Home Activities for Children during Isolation

RO: Cu siguranta nimeni nu si-a dorit sau imaginat situatia in care ne aflam acum si cel mai probabil tuturor celor aflati in izolare le este greu perioada aceasta. Insa pentru parinti statul numai in casa cu un copil (sau mai multi) este mai dificil decat ar parea. Pentru parinti (cel putin pentru parintii pe care ii cunoastem noi si cu care povestim si impartasim experientele din aceasta perioada) carantina nu inseamna mai mult timp, nu inseamna citit, vazut seriale pe Netflix, timp pentru sport, plictisit sau facut โ€œtoate lucrurile acelea pentru care nu gasesti niciodata timpโ€, ci… dimpotriva ๐Ÿ™‚ Da, este minunat, absolut minunat faptul ca putem petrece atat de mult timp impreuna, copiii sunt cu siguranta extrem de fericiti sa ii aiba pe ambii parinti acasa, insa este nevoie nu doar de foarte multa rabdare si disponibilitate din partea parintilor, ci si de inventivitate, imaginatie pentru creat jocuri si activitati noi, care sa ii faca pe copii sa uite de faptul ca sunt consemnati in casa. Iar in articolul acesta vrem sa povestim putin despre cum am gestionat noi situatia aceasta in prima luna de autoizolare acasa, cu Alexei, ce fel de activitati am facut, cum l-am tinut ocupat si ce jocuri il distreaza acasa.

EN: Nobody wanted this situation that we’re all facing now, that’s for sure, and most probably being in isolation is hard for everyone. But for parents staying indoors with a child (or more than one child) is more difficult than it might seem. For parents (at least the ones that we know and share our experiences with) quarantine doesn’t mean more time, doesn’t mean reading, watching TV shows on Netflix, time for sport, boredom or doing “all those things that you never have time for”, actually… on the contrary ๐Ÿ™‚ Yes, the fact that we can spend more time together is gorgeous, aboslutely gorgeous, children are for sure extremely happy to have both parents at home, but this requires not only a lot of patience and availability of the parents, but also creativity doe creating new activities and games,so that the children will forget that they have to stay inside the house. And in this article we will talk about how we handled this situation in the first month of self isolation at home with Alexei, what type of activities we made, how we kept him busy and what games are entertaining for him at home. 5_Home Activities_Spend time together
RO: Incepem insa cu precizarea ca avem doua avantaje enorme perioada aceasta: faptul ca avem o mica curte in spatele casei (care s-a dovedit a fi o mana cereasca) si apoi faptul ca inca ma aflu in concediu de maternitate, ceea ce mi-a permis sa ma focusez 100% pe Alexei si sa fiu extrem de rabdatoare si toleranta. Ii dedic foarte mult timp, neavand inca obligatii sau urgente de rezolvat pentru job. Situatia ar fi fost complet diferita daca as fi lucrat si eu, deci daca ambii parinti ar fi fost toata ziua in calluri, intalniri virtuale sau cu laptopul in brate raspunzand la mailuri. Insa intr-un timp extrem de scurt vom ajunge si in aceasta situatie si atunci va fi interesant de vazut cate din cele mentionate in acest articol vor mai putea fi aplicate ๐Ÿ™‚

EN: But we will start mentioning that we had two huge advantages during this time: the fact that we have a small backyard at home (which proved to be a godsend) and then the fact that I am still in maternity leave, which allowed me to focus 100% on Alexei and be patient and tolerant. I spend a lot of time with him, considering the fact that I do not have urgencies or duties for my job. The situation would have been completely different if I would have worked as well, so both of us would have been in conference calls, virtual meetings or with the laptops on our arms replying to emails. But in an extremely short time we will get to this situation and it will be interesting to see how much of what we will mention below will still be applied ๐Ÿ™‚
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RO: Inca de cand era foarte mic, Alexei a fost obisnuit sa petreaca foarte mult timp afara. De cand ne-am mutat in Olanda, incercam sa plecam de acasa dimineata si cel mai adesea ne intoarceam seara. E obisnuit sa stea afara, sa ne plimbam, sa vada locuri noi, sa alerge dupa porumbei, sa mearga la cursurile de muzica (unde se intalnea cu multi alti copii), sa mearga la locuri de joaca, sa nu stea locului. Chiar daca a avut intotdeauna o rutina a somnului si a meselor, restul zilei era mai putin constant. Asa ca m-am gandit ca va resimti schimbarea aceasta de ritm si ca il va afecta destul de mult statul in casa. M-am pregatit psihic pentru o perioada dificila, pentru mici tantrumuri, pentru enervari, frustrari, pentru dormit si mancat mai prost decat de obicei, pentru pierdut rabdarea si testat limite. Eram sigura ca vor veni toate intr-o anumita masura. Insa spre surprinderea mea, prima luna a fost nesperat de linistita, la polul complet opus de imaginea pe care mi-o proiectasem initial.

