01 Apr, 2020
During a time when it might be easy to become depressed or anxious or downright unhappy, I’d like to share my thoughts about why our current quarantine situation isn’t the worst thing in the world. First, from my perspective, it’s bringing people closer together. Second, it’s forcing us to reconnect in ways we most likely have forgotten about (like having picnics in the park rather than going to a restaurant for lunch). Third, and this one is my favorite…it’s sparking people’s artistic side!
My neighborhood has sidewalk chalk art popping up everywhere! Ideas for things to write are floating around Instagram and Facebook. People are opening up their hearts and writing what they feel with chalk so that the many, many people out taking walks can see and become inspired by their messages. “Look on the bright side (complete with a shining sun and rainbow,”) “Stay safe, wash your hands,” and “We’re all in this together,” were three of my favorites.
I think that, because so many extended families live far apart (and it’s not the best idea to travel right now), it’s a great idea to grab a pen and paper and some crayons and send them letters the old fashioned way! Your kids can even create stories about how they feel in this quarantine situation and spread some love to their far-away family!
Pulling out the board games is something that can get your kiddos off of screens during this time of isolation. Bake cookies. Make homemade play dough. Take walks. Go on hikes. Ride bikes. The options are endless! Something that one of my neighbor (who has three young children) is doing is starting a Teddy Bear Walk. She texted 15 neighbors in our neighborhood and told them to put a stuffed animal or two (preferably bears) into their windows so that kids can go on bear hunts. Brilliant! It gets them outdoors, it let’s them search for something, and provides a bit of excitement.
Another idea is to have your kids write in a journal. Living in quarantine is probably something they’ve never experienced before. School suddenly ended. Interaction with friends quickly came to a halt. Going to their favorite places is no longer allowed. While kids are resilient and can just roll with the punches most of the time, it wouldn’t hurt to give them some blank paper and ask them to write about how they’re feeling. This will help them process their situation and get a better handle on how they feel about it. You can even help them sort out their feelings and then create art together based on those feelings!
I will keep brainstorming and sharing ideas for you and your little ones to do together, but I feel like this is a good place to start. We can look at the bright side together. Fortunately, this quarantine happened in the spring, one of the nicest seasons of the year. In most places, it’s not too cold or hot to be outdoors, and right now, that’s one of the only places we can be!
One of my favorite ideas of all…build either a cardboard fort or a blanket reading “room” complete with flashlights and pillows, and curl up inside for some reading time. I highly recommend getting Reading is Fun! Imaging That! It’s chock full of activities that are artistic, creative, educational, and just plain fun.
They bring out kids’ imaginations in such fun, different ways. Reading Is Fun! Imagine That! can be one of those special books to read together, and the best part is that it contains several artistic ideas that weave right into this idea of recreating ways of life and spending more quality time with one another.
So, as always, create, live, and laugh together in this seemingly odd time we’re living in…just make the best of it…that’s all we can do. And really, it’s not so bad after all!
Ruth A. RadmoreBack
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