WARWICK, R.I. (WPRI) — Many local parents are home with their children, instead of going to work or school, during the coronavirus pandemic.
Tiffany Rea is normally a full-time registered nurse, but since her kids were out of school, she took time off to be with her three little ones.
“One big thing right now is that a lot of us aren’t going to stores, and so it’s coming up with creativity in our homes and trying to minimize spending,” she said. “Since there are a lot of us now that are out of work, it’s trying to work with what we have.”
Rea says going back to basics right now and realizing “you don’t need a lot” is what works to keep the boredom at bay.
Back to basics: Rea says her kids have kept busy by collecting pinecones in the backyard and doing arts and crafts.
“Think of things parents did as kids, things we did before all these tablets existed,” she added.
One activity that went over well was taking her kids’ toys, putting them in the freezer while they were sleeping and telling them Anna and Elsa from Disney’s “Frozen” came and froze their toys.
“The next morning, it took them time to get warm water and salt to get their toys dug out,” Rea explained. “It ended up being a great time for me to get a cup of coffee while they played.”
Tie in school: Even if your kids aren’t school age, Rea says you can include daycare activities such as story time and show-and-tell. She and her kids do story time twice a day.
Go outdoors, but in a contained space: You can go to the backyard and do a scavenger hunt: “We put up some colorful X’s on the trees and hid some toys in the ground,” Rea said.
Limit mindless snacking: Put food in a basket for the day or kids will eat all day.
“Conserve what is being put out because you know if you have kids, they can go through a bag of chips in five minutes,” she said. In her box or basket she puts healthy items like crackers, bananas, water and almonds.
“And when it’s snack time, just pull it out and they can shop from their basket,” Rea added.
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