EN: Ever since Alexei was a baby, he was used to spend a lot of time outside. Since we moved to The Netherlands, we were often leaving the house int he morning and returning in the evening. He is used to stay outside, to walk a lot, to see new places, to run after the pigeons in the central square, to go to the music classes (where he met other children of his age), to go to different playgrounds, basically he was always doing something. Even though he always had a sleeping and eating routine, the rest of the day was less constant. So I thought that he will feel this change in his rhythm of life and that staying indoors will affect him a lot. I was mentally prepared for a difficult period, for tantrums, fuzziness, frustaration, for sleeping and eating worse than usual, for loosing patience and testing limits. I was sure we will have all of these at some point. But to my surprise, this first month was unexpectdly good, completely the opposite of what I initially envisioned. ย 
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RO: Prima mare schimbare pozitiva a fost faptul ca l-a avut alaturi si pe tati, pe parcursul intregii zile si nu doar seara cand se intorcea de la job. Asta l-a facut sa fie extrem de fericit si probabil sa asocieze perioada aceasta cu weekendurile (sau cu o vacanta). Chiar daca lucra de acasa, in pauzele de lucru putea sa petreaca timp cu el, sa se joace sau sa citeasca impreuna. A doua mare schimbare in bine a fost… vremea. Dupa un februarie extrem de ploios (de altfel cel mai ploios februarie de cand se fac masuratori in Olanda) a urmat o perioada de cateva saptamani in care vremea s-a schimbat la polul opus: soare, nici urma de ploaie si caldura (s-a ajuns si la 20 de grade in aceasta perioada). Simplul fapt ca in sfarsit vedeam si un altfel de vreme ne-a ajutat psihic foarte mult. Si apoi, venirea primaverii. Satucul in care locuim este renumit pentru faptul ca este extrem de verde (sunt foarte multe paduri si spatii verzi in zona) iar acum, primavara, imprejurimile sunt ireal de frumoase. Chiar si privelistea de pe geamul bucatariei este minunata, cu copacii care inmuguresc, florile care incep sa apara, copiii jucandu-se in fata caselor lor. Asa ca inca de la inceput am pornit in aceasta izolare cu o stare de spirit foarte buna si cu mult chef de joaca si activitati ๐Ÿ™‚ Recomandarile de mai jos cuprind produse pe care le-am folosit si testat pana acum, unele dintre ele cumparate sau primite din Romania, insa cele mai multe cumparate din Olanda. Am lasat linkuri chiar si catre magazinele online din Olanda, pentru a vedea exact cum arata produsele si denumirea exacta pe site (pentru o eventuala cautare in magazinele din Romania). Sunt activitatile pe care le facem noi cu Alexei, insa nu toti copiii au aceleasi preferinte, deci este o lista 100% subiectiva, cu activitatile care functioneaza la noi.

EN: The first positive change was the fact that we had daddy close to us for the entire day, not only during the evenings after coming back from work. And that made Alexei extremely happy and he probably associated this period with the weekends (or a vacation). Even though he was working from home, in his short breaks from work he could spend time with him, playing or reading together. The second positive change was… the weather. After an extremely rainy February (actually the wettest February since formal records began in The Netherlands) we had several weeks with completely different weather: sun, no trace of rain and warmth (even 20 degrees for this time of the year). The simple fact that we could finally see such weather here mentally helped us a lot. And then, the arrival of spring. The village where we live is known as being extremelly green (there are lots of forests and green spaces around) and now, during spring time, the surroundings are surreal. Even the view from our kitchen window is gorgeous, with the trees starting to sprout, the flowers and the children playing in the front of their houses. So even from the beginning we started this isolation with a good state of mind and a lot of appetite for playing and activities ๐Ÿ™‚ The below recommendations include products that we’ve used and tested so far, some of them bought or received from Romania, but most of them bought from The Netherlands. We included the links to the online shops here in The Netherlands, just to show the exact products and their naming on the website (for a search in the Romanian shops). These are the activities we do with Alexei, but of course, not all children have the same preferences, so this is a 100% subjective list, with the activities that work for us. 8_Home Activities_Drawing
1. Citit / Reading
RO: Inca de cand era bebelus ii citeam carti, insa a inceput sa fie cu adevarat interesat de povesti pe la 18 luni, cand asculta cu interes si incepea sa asocieze povestile cu imaginile din carticele. In momentul de fata e innebunit, pur si simplu innebunit dupa carticica “Roata, roata, prin lumea toata” a lui Richard Scarry (sau Busy, busy world varianta in engleza), pe care ar vrea sa o citim incontinuu (noi o avem de la Cartea Copiilor, link aici). Incercam sa alternam si cu alte carti (inclusiv carti cu poezii scurte, pentru copii), insa aceasta ramane cea preferata.

