It’s April 2020.  The world is in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic.  Parents everywhere are stuck inside with their kids while government officials tell everyone to stay home.  The list of things we can’t do is long; no playdates, no parks, no visiting grandparents, no daycare, no parties… basically nothing fun that involves other kids.

I’m stuck inside with a very rambunctious 4 year old.  A little boy who is bored, frustrated and desperately missing his friends.  Meanwhile, I’m an Early Childhood Educator and Home Daycare Provider, forced to close my doors in accordance with my local health authority’s guidelines on physical distancing.  I felt helpless, and started looking for ways to help my clients by sharing interesting playtime activities that used materials found in a typical household.  This is where #pandemic playtime was born.

I’m willing to bet that your kids probably have loads of toys laying around that they’ve lost interest in.  Who can blame them?  We’ve been inside for so long that their favourite Lego blocks and floor puzzles just aren’t as exciting.  Maybe you’ve bought new toys online, but shipping has slowed to a crawl and your items may not arrive for weeks.  It’s enough to leave you feeling overwhelmed and maybe a little panicked.

I’ve got news for you friend.  Your house is full of objects that can be used to create some really interesting activities for your toddler or preschooler.  Whether it’s freezing small toys in blocks of ice, whipping dish soap into a foam, playing with cereal or other loose parts; I’ve got you covered.  We’re all in this together, and as long as we’re being told to stay home, I’ll keep posting ideas for ways to keep your child busy using only what you have in your home.

I promise that none of these activities will be too complicated, or require anything more than what’s probably already in your house.  I’m talking about freezing hot wheels cars in ice cube trays, making jewelry out of cereal and string, playing with random loose parts and easy play dough recipes.  Stuff you’ve already got and can play with this afternoon.  Activities that might help you get a few minutes of quiet.