Social distancing is a huge change for most, but there are very specific challenges for those with children. Whether you were already a stay at home mom, or you are a working mom, this transition can be difficult for most parents. Hopefully these 10 tips for surviving quarantine with a toddler will help!
If your situation allows you to go outside, take your little one out for some exercise. A little Vitamin D can always do everyone some good, but if you have a (VERY) active toddler like mine, staying inside is not even an option.
Before our current events required us to stay home, I would take Artie out on most days, to a playground, museum, storytime, or just to visit family and friends.
My son is always in a better mood when we get out of the house, so the stay at home order in our area required us to make some changes.
Now we spend time outside every day, running and playing to get that toddler energy out! He’s much happier when we get play outdoors and he takes a way better nap!
We always kept a majority of Artie’s toys in his toy box. Honestly, it was a mess, and he only played with a few of his toys regularly.
Being home helped me realize how important it was to organize his area. We created his own play area and purchased plastic drawers like these, to separate his small toys from the larger ones.
Since we reorganized Artie is playing with toys I haven’t seen in months! He spends so much more time playing independently now that he knows exactly where to find each toy. Getting organized made WAY more of a difference than I expected.
You can find more tips for keeping your house clean with a toddler here!
Stick To A Routine
I have always followed a routine with Artie, it allows him to know what to expect each day, and also helped me keep my sanity!
This can be more difficult, but possibly even more helpful, for children who were in daycare or preschool, because their routine has changed significantly. Toddlers who would normally see their friends each day, are now isolated at home.
Sticking to a routine will create a sense of normalcy for them over time. Each day my son has his meals, bath, nap, and bedtime at the same time each day, with plenty of playtime in between!
Usually our daily events and activities create our routine but now it is up to us! This may not be the right fit for every mom, but I am certain our home would be chaos without a regular routine.
Order Your Groceries
I have always been a huge fan of ordering my groceries to pick up, especially when I became a mom. Now, ordering my groceries is the ONLY way I shop. You can place orders for pick up or delivery, whichever option is better for your family.
Some stores, like Wal-Mart, even offer pickup for free! Just order online, choose a date and time, and arrive to pickup your groceries! You can click here to receive $10 off your first order!
Grocery pickup is also a great excuse to get your toddler out of the house for a ride in the car! Find more tips for feeding your family during social distancing here!
Spend Time Learning
Boost your toddler’s development by spending time each day with learning activities. Your toddler learns from EVERYTHING they do, simple things like reading, building with blocks, flash cards, or learning how to use household items can be far more educating than we realize.
Another option for learning is investing in a tablet for you toddler. Before social distancing I was VERY hesitant to get my son a tablet. I have seen so many articles explaining why children learn more from actually doing something, rather than doing it on a tablet or Ipad.
For example, if a child plays with blocks on a tablet, that does not teach them to play with actual blocks. I also knew I did not want him to be dependent on the tablet, to be one of the kids I see on their tablets at the dinner table.
Before quarantine I took Artie out and about every chance I got, so he could learn from all of the new faces and places he experienced.
Now that we have been practicing social distancing for over a month, I see my son becoming less engaged with the toys and activities that we have in our home. There is only so much a child can learn without leaving their home.
So I finally made the decision to get a tablet for him and I have zero regrets. I downloaded a ton of learning applications to help him practice shapes, colors, numbers, and letters.
It’s fun for him and I feel good about it. After checking out a few different options I HIGHLY recommend the Amazon Fire HD 8 Kids Tablet.
The Fire HD 8 has so many free apps to choose from, it’s easy to use, and is durable enough for a toddler. I actually ordered a different tablet for Artie at first, and he cracked the screen within 24 hours…
Luckily I know my little man and I got a warranty! So far the Amazon Fire has proven to be toddler proof!
There are parental controls on the Amazon Fire 8 that can monitor the time your chid spends on the tablet and prevent access to anything that may be inappropriate for children.
f you are looking for a new way for your toddler to learn from home, I definitely suggest a tablet for kids to offer a fun way to learn!
Try New Activities
Try new things that your toddler hasn’t experienced before. Make slime, paint rocks, play hide and seek, stack paper towels, pick up sticks, … there are so many things in your home that can be fun for your toddler, and it’s also a great way for them to learn!
Give your toddler a pot and spoons, along with some rice or noodles so they can “cook”. Let them watch the laundry clean through the washer and dryer lids. Have them fill a jar with sand and pebbles.
Explore your home with a new set of eyes. Play with things in your home that you never considered toys before. It’s time to get creative!
Be Strategic With Toy Purchases
Another option, especially after being quarantined for a while, is to choose a few new toys for your toddler. After playing with the same toys every day, I could tell my toddler was getting bored. That’s when I went on a search for the perfect quarantine toy.
I was looking for something Artie could use in different ways from day to day, something that would have different options so he wouldn’t toss it aside after a few days. Finally, I found the PERFECT toy for being stuck at home.
This set of waffle blocks can be used in so many different ways! You can build tunnels and forts for your toddler, your toddler can build with the blocks too, we have found a new way to play with these blocks EVERY DAY since I purchased them. I usually don’t spend this much on one toy but these waffle blocks offer so many ways to play, all in one!
Stay In Touch
Technology may be part of the reason that we ended up in this situation, but it can also be an asset for getting us through! Use the technology available at your finger tips to keep in touch with your friends and family members. Your little one will look forward to talking to Grandma and their pals on FaceTime!
There are other fun ways to stay in touch too! Load your toddler into the car to drive by their best friend’s house for a visit through the car window. This is a great way to practice social distancing while allowing your toddler to see a few familiar faces!
Do Housework Together
I used to keep up with my housework during my son’s independent playtime, but now, with our entire family home, there is a LOT more to do. As a way to manage the madness I have made our housework a part of playtime!
Artie hands me the dishes from the dishwasher, helps me load the washer and dryer, and assists me with preparing our meals each day!
Our daily chores have actually become a time that we enjoy spending together! We have really enjoyed baking and doing yardwork together!
Enjoy Each Other
Don’t be too hard on yourself! We are in a situation that is not only affecting our country, but the entire world. All we can do is our best and make sure to take advantage of this extra time that we have with our families.
Enjoy this time together that you didn’t have before. If you spend hours snuggling in bed watching a movie, leave that mom guilt at the door.
You may not have let your toddler watch as much TV before, but hey, most of us have never been quarantined before. Give yourself a break and spend the day doing what makes YOUR family happy! Stay positive and have fun!
If you enjoyed these 10 Tips For Surviving Quarantine With A Toddler check out these Toddler Tips!
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