EN: Ever since he was a baby, we used to read him books, but he started to be interested in listening the stories we read and associate the images with the stories around 18 months. At this moment he is mad about the book called “Busy, busy world” by Richard Scarry (link here), he asks us to read him all the time. We try to show him other books as well (books with short poems for children) but this one remains the prefered one.ย 
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2. Desenat, Colorat cu creioane / Drawing, Colouring with Crayons
RO: Alexei are cu siguranta o pasiune pentru astfel de activitati. Cel mai probabil eu i-am insuflat aceasta preferinta pentru pictat, colorat si desenat (fiind si pentru mine un mod de a ma relaxa), astfel ca vazandu-ma pe mine foarte implicata si entuziasmata de aceasta activitate, si el face cu drag toate aceste lucruri. Am inceput foarte devreme cu desenatul (pe la 11 luni), dandu-i creioane speciale pentru bebelusi si copii mici, din materiale naturale, non-toxice (am gasit la Crayon Rocks unele foarte bune, se gasesc la Carturesti – link aici). Apoi creioane normale dar foarte groase, usor de tinut in mana (am gasit la Hema, link aici – au nevoie insa de ascutitoare speciale, foarte groasa). Iar apoi, pe la 20 de luni, i-am dat si creioane normale, subtiri, ca sa invete sa le tina in mana mai usor. Am folosit tot felul de creioane, si normale si cerate, prefer insa sa le foloseasca pe cele cerate, subtiri, ca sa nu se accidenteze (am gasit creioane cerate la Hema, link aici). Mai nou a inceput sa fie interesat de cartile de colorat, ceea ce ma bucura enorm, asa ca am inceput sa ii iau astfel de carti (de oriunde gasesc). Ce mi s-a parut interesant insa este rola de hartie de colorat de la Ikea (link aici), are 10m si poate fi folosita multa vreme. Mai avem niste carti de colorat interesante, cu imagini mari, bune de colorat de catre copilasii mici, de la The Crush Series (link aici).

EN: Alexei definitely has a passion for this kind of activities. Most probably I inspired him to be interested in painting, colouring and drawing (these are very relaxing for me as well), so seeing me so involved and enthusiastic doing this activity, he also likes doing it. We started early with drawing (around 11 months) , using some crayons that are especially made for babies and young children, from natural, non toxic materials (we found some really nice ones at Crayon Rocks, which can be found at Carturesti – link here). Then we used normal crayons but thicker and easier to handle (we found some at Hema, link here, but they need a special sharpener for thick crayons). And then, around 20 months, we gave him normal, thin crayons, so that he can practice holding them in the hand. We used all sort of crayons, normal or waxy, but I always prefer to use the waxy ones (thin ones) so that he doesn’t hurt himself (we found waxy crayons at Hema, link here). Recently, he started to like colouring books, which makes me really happy, so I started buying this kind of books (from anywhere I find nice ones). What I find interesting is the colouring roll from Ikea (link here), it has 10m and it can be used for a long time. We have other interesting colouring books, with large images, great to colour by young children, from The Crush Series (link here).ย  23_Home Activities_Drawing
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3. Desenat, Colorat cu carioci si Pictat / Drawing, Colouring with Felt Pens and Painting
RO: Daca la desenat si colorat cu creioane il putem lasa singur (nu a avut pana acum tentative de a duce creioanele pe pereti, ii spunem mereu ca acestea se folosesc doar pe hartie), cand vine vorba de carioci sau de pictat, are nevoie de supraveghere continua. Altfel ar iesi un mic dezastru ๐Ÿ™‚ In ceea ce priveste pictatul, facem foarte multe activitati (pictat cu pensula, pictat cu mana, cu acuarele normale, cu borcanase de vopsea, il las sa exploreze orice mod de a picta, sa mixeze culorile cum isi doreste, sa fie cat de creativ isi doreste). Toate accesoriile pentru desen i le luam de la Hema, insa in Romania comandam de la micostore.ro (unde au si carioci lavabile si tot felul de alte lucruri interesante).

