One of the biggest challenges I faced when the pandemic struck the Netherlands in March was keeping my children entertained. School was cancelled and I was very busy answering Consular inquiries and coordinating repatriation flights 24 hours/day. Luckily, we live in a close-knit community, the weather was beginning to get warmer and our neighbors wanted to join efforts.
One day, we put our minds into it and decided to begin organizing crafts, games and other activities for the children. These are a few ideas:
- Making slime: There’s nothing better than playing around with different slime textures. The best textured slime recipe I found was extremely simple: mixing equal amounts of cornmeal with shaving cream and some drops of food coloring – you can add a little more cornmeal if it’s too soggy! This mix is easy to hose down afterwards.
- Origami: IKEA has great packs of square and circled paper, and You Tube had wonderful videos. Olivia’s favorite craft was making hearts for her friends for Valentine’s day.
- Bullet Journal: Getting a bullet journal is a great way to keep young kids entertained. They can find inspiring things to write about, such as their favorite vacation and get a journal buddy to give them new ideas. My girls enjoy thinking about something new to write about every day. I also try to get stickers and post-it notes from Hema to decorate their entries.
- For smaller children, getting plates and decorating them with M&Ms, then pouring warm water and watching great patterns form is another way to keep them entertained.
- On Google images, there are many printouts with coloring and math worksheets, crossword games and mazes that can be kept in a binder.
- When the weather is not the greatest, baking with children can also be quite entertaining. There are many easy recipes for cupcakes and other goodies in my “baking with children” entry.
- At home, I purchased a small tub spa for pedicures. My kids really enjoy getting pedicures (even my boy!) and making their own hair salon.
- Kids have to wear masks at school all day now, but they have been creating their own masks with an inner layer (with a little help from our neighbor, who has a sewing machine)
- We always have enough sidewalk chalk and enjoy drawing hopscotch games and mandalas on the street.