Having just found out that all the local schools will be closed this week thanks to the H1N1 Virus, everyone in our town seems to be facing the reality of a real modern dilemma: What do you do if you have to stay home for a whole week with your children?
At first I found the idea quite stressful. It was an unwelcome change in routine during an already highly stressful time (with moving and graduation coming up). As I thought about it some more, though, my perspective shifted. What an amazing gift that we are not often given these days! With our modern inventions, weather and illness are rarely greater than our capacity to deal with them. Life never seems to stop anymore, except for the occasional snow storm or hurricane.
I remember when I got to stay home with the Chicken Pox for a week. Other than the smell of calamine lotion and being really itchy, it was kind of cool. My parents worked to make the week special, and I even got a new Duran Duran record out of the deal from my dad. But thanks to vaccines, that right of passage through childhood has been eliminated, too.
In the spirit of Throwback Mountain Dew, I'm planning on going old school this week, too. We're gonna limit the TV and enjoy some of the things that our modern life often doesn't leave time for:
Board games: The kids are finally old enough to enjoy some games like Aggravation (my grandpa's favorite), Life and Monopoly. Of course there are also some of our long standing favorites: Tot-zee, Sequence, Crazy Eights and Uno. For other board game ideas, check out the Top 10 Classic Board Games for Kids.
Puzzles: I remember simpler times without TV when my mom, sister and I would work puzzles together on rainy or snowy days. It's a great activity that allows conversation to bloom.
Bake: I'm usually in too much of a rush to do this with the kids, but since we don't have anywhere to be this week, there's no rushing! We have all the time in the world to bake that banana bread I've been wanting to make for months. (For the most amazing Banana Bread recipe EVER, click here.)
Art: Again, I'm usually in too much of a rush to deal with the mess that comes from the kids' artistic endeavors (sad, I know), but with no agenda this week, I think we'll attempt some art. Check out The Crafty Crow for awesome ideas!
I'm sure we'll need some other activities to keep us busy, so I'm also planning to build a fort, play with play-doh, have a sing-a-long, tell stories, get out the Invention Box and continue packing boxes. Looks like we'll be rather busy after all, and I hope we can build some awesome memories from "that time when we all had to stay home because of the swine flu."