EN: If we can leave him alone when he draws or colors with crayons (up until now he never wanted to use the crayons on the walls, we always tell him that those are used only on paper), when it comes to felt pens or painting, he needs a continuous surveillance. Otherwise we would have a total chaos in the house ๐Ÿ™‚ We do a lot of activities that involve painting (painting with brushes, painting with the hand, with normal water colours, with with gouaches, I try to let him explore any tecnique he likes, to mix the colors as he wishes, to be as creative as he wants). All the accessories we have are from Hema, but when we are in Romania we order from micostore.ro (they also have washable felt pens and other interesting things). ย 
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4. Sabloane / Drawing Templates
RO: Imi este foarte drag sa ii desenez diverse lucruri si chiar mi se pare adorabil cum vine si le coloreaza, mazgaleste, picteaza. Insa uneori nu are rabdare sa le termin, asa ca un sablon ar fi ideal (plus ca desenele ies mult mai frumoase si mai reale decat ce as putea eu sa ii desenez cu mana libera). Am luat doua sabloane cu animale de la Blokker (acesta si acesta) insa am gasit destul de multe variante si in Romania (cum ar fi acestea sau cele de la jucariishop.ro, unde au o gama mai variata). Mie mi se pare important sa fie un sablon destul de mare, in care sa incapa cu usurinta creionul (cele luate de mine sunt micute si de multe ori am nevoie de un creion extrem de ascutit ca sa le pot desene – evit sa folosesc creioane foarte ascutite cu Alexei in preajma).

EN: I like drawing him all sort of things and I really find him adorable when he draws them, scribbles them or paints them. But sometimes he doesn’t have enough patience to finish the drawings so a template would be ideal (besides, the drawings are way more beautiful and more realitisc that what I can draw him by hand). We have two templates with animals from Blokker (this one and this one) but we found many options in Romania as well (as these ones or the ones from jucariishop.ro, where they have many options). I think it is important to have a large template, so that the crayon can fit (the ones that I bought are small and sometimes I need a really sharp crayon to draw them – I avoid using sharp crayons with Alexei around).ย 
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5. Decupaje / Cutting
RO: Pentru un copil mic (de pana in doi ani) este cam devreme pentru decupat, fiind mereu tentat sa foloseasca foarfeca. Insa am vrut sa incerc si am fost extrem de atenta ori de cate ori ne-am jucat in acest mod. Spre surprinderea mea, a fost extrem de incantat, am fost nevoita sa desenez si decupez zeci de Mickey Mouse in aceste saptamani ๐Ÿ™‚ Pe care ii folosim in fel si chip (uneori chiar danseaza cu ei).

EN: It might be a bit too early for cutting activities for a young child (up to two years), as he will always be tempted to use the scissors. But I just wanted to try if he is interested in such an activity and I was extremely careful whenever we played this way. To my surprise, he was really happy with this activity, I had to draw and cut tens of Mickey Mouses these weeks ๐Ÿ™‚ But we use them in all sort of ways (sometimes he even dances with them).
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6. Pasta modelatoare sau plastilina / Modelling paste or modelling clay
RO: Noi am folosit pana acum mai mult pasta modelatoare, care este foarte usor de folosit, speciala pentru copii mici, dar care se usuca foarte repede. Daca este lasata cateva ore afara, devine solida si sfarmicioasa, apoi nu mai poate fi modelata. Practic trebuie facute formele, lasate la uscat si apoi jucat cu formele respective. Noi avem pasta de la magazinul Hema (link aici), insa am gasit si in magazine din Romania. Plastilina am incercat de curand (am luat de la Blokker), este mai greu putin de modelat, dar nu se usuca si poate fi refolosita.

EN: Up until now, we used the modelling paste more, which is really easy to use, made especially for young children, but the only inconvenience is the fact that it dries really fast. If left outside for a couple of hours it becomes solid and crumbly and then it can no longer be moulded. Basically the shapes are made, then left for drying and at end the purpose is to play with those shapes. We have the moulding pasta from Hema (link here) but we found similar ones in Romania. We recently used modelling clay as well (found it at Blokker), it is a bit harder to mould but it doesn’t try and it can be reused.
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7. Creta / Chalk
RO: Afara sau in casa (pe placa cu tabla de la turnul Leea), este intotdeauna o activitate care ii place lui Alexei. Avem o creta mai groasa, mai usor de tinut in manutele unui copil mic (luata de la Hema) care insa face destul de mult praf si mizerie, insa am inteles de la alte mamici ca la Ikea ar exista o creta foarte buna pentru interior (link aici), care nu lasa praf. Mai avem si o carticica cu pagini groase, ca o tabla si un set de bucati de creta subtiri, ca niste creioane, luata de la muzeul Nijntje din Utrecht (link aici).

