Mommy/Kid/Teens &Tweens

Surviving Mandatory School Closure With Older Kids

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So by now the entire country must be under mandatory school closures due to COVID 19 pandemic. With all entertainment, airlines, shops, restaurants closed, what can you do to keep kids entertained at home? If you want them to roll their eyes and moan and groan then tell them to read a book! This unfortunate event might in fact be a chance for parents to spend some quality time at home and take time off from the normal hassle and bustle. Parents can really take this opportunity to teach kids new things. This may be the time to bake those cupcakes with the kiddos that you never had the time to do so. I know this is a very challenging time for all but here are some cool things to do with your kids at home and make the most of this time together.

1)Learn to SEW

Sewing is a fun and fast disappearing skill that must be taught to kids. There are plenty of online videos to teach kids basic sewing skills on you tube. Check out two of my two favorite videos.

make easy scrunchies

2) Learn LOOM Knitting

Knitting can be frustrating for kids. Last Christmas I bought my daughter a loom yarn kit and she loves it. It is very easy to use and you can make tons of stuff from beginning hats and scarfs to more advanced things like bags and slippers. This is a nice beginner loom kit https://amzn.to/2WsHipN. Also here is a nice beginner video on loom knitting.

3) Quilling Paper Art

This is something that I have always wanted to learn to do. I have seen finished projects of quilling art and they are just stunning. This is a very delicate art and will keep kids busy for hours!

4) Cooking/Baking

This is a great time to teach kids to cook or bake. When my girls are out of school in the summer time I have them help in the kitchen and have them chop things up or do simple cooking like cooking rice in the rice cooker. This is a good time to teach kids traditional/ cultural cooking. For instance I teach my girls to make ROTI( Indian tortillas), curry and Indian sweets.

One thing I know my kids would enjoy is cake decorating or cookie decorating. Check out these basic decorating videos. Also check out creativebug.com for more ideas.

5) Teach Them Life Skills

For all of you who have college bound kids this is a good time to teach them things that will be helpful when they get to college. And even for the younger ones, you can teach them simple things like making their beds, tidying their rooms/closets, washing clothes. Here Is a list of things that you can teach kids and get help around the house at the same timešŸ˜‰.

  • How to use the rice cooker
  • How to do laundry the proper way and put them away.
  • How to clean the house
  • How to wash dishes/turn on dishwasher
  • How to wash the car
  • How to change tires( for older kids)
  • Car maintenance…oil change etc
  • Learn to cook simple dishes
  • Learn about financial security/saving ( for times like this)
  • Learn how the Stock market works( great time to teach them since everyone is looking at it closely right about now).

6) Cultural Teachings

This is the perfect time to teach kids things from your own culture. Some examples are:

  • Second language lesson
  • Cultural music lesson
  • Cultural cooking
  • Cultural dance
  • Cultural art

7) Learn a MUSICAL instrument

With the school closed, all extracurricular activities are also closed. Many activities such as music lessons are now being offered online via live videos. Most places are also offering discounts so this would be a good opportunity to either learn a new instrument or help the already talented musicians in your house get some private lessons.

8) Pottery/Arts and Craft

Just like music lessons, a lot of craft places are also offering lessons online. CreativeBug https://www.creativebug.com is a online crafting school associated with Joan’s Fabric and it offers full length crafting videos on pretty much any craft you can think of. Currently they are offering 2 month free trial so check them out.

9) Gardening

California is currently being drenched with rain. This is the time of the year that I start my gardening especially my vegetable garden. Take advantage of the sunny days (when you have them) and take the kids out to garden. Take the time to teach them how to get ready for planting, when to plant what, essential insects, bad ones too and how to get rid of them. Organic gardening in also in right now. Let them have their own section in the garden so they can be responsible for what they plant.

10) But Most Importantly.….

Enjoy this time together as a family. We are so busy in our lives all the time and this may be the time we have longed for …. to slow down and appreciate those around us. Tomorrow is not promised to us so love and cherish these moments and all those around us. Take care and stay safe.

Please send me comments on how you are coping through this COVID 19 pandemic.

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Mommy/Kid/Teens &Tweens

Fighting The Stomach Bug

The tips below are from my personal experience and meant to be for informational purpose only. Please seek advise from professional MD for guidance in case of any illness. All opinions are mine and not part of any paid partnership.

Nothing rips you apart more than seeing your child wail in pain, cry, dry heave and run to the bathroom several times and throw up their guts hour after hour. This is a common scene when one has the “stomach bug”. We have had enough of our share of this nasty bug to know that early and aggressive treatment is the key to containing it and getting rid of it.

The stomach bug more commonly known as the stomach flu and medically termed Viral Gastroenteritis, is a horrendous illness that gives its victims excruciating stomach pain, cramps, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, fatigue, loss of appetite, fever, chills, and dehydration. It is extremely contagious and you can count on the rest of the family contracting it if one has already fallen victim.

