The End of the World + The Rainy Day Activity Box


I have cried. I have prayed. I have stockpiled. I have gotten yelled at at the grocery store for "taking all the food." I have stayed up way too late too many nights in a row anxiously glued to news articles. I have been surprised at how normal our daily lives still are, despite the madness. I have worried about the health of my older family members and those with compromised immune systems, including one of my own children. I have worried about those with unstable income—small business owners, independent contractors, the underemployed. I have been grateful for our health, and for having everyone home. I've been grateful for the beautiful spring weather and have shuddered at the thought of this happening in the dead of winter. I've had so many questions.

How bad is this?

How long will this go on?

Is the world ending?

Will life ever be the same again?

How can we help others when I feel so helpless and scared?

Both girls' schools sent home packets so that we can homeschool for at least the next month, although I wouldn't be shocked if this went on longer, maybe even for the rest of the school year.

A homeschooling mom of four—a huge task, but I won't pretend I'm not just a little bit giddy about it. I've always wanted to be a teacher and have had more than my fair share of moments where I've considered homeschooling. We'll see how it goes!

The things I do know: God is in control. He loves us and has a plan for us.

The main things I've been holding on to the past few days: my faith, my wine, and the rainy day activity box.

My kids are usually pretty happy to play with simple things we have around the house,

but something I've learned to have on hand is a rainy day activity box for—you've got it, rainy days, snow days, days where play just isn't clicking and we need some direction and inspiration, and now, "social distancing." Do you have one?

Ours is not fancy—just a large Rubbermaid tub kept in the storage part of the basement out of child eyesight, which adds to the novelty. In it I keep any kind of activity that needs parental intervention (complicated craft kits, messy projects, etc.). If a child is gifted a craft kit, and if we haven't yet worked our way through our current stock, it goes in this box.

Other things I keep in it: tempera paints, paint cups and brushes, smocks (old camp t-shirts), and nearby we store a large roll of kraft paper for taping to the floor or dining room table for a canvas.

When I first learned of the impending pandemic, I late-night stress-bought some crafty things from Amazon to replenish our box in case we were indeed stuck in the house for weeks on end.

Here's what I got:

stickers

cursive workbook (for Eloise)

puffy sticker playsets

kinetic sand

temporary tattoos

origami craft set

Some other things I got:

sidewalk chalk

nailpolish (for the girls and me)

games—(Candy Land, Pretty Pretty Princess and Hot Potato)

a new puzzle

These things are mostly for the girls, ages 4.5 and 6.5.

George (age 2) and of course baby Alice need nothing.

I've seen a lot of colorful and complicated "schedules" for having young kids home during this crisis, but this isn't for us. Because I've been at home full-time for the past 7 years and because I thrive on structure and organization, I'm comfortable structuring our days myself, with the flexibility to adjust as needed.

For us, I've written in my notebook a short list of things that I'd like to incorporate every day:

homeschool

reading

art/crafts

outside time

I also jotted down a list of extra ideas I can pull from as needed:

nail painting

do Alice's handprint (I have done one of these for each baby when they're about 3 months old)

work on Eloise's Daisy badges with this book (we joined mid-year and are catching up on the badges completed earlier in the year)

chores (we are going to have to cancel our cleaning lady during this time so pretty soon there will be a lot of cleaning helping!)

baking + ice cream making

games + puzzles

playdoh

Many days the "extras" probably won't be needed—the days seem to fill themselves over here! But it's comforting to know I have a list and supplies on hand for when we do need to fill the time.

How are you faring? Stay safe, friends, and please stay HOME!

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