Atlanta Parent talked to Haley Kilpatrick, founder of Girl Talk, who is the mom to Grace, 5, and Kate, 2.

What’s your go-to craft or activity?

  • We play Rescue Your Toys. They go and collect a bunch of small toys, and then you put them in a Pyrex or plastic container, cover them with water and freeze it. They have to rescue their toys, chipping away at it, and it entertains for hours. We’ve also done themed ones, where they’ll collect all the toys shaped like a heart or their Disney princesses. We’ve also made homemade play dough.
  • In the beginning, I bought this $3 watercolor kit and a notepad of Crayola watercolor paper. It is the gift that keeps on giving. It inspired a really sweet project that our oldest wanted to do. She worked on nine paintings, and we posted them online to friends and family, and any donation of $3 or more went to the Transitional Living Cottage in Baxley, Georgia. She had orders for 10 more for a total of 19 paintings, and we were able to donate $345. I and three of my friends wanted to turn the number 19 into a positive thing, so we came up with GIVE-19 as a way to engage parents and their kids to think about what can we do in increments of 19 for positive during this time. It’s been a great way to keep our spirits up and a beautiful way to get outside of ourselves.

What’s your go-to meal? 

Our kids love salmon, so we get a frozen six pack of wild-caught salmon, and make Lemon Pepper Salmon with lemon pepper and olive oil and served with basmati rice and green beans.

We get delivery twice a week from our favorite restaurants, which is nice for moms with young kids who don’t want to load them up in the car. Flower Child has been amazing. They’re offering 35% off with the code FLOWER35, which has made healthy food more affordable for our family and allows us to support one of our favorite restaurants.

What do you do when your kids say, “I’m bored?” 

I have this printout I found on Pinterest hanging on the fridge, and it’s an acronym for when children say, “I’m bored.” It asks have you: Been creative; Outside play; Read a book; Exercised 20 minutes; Done something helpful? Usually, she can answer it herself and come up with something to do, and our two-year-old gets to witness that response to I’m bored—what can you do to find a way to entertain yourself or make an impact?

Is there an educational app or activity they enjoy?

Both girls love the app Endless Alphabet. It shows and defines a big word, and you drag the letters to the word. It’s entertained them both for an extended period of time.

There’s also been a resurgence of puzzles. There’s a “Frozen” puzzle the girls have done 6-7 times over the past two weeks, and they ask to do it. It’s been fun to do those as a family, and they’re loving piecing it together and working as a team.

How are you connecting to other relatives and friends during this time?

I am a snail mail lover, so we’ve been sending a lot of letters, with art or things the girls have colored to let the grandparents and great-grandparents know they’re loved. We wrote a thank you note to our neighbor, because she helped make Easter special by leaving treats in her yard for the girls to find. We’re trying to think outside the box of FaceTime or Zoom. We dropped off items at the grandparents’ house and got to see their reaction and see them face-to-face, even though we’re six feet apart.

What other advice do you have for Moms at this time?

You can choose to be calm and trusting, or you can choose to be fearful and anxious. Either way, both are contagious. Children learn more from how you behave. Whatever you need to do to ground yourself and cultivate a calm, trusting environment, even if that’s waking up an hour early to have time for yourself. I set this intention every morning that my children are learning how to handle an unprecedented circumstance by my actions.

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