On the first Sunday of this “adventure”, I started feeling very bewildered at the prospect of working from home full-time with two kids, five and under. I decided to make a Facebook group, where we could share ideas, encouragement, and even a few laughs. To be honest, it has been one of the best things to come out of this time. I’m reconnecting with old friends, making new ones, and generally feeling SO MUCH JOY when I see parents supporting one another. If you’re not already a member, send a request and I’ll add you pronto. All are welcome!
Beyond that little sanctuary on the Internet, I wanted to share a few things making our time at home a bit better. We owned many of these items before we started social distancing, but a few are new additions (or will be arriving soon). I recognize not everyone can be adding new toys to the mix right now, but I’m hoping this list can still inspire you. Hang in there. We’re in this together!
- Gator Golf – Monkey see, monkey do? James loves golf (just like his dad) and this was one of the “panic” purchases I made at Target in early March. It’s gone over swimmingly in our house.
- Indoor Bowling Set – This will be a new addition to our indoor repertoire, but I foresee great fun from it.
- Puzzles – ok… I know this could be the most basic suggestion ever, but the quality of these puzzles is amazing. They don’t peel and still look new after we use them for the 38th (or more) time. I’m excited to have my kiddos try their hand at these 100-piece America + Solar System puzzles.
- Doorway Bag Toss – I love this idea, but I think you could also make it out of an old bed sheet!
- Beauty Shop – Rosie could play with this set ALL day, every day. (It’s funny because I couldn’t even tell you where my makeup bag is these days. Team #ShapeTapeOnly since March 13th 😉
- Painter’s Tape – If the current Amazon shortage is an indication, many people got this memo. There are a lot of fun activities which can be done inside. Our roll arrived on Friday and we’ll be implementing this week (since we have rain in the forecast).
- Beyblades – If recent Zoom calls or FaceTimes are any indication, these crazy toys are a hit with the five year old set. This set came with a stadium and a few “beys”. (I’m still getting the lingo down.) They’re a little loud for conference calls… but they have given me hours of parent-free play (while I work from the couch).
- Solo Cups – I know what you’re thinking. We’re not throwing any parties, I promise. A sweet friend of mine (who is also a preschool teacher!) suggested stacking the cups into fun formations, only to have kids knock them over with flair (even by recording in slo-mo!). This has been an ENORMOUS hit in our house.
- Sparkly Play Dough – I ordered a few different tubs of this magical dough to put in Easter baskets. (If you want other colors, I found a number here too!) I also grabbed these Play Dough Rolling Pins to keep our rolling pin play dough free 😉 I normally try to stay away from play dough… but desperate times, folks.
- Glo Pals – Turn any bath into a rave. (I kid… kind of.) We’ve all but stopped bubble bath since these beauties entered our bath routine.
- Handwriting Worksheets – Another good friend recommended these worksheets (where the name can be changed for your child!). The kids are loving them so far! I am sure a TON of resources like this are available on Etsy. (A quick search confirmed this!)
- Osmo – I was hesitant to go this route, I’ll be honest… but I adore our Osmo. Both James and Rosie enjoy it — especially the Monster available in this set. It may be “screen time”, but I feel like they’re using their brains and exploring their creativity. If you have an iPad or an Amazon Fire, it’s 100% worth it.
- Coloring Rolls – We LOVE these coloring rolls. We’ve tried a few over the years, but these stand out from the rest. (If you order, make sure you order the regular-sized rolls, not the mini ones!)
- Condiment Bottles – This puff paint project came up in our Facebook group and we ordered these to give it a try!
- Craft Kits – If I had braved Michael’s prior to all this madness, I would have likely assembled something like this on my own… but I’ll take someone else doing the heavy lifting for me! I snagged the Enchanting, Cosmic, and Rainbow kits for our house. Lots of pom-pom crafts in our future!
- Sun Art – We haven’t had the sunshine needed to do this project yet (wahhh), but I can’t wait for the kids to try this once the sun finally reappears.
- Protective Gear – We’ve spent a LOT of time on our scooters. In an effort to stay OUT of the hospital, I mandate this gear to be on before they leave the garage. We bought them last spring and they’ve held up well all year.
- Stomp Rockets – If you want the kids to burn some energy outside, these rockets are the ticket. We first saw this at a birthday party last summer and ordered it immediately, once we got home. They’re a hit!
- Tablet Holder – This isn’t the cheapest one on the market, but it is incredibly reliable. It allows for the perfect amount of tilt and accommodates SO many different devices. It’s also great for Zoom meetings for the kids because they can’t knock over the device. (I’ve also used it for meetings; it does not discriminate by age.)
- Felt Job Chart – I just ordered this one… because it’s time.
- Kids Picnic Table – This table came highly recommended. It lives up to the hype. We’ve used it on our porch for outdoor lunches; we’ve used it inside to give me a little more space to work at the dining room table. Friends also rave about bringing it to the beach! I love how it folds completely flat like a card table.
- Joke Book – Our kids have had epic joke-telling sessions with their grandparents on FaceTime. I decided it was time to up the ante with a joke book!
- RHODE ISLANDERS: Do yourself a favor and order an art kit from Island Art Spot. Follow along with our favorite Miss Jennifer on Facebook for craft time and story time! She’s also offering craft kits for local families to purchase each weekend for the week ahead. She’s amazing! If you’re not a Rhode Islander, check around to see if anyone local to you is doing something similar!
As a reminder: James turned 5 in December 2019; Rosie turns 4 in June 2020. They’re 18 months apart and play well together 75% of the time. 😉 There are a number of items mentioned above that have small pieces, which aren’t suitable for kiddos still putting a lot in their mouths. Exercise caution!
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