Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, many parents are unexpectedly finding themselves at home with their children.

Vacation plans have gone by the wayside, phones have lost their appeal, (yes, it can happen) and the question, “What can I do?” starts ringing through the air.

I have some suggestions to keep the children happy and the child in you from going stark raving mad.

You and your children are probably still in the honeymoon period of Spring Break, where all are rejoicing over the simple fact that school is out, the kids are home for the holiday, and everyone is decompressing.

That was the first 15 minutes. And that was when the possibilities of movies, concerts, hanging out with friends was on the horizon. That time has gone by the wayside with the ominous COVID-19 hanging over our heads. Now comes the hard part, and the whining. Not the kiddoes, Mom and Dad.

“What are we going to do while we are home with them?

You can answer this question yourself by looking up, “What to do while the kids are home,” on the Internet. It is only one of many sites giving suggestions on how to keep your kids busy.

One of my favorite things to do is to visit the virtual tours at www.travelandleisure.com. You might find for the younger set a zoo to visit virtually.

Possibly my favorite of all is planning a “Staycation.” Choose a dream destination to go to in the future, for instance Ireland, since it is the season of St. Paddy’s Day. Plan the theme and using iPads, Chromebooks and computers to plan food to eat, places to go, and exciting things to do. Look for photos and videos of the country, listen to music, watch tutorials on dances of the country, and try them. It will give the children of all ages a sense of being somewhere else while they’re at home. 

Enlist your kids’ help in preparing an Irish meal with dishes like Boxty (a potato pancake), beef stew with dumplings, or shepherd’s pie and soda bread. Also, buy an Irish-themed gift for each child as their souvenir of the Staycation. After March 17 all of anything Irish will be on sale. Try Big Lots for Irish trinkets to give as gifts. You can buy online and pick up in the store.

Make this time special. Do projects together. Share time, stories and fun and the days will speed by.

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