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Frugal Kid Entertainment and Social Distancing

What a difference a couple of weeks make!

A couple of weeks ago, we were going about our daily routines with the spectre of coronavirus in the distance.  Now, COVID-19 has come through the door and has made a home in our reality. The entire country is bracing for it’s impact.

Social Distancing is IMPORTANT

I’m sure you have seen the #flattenthecurve graph and hashtags.  The problem with this virus is that it has such a long incubation period and can cause mild infection in a lot of people.  Those mildly infected people can spread the virus unknowingly to more susceptible people. If we were all out and about right now, SARS-COVID-2 would spread like wildfire and would overtake our healthcare system’s capacity to keep people alive through it.  What do we need to keep people alive? Possibly, a ventilator, ECMO, and a whole host of other medical supplies. These are incredibly finite resources in the current day and age. So, we HAVE to stay at home and try to limit the spread, if we want our loved ones to stay healthy.

Ways to Entertain Young Kids during Quarantine

Over the last couple of weeks, I have been self quarantining because of recent travel.  As luck would have it, I had previously scheduled to be off during this time frame.  So, my toddlers and I have been having some serious bonding time.  A part of me is loving the extra time with them during this calm before the storm. Here are a few ways I have been keeping them entertained while trying not to lose my mind!

1. Make A Schedule

Kids respond really well to a schedule.  In general, when everyone is on the same page about what is coming up, the day goes a lot smoother.  The schedule also helps us limit the screen and vegging time.  Thanks to my friend Ryan Inman from The Financial Residency for sharing this with me!

2. Build in Rewards

We made room for the kids to earn extra screen time by being good or lose it by being bad.   That has worked well to reinforce the skills we want them to learn.  I’m happy to report my boys are drinking more water now and both are officially out of diapers!! Woohoo! 

3. Talk to Your Spouse

This is as much a reminder for me as it is for you! lol It should go without saying, but it’s amazing how many times Josh and I forget to talk to each other about something.  With a lot of us working from home, it is important to make a schedule (verbally or written) with our spouses about who will take care of the kids and who has a meeting when, etc.  Planning who will take the kids out in advance will limit the stress.

4. Get Outside Daily

Getting some fresh air and exercise can really help with mood and sleep, along with the obvious health benefits. Solitary exercise outside is still allowed in New York while we shelter in place. We are also lucky to have a large fenced back yard. So, we end up playing outside a lot. I would highly recommend getting out at least once a day as a family. Our family walks are one of my favorite parts about this whole thing. I hope to continue it in the future.

5. Make Hand Washing Fun

It’s hard to make kids wash their hands! But, frequent hand washing for at least 20 seconds each time can really help limit the spread of disease.  Singing a favorite song while hand washing can help kids wash their hands for the full 20 seconds recommended by the CDC.

6. Kids' Yoga

My kids have really taken to doing yoga with me.  It’s a fun way to get some of their wiggles out and take my anxiety down at the same time.  We love Bari Koral’s yoga videos for kids.  I highly recommend them!

7. Cooking Together

I have been using the extra time we have to make more things from scratch with the boys.  It’s a really good way to pass the time, make something yummy, and get some great family bonding in.  So far, we’ve made spinach fettuccine, ravioli’s, pizza dough, sugar cookies, italian bread, and roti’s.  Ooof as I write that out, I’m reminded that I better watch the waist line!  Thankfully, being a toddler boy mom keeps me on the go most of the time.  

8. Free Virtual Classes and Activities

A lot of museums are airing their regular programming virtually.  For example, 

9. Cleaning Together

I don’t know about you, but I’ve turned into a huge germaphobe because of this whole COVID thing.  I swear my house has never been this clean.  The kids love to help Mommy out with her neuroses, too.  They have helped me with Windexing the windows, scrubbing the walls, trim and floor, etc.  It’s a fun and constructive way to pass the time.  

10. Try to Enjoy the Time

Even though this time is stressful, I try to remind myself often what a privilege it is to have this time to spend with my family.  We are not rushing from one place to another.  We are not trying to shove them out the door for yet another activity.  We are simply BEING together.  What a blessing.  Speaking of, I’m going to go enjoy some more of that time with them now.  

Next week, I’ll share some resources for those of you going out to the front lines to fight this disease.  THANK YOU for your bravery and service.  A lot is going on in the world of student loans right now, too.  All great topics for upcoming posts.  Stay tuned!

If you have the time, check out my new project with Tarang Pate of Doctor Money Matters, “What’s Up Docs?” where we discuss what’s trending on physician social media.  Spoiler alert, lately it has all been COVID-19!  I also did a fun round table on Doc G’s Earn and Invest Podcast on Financial Mistakes and COVID-19.  Take a listen.

Stay safe, healthy, and frugal y’all!


Standard Disclaimer: Not meant as individualized financial or medical advice.              


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