As you may know, the Gladney Home is housing teenage girls currently in foster care. Like most, we are now on an extended spring break and practicing social distancing. This can be challenging, not only with little kids at home, but older kids as well. To avoid the lure of constant Netflix, iPhones, and screen time, here are some things that we have been doing to break up the day and keep everyone entertained.
- Get outside! Many of us know the pull of a Netflix marathon or how being cooped up inside can add to depression, anxiety, and overall mood. We are making it a point to get outside every day! If you have trails near your house, plan a family walk or bike ride. We are practicing social distancing while still going for walks around Gladney or nearby trails. Some days it is taking some extra convincing to “get up and go”, but once out and about everyone is happier.
- Make cleaning & disinfecting an activity! Everyone gets Clorox wipes and… “how fast can you wipe down every surface in your room… Go!” or “I’m timing to see how quickly you can wipe down every door handle in this hallway…. Go!” As parents and caregivers, we know you are already likely cleaning and disinfecting things, but it doesn’t hurt for a second wipe down and helps teach the skills of responsibility and cleanliness.
- Spray paint chalk! This is a Gladney Home favorite – we like it because it allows for creativity AND for getting outside (and it will wash away with the rain)! We purchased ours from Amazon.
- Free guided paintings on You Tube! Tap into creativity and watch the kids create a masterpiece. Think “Painting with a Twist” but in the comfort of your own home. Just go to YouTube and search for guided paintings. There are lots of options and skill levels.
- Use your Green Thumb! Gardening is a fun way to get outside, but if you don’t have a garden – you can paint terracotta pots to make your plants’ home more festive. They sell kits on Amazon, or just utilize paint, paint pens, glitter, etc.
- Movie Night! We have teenage girls here so think: Face masks, painting nails, and some classic chick flicks. Add favorite candy and popcorn for the full experience.
- Baking lessons! Not only is this a way to spend some time together and create a yummy treat, but also this is a great time to teach some kitchen skills. Engage your kids in measuring, stirring, pouring, etc. For added fun, and with multiple kids – decorate your own cookies or cupcakes or work together to decorate a cake.
- Get in the car! This may seem counter-intuitive since we can’t be out and about right now, but that isn’t necessarily true… pile in the car and head to the drive thru car wash! Put on some upbeat music and have a car dance party while you make your way through. This is a great way to break up the monotony of the day and spend some time together. To make it an outing – add a drive thru lunch option to the beginning or end of your trip.
- Find some fidgets! We have fidgets out and around on a regular basis. We’ve found thats these are great ways to help hands that need to move often and also can help keep focus on tasks especially when anxiety pops up. Every one has different preferences. You can also find fidget variety packs that have an assortment of options.