Thank G-d that's over!!!! #OrIsIt?
We can all look back at our quarantine months and shudder. There was a bit of panic, emergency mode, dishes and messes everywhere, and a bit of a scary groundhog day over and over. We’re beginning to catch our breath, even though it's not over.
Not to sound like a Rabbi on Yom Kippur, but have you asked yourself what good the shutdown brought you? Many ask, “what is the silver lining of the pandemic”, some say, “it’s terrible, there is none! Nothing good came from it”. Our Country spent trillions, many people died, we were stuck in our homes, and fear and anxiety was and is at its highest. We can easily list the disasters it caused, but have you truly stopped and thought what positivity it brought to you and your family? This is a classic question to ask yourself after a challenge, but there really was a shift for the positive for everyone.
I recently went through a divorce. My biggest worry was not seeing my kids full time. I moved out in February, set up my apartment and before I had a chance to fall into any sort of depression, school was shut down. Literally like clockwork, we adopted a dog March 1st, and the rest is quarantine history. The kids I now had to share 50/50, got to be home all day with me, on my days. I felt like I won the lottery, and G-d understood I needed this. We all got closer, we all learned about each other more, and even though we were on each other's toes, it always ended in laughter or a joke.
Activities are not fully opened yet, and we may be out of ideas on how to entertain our children. Maybe like me, you learned that there was too much TV going on in your home and you needed to unplug a bit for some creativity and hands-on experiences. I searched and brainstormed ideas on how to entertain my kids and keep them unplugged, as much as I could even if some days my goal was an hour.
My 2 favorite quarantine activities were planting and our photo contests.
I grew up in CT, and every Spring, we spent time planting with my father. I remember each step and how much care and effort it took. As the plants grew, I looked forward each morning with such excitement to see the progress, as if the tomato plants were growing toys for me. I wanted a bit of that with my family. My kids each got a planter, soil, and chose 5 vegetables or flowers. All through quarantine we watered and watched it grow, and by July, we had “tomatoes of our labor”!Another fun activity, my teenager inspired this idea. It seems like disposable cameras are back again. First polaroids were cool again, but now the kids think the cameras of my childhood are the coolest thing. My daughter keeps one in her car. So I bought each of my kids cameras. They were able to take 5 photos a day. Some days they built tents to photograph, some days they dressed up. Some days they wanted photoshoots of themselves and our dog, and some days I gave them things to find outside. The outdoor photo opp hunts were the best and kept them outside the longest. We then printed the photos and they made scrapbooks and worked on a page a day. We have the cutest quarantine memories and keepsakes.
The hardest to keep busy was my very active 9-year-old. He wants to be busy all the time and was crushed to hear that after waiting for years, he wouldn’t have a football league. We had to be creative with him and sports. We set up our laundry basket, put weights at the bottom, and made it a makeshift hoop. He kept begging me for a rope ladder, I had no idea what it was and I finally caved. A ladder is a rope course to practice your speed in lifting your legs. I found this great activity set for working out/football drills. We brought it outdoors some days or made obstacle courses around the kitchen. My youngest daughter also loved it too, and on days that I couldn't find 30 minutes to work out, I’d join them too!
I put together an amazon list of small activities for children, and hopefully teens if you can figure out their motivation. You must have a look!
- plant and gardening sets (indoor or outdoor).
- disposable cameras and scrapbooks
- some good 90s activities
- bracelet making is a basic one, but even my teen and her friends made each other cool ones with the “pony” beads on my list.
Enjoy! And a blessing to turn this “Covid activity list” to a simple “rainy day activity list”.