Amanda Henderson (Guest Post)

getoutwiththekids.co.uk

How to Survive Winter in the Age of COVID-19:

A Parent’s Guide.

As a parent, winters were long, cold, and painful well before the pandemic hit — but there were still plenty of opportunities to take the kids to museums, indoor theme parks, and movie theaters. But now that winter is on the horizon and we’re in the midst of a pandemic, many parents are wondering how they’ll survive the cold weather months ahead while being cooped up at home with nowhere to take their children. Andi Webb from Diary of a Gay Dad shares some survival tips for parents in the sections below. 

Prepare Mentally

Winter is fast approaching, and it’s important to begin your coronavirus preparations now if you haven’t already done so. The earlier you can begin to prepare for the difficult months ahead, the more mental control you’ll have once you and your kids are officially cooped up indoors for the winter. Parade recommends thinking about what worked and didn’t work for your family when COVID-19 orders were first issued last winter — and then beginning your preparations from there. 

A few things to cover in your winter preparations include:● How you’ll structure each day, even on the weekends. ● The types of activities you’ll plan for your kids in the morning, while you’re working, and in the evening. ● The items you’ll need to stock up on now, like board games, coloring books, crayons, and finger paints. ● How you’ll take time for yourself and your partner, even when it seems impossible. 

Get Out Your Screens

Your family’s digital screen time should be moderated during quarantine, but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t let your little ones disconnect from the world for a while with online games and activities. From online multiplayer games such as Animal Crossing: New Horizons, to kid-friendly YouTube channels like Sesame Street and Ted-Ed, the digital world has been a godsend for parents and their children amidst COVID-19. 

To get the most out of your screens this winter, it’s important to eliminate any obstacles that may be present — such as old tablets or laptops and slow internet connections. If your kids will be learning or playing online while you’re trying to work, the last thing you’ll want is to hear your children complaining about a slow internet connection! However, the solution is as simple as upgrading your tech before winter officially arrives. 

If you live in the US, for instance, Verizon’s fiber-optic connections are worth looking into — especially if your kids will be playing online multiplayer games this winter. With a fiber optic internet connection, you’ll experience smoother gameplay, faster download speeds, and minimal lag and buffering. In the UK, however, gamers can enjoy fast speeds with the Full Fibre 100 from BT Broadband or Big Oomph Broadband from Virgin Media. 

Make the Most of Your Family Time

Until the world returns to normal and you’re back to meeting the demands of modern life, the best thing you can do is make the most of your family time at home. There are so many fun waysto enjoy your time together this winter, like playing indoor and outdoor games as a family, starting a new hobby, and making arts and crafts. 

If you’re looking to brave the cold this winter, some family-friendly outdoor activities include:● Skiing, snowboarding, ice skating, and snowshoeing. ● Making a backyard snow maze for your kids to enjoy. ● Shoveling snow together for the neighbors.● Stargazing, camping, and winter hiking. ● Visiting a winter farmers market (depending on local COVID-19 restrictions).

While movie theaters, science museums, and other indoor attractions may be out of the question this winter, this doesn’t mean you can’t still have fun as a family as the pandemic continues on. With a bit of planning and strategizing, you’ll reduce some coronavirus-related stress and anxiety, maintain your sanity, and keep your family happy and engaged as the snow falls and temperatures continue to drop. 

Looking for more parenting advice and personal experiences from Andi Webb? Visit his blog, Diary of a Gay Dad, or send him a message at contact@andiwebb.net!

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diaryofagaydad.net

A Gay Dad reflecting on life in the Shires of England with my not so famous five and two rapscallion Dalmatian hounds

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