The year 2020 was a whole year of figure it out! We have learned to adapt, to compromise, to appreciate the smaller things in life. Some of us have learned to keep to ourselves, others have learned to stretch a dollar, but many of us have learned to be content at home. Here are some ideas of what we can do while we are choosing to stay safe and choosing to stay home.
I really want to make being home fun. I don’t want our time inside to feel like a punishment, so I am constantly looking into ways to make things fun for my children and me. I also like finding things that my mom might participate in, to break up her TV consumption. We all live together, and she has limited mobility, so I like to give her a break from TV as well. I have completely learned that it’s okay to sit down and watch a movie or two, but personally, I can only take so much TV.
Then there is social media! It’s tough looking at people in sunny places when I can only look out my window to see 30 degrees every day. Also, seeing people out and about definitely influences my decisions to stay in.
So I settle on crafts!
I love crafts! I’ve written about crafting before. Crafting keeps my kids busy, gives me something to do, and every now and again, they get my mom involved. I think crafts are great for exploring creativity, activating parts of the mind we don’t always get to use, and did I mention they keep my kids busy?
For 2021, I wanted to do some things at the beginning of the year to allow us to enjoy bringing in a new year together and introduce my kids to the idea of years and the concept of time.
First, I came up with New Years’ Eve Crowns. Why? Why not? There are tons of printable crown templates online. Or I might just go old school and fold a piece of construction paper in half and cut a huge zig-zag line down the middle. Either way, my kids love coloring, especially when it’s something they get to display. They love coloring crowns, they like coloring animals, and they love holiday decorations that we hang around the house and on our windows to share with the neighborhood.
They also like paint and glue. So I’m thinking of cutting out the numbers 2021 and let them paint, sticker, and glue to their heart’s content. This requires a quick trip to the Dollar Tree for stickers, pom poms, jewels, and whatever else they have in stock that can be glued. We will probably share this idea with the neighborhood by hanging the numbers on our porch.
I’m also planning a 2021 Scavenger hunt. Nothing major. I will probably have my three and five-year-old find random things that I don’t have to buy: fruit, a roll of toilet papers, a few toys, and some candy. For more fun, feel free to buy some themed items. I’m just not buying anything else after carefully plotting and planning for Christmas gifts.
Last year, I had my kids draw New Year’s goals. I know this sounds crazy for my young children, but I found it to be very helpful. We talked about things that they wanted to work on – with a lot of guidance from me, of course – and we drew pictures of them. These things included sharing toys, going to the potty, and I actually drew a picture of me not complaining as much. I find that my kids do better when they know what is expected of them. So while I tried not to make it an overwhelming activity, I think it helped us shape the beginning of a new year.
These are just a few of my crafting ideas. I think these things keep me just as busy with planning as it keeps my kids doing. To some degree, it fulfills the “achiever” side of me. More than that, it allows my family to bond, both old and young alike, and enjoy coming together to celebrate and create!