With the changing seasons comes a transitional period from unstructured time to new schedules and routines. Especially now, these big shifts can be stressful and overwhelming for kids and moms alike. Adapting to change can be tricky, but it also gives families the opportunity to learn, grow and explore new territories together.
Here are some ways to help your family deal with change and focus on the positives:
Schedule time to go outside, walk, and take breaks.
Focusing on one activity for a long period of time can be very difficult for younger children. While it might seem counter-intuitive, taking “brain breaks” throughout the day can actually help your child stay on task. Join your children in shifting focus, relieving stress and increasing productivity by varying the types of leisure time enjoyed.
Some breaks can encourage going out outside and being active. Aim to get the heart pumping from riding bikes and scooters (like those from L.O.L. Surprise!™), going on a nature scavenger hunt in the backyard or a quick game of tag; the increased blood flow to the brain will help kids (and moms!) stay alert and attentive. Mental exercise is also important, so don’t forget to sprinkle in some time to read or play a board game.
Involve the kids in creating a healthy snack routine.
With busier schedules on the horizon, it’s extra important to get your family into the habit of eating nutritious foods that fuel the mind and body. This can sometimes take a bit more planning, so make it easy for your kids to choose healthy snacks by including them in the preparation process. Little ones can help you whip up a tasty trail mix by tossing together raisins, granola and nuts, or peel an orange while you slice up a banana for a fresh fruit salad.
Consider kid-friendly portions. When snack time rolls around, it will be easy for kids to grab a quick bite, and even though families are spending more time at home, these grab-and-go options make snack time so much smoother for busy moms, and allows for more mindful eating. Add to the practice by asking the family to sit down, relax and enjoy their food distraction-free.
Teach children how to do good for the planet.
Kids are resilient and so is the planet, but with all the changes happening in the world, both could use a little TLC. Help your kids stay grounded by teaching them how to take care of Mother Nature. Simple steps like turning the lights off when you leave a room and turning off the faucet while you brush your teeth are easy ways to model eco-friendly habits for your kids.
If you want to get a little more hands-on, introduce your little ones to recycling. They’ll be excited to learn that the items they use every day can be made into something new instead of thrown away. Through the L.O.L. Surprise!™ Recycling Program, kids can recycle the packaging, accessories, and products from their favorite toys and learn how the collected material will be used to create new products. It’s an easy way to help kids to do their part to help the planet!
Find ways to wind down.
Evenings are a great time to relax and decompress as a family after a busy day. Consider setting a “screen curfew” so you can spend some quality time together before bedtime. Once all electronics are turned off, consider trying some of these calming activities to help everyone unwind.
- Find a quiet space, cuddle up under a blanket and read aloud with little ones. Who needs TV shows when you can make up funny voices for the silly characters in a book?
- Speaking of imagination, playing with toys is a great way to be creative together! Whether you make a castle out of building blocks or race cars around the living room, there are always lots of fun adventures to be had in the world of make believe.
- If your kids still have a little bit of energy to burn up before the end of the night, try playing some soothing music and doing yoga or stretches. This is a great way for all ages to slow down the body and mind at night.
Together, make it a habit to (loosely!) plan, but try to go with the flow.
In times of uncertainty, being flexible is a necessity, but that doesn’t mean you can’t find creative ways to add structure to your family’s days. Consider drawing up a family calendar on a white-board to keep track of important dates, appointments and events. This is a great way for the whole family to visually see everything that is going on.
At the start of each day, your family can refer to the calendar over breakfast to help set daily intentions. Plus, a white-board makes it easy to make changes and adjust schedules as plans shift. When it comes to planning activities with your kids, be sure to ask for their input and give them a say. Kids are more likely to follow a plan they helped to create.
While some things such as wake-up times and bedtimes should be set in stone for consistency, other activities like snack time or playtime can be moved around on a day-by-day basis. Remember, your plan is just meant to serve as a guide. Don’t worry if you find your family going off-schedule. Staying in tune and connected makes any plan the right one.
How are you creatively connecting with your kids during this time? Tell us in the comments!