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Marshalltown Moms offer tips for kids at home

With most families stuck in home for several weeks because of the COVID-19 pandemic the Facebook group Marshalltown Moms offered some tips to avoid becoming stir crazy.

Kirsten Schmit, a Marshalltown Mom contributor suggests providing kids a sense of structure.

“Instead of staying in pajamas all day, we woke up, had breakfast, brushed teeth and got dressed-then built learning into the day by outlining a bit of a schedule,” Schmit said. “It is working best for us to keep a partial schedule, but not be so rigid that they feel frustrated or overwhelmed as we are all working through what the next several weeks will look like in our house.”

The stress of the COVID-19 pandemic hasn’t made caregiving more difficult for Schmit, but has introduced a “new normal.”

“Reaching out to offer help to others and dropping off food, supplies is key as well as not everyone has easy care giving options-lots of families are making tough choices and stress can be relative based on everyone’s unique situation,” Schmit said.

For parents stuck at home Schmit suggests using age appropriate workbooks using pencil and paper as well having a scavenger hunt in the house and yard.

Kate Bowermaster, a Marshalltown Moms contributor, has been utilizing St. Francis child care and has her parents in town to help.

Bowermaster has increased reading time and been working on letters and shapes with her preschoolers.

“Puzzles are a fun activity that I enjoy doing with my kids and I think we’ll spend more time reading together,” Bowermaster said. “My husband and I reading chapter books to the girls in the evenings are also fun.”

Amanda Accola, a Marshalltown Moms contributor, suggests talking to friends for tips.

“The hardest part is not being able to go to our normal activities,” Accola said. “My kids do better with routine. We’re working on establishing a set routine and plenty of outdoor activity to keep us busy.”

Kate Pergande, Marshalltown Moms contributor, is a stay-at-home mom so dealing with kids home from school isn’t a big change for her.

“I’m trying to change my thinking from ‘We have to stay home’ to ‘We’ve been given an opportunity to slow down from our super-busy, over-committed schedules, and just be,” Pergande said. “Be together, be home, enjoy each other’s company.”

She’s trying to keep a schedule.

“I am finding having a little more structure to our daily routine is helpful,” Pergande said. “For my school-aged kids, I’m incorporating, or trying to, some lessons throughout the day, whether it’s workbooks or online educational games.”

She’s looked through Pinterest for ideas on activities and crafts that work for her children.

“Families helping families as much as possible is what Marshalltown is all about, we have always been a community that supports each other,” Schmit said.

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Contact Thomas Nelson at (641)753-6611 or tnelson@timesrepublican.com

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