lastly, once we all know how to shake on beat, we start covering our favorite nursery songs and songs from church. Our little band can rock hard for at least 20 minutes before maracas start to fly.
Advanced Childhood Games: One of our favorite mama chefs, Catherine McCord of Weelicious, published a fun list of activities to do with your kiddos indoors. Some of her ideas are a little advanced for toddlers, but could be adapted based on your crew’s needs–like the classic “lava floor”.
Emergency outing 2: Sometimes toddlers have too many pent up wiggles. You know that moment where they have crazy eyes and are actively trying to destroy your house? If that occurs, take a scenic drive in the car (to avoid the crowded parks). Give every one his/her personal space and enjoy the time staring at the moving scenery. After a couple days locked in the house, even Mama & Papa will cherish such a roll.
- Take it slow! There is no need to rush you or them. Sip your coffee/tea. Enjoy a couple rambling toddler stories. You are on lockdown 🙂
- Don’t stress about constantly cleaning up. The toys will occasionally look like a mess. Clean them up before naps, leaving a room, and/or before bedtime.
- Take care of yourself too! Take a little time for a cup of tea, a nighttime face mask and/or a little treat for yourself. You will need to recharge in order to continue pouring out love and snuggles (not grow resentment and exhaustion).
- When your crew looks a little weary, mix things up with a special activity/meal/dessert. Quarantine is hard on EVERYONE–big & small!
- Treasure up these extra snuggles in your heart. Quarantine and pestilence can be a blessing from God if you change your perspective.
How are you & your crew riding out the virus? Share your thoughts and ideas down below in the comments!