Many of you know that I did in-home daycare for 22 years. I retired in June of 2016. In that time, I did a lot of craft projects and educational activities with my children. Here is my best advice and my best resources:
First of all, children thrive when they are on a routine. They feel safe when they know what is coming up next. If you are finding yourself home caring for children or are on spring break with them, they will be less out of sorts if their day has a similar structure. If that means eating lunch at 11:30 when you typically eat at 1:00, be flexible to feed them at 11:30.
A good routine has periods of quiet time and active time. Here is a simple one that worked for my daycare:
Arrival/wake up: Quiet time (books, tv, stuffed animals)
Active Play: Electronics and TV are off and the kids are playing (inside or outside), dancing, crafting – using their bodies and their minds
Lunch Prep: TV or electronics
Quiet Time: Read books then nap or quiet time. Quiet time can be a Movie, crafting, play doh, watching educational videos online, eLearning
Snack Time: Let the kids help prepare snack
Active Play: Electronics and TV are off and the kids are playing (inside or outside), dancing, crafting, etc.
Transition to going home or getting ready for dinner with family.
Here are some links to free resources for children of all ages:
10 Free Learning Websites for Kids
Drawing activity for schoolagers
100 Activities to do at home during school closures
My own personal favorite activities to do with children
Author Moe Willems (Don’t Let the Pigeon Drive the Bus) live streaming Doodles weekly
Here is a video I did showing some crafts using things you probably have on hand VIDEO
Reach out to others who are caring for children. You can share advice, share resources and be a source of great support. Many people have been thrown into this position suddenly, while others choose this as a profession. You may feel very isolated and alone – but you are just a phone call, email or text away from another person who is feeling the same way. Together you are better!!