Kids work through stress and unfamiliar situations through play. (This is why play therapy is very effective with littles.)
The last play date we had (two weeks ago?), the kids were playing “corona zombies.”
Since play dates have ended, The Kid was playing a robber/spy game by himself where he had to steal and avoid a virus. (I don’t know how to do both simultaneously, but it’s his game. Not my place to “fix” it.)
He jumps on the trampoline A LOT (thank goodness that became part of the family before all this started!). The Climbing Daddy has a spiky ball for rolling underfoot. (Intentionally. Ideally while seated.) The Kid puts it on the trampoline and tries to bounce it off. It’s the virus (because they look similar) and he’s trying to get rid of it.
This is normal. This is healthy. This is how kids process stuff.
This is also informative.
If you’re seeing and hearing stuff like this come up in play, let them play it out. Of course you can have a conversation about it, but please don’t stifle the play.
(Likewise, if you hear them playing out other real-life-ish scenarios that raise red flags, be gentle, but have a conversation.)
As far as life without playdates?
He’s been using Marco Polo* to talk to friends and has had a few virtual playdates via FaceTime. I got tipped off that Battleship and Guess Who can both be played via video chat without adaptation, and they’ve enjoyed playing.
*I didn’t know much about this app until a week or two ago, but it’s been a lot of fun, for me and the kids.
We’ve made drawing and typing and foreign language learning part of our daily routine. He needs some structure and routine, and I don’t want all schoolwork. These are things he’s enjoying (so far) and are good for him and he doesn’t do in school.
Finally, one of my principals shared this with us.
Deep breath. You can do this.
Schools across the country are closing in an effort to help contain the pandemic.
This post is intended as a living resource for parents and other caretakers for online learning resources for kids.
They should all be free or temporarily free.
I have not checked every one. If you find any of these to be in error, let me know and I’ll edit.
If you know of others, let me know and I’ll add them.
All links should open in a new tab.
Online learning and classes through sites
ABC Mouse (use coupon code SCHOOL7771)
Online learning and classes through YouTube
Online learning and classes through Facebook
Ideas for other things to do at home
These aren’t online interactive things but are lists of ideas.
Little animal drawing tutorials (not video; through Facebook)
Virtual field trips/performances
Kidsactivities.com seems to have a giant list, with loads of other stuff as well. If you’re not prone to overwhelm and want lots of options, head over there!
“Every time you learn something, your brain changes.”
Whether you learn it correctly or not, whether you learn something big or small, something important or not important, something loving or hateful, it physically changes your brain.
I heard this somewhere a couple of months ago, and it stuck with me. (Happy to cite if you heard it, too, and know where it’s from!)
A solid reminder to filter, to some extent, what’s incoming.
The Kid mentioned to me the other day: “Mom, did you know Tony the Tiger donates money to keep sports in schools?”
We had a short conversation about it, and I told him I’d look up the details.
Here are the details: you buy a box of Frosted Flakes. You upload your receipt, and Kellogg’s donates $1* to an organization funding school sports. I didn’t look for further details about the organization or what they’re doing—I didn’t think our conversation would be that in-depth.
Did you notice the asterisk? I did, and I had to zoom on my screen to be able to read the fine print.
Max donation is $1M.
So we talked. He was happy about it at first—$1 per box seems pretty good. (We also talked about how sports and sugary cereals don’t really go together.)
But then we talked about the upper limit. And we talked about all the people who could potentially buy the box, thinking they’re donating to school sports, and they’re not.
“But Mom, they’ll stop the commercial [that I saw] once they hit a million, won’t they?”
Well … I don’t know. Maybe. Maybe not. And we talked a bit about how ads are purchased. (Didn’t even get into nefarious intent, just “we bought two weeks’ worth of ads so they run for two weeks, regardless.”) So they might still be running after Kellogg’s has donated their million.
“That is the crappiest thing I’ve ever heard! Oh my goodness!”
Lesson learned: if we want to donate to a cause, donate to it directly.