16 March 2020, by Flora Isabelle
The March schools holidays have descended upon us and it seems like this break is going to be a rather challenging one given the current virus situation. In fact, I just saw this quote on Instagram,
“I’m more terrified thinking about being stuck at home for 14 days with my kids, than the virus itself.”
Funny, but true too. Oops. 🤭
As for me, I am ashamed to admit that I am extremely paranoid and we have been staying at home mostly since Chinese New Year. Yeah, it’s been a while and in fact, I was just thinking back the other day that when H1N1 broke out years back in 2009, I was living in Bangkok without any fear. I ate my fair share of roadside food, hung out with the crowd at Chatuchak, and cramped in the public transport during the rush hour alongside everyone else, in a nose to armpit kinda fashion. I didn’t know about the existence of hand sanitisers and even if I did, I doubt I would have used it so religiously the way I do now.
Of course what’s different is that I am now a mother to a toddler and my rationale is that as much as I would like to teach him about good hand hygiene, sometimes it is just impossible. In fact, today I just caught him opening the rubbish bin in the kitchen and licking his fingers right after 😨 omg!
Here are some activities to entertain your pre-schooler with. 🤞🏻Hope they work for you as it did for me!
- Bake together – we started with ‘no-bake’ recipes such as lemon cheesecakes as I was paranoid about bubs being near the hot oven but we have since progressed to using the oven to bake cookies and cupcakes.
- Doing the laundry – yup, free helper, why not? My two-year-old lovesssss loading the clothes into the washing machine, pouring the detergent and pressing the start button. He would then run to the machine once it beeps in anticipation of drying the clothes. He also helps with folding the clothes, but honestly, it’s more mess than help… but whatever keeps them entertained right?
- Doing more chores – YAY! Sweeping the floor, vacuuming it, mopping it with a wet cloth and baby-safe floor cleaner, he’s quite good at it now hahaha!
- Reenacting our favourite stories – Cause it’s fun!
- Pretend play – I would pretend to be sick while he checks my heartbeat with his toy stethoscope, he would also give me some injections and prescribe medication. This usually lets me lie down for 10-15 mins (score!) and sometimes if I pretend to be sick enough, I can get him to play masak-masak and ‘cook’ chicken soup which allows me to lie down for another 10 mins, woohoo!
- Make sushi together – You get to entertain your kid and he eats his own dinner.
- Make a volcano – A little science experiment with the use of baking soda, vinegar, and red food colouring. It can get a little messy though so it’s best to lay a towel under it.
- Mini Sea Aquarium – Speaking of food colouring, bubs also loves it when I build him a sea aquarium with blue food colouring and plastic sea animals thrown in. Add some ice cubes for an arctic adventure.
- Dance! – Put on some funky music and boogie away. Trust me, your child won’t judge your funky dance moves but expect lots of laughter!
- Go swimming! – I think some outdoor time is still necessary for Vitamin D and for children to expend their energy. I’ve done some research and personally, I generally feel that it is safe to go swimming during this period since the virus can’t survive in chlorine water. You’ll still have to be careful about interactions you have with others outside the swimming pool and the dry surfaces you come in contact with such as the deck chairs.
- Visit the outdoors! – Other places I deem should be alright will be trips to outdoor spaces like Jurong Bird Park and the beach. Sentosa just announced that they are offering free admission from 14 March to 30 June 2020, so you might want to head to the sunny beaches there, with your hand sanitisers just to be safe!
- Dine out – Dine at breezy outdoor spaces such as the eateries at Dempsey Hill.
At the end of the day, I’m no medical expert and these are just my humble suggestions. Ultimately, I believe what matters most is our happiness and peace of mind. So, let’s just practise good hygiene, and do whatever we deem is best for our families!