Pandemic and the Panic with a Toddler
Little did we know the world is going to shut down completely from the social life at a very crucial stage of bringing up a toddler? When kids grow from the stage of infants into toddler they move from mother matrix to earth matrix. This is the best phase for the children to explore social world and enjoy the flavors of the world outside the mother’s embrace. As a mother it was such a hard thing to digest because we will be missing the big plans we had made to explore places. We had a total cut off from the resources, we didn’t stock on books, toys literally nothing. I was clueless how to keep my son occupied within a confined space. After a week of the heavy tantrums and cries from my little one, I had to come up with a damage control plan. I surfed all possible spaces on the internet and pulled out some DIY play project ideas and started setting it up from scratch. Fortunately I had a printer at home which made my work a bit easier. They say little resources makes us more creative, it truly did. I was putting all my old school materials to use and came up with 2-3 activities every day. Our journey of DIY came to the rescue in the toughest of times. If you ask was it was easy in the beginning, a big no and definitely not. There were times I used to sit the whole night to create something and the next morning it would all be in pieces and land up in trash. But I didn’t give up because it was the only way out to survive the pandemic with literally nothing in handy, more like you are pushed to the edge of it.
It was definitely a tough phase but now when I look back to those days I could just see the happy times and memories we created. So here are the few hacks I did during the pandemic to keep my son occupied with zero screen time.
1.Getting the child involved in cooking and daily chores: You can include the child into the preparation part of the cooking like working on the peapods or spinach. We can encourage them to clean little spaces while you cover the major ones. The main key is to acknowledge and appreciate the help to keep them motivated.
2.Identifying the spices and the grocery items from the kitchen: You can show them the different types of spices and groceries used for cooking. Allow them to touch and smell as they have a unimaginable connect with their senses.
3.Setting up lot of sensorial activities with ice, water, foam etc: Give them a free play with big tray of water, ice or foam. Add small cups, bowls or ladles so they can experiment scooping, pouring and transferring. It is the cheapest play to improve the child’s fine motor skills.
4. Introducing lot of flash cards and new words: You can use printed or hand written cards to make sight words or booster cards.
5. Coloring and painting: This is one of the most enjoyed playtime for the kids as they love anything to do with colors.
6. Quarter of the pandemic went with homemade play doughs: You can make play doughs with the simple ingredients available at home and can also add natural colors to them through veggies. Internet offers a plethora of options for making the play dough at home.
7.Dancing and listening to new albums: Children love the animated version of their parents. So dance with them to their favorite songs. I know it is silly but this is the one thing we enjoyed a lot. Mom and baby goofy time!
8.Exercise/physical activity in the morning: If you are a physically active person then involve your kids with counting for your planks or jumping jacks. We tried a bit of Kids Yoga too like butterfly pose, cow pose etc.
9. Decluttering old stuffs: You can involve your kids in the cleaning and discarding spree by letting them choosing the colors of the clothes that would be arranged in the shelves and what would go out. They will also get an idea about the spaces and which things goes where.
10. DIY play projects: Internet is flooded with millions of DIY play projects for kids with cartons, old pipes, confetti and loads more that we would consider throwing it out. Guess what we never spared an incense sticks packages too.
11.Pretend Play: You can setup mini tea parties, vegetable vendor stalls etc and play with your child. As I mentioned earlier children love the animated version of their parents more.
12.Star Gazing at nights: We can have a family time on the terrace by gazing stars and talking about constellations.
- Keerthana Thamaraikannan