It’s hard to even remember everything that has happened in the absolute rollercoaster this year was, even if it sometimes felt like we spent the whole year in one spot. In addition to the isolation...
As we all settle into this new reality to help stop the spread of the virus, I know it’s easy to get overwhelmed. Like many of you working parents, I quickly went from having a job to having a job and becoming an elementary teacher, preschool teacher, and full-time daycare provider almost overnight. With four kids under five, two adults, and two large dogs at home right now things are a bit stressful. At the same time, I have so much gratitude for the extra time I’m getting to be with my family, talk with them, teach them, and be creative together. One day I know I’ll look back on this time with deep appreciation. Memories will be made during this time, of that I am certain.
Team Parent and Family Schedules Fortunately, Alex and I have always been a team when it comes to parenting. We have to be with four kids! We’re trading off teaching and playing with our girls so we can get some work done, too. The key for us is scheduling and sticking to a routine as much as possible. Alex and I need this as much as the girls do so we know when we can focus on work with limited distraction.
Child Friendly, Education App
Obviously, as the founders of a children’s learning app company, we do allow our girls screen time as part of that routine. Today, I am especially excited that our first app, Letter Meadow (LINK!), is available to you all in the App Store as an option for fun, educational, quality screen time at home. It is the first in our line-up of learning apps and we’ve worked so hard to bring it to life. It is really incredible to watch our kids play with the app the we created…and be learning their ABC’s while they’re having fun too! And don’t worry, all Wonder Bunch apps will be available on Google Play soon too.
Child Play Without Apps — Outdoors
That being said, we have always been very conscious of the amount of time and the types of apps we allow them to use. Limiting screen time is more challenging now, but we’re trying to stick to it. We absolutely love the outdoors and I’m thankful this is all happening at a time when it’s starting to warm up, birds are chirping, and daylight extends past dinner time. It’s going outside in our backyard, riding bikes in the driveway, taking a walk, and even just observing nature that makes us all feel grounded during this time of uncertainty. I’m making sure we get outside at least once a day. Outdoor play is encouraged as long as parents are taking extra precautions and minimizing their children’s exposure to others.
Child Play Without Apps — Indoors
The challenge for indoor activities – especially craft projects – is having what we need on hand. It’s no longer advised to head to the store for nonessential items, and thinking to order things ahead is tough right now. But there’s a treasure trove of items right under our noses – the recycling bin! I love this list of Earth Day crafts and activities from a teacher (aren’twe all teachers right now?) that uses things you’ve already got or can find without having to go far.
We also created a Wonder Bunch Coloring Book to give kids an opportunity to interact even more with Ruby, Leo, Molly and Finn and a few of our favorite animals, too. And it’s another great indoor activity! Download the coloring book here. Like you, we’re still continuing to get used to this new day-to-day. But Alex and I feel like we’re part of a club of parents across the country and around the world. It’s important to remember that we are all in this together – no one is alone. Though we can’t hang out in person, we’re all still able to be connected with technology and keep trading homeschooling tips, activity ideas, and lots and lots of laughs. Together we’ll get through this!
Please take care of yourselves and your families and continue to stay happy and healthy!