Getting Creative With Kids During the Coronavirus Pandemic

Getting Creative With Kids During the Coronavirus Pandemic

With the “Stay Safe Ohio” order now extended to the end of May, it looks like we’re still limited to where we can go.

Getting out of the house with our kids was something a lot of us moms looked forward to!

I frequently visited to the Akron Zoo or Target, where I would push the stroller and have a quick coffee to aid my sleep deprivation. We took in the sights and felt social, even though I had to time it out perfectly with a nap and diaper changes.

Those were the days.

The main thing I hear from my mom friends right now is that they’re tired of being stuck at home all the time and that they’ve run out of ideas on how to keep their kids busy.

The weather in Ohio right now doesn’t help. While we can go to stores and restaurants soon, I’m not sure how many parents are going to take their kids out. Masks probably won’t work on my almost-2-year-old. I’m also not sure I want to take any chances with so many unknowns about the coronavirus.

That’s why we need to refocus and come up with a new game plan, or what we like to call at our house: a new “babygenda.”

Yes, an agenda for the toddler in our life that is so sweet and so busy. She’s into everything! Every cabinet, every drawer, every room.

Maybe taking this time to slow down has served another purpose in our lives. We’re focusing our energy on life at home.

For moms of toddlers, here are a few ideas for keeping your little ones busy:

  • Have any leftover plastic easter eggs? Why not give your child an Easter Egg bath?! It will keep them busy, I promise.
  • Create a baby backyard Safari adventure! Place or hide items throughout your yard for your child to “discover.” This surprise scavenger hunt gets them out in nature and could help your child develop their curiosity to explore more of the great outdoors. This is next on my list!
  • Did you order a lot online from Amazon or other retailers during the pandemic? If you have some of the shipping boxes left, you could have your kids build a robot!
  • Get jumbo crayons and construction paper! Draw shapes and show your child how to color them. Then practice teaching them those shapes. Repetition is key. Eventually they will repeat one or two of them before learning them all.
  • Practice counting! Count the stairs when you or your child walks up or down. This is to help them with their math skills. It’s never too early.

Daily “Babygenda” Tips:

  • I suggest pairing an activity where kids develop and use their fine motor skills with something that involves physical activity.
  • Be present. I know it’s hard to ignore your smartphone, the dishes that need done, the laundry that needs done, the random things that need put away, but think about budgeting your time. Can you squeeze in a chore earlier or later in the day? Once you come up with a routine, it will make accomplishing those tasks a bit easier. I still wish I had a magic wand.

Children grow too fast! When I take time to show my daughter how to do something or say something, I’m part of her learning process. I quickly notice how much more she’s retaining that information. She may repeat the names of the shapes or the numbers later on and that’s truly fulfilling.

If the Stay-At-Home era has taught me anything, it’s that slowing down to enjoy each moment is much more important than some of the errands and outings that I didn’t really need to do.

It’s hard to see the good at a time when families are going through so much pain and loss from the coronavirus. If there are any lessons learned from staying put, I’m thankful it’s about refocusing to remember what matters most.

About the author

Lindsay McCoy
Lindsay McCoy is a Summit County native and a working mom on the go! She’s an anchor and reporter for WFMJ-TV the NBC affiliate in Youngstown. The Kent State University alum started her news career in radio news at 1590 WAKR in Akron. When she’s not running around with a camera and a tripod, she’s playing with her 1-year-old daughter, Allison. She loves to find ways to create fun memories by visiting local playgrounds, the Cuyahoga Valley National Park and the Akron Zoo! Lindsay also loves to decorate, search for cute outfits for Allison, and try new activities at home for her to learn and still have fun, even with a busy schedule.

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