Hi, Mamas!!

As I’m sure you're all aware, we had to cancel many of our exciting Thrive programs this spring, but not to worry – we hope to reschedule and get back to normal once things settle down.  

That being said, I’ve come up with a few thoughts and ideas to keep ourselves and our little ones busy and connected while we’re safe at home!  And I would love to hear your ideas and the ways you’re keeping busy these days – feel free to email me at Dfabriz2@valleyhealth.com!

The first thing I want to share – and the most important – is to look for the silver linings! My silver lining in all this? I’m getting a little extra time with my baby girl! As a full-time working mom, I’m enjoying the occasional lunch break with my girl … and the comfy clothes during work hours! Try to think about what your silver linings are each day!

Here are some ways you can keep busy with your families:

  • Pizza-making parties
    Let everyone make their own and add their favorite toppings!
  • Backyard scavenger hunts
    Get some fresh air and find a rock, a leaf, a stick, a squirrel, an acorn, etc. 
  • Walks around the block as a family
    My husband calls them nature walks and likes to point out squirrels, birds, sticks, etc. 
  • Finger/sponge painting
  • Sensory bin play
    Grab a Tupperware and add dry pasta, buttons, small cups, different colored toys, pompoms— whatever you have handy – and enjoy!
  • Making and playing with recycled water bottle shakers
    Add glitter, confetti, food colored water, etc.
  • Making healthy smoothies together
    We are loving strawberry, banana, spinach, and dry oats these days!
  • Driveway chalk art and lots of bubble blowing
  • Playing with family-friendly recipes
    We recently added shaved carrots and walnuts to our pancakes, and it was a hit!
  • A tape-maze on the floor throughout the house
    Place tape around the house through different rooms on the floor and have kids follow it. We haven’t tried this one just yet, but it looks like a lot of fun!
  • Driveway Chutes and Ladders 
    Make a life-sized board on the driveway. This is another fun activity on our list – it looks great!

Bonus Activities ... Just for Mom! 

Valley’s Health & Wellness Center now has FREE LifeStyles at Home fitness classes online! There are lots of great classes right at home, from cardio and strength training workouts to mind/body classes. Check them out on our LifeStyles website! 

Be Kind to Yourself (and Your Kids!)

Even with all of the creative ideas circulating, it’s important to remember that this isn’t a contest of who can entertain their little ones best, and it certainly isn’t a time for being too hard on ourselves as parents. Sure, my girl is watching more TV than she used to, but with rainy days and a lack of resources, we sometimes have to give in a little.

It’s also important to remember that this is hard on our little ones as well! For many of them, this is a new day-to-day, and they’re adjusting too!

Getting through this may require a little more patience, a few extra episodes of “Blue’s Clues,” maybe an extra snack here and there, and definitely a support team!

You are all doing great, and I look forward to seeing you and your littles in the future!!

Stay well, enjoy the little things, and stay connected!

– Danielle

pancakes with carrots & walnuts
Our homemade pancakes with carrots and walnuts ... YUM!
sidewalk chalk
Gwen and I made a special message for all of the amazing healthcare workers at Valley! Thank you for being #ValleyStrong!!
sensory bin
We had lots of fun with this at-home sensory bin!
art project
My budding artist had a blast doing her very own art project!
Thrive-outdoors
My outdoor workspace/yoga studio!