Are you planning to quarantine with small children? Nervous that one of you might not make it out alive? Well, then this blog post is for you! Here are some tips, tricks and ideas from my 21 day hotel quarantine with a toddler that will not only help you survive, but THRIVE!
- 1. Stick to a Schedule
- Young children thrive within set boundaries and routine. Whether you are quarantining with another adult or doing it solo, take time to write down a daily schedule and try to stick to it. It will not only help your little ones find comfort in knowing what comes next but it will help keep you sane by having to only focus on the next thing scheduled rather than thinking about the entire day ahead. Meals, naps, bedtime, high energy activities, quiet time etc. should all have a set time slot which will help keep make everyone feel more settled.
2. Schedule Screen Time
Screen time should also be scheduled. From my experience, if I use the iPad or TV shows willy-nilly, transitions become more challenging, tempers flare and tantrums increase. It may feel good at the time to give in and let your kiddo watch a show or two but you will pay for it. Make screen time an event, have a start time and an end time and switch up what is being consumed. One day have a movie, the next games on the iPad and another can be shows.
3. Prepare a Survival Kit
If you are quarantining in a hotel, make sure to prepare a Survival Kit. Just like you would not go out into the wilderness unprepared, the same goes for hotel quarantine! Tools, art supplies and basic stationary items are a must to ensure you have everything you need to stay alive! Items such as scissors, glue & stick glue, markers, crayons, a stapler, string, an exacto knife or box cutter, masking tape, clear tape, sticky tack, pipe cleaners, play-dough, modelling clay, paint brush and a watercolor set are a must!
4. Pre-Plan & Prepare Activities
THIS SAVED ME! Before my trip and inevitable quarantine, I planned 21 different themes to help anchor each day’s activities. I then printed off coloring sheets, gathered stickers, toys from home, toys, treats and other items that would help support the theme. Because creativity happens within boundaries, having a theme helps you come-up with ideas in the moment, coordinate movies, shows, games and books that go along with the theme and imaginative play ideas. You’ll be amazed at what you come up with when you have a theme to base your ideas off of and I guarantee you will enjoy it as much as your little one will.
The above list includes the themes I came up with based on the interests of my child as well as the toys and books I knew I had access to. The themes could obviously vary based on the age and interests of your child.
5. Make Something from Nothing
Creativity is not only making something out of nothing but also making something despite everything! Boxes, containers, scrap paper, cushions and blankets all can become something new and different keeping you and your kids entertained. Then using the theme and the items from your Survival Kit can aid you in making magic by creating something from nothing. So save those empty containers and cardboard boxes as you can use them for hours of fun that encourage creativity, teamwork and problem solving.
A few other items that we enjoyed and used often were Coloring My Bath Tablets, Melissa & Doug Stick-able Sticker Book, National Geographic Readers books and a foldable step stool for water play in the sink as we did not have one in our hotel.
Remember if you are calm, collected and settled, then so will your kids. Try your best to look for the positives in the situation – no commitments, simple living and uninterrupted together time. Before you know it, it will be over and when life is crazy and chaotic you will reminisce about having nothing to do by play with your kids in a hotel room.