We have been in self isolation for almost a week, and with talk of Coronavirus everywhere it didn’t feel right to me to continue to publish posts without giving it some recognition. I am hoping I can share some things that have helped me in the past week to come to terms with the situation including lots of activities to keep little ones entertained.
The thought of 12 weeks self isolation was a bit of a shock.
When the government announced that pregnant women were classed as a vulnerable group and were recommended to isolate for 12 weeks I was really upset. 12 weeks of not being able to leave the house even to see family wasn’t something I was expecting. 12 weeks will be extremely close to my due date, I am currently 26 weeks pregnant so it felt like all that time up to the birth of my new baby was to be taken away from me. But I still have Emilia, and making this as easy for her as possible was my top priority. It helped me to focus and accept that this would be our new way of life.
Emilia and I do a lot each week, and see a lot of family so knowing we wouldn’t be able to do any of those things was heartbreaking.
I therefore used that first week of self isolation to get us into a new routine and explore options for activities to keep us occupied. I haven’t rushed anything and I definitely agree that where possible this is a great time to slow down and take the pressure off. I have found that quite liberating if I’m being honest as I often stress over what to do each day.
However having an active 2 year old means I can’t slow down too much. I needed some ideas to not only entertain her but to keep me sane. So i thought I would share some of our favourites so far and others that we are looking forward to trying. I have been so impressed with the number of people and small businesses out there trying to find ways to help us Mum’s out with entertaining our little ones during this difficult period.
First up I wanted to share some amazing online/virtual classes we have tried or have lined up.
I have decided to try and do one of these every morning with Emilia. Mornings are when we would usually go out to a class or activity so it made sense. I have found French classes, Yoga, Music, Toddler groups, exercise classes and there are so many more. With more and more companies embracing the virtual class.
Some are classes we already go to or have been to before including our favourite Little Groovers (music) and Lingotots (French), we used to do a Spanish class but had to stop. Then one we loved was Captain Fantastic Kids Toddler Group, they have an amazing timetable of activities for anyone in self isolation for all ages. Take a look at my recent blog post on Toddler Activities in your area for some ideas of where to look, obviously adapting the search for looking for companies offering online/virtual classes.
There are also lots of movement based activities online, including TumbleTots, which we tried this week and Emilia enjoyed. The Bodycoach is doing a PE class on his Youtube channel at 9am every weekday and their are some fab Yoga options on Youtube, including Cosmic Kids Yoga and Hey Duggee Yoga. Some of these are completely free, others are asking for a small fee or donation, I have seen so many more and will see what Emilia enjoys most and mix it up if I need to.
I also want to make sure Emilia gets a lot of fresh air whilst we are in self isolation.
I feel so lucky that we managed to get our garden finished late last year. We have had so much use out of it this week. I have added a few items to our outdoor play collection. We already had a water table for Emilia, which she loves, this ship from Little Tikes but I decided to invest in a sandpit as well, we went for this one again from Little Tikes as it is quite big and has a lid.
Although you don’t have to spend money to enjoy the outdoors. We are also playing football, watering the plants, digging, having picnics, anything to get outside. One of my favourites that kept Emilia well entertained this week was painting the walls with water. A small bucket and a paintbrush and off she goes. Sometimes it really is the simple things that keep them entertained.
One thing I am not usually a fan of is crafts, it’s usually my Mum that gets the paints out with Emilia. But I am going to use this time to do some more crafty activities with her. We have plenty of time so why not. I decided to stock up on glue, craft pom poms, glitter (yes I must be mad!) and other bits. I decided to buy some Little Brian Paint Sticks as I have heard so many good things about them, and I also invested in an Easter Craft set from Baker Ross.
These are all new activities for us and thing we wouldn’t normally do, but there are so many day to day activities that will still be brilliant. Play doh, painting, sticker books, puzzles, reading, singing, dancing and baking are all things we often anyway.
I hope this gives you some inspiration of fun things to do with your little ones whilst your usual activities might not be suitable. I am not saying fill your days with these, there will still be lots of screen time, independent play and chilling in our days. We won’t have a strict routine but just take each day as it comes which honestly is my moto for getting through this anyway.