Bay Area Parenting (and beyond) Amidst COVID-19
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Saturday, March 14, 2020
By Jenn Hoffmann Photography
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What a crazy world we are in right now!  I was telling my kids today that they are living through a major historical event.  One that they will get to tell their kids about... talk about how school and sports were canceled and what they did to fill the days while we self quarantine.  They will recall some of the fear, but hopefully they will remember the time we spent together hunkering down and passing this unprecedented time with one another.

To my dear clients, I hope that you are healthy and doing ok.  The COVID-19 situation is ever evolving and I am watching it unfold with a prayer in my heart that we are ahead of the major crisis and can easily and quickly flatten the curve.  For those of you with imminent photo sessions on the calendar, I have reached out via email.  For those of you with sessions a bit further out, it's just a wait and see game.  If you have any questions or concerns, please feel free to message me!  I won't be announcing any Mini Session dates for Spring until we know what we are dealing with but if you are looking to book a particular session (newborn, milestone, family, etc), please reach out and we can figure out the best way to serve your needs safely!

Now what are we going to do with all of this "free" time!?!?  First, make sure you take care of YOURSELF!  

  • Get a quick little home workout in (try PopSugar Fitness on YouTube- it's free!)
  • Download a meditation app (try "calm")
  • Have a glass of wine....St. Supéry Estate Vineyards and Winery is pleased to announce that it will hold a virtual wine tasting every Thursday afternoon. The winery created a 6-pack Injoy @ Home Tasting Kit that contains the wines to be discussed for the next six weeks with promotional pricing and shipping included. Email for a dedicated link to the Zoom hang out or if you are interested in learning more; winery staff remain available via email and phone (+1 866-612-2582) to discuss all things wine-related
  • DIY paint project from AR Workshop
  • Facetime/Zoom with friends and family (you can also set up virtual playdates for your kids)

..... whatever eases your mind just a bit.

Personally, I'm going to wait to hear from our teacher(s) as to what type of online learning might be expected from my kids and will then plan our schedules from there... but will definitely be pulling from these ideas!  I'll incorporate both structured and unstructured learning time. 

-Here are two links with comprehensive lists of FREE resources for your children:

Amazing Educational Resources 

Kids Activities Blog (an ENTIRE list of education companies offering free subscriptions)

-And a multitude of ideas to fill your days and keep your kids engaged:

Now is the time to start writing/journaling! My kids are both writing in a journal about this crisis daily.  My goal is for them to create a piece of personal history for their kids/grandkids.  Other great ways to incorporate writing-

  • Write notes/draw pictures and mail them to local Nursing Homes who are not accepting visitors *Please Note* (One specific nursing home that is ASKING for letters, pictures and artwork is: Heartis Clear Lake, 14520 Highway 3, Webster, Texas, 77598) and/or you can join the Facebook group Corona Sunshine and upload your artwork to then be digitally distributed to centers in need of a little "sunshine".
  • Young Writers Program (elementary, middle and high school levels)

Board Games & Puzzles  (a few fun suggestions- Taco Cat Goat Cheese Pizza, Q-Bitz, Catan, Sequence, Upwords, Trivial Pursuit: Family EditionYahtzee, Phase 10, Othello) or play online with these fun games-

  • Game Pigeon (app that connects players via iMessage in fun games such as Crazy 8, Cup Pong, Checkers, Chess, Mancala, etc.  My kids play with me and their grandparents!)
  • Kahoot app (grab a device, download the app and play against your family in games and trivia, there is also an online learning component)

Lot's of opportunities for Arts and Crafts-

  • Home Art Kits  (home art kits with 5 projects that can be purchased online and picked up in Pleasant Hill, Ca)
  • Joyful Art Studio with Christie Baron (she will be popping on FB live with art lessons for families and kids)
  • Let's Make Art (Art tutorials and subscription boxes)
  • Art for Kids Hub (lessons are perfect for any age, all you need is a few supplies! Lot's of "how to draw...")
  • Board & Brush ((email to place an order to work on at home)
  • Lunch Doodles with Mo Willems (draw, doodle and explore new ways of writing by visiting Mo’s studio virtually once a day for the next few weeks)
  • AR Workshop (DIY to go sign kits)
  • PlayDateRedefined (craft boxes with cute themes)
  • Draw Everyday with JJK  (Daily YoTube series with Children's book illustrator Jarrett Krosoczka)

Cooking together (pull together all of those old family recipes, try new ones, host your own version of Top Chef, become a master in one specialty, make a family cookbook!).  Or check out one of these "kits" you can order (some are FREE right now with just $4 shipping!)-

  • Food Stirs (Best Organic kids baking kits & bundles)
  • Baketivity (Kids baking DIY activity kit)
  • Kid Stir (Fun cooking kits mailed right to your door, they are giving away 25,000 Soups On kits for "free"- you pay $4 shipping)
  • Radish Cooking Kit (cooking club for kids, giving away 50,000 FREE kits, you pay $4 in shipping)- they also have a cute "cooking camp challenge"

Get some exercise, go need the fresh air! (while keeping your 6ft of "social distance"-go on a bike ride, walk the trail, play in your yard, go to the beach, go on a hike, do some yard work, go fishing, etc) OR you can put on some of these great apps/shows to get those little bodies moving-

Who doesn't love story time!?! Check out all of these different ideas to listen to and read different books-

  • Storyline Online (Free children's literacy resource featuring the world's best storytellers reading books aloud)
  • Epic (Digital library for kids 12 and under)
  • Atlantic White Shark Conservacy (Storytime 10am via Facebook live)
  • Storytime From Space (astronauts in space read popular children's books while floating around)
  • Audible (Stories are free to stream on your desktop, laptop, phone or tablet.  Explore the collection, select a title and start listening.)

Sit back and watch some Family friendly tv shows (Lego Masters, the Masked Singer, Kids Baking Championship {or any of the other Baking Championship series- Spring, Holiday, Halloween..}).  Other great educational shows are-

Love Science?  Check out these links-

  • Spectrum of Science (Facebook Live- free science lab, email for Science Notebook and Lab information)
  • KiwiCO (Enriching science and art projects delivered)
  • Mystery Science (offering free online science lessons, sign up for a free year!)

Have young toddlers/kids to keep busy?

Ready to take a virtual tour

There are a ton of PRINTABLE WORKSHEETS you can use to supplement learning-

Outschool (Live online classes ages 3-18)

Challenge Island (virtual enrichment classes)

Da Vinci Club (at home learning lab, free to organizations providing childcare to low-income families during this time) 

Math Distance Learning Resources (K-8 Children)

Brain Pop (focuses on STEM fields, granting free access for school closures)

ABC Mouse (early learning academy, 49% off annual subscription- try free for 30 days) 

Khan Academy (free online learning resource)

DuoLingo (learn a new language!)

Scholastic Learn at Home (free resource providing 20+ days of exciting articles, stories, videos and fun learning challenges)

Don't forget to Organize (now is the time to go through your closets, junk drawers, Tupperware containers, garages, etc). Check out Simply Organized for inspiration!

And above all else, please be kind to one another.  We are all navigating these uncharted waters.  Please help your elderly neighbor, check in on your friends and family and remember we WILL get through this! 


I will continue to update this list as I compile more ideas!  Stay healthy!

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