5 Simple Activities to do with kids during a Pandemic

Let’s face it. Everything these days consists of “in a Pandemic?” so why would kids activities be any different? You’re doing what in a Pandemic? That’s the question many ask and many answer “nothing” or staying safe at home.

That’s all fine and well however the days are still passing and if you have little ones, they may not understand why they can’t do their normal fun fall activities.

Here are some ideas to get the feel of Fall, but still keep simple and safe as needed.

Image: Just For Moms

1. Paint a pumpkin. Part of the fun is Pumpkin picking, but if you’re not ready to go out to public spaces just yet, pick a few up during your next grocery shopping trip, and some dollar store paint sets and you’re just about ready to get down to business. It’s much easier than carving, and much safer for little helpers.

Tip: Start with an idea from googling “pumkin painting” or use a favorite character photo. Draw the image onto the pumpkin with a pencil before committing with the paint.

2. Pick flowers and make plant baskets. By now your lovely outdoor garden is probably starting to whither. At least here in New Jersey we’ve gotten a slight frost or 2 and temperatures are sure to drop quickly. Instead of watching the flowers die or waiting to rip out a woody stick skelton version of your coleus plant, try picking the flowers and displaying their last bit of life in a vase indoors or pruning and potting your plants for inside or as front door decor.

Tip: Little hands cannot wait to pick flowers and any excuse to do so with consent is sure to be taken on with enjoyment. Identify the smells, textures and even the colors to make it extra fun! Hey, maybe you’ll wind up with a little future horticulturist on your hands.

Image: Pexels

3. Take a trip to the local zoo. If you’re feeling adventurous but not THAT adventurous yet due to the Pandemic, get a little normalcy in with a trip to your local zoo. Most zoos are limiting capacity even though mostly outdoor exhibits, and there isn’t much to touch, so you can enjoy a nice day out while the weather still cooperates and give the animals at least a reason to be where they’re stuck anyway (so sad). I’m sure they love to see people since they don’t have as many visitors these days, especially tiny ones with big smiles!

Image: Tasty

4. BAKE. Even if you’re not an avid baker there are many simple recipes including bake-free ones that little hands can get in on like oreo chocolate truffles which are one of my absolute favorites! Adding some orange food coloring to coconut flakes can create the Fall feel and with a dollop of green colored icing or chocolate you can even make them into cute little pumpkin replicas.

Another favorite that is so simple you’ll wonder how you haven’t been doing this your whole life is cake cookies.

Image: Tracie Lee (T.L Creations) & #Moving Forward (iamshannabee)

5. Paint Rocks. Find some rocks by taking a walk around your neighborhood or maybe there are some in your yard or local park. If you cannot find rocks “in the wild” hehe, you can always purchase a bag of larger rocks from your local hardware store. There are some really cute designs or sayings online, and you can use finger paint to make it little kid friendly or better yet…you do the painting (maybe add alittle paint and sip action) and then let your little ones choose where they go outside. To a neighbors porch? A random location for someone to find? A gift for aunts, uncles, or grandparents? The options are endless!

I hope I’ve inspired you to get out and have some Fall fun in spite of the current situation in the World! And SMILE 😃

Why I Let My 7 Year Old Buy Our Family’s Food

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I like to pat myself on the back for the fact that I have raised some pretty amazing boys this far. For instance, my stepfather took my 7 year old to Toys R’ Us just before his birthday party to pick out a gift. Whatever gift he wanted to get within the allotted amount of money. He strolled up and down the aisles of his favorite toys and picked out 1 item that was only a small fraction of the money he could spend. What did he do next? He saw an Angry Birds video game and knowing his brother loves Angry Birds, he said “I am going to use the rest of my money to get this game, I think my little brother would love it!”. Yes, he spent 2/3 of his money on his 2 year old brother.

With that being said, you probably have a good understanding of the personality of my boy. He’s very loving, giving, and caring. He wants to do right by others and constantly looks to make others happy, especially his family and friends. He received some money and gift cards at his birthday party and said he wanted to save it for something he really wants instead of splurging at the toy store. So when we went to the Burger King drive through a couple nights later to get family some quick dinner, he said  “Mom, can I buy the food for you guys?”. Initially I said “What?!, No, I don’t want you using your money to buy our food, I buy the dinner”. But when he said “Mom, I really want to use my money so you don’t have to use yours” I just melted and said “OK, I’ll let you buy it if you really want to, thank you”. I made sure he understood that his $50 would now turn to $30.50 after spending the $19.50 to buy our food and that he wouldn’t get that money back, but he said he understood and that is what he wanted to do with his money. He said he had the toys he wanted, and that he would save the rest for something else he wanted in the future.

Of course I let him “buy” our food, and his money really stayed put, well it did come out of his spending money, but it went into his savings. If figured I want to start him off right. And that he was right. He should be able to do what he wants with his money as long as he’s making the right choices. And boy was he making the right choices all on his own. Spending his only money on his family, I couldn’t ask for more. From then on, any time he said “Mom, do I have enough money to get this, I want to buy it” I let him buy it with his own money. He is learning and preparing for the future. I want him to always be the kind person that he is today and do for others as much as he can. Me always doing for him, and not allowing him to have that type of gratitude because I do it because I want to, not because I have to, is not what I want. I am proud that he made this decision for me. My 7 year old will continue to buy his own food, or his families food as much as he wants until his money is gone (into his savings of course) and then if he wants to buy us more, he’ll need to pick up some paid chores.

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I know I’ll make wrong decisions in life, and I know I’ll make parenting mistakes, but this is something I know I did right. And I am proud of my boys and the people they’re growing to be. Both of them.