After the first week, I think we all got real with ourselves and thought: How am I going to get through this with my sanity intact after another 2 (and then another 4) weeks?
There’s no school, no routine, and no separation from my kids during the weekdays. I can’t send them down the street to go “bother the neighbors while Mommy finishes dinner”. Findlay has some of the most amazing playgrounds, like the one at our Miracle League Field, and we are not able to go burn-off energy at any single one of them on these beautiful springtime days in Ohio!
COVID19 has seemingly taken away any trace of normalcy and all of those things we enjoyed as a family before the sickness at this time of year.
However, I think I can show you that hope is not lost, Findlay parents! And, you don’t have to resort to the most dreaded of all activities: play dough. a.k.a. A Parent’s Nightmare. Who wants to spend hours cleaning up the sticky bits now embedded into your carpeting?
While we are sheltering in place to protect each other, there are many, many ideas I’ve found for not only keeping busy with a 6, 4 and 1 year-old, but ideas I truly feel have helped us to grow closer together during this time. And, I’ve still managed to find ways to work from home productively. Care to learn more?
Virtually, the ideas I’ve seen others share are endless! Fortunately, we have Skype and FaceTime and Zoom meetings to visually connect with the ones we miss and love. I’d recommend shopping for some new Family board games from Smarty Pants and then inviting Grandparents to FaceTime with their grandkids for a “Game Night”. Ask your children to be in control of Grandma and Grandpa’s game pieces and move them around the board. You’ll be amazed at their newfound patience and the giggles from your in-laws or your parents on the other end of the call!
On one particularly rainy day, I concocted an indoor obstacle course and surprised my kiddos. They didn’t want me to take it down! Baring in mind any rain, you could consider setting up an outdoor obstacle course, too. Allow them to help you build it so that they may work on strategy, too. The outward display of fun and ingenuity is bound to be contagious with the neighbors, as well!
I am sure I am not alone in cleaning out the cob webs and all of my junk drawers during this time. I say, make it a family practice! By allowing your kids to assist in the organizing of all-the-things, then you have given them perspective on how things can accumulate and how it can be helpful to give everything its own place. I am not saying you Marie Kondo your life (I personally don’t think that’s entirely possible with kids, but that’s a different conversation). But for me, I can finally stop hearing my family members say, “I don’t know where it that goes?”
Brinkman’s Market has opened their garden center and because they’re an essential business you could grab any pertinent groceries from their store before visiting their greenhouse. Go select seedlings to start your own family garden! I do not have a green thumb, but I know many people who do, so why not have a Zoom call and let them give you and your kids a lesson on planting? If gardening is not something that interests you, you could select items to make a fairy garden or an indoor terrarium. There’s just enough science to it all that I feel it counts as a “home-school” lesson and by allowing your children to be a part of it they’re working on expanding their horizons and, consequently, their imaginations.
I may be a mom of boys but that doesn’t mean I can’t still enjoy a little pampering with them! Journey Salon and Day Spa is offering home deliveries on all of their products! You could have a family spa night. That may just mean taking a minute to clip everyone’s nails, enjoying a foot soak, and applying lotion to extra-dry hands and elbows. All of that hand-washing has my hands in pretty rough shape!
And lastly, let’s not forgot the multitude of local restaurants we’ve been missing… fortunately for all of us, some of our beloved establishments are still offering daily and weekly specials and home-delivery! I recommend keeping up with the Facebook or Instagram pages of Bellacino’s, Stix, The Baking Company and Bread Kneads, Logan’s, We Serve.Coffee, and Cedar Valley Cafe. On Fridays, Findlay Brewing Company (FBC) is offering buy one get one half off flatbreads! Plus, FBC and places like Oler’s can help you enjoy a beer or a margarita To-Go, thanks to Governor DeWine legalizing the sale of alcoholic beverages with carry-out orders. It’s just another way you can support local AND enjoy a night off from cooking.
My number one piece of advice is to find a routine and schedule. We may not be running to the ball field or piano lessons or to-and-from practices, so we can fill those time slots with fun, productive, and educational activities where we bond with our kids or family members. By still keeping a schedule, you will allow for a happier, healthier time away from the norm.
Maybe after reading this you’ll agree there is still so much to enjoy! That may be a daily walk around the neighborhood checking-out everyone’s windows for teddy bears and Easter eggs and witnessing all of the camaraderie even when we have to keep and respect 6 feet of separation. Or, you might be enjoying free, virtual admission to our world’s amazing museums! Visit Findlay has rounded up virtual/socially distant activities from partners in one spot, so be sure to check that out, too! Regardless, we’re in this together and I am certain you will find something worthwhile to do with your kids and your family while we shelter in place in Findlay, Ohio.