The first time we encountered this illness was when we were vacationing in Canada at a family reunion. My elder child naturally gets sick first as her hand hygiene tends to be not so great. I recall that she got sick late at night and would wake up with immense stomach pain which will be followed by her running to the bathroom to throw up. Then came the diarrhea. It got so bad that she could not control it, she would just poop in her sleep sometimes. I remember taking down the bedsheets and throwing them in the washer hour after hour tirelessly. She was throwing up so much that we got concerned about dehydration. However, every time we gave her something to eat or drink she would immediately throw It up. The cycle of throwing up and cleaning up continued for 24 hours. Between the cleaning and tending to my child, I did not have much time to research what was going on. I had exhausted all the medications that I had brought with me. Luckily I had got some anti emetic from my pediatrician for some reason I cannot remember now but at least whenever she was able to keep it down, it allowed her to sleep off her misery. By the end of day two, her stomach ache was beginning to subside and she was asking for food. We started encouraging foods that was appetizing to her and a lot of water and Gatorade. By the end of day three it was looking like we were in the clear from this horrible nightmare. But lo and behold, the entire household full of family got sick one after another.

Right after my daughter, it was naturally I who got sick especially after handling all the poopy bedsheets and being thrown up on. I have never ever been so sick in my life till that day and I felt so horrible for what my daughter had gone through just two days prior. My poor baby had suffered so much pain and now I was experiencing first hand what she went through. As my condition worsened, I spent most of the day clenching my stomach in fetal position in bed, running to the bathroom to throw up and poop. Any tiny bit of sleep that I got helped ease the pain but would start up as soon as my stomach knew I was awake. The diarrhea made it worse. My husband trying to feed me was no help….I did not want to see or smell food. Finally a medical professional in the family suggested some medication from the Canadian Pharmacy that was similar to the anti emetic just…..so much more powerful in milligrams and in my opinion the holy grail for us surviving the stomach flu! This medication allowed me to sleep longer helping me pass the hours to get to the 48 hour mark. We knew now that the ‘bug” at least ran a 48 hour course and then recovery period would occur. So my goal for the rest of the day was to sleep this virus. By the second day I was fatigued but now able to get out of bed. I had to because there was an important family function that needed to be attended to. At first I thought I was not going to make it. I pushed my self to sit and drink some black tea and eat plain toast. To my amazement, the bread made me felt better, enough to where I was able to attend the function for about an hour or so. On day 3 I was 99 % back to normal. I did my research on this stomach flu as my younger daughter and husband were yet to be infected. Here are some tips that I have learnt from our experience. Please keep in mind that the medications mentioned above were either prescription or ones that I used with my own discretion and precaution. I highly suggest to consult your physician before use of any medication either for yourself or your children.

Tips For Fighting Off the Bug

These tips are applicable to both adults and children.

  1. Be prepared for the sickness to last at least 72 hours. The first 12 hours is rough with continuous vomiting and diarrhea.
  2. When your child starts throwing up, your first instinct will be to give them more food. Don’t! Their stomach are under turmoil and cannot tolerate any food.
  3. Dehydration is always of concern especially with vomiting and diarrhea. It’s ok to encourage sips of water and Gatorade but don’t be surprised if they throw that up also.
  4. Don’t worry if your child has not eaten anything for sometime. It’s ok. Believe me,. when they start recovering, they will be asking for food themselves. And be prepared when they do because they will be super hungry from all the diarrhea and throwing up!
  5. When you do start solids, offer bland foods such as toast with butter, bananas, black tea, soups, crackers, jello, rice. AVOID milk products. STOP eating if nausea returns and try again in a few hours.
  6. SLEEP SLEEP SLEEP. Sleeping the flu off is your best alternative. Sleeping can be hard with all the throwing up. Seek medical advise to see if an antiemetic can be prescribed so that your child can get some relief. There are also some herbal antiemetics available over the counter that work well too.
  7. Once your child starts showing signs of recovery (usually end of day 2) start encouraging lots of fluids to recover from dehydration and also to help flush the bug out of the system.
  8. By day 3 you should see almost complete signs of recovery. If you don’t please seek medical advice.
  9. In the meantime, it is very important to contain the virus so that the rest of the family does not catch it. Wash all beddings, disinfect all surfaces, clean the bathrooms and anything else your child might have come in contact with. I usually disinfect the entire house including door knobs and light switches to be on the safe side.
  10. WASH WASH WASH your hands at all times. Try to also wipe your child’s hands frequently with antibacterial wipes to reduce the spread of the virus.
  11. Try to isolate the sick child in one area/bedroom with their own bathroom. This will help contain the virus. And whoever the main caretaker of the child is , must take extra precaution making sure that they are not spreading the virus all over the house. Make sure they are taking frequent showers and washing their hands. If at all possible, have a different member of the house be in charge of food prep for a few days to minimize the spread of the virus.

I Hope this information from my personal experience is of some benefit to you. Stay well and stay safe and please feel free to leave a comment.

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