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What to Do with Kids at Home: Dealing with the Coronavirus as a Family

Updated: Mar 24, 2020

No play-dates. No playgrounds. No school. No church. No bounce houses, roller rinks, rec centers. If we’re not going for a hike (without using the facilities, of course), we’re not going out. Yikes!

For some of us, this may cause more panic than the thought of running out of toilet paper.

So...I’d like to humbly offer a couple of ideas and invite others to contribute their ideas of what to do with our kids while we’re on lock-down in our homes. These are not earth-shattering-silver-bullet-answers, rather a handful of honest ideas you may find useful for your little tribe.

1) Back to Basics: Make Play-dough

It doesn’t matter how old your kids are, play-dough is fun. And since we’re not running out to buy some, you can find a good recipe here to make it at home!

Have the kids help you (with close supervision at the stove, of course). My son has actually said making play-dough is the only time he gets to cook at the stove, and since it lasts six months in the fridge, he has some time before he gets to help again (poor guy)!

2) Keep Things Clean

Being on lock-down in your own home is a great chance to deep clean. I’m quite sure I’m not the only one with this impulse right now, and it’s easy to get the kids involved, too. Have them clean door handles, light switches, railings and anywhere else fingers might touch. I like to use old, cut up t-shirts as rags instead of paper towels and a mixture of vinegar and water. You can add essential oils to mask the smell, but I like to give it to the kids straight up in a spray bottle and think of it as a pungent foreshadowing of Easter.

3) Bake Together

This has always been a go-to activity when we’re shut in for snowstorms or illnesses, but it’s been a little more challenging since cutting out sugar.

In times like these, I try to find a balance between my commitment to health and to my children’s sense of wonder and pleasure in the kitchen, which so often includes sugar. What I’ve found is that drastically reducing the amount of sugar in many baked goods, like in the following muffin recipe, yields a perfectly good result—especially if eaten warm, soon after they come out of the oven (I literally have to set a timer after they come out of the oven, or we all burn our tongues in our eagerness to eat them).

Sugar is a preservative, so don’t try to make a lot of these to keep for later; they get weirdly sticky and yucky tasting in days. I like to grease one 6-muffin tin pan and make extra large muffins.

Oatmeal Muffins with Dried Cranberries, Pecans and Flax Seeds


1 Cup Quick Cooking Oats

1 Cup White Wheat Flour

¼ Tsp Salt

1 Tbs Baking Powder

¼ Tsp Cinnamon

2 Tbs Flax Seed


¼ C Melted Butter

1 Egg

¾ Cup Milk

Mix dry and wet ingredients, fold in:

½ Cup dried Cranberries

½ Cup Chopped Pecans

Bake 12-15 minutes at 400° F

Well, friends. That’s what I have, and now that we’ve already done these things, I need a few of your ideas. I hope you'll leave a comment below with how your family is filling this new gap in our schedules.

Hey, if we can’t share space, we may as well share ideas!


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