It’s no surprise that with the vast majority of non-essential workers working from home, both kids and parents are on a constant hunt to find new and exciting activities to do, all while juggling ‘normal’ life within their own four walls. Being at home while working, parenting 14+ hour days, plus making meals and cleaning the house is truly a super-parent feat! From long conference calls, while you are also helping wash hands and correct homework to sneak in an excel sheet at 10 pm when the kids are finally quiet and the last dish has been washed, there are so many ways to make your day easier that were never a “thing” before. Here are a few tips and tricks to make these long days a bit easier to power through. We call it #parenthacks:
1. Make both kiddo and adult lunches at night. Use the Innobaby Din Din SMART™ Bus Plate for your littles and the Innobaby Keepin’ SMART™ Stainless Leakproof bento boxes to store lunches overnight. BONUS: If your kiddos are old enough, hold a mini cooking class at night to help assemble the lunches for the next day! This saves us lots of time during the workday. It also keeps us accountable to our dietary needs as we are constantly home. The best part of the boxes is that they stack and fit in all lunch boxes. We personally use the Aquaheat insulated lunch bag to pack for our lunches as well as snacks on the go. It’s pliable and able to be put directly into the fridge. It also hangs on our stroller for easy on the go lunch options!
2. Make handwashing (bath and shower time, too!) fun with Innobaby silicone fish and duck-shaped scrubbers. Even my almost 39 year old husband uses one as a loofah AND to wash his hands and loves it. We find that cleanup time in our house is much easier when you have something safe and effective that the whole family can use. We have about 10 of them throughout the bathrooms in our house! We named our main one Daryl Duck and he is code-word for “go wash up”. (We literally say, “Go visit Daryl!”) They pitter patter in there and say hi to Daryl, wash up, and are on their way. I would say that the silicone duck gets used at least 5 times per day per kid plus adult use- he is the most used guy in our house for sure! The best part is that we easily clean him in the dishwasher every night so we know he is ready to go in the morning!
3. Make cleanup fun! Save those old shipping boxes and use them as shopping carts around the house. Assign each kiddo a room to collect things that are out of place and “shop” the room. They can sort them in a larger space or put them back straight from the cart if they are able! We like to up our game with a flashlight. We point to whatever needs to be picked up with the flashlight, name which kid is responsible, and the kids just love it!
4. Start each day with PE if time allows. Even just a quick walk around the block a couple times will make a difference in the overall daily attitude of both you and your kiddos. Those endorphins are important to keep your spirits (& energy!) high. We do multiple PE breaks throughout the day to keep our spirits high! Have a little one who takes 8 years to circle the block? We do! We put him in our Ecleve hip seat baby carrier every morning for a walk. The fresh air and snuggles start his day right. He is pushing 30 lbs now, and still has lots of room left in the Ecleve. Both of us wear him frequently for everything from walks to cooking to even yard work. I wear him to workout as well- talk about strength training!
5. Give your kiddos their own space within your workspace/childcare area. We have the Innobaby Sage Pole play tent in Norwegian pink in our workspace. The kiddos can be in their “own room” safely playing while we supervise and work. (Both boys are in there playing with iron man and Spiderman as I write and my Husband teaches remotely… WIN!) They are able to feel independent while being supervised. We even let them do lunch inside the play tent every once and a while when they ask- it’s washable so we always say yes! We’ve even caught our cat catching some sleep in there when she wants to get away from everyone!
6. Do snack box dinners! We love making ‘kid charcuterie’ plates. We use the Innobaby Din Din SMART™ Bus Plate to separate snacks. I like to do grapes, crackers, cut up turkey, cubed cheese, grape tomatoes, and cheerios! I refill as needed and the kids can pick and choose their snacks! They love that the compartments are the perfect size for their little hands yet big enough to hold a good amount of food. Leftovers? No problem! There is a uniquely designed cover lid for storing & stacking in the fridge to take out later for those grazers! Our middle guy is a grazer so he especially loves this part of snack box dinners! Need more? Fill one of the bento boxes with something your picky eater only likes for a special side. (It’s pickles for my picky guy!)
One of the coolest things to come out of these challenging times is the willingness of people to share their tips and tricks that are getting them through this season. From tips on cooking, childcare, activities, and workouts, the world seems to be looking out for each other, and we want nothing more than to contribute to this challenging, rewarding, and often beautiful new normal. Looking for more ways to keep your family occupied, happy, and healthy anytime of the year? Visit our Instagram page for tips and tricks from some of our expert moms who have become the creative force behind the fun use and purpose of all of our products at JoliMoli (www.jolimoli.com)! We offer a wide variety of products for your kiddos aged newborn all the way up to school-aged and beyond.