Ideas for Finding a New Rhythm in Uncharted Territory

Well, it happened. A sudden, three week school closure to help limit the spread of COVID-19. Now I have to keep my four littles from becoming GOBLINS with no prep time!


WHAT…. DO…. I…. DO?

I am a planner. I’m that mom that makes cute packets or folders for my kid’s summer vacations or road trips. Snow days always include a list of ideas. We make seasonal bucket lists, attend community events, church, youth group, play sports, etc. Our list of activities goes on and on, so to have our world come to a grinding HALT and with orders to limit social interactions… my mind is racing: How do I help my children keep up with school? How do I help them not have cabin fever? How will we fill the time after they claim to be “bored” on day two? What… do… I… do? 

I Breath. Make a list. Take a step. 

Getting Started:

  1. SCHOOL! Get workbooks for each child based on grade level. This is at the top of my list because most parents don’t have one sitting around. It doesn’t have to be fancy. Dollar Tree, Amazon, Walmart and Target usually have some Big Summer Books and Highlights Workbooks that include every subject.
    • Another resource is online learning programs. One of my teacher friends shared this amazing list with her class and school. You can also find free worksheets to print from Pinterest. Here are a few of my favorite age-based boards: Preschool, Kindergarten, 1st Grade.
  2. SET A SCHEDULE & STICK TO IT! The easy way out for me is Disney Movies and Netflix, but with this long of a break kids NEED structure. Get up and get ready for the day like normal. Eat breakfast and set up a “school” zone. During this time, we’ll pull out our workbooks and let the kids color or play. Finally, keep your dinner and bedtime routines at their normal time. 
  3. GET OUTSIDE! Go for walks, play in the backyard, ride bikes, etc. Burn off some of that energy by playing games and sports at home to make up for missing practices and games. 
  4. MAKE IT FUN! Our kids have digital point and shoot cameras and we let them photograph our adventures. We love seeing how they see things. After a while, we print and make a scrap book of their photos. A friend of mine makes an “I’m Bored” list with her kids. If they don’t check it before telling her they’re bored, they get a chore!
  5. GET AWAY FROM THE HOUSE! When possible go somewhere, just make sure there aren’t big crowds and a lot of open space. We like to explore these local spots:
    • Creasey Bicentennial Park in Grand Blanc Twp.
    • For-Mar Nature Preserve in Burton
    • Brighton Recreation Area
    • Eagle Wooden Park in Linden (boardwalk style trails)
    • Seven Lakes State Park in Holly Twp.
    • Holly Recreation Areahiking trails
  6. DO SOME SERVICE! This is a big thing for our family. We LOVE serving others. But how do you do it without coming into contact with anyone?
    • Send photos or videos to elderly grandparents, use apps to connect face-to-face, write letters or make postcards for those who can’t have visitors during the health scare.
    • Local cemeteries, especially old ones, usually need headstones washed. 
    • Pick up litter and clean up hiking trails.
    • Make your own DIY bird or bat house
child crafting homemade cards
Homemade cards and postcards.

Now that you have a plan… help kids understand:

  • Reassure them they are safe. Tell them they will see their friends again soon. Activities will also resume.
  • Show them how to properly wash hands and how to cover a cough or sneeze to reduce germ spreading.
  • Make a family plan and include them in cleaning and deciding the activities for the day.

Finally, organize your playtime staples:

These are things you kids can do anytime or when you’re out of ideas and just need a few minutes of mom time. 

  • Coloring and crafts supplies
  • Books {we keep a handful of new ones hidden from the kids}
  • The 4 B’s – Bubbles, Bikes, Bats, Balls
  • Building toys – Legos, Blocks, Duplos, Trainstoddler playing with Legos
  • Flashlights – My boys love playing flashlight hide-and-seek, flashlight tag, making shadow puppets, and reading with flashlights.
  • Nerf guns and foam swords – a great way to end fights without hurting each other.
  • Remote control cars
  • Tablets and movies – because when all else fails screen time is always a win with my kids.

What do you plan to do?

What are some of your own tips and tricks?


Previous articleStaying Calm While Pregnant During a Pandemic
Next articleThe Silver Linings of a Coronavirus Curve Ball 
Magann grew up in the Holly, Brandon, and Grand Blanc school areas. Magann was married to her husband Nathan in 2011 and has 3 energetic boys and 1 little girl. After graduating from Utah Valley University and having her oldest son, Magann decided to become a stay at home mom. They moved back to Michigan from Utah 6 years ago. Magann loves to be busy. She is active in her church and church youth program, a PTO board member, as well as, being involved in a couple of book clubs and kids playgroups. She enjoys making connections with others and enriching their lives. For fun, Magann loves to be outside with friends and family, photography, traveling, planning events, reading a good book or doing something crafty/DIY. Check out her work and projects on Instagram or her website.