Routines and the lack thereof: three activities to take your family back to basics
Oklahoma City family fun can help us all feel a little more certain sometimes.
Normalcy and a sense of routine are topics on my mind right now. They're lacking at my house and I suspect at many of our classmates' and friends' houses too just now, due in part to the teacher walkout. Life without a school schedule of the usual drop-off, pick-up, make lunches and do homework routine just isn't the usual thing for our household. My husband is a public school teacher and he's been walking at the Capitol each day, checking in at odd times and pacing through our living room with the local news turned on each day, glancing up to compare notes with national reports from his phone.
Even when events are anticipated, change brings about odd behavior in children sometimes. We brought home our fourth son 10 days ago, a tiny baby with dark brown hair and bright eyes. An immature liver, bililights at home and not feeling just super have been fairly unexpected parts of the package so far.
This life stage is exhausting for parents and fairly bewildering for small children. I'm definitely seeing some regression and jealousy from our toddler. Gabriel is 3 and it's a struggle to keep him happy right now. We have extra hands at home with his grandparents visiting for six weeks but the good old days of just the five of us feel long past.
This time of transition is unsettling so I'm trying to pull us back to basics.
Find resources here, including child care options, food distribution sites, educational outing ideas, community happenings and free family fun suggestions, that our editors have put together for this period.
If your kids are also seeking that sense of stability just now, here are three activities we've rediscovered:
- Cooking together: Reconnecting over food has its place and your kids are simply way more likely to participate if they helped make it. Teaching life skills and simple measurements is also easy to do when you're in the kitchen. There's something homey and comforting about sitting down to food you've just prepared, besides the time spent together making it. Click here for kid-friendly recipe suggestions.
- Going outdoors: Spring street festivals are happening throughout Oklahoma City and surrounding communities. Click here for a list. Outdoor play doesn't have to stop just because kids aren't going to recess. Neighborhood parks now and splash pads later this season are free alternatives that provide a break after what feels like an eternal winter this year.
- Revisiting 80s or 90s movies: Hosting a movie night and showing your kids that favorite film from your own childhood can be a connection point. We've rewatched "Ghostbusters," "Jumanji" and "Hook" this past month. Maybe we too need to feel that things are familiar and normal. Isn't that a major factor in the renewed popular of "Star Wars" anyway? The shared experience takes us back to the certainty of our own childhoods too somehow and we all sleep a little better then.
Educational activities aren't lost on us at this time either. My kindergartener's teacher has sent extra work, we read every day and I have a workbook for evenings before screens can come on after dark. Here's a related post with more educational info, including three activities to keep littles learning.
The teacher walkout might end tomorrow but I know what we're doing tonight. Our situation, with a new baby, won't feel normal for some time but we'll get through it as a family. I hope that your children and mine meet back up at school soon and that we all get what we need in the end.