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Stuck Inside? How To Keep Your Cool When Your Kids Need Stimulation

I can’t even imagine. Parents, you guys have your own schedules and then BAM your kids are stuck at home because of the wonderful winter weather that us midwesterner's love so much. How do you guys do it? I’d call it a talent to even survive the day with things popping out of nowhere. 


But I get it, don’t worry. We all need advice sometimes. I just hope that this blog can help you with the thoughts you might be having. 


Things to think about

What’s your schedule normally like? Could it need a change? Sometimes kids, even adults, get bored with their typical schedule. Stimulation involves activities that seem exciting or new. If unable to change up your schedule, even a little bit, could cause boredom. Being typical can be good most times, but does it help when people start getting bored? 


What you can do to help create a change

There are sooo many things you can change up. Not everything involves a lot of your time, especially when you can have the kids take charge. Plus, kids have a good imagination for a reason! Use this as a resource!


A change can even be considered something that just works for your family, but you might do it differently. For example…


Schedules:

Every family has a schedule- but how is it presented? Create a schedule together, and maybe make sure to add some time for the kids to do their own things- this way you can have a break or get work done. To add an activity, you can even add a spot on the schedule for the kids to create the schedule for an arts and craft project. This way, they are helping themselves as well as the family. 


Embrace Creativity:

Like mentioned above, kids have awesome imaginations. Have them create their own board game. Or what about a fort and let them have a picnic in it?


Creating themed days:

Creating themed days can add easy excitement into the day. We all know that sometimes the littlest things can get people excited. Having a theme can help with preparing for the day. Art project? Check. Possible outfits? Check. If the theme is dinosaurs- dino nuggets for a meal- check. 


Some other ideas for themed days could be:

  • Science Saturday

  • Music Monday

  • Craft Wednesday

  • Calming Sunday

  • Fort Friday

  • Try it Tuesday

  • Technology Tuesday


Just because I added days of the week with these examples, absolutely doesn’t mean that you need to do that as well. Collaborate with your family and find days and themes that work for you. Science Saturday could be a fun day to incorporate an educational twist to your weekends. For example, going to a zoo, museum, and/or aquarium. Maybe take a “tour” of Chicago and learn about it a little bit more. There’s always something new to learn in Chicago. Music Monday- wake up the family with music, listen to a new playlist, learn a new song, or make up a new tune for the week. Try it Tuesday could be trying a new recipe or a new game. Something like Technology Tuesday can take part in educational activities. It can be an easy thing to leverage technology for educational purposes by including interactive learning and educational apps. 


Self-Care:

Add some time for self-care. I guess that can also be hard to incorporate into a schedule. But you gotta think about it as a bigger picture. If you and the kids have a busy day, everyone is going to want some rest time. Everyone can have their own time to read a book, watch a show, bake or cook something, or even take a nap. 


Communication

It’s important to remember that communication is a big part of creating a cool and calming environment. Think about having weekly family meetings to get things straight. 


If you need a break in a schedule, just let someone know. Our social battery’s can be different every day. If it’s running low, take the time to recharge. If you don’t, it’ll be hard to feel stabilized. Just like how communication is important, so is flexibility. Things can always be moved around, but our feelings towards things can’t be easily changed. 


Keep in Mind

Keep in mind that days look different for everyone and every family. Believe it or not (because I know it can be hard), but you're the magic behind it all. It’s a lot of responsibility to take charge in family plans, but don't forget to add others in the planning. Remember- communication and being able to be flexible are key!! And please, please, please don’t forget that kids can be magical and have great, yet silly, ideas. Use that to your advantage.





Written by,


Eliana Cohn, LSW



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