This was originally posted by the Marion & Polk Early Learning Hub here.

During this time of uneasiness, worry and stress I wanted to hopefully encourage you with a few things:

  • I hope and pray that you, your little ones, and your family and friends are healthy and safe.  If you or anyone you know is sick at the moment I’m sending good thoughts and prayers to you for a speedy recovery.
  • If you are struggling to figure out how to entertain, engage, educate and encourage your little ones during this strange time…you are not alone and I hope that some of the resources I’ve shared below are helpful to you.
  • Also…you are not perfect and you don’t have to be.  This is an unprecedented time and there is no such thing as a parent or caregiver that has everything figured out right now.  I hope you’ll extend yourself some grace and reassurance during this time that despite the challenges…you are doing your best and you are enough!

With that said I wanted to take my space here this month to share with you some resources and ideas for at-home learning that I have discovered from parenting classes and other resources and hope that you and your kiddos find fun and useful. 

  • Observe whatever nature you can through the window or backdoor.  See how many birds, insects, squirrels and more your kids can see or hear.  Have them count the different types and see if they notice the same animals again and again. If it’s possible take short (social distancing-mindful) trips outside to observe more or just get a little blood flowing and fresh air.
  • Have an indoor snowball fight!  We utilized recycled paper to make snowballs and threw them at each other.  We even dressed up in warm coats, hats and gloves (see picture above 😊)
  • Create a story together about your indoor adventures or a make-believe story based on your kids’ favorite characters or interests.  You can “ghost-write” for your kids and have them make the illustrations. You could even make your own series!
  • Read, read and read some more!  And if you run out of books or have read the same books too many times to count…check out some audio book services that are offering limited time free trials: CCRLS; Vooks; Audible
  • Set-up an indoor obstacle course using pillows, blankets, chairs and yarn for “lasers” to avoid.  Check out our video here for how ours turned out earlier this year: Obstacle Course
  • Play board and card games with them, especially those that require lots of counting and recognizing patterns (and don’t worry if they don’t always play by the rules!)

There are a lot of other resources, activities and lists of ideas out there.  I’ve included a couple more below, but we’d like to ask you…what are some of the ways you’re learning with your kids during this time at home?  Please share your stories, pictures or ideas with us here:

This is fatherhood…