At a time of great uncertainty, Canadians often step up to help neighbors, friends, family and even strangers. I think of grounded planes in the Maritimes and displaced people from the flood in High River being taken in by kind people. These are times when the best qualities in our character can shine through. We can share kindness rather than panic.
The Early Childhood Coalition would like the greater community to think about the families that have young children and not a lot of resources after schools and daycare have closed. Some parent cannot afford to miss work and do not have nearby extended family to help out. Please consider if you may have a capacity to help someone who is in need. Can you offer to babysit? Are those who have been laid off available to babysit for income from those who can pay for childcare? Keep in mind that if you, or a member of your household is sick, has a chronic condition or a compromised immune system, it is better to protect yourself and possibly contribute in other ways. Perhaps online donations to the Food Bank? It may see a higher than normal demand as people are unable to work.
We have created a google document so people can enter their own contact information if they are willing to do some babysitting or are in need of babysitting. I have already seen some babysitting offered on Facebook and commend people for stepping up. Click on the link here if you are interested: babysitting
If you are healthy and know of a vulnerable person in your neighbourhood, phone and offer help such as bringing them groceries or medications.
If you are home with your family for the next few weeks, try to make the most of it:
-Allow your children ample time for free play – it helps them build creativity, social skills, language skills, and so much more. It is how children learn best. Play builds Brains!
-Talk with your children about your values as a family.
-Talk about how we work to help one another rather than worrying about things that are out of our control.
-Read, read, read! Read together and encourage them to spend time with books. Reading has so many benefits and try to make it fun. Sharing stories helps to build a bond and is a great way to see and learn about the world beyond your home. It provides entertainment, knowledge and mental imagery.
-Help children learn the value of chores and responsibilities. It helps cultivate independence, resiliency and reduces entitlement.
-Look for messages from your child’s school about how to support them academically.
-Play board games, they are a fun way to spend time together and build language and math skills.
-Use recycled materials to do arts and crafts.
-Cook with your children and take time to teach them skills in the kitchen. March is Nutrition Month, look for healthy eating ideas at Nutrition Month
-Go outside! It is good for you and your child. Play in the snow, go for a walk, collect and draw with twigs and rocks, stomp through puddles and get fresh air.
-Screentime is likely to be a part of getting through these weeks but if you establish limits early on and make other activities a required part of your day, it will help their minds, bodies and behaviour.
Calm fears about uncertainty by reassuring children that you are together and can face challenges together. You cannot guarantee for children that life is always going to go smoothly but you can reassure them you will love them and support them and be there for them. Talk about the other people in their lives who love and support them. Focus on the connection. People learn best through social connection even if we cannot be close to one another at this time. Check out this video: Helping Children Cope with Corona Virus and Uncertainty
Food Bank and Vulcan Regional FCSS
The office will remain open but closed to the public. Those in need of a hamper need to phone first and will be met at the door and those looking to donate need to call first. Please see the attached poster.
Cancelled Activities, Offices and Programs – so far
-St. Patrick’s Day in at the Carmangay Senior’s Centre
-Rainbow Literacy and Learning Society Game Night
-All Family and Adult Literacy and Learning Programming
-FCSS Home Support Services
-Town of Vulcan Recreation Activities and Facilities – See attached poster
-Champion Village Office, Recreation Activities, Irish Concert
-Arrowwood Village Office
– Hockey, Skating, Curling and 4-H
-Vulcan Church of Christ
-Vulcan Senior Centre
-Many Libraries – call first. Go online for ebooks and audiobooks and Solaro homework help. See Milo Library Poster
-Generally assume everything is cancelled and phone first before trying to attend an activity.
Vulcan Soccer and Baseball registration is open but won’t be collecting fees or beginning until it is deemed safe.
Champion Baseball Registration
Activity Ideas for School Age Children
Interview a family member.
Measure the area and perimeter of each room in your home.
Graph the types of birds that frequent your yard or windows.
Be completely silent for 60 minutes, then write about the experience.
Write and mail a [real] letter to your teacher or principal or classroom penpal. Address the envelope yourself.
Build a “fable fort” out of blankets and chairs. Camp in it all day while you create stories to tell your family over dinner.
Learn morse code and use it to communicate with your siblings through walls and floors.
Alphabetize the spices in your kitchen.
Stay up late and stargaze.
Call a grandparent or older relative. Ask them to teach you the words to a song from their childhood days.
Using household materials, build a working rain gauge, barometer, and wind vane.
Determine and chart the times that different liquids require to turn solid in the freezer.
Design and build puppets that perform a show about multiplication.
Construct a family tree.
Learn ten new big words. Write them in marker on your bathroom mirror.
Draw a map of your home.
Sit silently for 15 minutes while you write down every sound you hear. When you are done, classify the sounds (high/low pitch, high/low volume, manmade v. naturally occurring, etc.).
Create a Venn Diagram that compares and contrasts two people in your family, your neighborhood, or your church, mosque, or temple.
Learn, practice, and perform a magic trick.
Learn, practice, and tell three new jokes.
Use household materials to make and play stringed, percussion, and wind instruments.
Learn to shine a pair of shoes.
Collect leaves from ten different (non-harmful) plants. Sort them by size, color, and texture.
Put your favorite book, toy, and keepsake on a small table in sunlight. Draw or paint a full color still life.
Find, pick, and dissect a flower.
If you have stairs, walk up and count them. Walk down and count by twos. Walk up and count by threes. Continue through tens.
Determine the volumes of ten containers, them display them in order on your porch.
Write a poem on your sidewalk using chalk.
Classify twenty everyday objects by shape, size, color, height, mass, and material.
Measure the length of your bed using five different nonstandard units.
Call a person who speaks a language you do not. Ask them to teach you five common words or phrases.
Create and use a secret code.
Using one type of paper (constant), build three different paper airplanes (independent variable) and test to see how far they fly (dependent variable).
Set a clock three hours and seven minutes ahead. Whenever someone needs to know the time, help them figure it out by subtracting.
Write down every adjective you say for one full day.
Learn three new jokes. Tell them to an aunt or uncle.
Design a map of every state ever visited by people in your family.
Write or tell a story titled “What if humans had to leave the Earth and no one remembered to turn off the last robot?”
Find ten rocks smaller than a dime.
Using paper, tape, and string, design, build, and test a device that warns you when someone opens the kitchen cabinet.
Imagine, create, and fly a full size flag that tells the world about you.
Source: Kim Jones McClelland
All the Best to You and Yours,
Vulcan County Early Childhood Development Coalition