Atlanta Parent talked to Whitney Kemmerick, Marketing Manager for LEGOLAND Discovery Center, who is the mom to Harper, 3.5.

What’s your go-to craft or activity?

  • Week one, I realized there was no way I could do this with the supplies I have on hand. I ordered a cardboard playhouse on Zulily that you can color and paint, and that thing has gotten so much life. It’s one of those things we keep going back to, and it’s become a quiet time house for her, where she can chill out with her pillows and books.
  • Slime, even though I’d said, “I’m never going to do that.” It takes up a solid hour.
  • We’ve also been doing a lot of toilet paper puppet crafts. You can do them all different ways, and then she can put on fun little puppet shows.
  • We try to get outside every day. We’re not going anywhere near a playground, as she doesn’t understand why she can’t play. There’s a field near the house that we go to where we take a walk, and we’ve taken kites, boomerangs and soccer balls out to play.
  • I got a splash pad on Amazon, and we put that in the backyard.
  • We’ve also created a Candy Land game with sidewalk chalk, and we use the Candy Land cards to see who can get to the porch first.

What’s your go-to meal? 

We’ve been trying to support local restaurants by ordering out as much as possible. Wahoo Grill in Decatur has the best takeout menu with cocktail kits and dinners. Every Friday night, my husband and I order food, relax a little bit and have a date night. We set up music in the backyard, sit outside and play cornhole. It’s a really good experience, and I look forward to it.

Other than that, I will make something that can feed us for a couple days, like spaghetti, cheesy chicken enchiladas or roasted sweet potatoes, which you can serve as a side dish or put on top of a salad.

Roasted Sweet Potatoes

  • Preheat oven to 425°F.
  • Spray baking dish or roasting pan with cooking spray.
  • Dice sweet potatoes into ½”-thick pieces.
  • Sprinkle with brown sugar, cinnamon and nutmeg.
  • Roast until soft (25-30 minutes), turning half way through.

What do you do when she says, “I’m bored?” 

I tend to suggest activities she doesn’t like, like “Read a book,” “Go outside” or “Take a nap.” She’ll sulk away and find something she wants to do on her own. Or I’ll list off all the toys she has before she settles on something she can play with independently.

Is there an educational app or activity she enjoys?

Melissa & Doug has Pre-K workbooks, and ideally an hour a day, we’ll sit down with one of those workbooks. Right now, she’s working through numbers, and since it’s a giant coloring book, she gets to have fun and do the educational piece. We’ve also increased storytime by reading 4-5 stories. We’re cognizant that we have to give ourselves a bit of grace, as there’s no way to do this without increasing screen time. As she’s gotten more screen time, we’ve increased the educational activities.

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

Once a week we try to do WhatsApp with the family. We call the in-laws every other day. We’re trying to touch base with everyone at least once a week. I have a group text with my other mom friends, where we share daily photos and updates.

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

I follow a lot of mom boards on Instagram, like Scary Mommy. They’re funny, and at night, I’ll sit down with a glass of wine and go on Instagram, and that has been helpful and good for a laugh.

Give yourself grace. There’s no “How to Parent in a Pandemic” rulebook—allow yourself to break all the rules you normally follow.

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