Isolation is tough for everyone right now, but particularly toddlers who are too young to understand why. Here are a few ways we have tried to make it easier for our son, little C.
Children love routine, so while our routine has changed dramatically being housebound, we have kept mealtimes and bedtimes the same. We’ve also set up a schedule of things to do together at certain times. Routines make children feel safe.
Arts and crafts
The rain has arrived, which is heaping the pressure on parents to come up with simple activities to keep the children occupied during isolation. A spot of painting and sticking shapes on paper works a treat to calm minds and keep little fingers busy. We’ve been doing this a lot lately and little C even made a special picture for our NHS neighbour. We also painted sticks and stones in the garden last week. We were lucky to buy our items prior to lockdown at Tesco as arts and crafts materials are suddenly in short supply now.
We loved making pizzas for the birds with Amara Kids and The Den Kit Company this week. Little C loved mixing mud and patting it down on to the wooden discs. He then enjoyed sprinkling the bird seed and nut topping on to the discs too and creating new recipes. The kit comes with reusable wooden pizza bases, refillable Hessian sacks of bird food and bird identification and information cards. Cyrus loved lining the cards up in the conservatory and waiting for his feathered friends to arrive.
If children are old enough to understand, you could explain why things are different – using age appropriate language. Cyrus doesn’t understand why he is suddenly not allowed to go outside to the playground or to see a friend. We’ve tried to explain that “we need to stay inside for a bit because outside is a little bit poorly, so we need to wait until it’s better.”
Make hand washing fun
Make hand washing fun. We have sparkly soap (magic soap), Cyrus also sings “Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star” whilst washing his hands. Sometimes H and little C turn it into a competition to see who can make their hands the “soapiest” whilst washing. You could even have a reward chart for every time they wash their hands well.
Make sure you communicate with grandparents and other family members as much as possible. Video calls are something we do every day with family overseas to reassure them we are OK and miss them.
If your child is in isolation then try and make sure they still have a chance to communicate with other children. We did this recently and it was interesting! It’s good to video call a friend who has a child of a similar age and let them see each other.
If you feel happier if your toddler wears a mask during lockdown, turn it into a game. Tell your toddler that he can be a “doctor” for the day and explain that doctors always wear masks when they are doing “important things.” Children like having fun so turn anything they might initially view as “scary” into a game.
Tiffany, founder of The Mummy Concierge and expert at The Baby Show, will be answering all YOUR questions alongisde fellow expert Dr. Brooke Vandermolen on The Baby Show’s Live @ Home Instagram Live Q&A on tonight at 8pm.
Tune in @thebabyshow every Wednesday evening to hear from top industry experts sharing their top tips and advice on an array of topics, including lockdown.
- 29 April @ 8pm: The Mummy Concierge & Dr. Brooke Vandermolen discuss ‘What to Prepare for Each Kind of Birth’
- 6 May @ 8pm: Lucy Wolfe will discuss ‘Sleep’