Being quarantined with two rambunctious little boys and a nursing ‘round the clock newborn has been equal parts wonderful and exhausting. The gift of togetherness has been such a blessing to us as we’ve transitioned to a family of five and learned our new normal along with the rest of the world.
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For the first few weeks of quarantine, my two- and four-year-old didn't seem to notice too much how much life has changed recently. They randomly ask about our routine outings (COSI, the zoo, etc.) and their friends, but we've kept ourselves busy at home and with (short and loud) hiking trips. But as the weeks drag on, I can tell my people are starting to feel a difference in our daily lives, even if they can't articulate it. It's getting easier for them to slip in to a place of boredom and restlessness that gives way to some less pleasant behaviors.
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It almost goes without saying, at this point, that we are living in unprecedented times. Even those of us who are accustomed to being "stay at home" parents are feeling the effects of mandatory stay-at-home orders. All of the (outside-the-home) activities that I enjoy doing with my children have been shut down. For many of us, this has undoubtedly created extra downtime and life space within our homes, for adults and littles alike.
I have to occasionally remind myself that boredom makes space for creativity, so it's okay to not entertain our kids every moment of every day. Letting them explore, make messes, and try something new greatly impacts there cognitive development, even if it's not explicitly "school" or academically-related. There are many everyday activities that, when we allow our kids to take part, will help them continue to develop those skills. Kids learn through playing and here are a few ways to help them learn in a fun way: