If you had asked me last year how I would feel trapped in my home with only my family for a month I would have rejoiced. Honestly, the first couple weeks did feel like a nice break. But guys, we are going on 30 days. 30 days with a one year old cooped up. 30 days alone for an extreme extrovert. 30 days of creative quarantine meals, projects, and crafts.
1. Rotate Your Toys
Do you normally have a toy rotation? Rotate them early and rotate them often. If you don't have a toy rotation consider creating one. Just split your kids toys and pack some away for a couple weeks or a month. Our rotation boxes currently each have a stuffed or plush toy, an imagination toy, a fine motor toy, a music or "noisy" toy, some cars, and a couple books. I've seen other great toy rotations be themed by color, season, holiday, or topic. No matter how you create your rotation the goal is to keep your kid busy and keep them interested in their toys. Old toys will feel new when they haven't been played with in a while. PanBam currently has some fun new toys too if you're looking to spruce up your toy box.
2. Play Games Outside
Playgrounds are generally off limits, but your own yard should still be fair game. You can introduce your kids to some of your favorite outside games from your childhood like tag, hide and seek, don't touch gravel, or old-fashioned marco polo. My son's favorite game lately has been to throw sticks and rocks down grates and the openings in manholes. Running around in the fresh air will get pent up energy out of the kids and calm our anxiety as parents.
3. Include Your Kiddo in Your Daily Chores
It will absolutely slow you down, but most of us have an abundance of time right now anyways. It keeps them preoccupied, helps you work through your to-do list, and as a bonus it teaches your kiddo how to do chores. My son is 15 months old and he LOVES helping vacuum, switch laundry, unload the dishwasher, mix and bake bread, water the garden, and feed the puppies. Some chores make a bigger mess - I'm looking at baking and gardening especially - but the giggles and fun that come out of including our kids makes it worth it.
4. Make Springtime Traditions
I am all about traditions, but they tend to be the first thing I toss when I'm feeling stressed. With Spring starting and Easter right around the corner I've tried to focus on keeping some traditions around. Some are seasonal like decorating eggs, making Easter cookies, planting our garden, or doing an egg hunt. A lot of our other traditions revolve around food. Tuesday is always taco or fiesta Tuesday, Thursday is always soup day, and Friday is almost always tailgate food and a movie. I also try to do big family breakfasts on Saturdays and holidays. Traditions are something exciting to create, but more importantly in times like this they maintain a sense of normalcy which is huge for both our kiddos AND us.
5. Self Care
The other day I put my kiddo to bed and told my husband that I needed some quiet alone time. I read a book for about 20 minutes before taking a nap. It was the best I'd felt in weeks. Self care is all about allowing yourself to reset. It doesn't need to be long, elaborate, or expensive. For some people it may be a quiet cup of coffee, a nice bath, a walk outside alone, a home facial.... the list really is limitless and varies for each person. PanBam offers a TON of great self care items ranging from facial scrubs to bath bombs. I'm personally waiting for a Swanky Sweet Pea bath bomb to arrive.