Tools to help families cope with COVID-19 and LOADS of fun activities to include on your Staycation Bucket List
Stress & Uncertainty
During this stressful and uncertain time when the COVID-19 virus is at the forefront of our minds, schools are closed, and anxiety is running high, families are facing a lot of time at home together. Although some may feel grateful for this togetherness time, others may feel overwhelmed with such a long stretch of time stuck in the house and isolated from other people.
Although there are a lot of unknowns and you are likely overwhelmed by the changes to your daily routine, maybe we can all view this time as an opportunity to slow down and focus on the things that matter. More time at home means more time spent with family and maybe more time to just be.
I’ve been self-quarantining for a few days, but I’ve already reconnected with some of the little joys that often go by the wayside when I’m stressed and busy. I read a book for enjoyment, I’ve started crocheting a blanket for my niece, and today I’m baking a loaf of bread. I’m also facetiming with family members a lot more than I normally would. Somehow, being forced to be apart has brought us closer together.
But in the back of all of our minds is everything we’ve read on the news and the new reality we’re all facing.
Talking to Kids About COVID-19
Adults aren’t the only ones feeling overwhelmed. Kids are feeling anxiety as well. They may be getting information about COVID-19 from other kids or hearing bits of conversations between adults, but some of their information is probably incorrect and definitely incomplete. It’s important to give kids a chance to share their worries by spending some time talking about the coronavirus and answering any questions they have.
This PBS article is a great guide for parents about how to talk with kids about coronavirus and provide them with just enough information to calm their fears and offer them some sense of control when everything feels scary. This article discusses how we can help kids feel more in control.
Tips for Sanity
You may be at home with the kids for an uncertain amount of time, but by doing some planning in advance, you can maintain your mental health and ensure your kids are getting what they need as well.
- Maintain structure. Kids should wake up and go to bed as they normally would and have regular meals. Below is an example of sample daily schedule to help you maintain structure during this staycation. This resource can be found at Parenting During COVID-19
- Maintaining Structure for our Sensory Sensitive Kids. The Star Institute has developed a great and simple schedule to help address the specific needs of our sensory kids. Below is a summary of the schedule. Click on the this link for the full download that has great ideas for the red, green and blue activities. Sensory-Balanced-Schedules
- Limit screen time. Being at home all day is a great excuse to sit around watching tv or playing video games, but we should still try to limit ours and our kids’ time in front of devices. Schedule in screen time so kids know when and for how long they can expect it.
- Balance exercise, mental stimulation, outside time, and family time.
- Break Up the Day into chunks like they have in school with time for play in between.
- Minimize News-Watching. While it’s important to know the facts and stay up-to-date about COVID-19, is it helping you to be bombarded with information about the virus? Remind yourself to take breaks from the news and social media and set a limit for how much time you’ll allow yourself to read about it if it’s difficult for you to control.
- Prioritize your Mental Health. Change and uncertainty can lead to stress and anxiety. Give yourself a break by doing some things that bring you joy. Light a candle, take a bath, do some yoga, or call a friend, and most importantly check in with how you’re feeling mentally and emotionally.
A great way to get your staycation started is to make a bucket list of fun things you want to do during this time. Each evening pick out what you want to do the following day.
Need some help thinking of items for your staycation bucket list? Check out these ideas and resources to engage your kids’ minds, bodies, and creativity.
Engage the mind
Here are some educational websites to keep their minds engaged while they are out of school.
- National Geographic Kids
- NASA Kids’ Club
- Splash Learn
- Math Playground
- International Children’s Digital Library
- Magic Keys
- Scholastic Learn At Home
- Have a family dance party
- Try some active games at www.gonoodle.com
- Create an obstacle course with pillows, pool noodles, or anything you have laying around. This website has some awesome ideas for a variety of obstacle courses for all ages.
- Play twister as a family. Don’t have twister? Create your own board!
- Play balloon volleyball
- Bake something new with ingredients you have in your pantry. This website has recipes that are simple enough for kids of all ages.
- Break out some old magazines and create collages or vision boards
- Create a family scrapbook
- Make a family tree and explore your family’s ancestry. This website has some unique family tree craft ideas.
- Flower Printing Have kids find flowers or leaves in the yard and use them to create prints with paint.
- Have a campfire in the backyard
- Set up a tent and camp in the backyard or in your living room
- Plan an outdoor scavenger hunt and have kids find objects. This website has more than 30 printable scavenger hunts which will encourage some outdoor time.
- Do some gardening
- Have a family water balloon fight
Resources for At-Home Fun
- Go Noodle has great videos to get your kids moving. There are dance and yoga videos, mindfulness exercises, and active games to keep kids engaged.
- Common Sense Media has countless educational apps, games, and websites for all age groups.
- Cosmic Kids Yoga has yoga, mindfulness, and relaxation videos for kids.
- Parents has tons of creative crafting ideas.
- Virtual Field Trips Take your kids on a field trip without leaving the house.
- Virtual Museum Tours You can see some amazing exhibits from the comfort of your couch.
Take some time for self-care
It’s important to keep kids active and engaged while they’re not in school but you and your mental health are just as important. Take this time to focus on your mental, physical, and emotional health. Here’s some stuff just for you.
- Plan Your Self-Care Strategy. This website has some awesome checklists and templates to help.
- Work out at home! Best At-Home Workouts
- See a therapist without leaving the house! At BPC, we are now offering Telehealth Video Therapy. Stay tuned for more information about this new service.
At BPC, we are staying up to do date with the latest on COVID-19 and will keep providing resources and support for our community. Please continue to check our website for more updated information. If you would like to speak with us feel free to Contact us to set up a free 20 minute phone consultation.