EN: Outside or inside the house (on the chalkboard from the Leea learning tower), it is always an activity that Alexei enjoys. We have thicker chalk, easier to hold by the hands of a small child (we found it at Hema), which makes a lot of dust and misery, but we received some advice from other mothers that Ikea has a set of chalk that are great for interior (link here), that leave no dust at all. We also have a book with thicker pages, that look like a chalkboard and also with a set of thin chalks, like crayons, bought from Nijntje Museum in Utrecht (link here).
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8. Carticele Usborne / Usborne Books
RO: Avem foarte multe astfel de carticele, cu ajutorul carora reusim sa facem foarte multe activitati. Carticele speciale pentru pictat cu degetele, asa numitele fingerprint books (link aici), cu buretei imbibati in culoare, in care isi pot pune degetelele sau intreaga palma (sunt foarte dragute iar buretii nu se usuca repede, noi o folosim de 6 luni si inca sunt buni). Sau carti cu clapete (flap books) cu diferite tematici (link aici). Sau carti cu stickere (link aici). Sunt foarte multe carti care ar putea fi folosite ca diverse activitati, au si seturi de carduri foarte interesante (link aici), si carti de povesti, pentru fiecare categorie de varsta.

EN: We have so many Usborne books and we manage to do quite a lot of activities with them. Fingerprint books (link here), with some sponges full of water colors, where children can dip their fingers or the entire hand (these are really nice and the sponges do not get dry, we use them for 6 months and they are still ok). Or flap books with different themes (link here). Or sticker books (link here). There are many books that can be used as different activities, they also have set of cards that are very interesting (link here) and story books, for all age categories.
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9. Tobogan / Playground slide
RO: Atat afara in curte, cat si in casa, folosim placa de tobogan de la turnul de invatate Leea Toys (link aici). Avem acest turn inca de cand a implinit Alexei un an si il folosim in continuare in fiecare zi. Pe masura ce creste adaptam activitatile in functie de preferintele lui, insa in momentul de fata placa de tobogan si tabla pentru scris cu creta (o singura placa cu doua fete) sunt cele mai folosite. Deseori folosim turnul si ca masa de desen, il rasturnam pur si simplu si punem rola de hartie deasupra uneia dintre placi.

EN: For both indoors and outdoors we use the Leea Toys learning tower (link here). We have this learning tower since Alexei turned one and we still use it daily. As he grows he adapt the activities according to his preferences, but at this moment he loves the slide and the chalkboard (this is only one board, with two different sides), these two are used the most now. We often use the tower as drawing table, we just put it on one side and add the paper roll on one of the boards.
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10. Piese de construit / Building Blocks
RO: Inca folosim doar piese Lego Duplo (nu si Lego clasic), fiind mai mari si mai usor de imbinat pentru Alexei. Nu avem foarte multe (doua seturi cu tren – acesta si acesta, unul cu aeroport, unul cu aninalute de la ferma si o placa Lego unde sa ne asezam โ€œcreatiileโ€) dar ii plac foarte mult. Mai avem si un alt set de piese de construit, din plastic, mai putin calitative dar mai mari, pe care le foloseste mai usor. Si un set de piese de construit din lemn si placa acrilica colorata, pe care le avem de multa vreme dar pe care abia acum le folosim cu incredere ca nu se loveste cu ele (le avem de la magazinul catenlunasinstele.ro, insa nu le mai au acum pe stoc; dar ca idee le-am gasit pe un alt site, link aici – sunt cele din pozele noastre de mai jos).

EN: We’re still using only Lego Duplo (so no Lego Classic yet), as these are larger and easier to play with for Alexei. We don’t have too many (two sets with trains – this one and this one, one with an airport, one with farm animals and a Lego plate to place the “creations”) but he really likes them. We have another set of building blocks, made of plastic, less qualitive but bigger and easier to use. And a set of wooden blocks with colorful acrylic panels that we have for quite a while but only now he can use them without worrying that he will hurt with them (we have them from catenlunsinstele.ro but they are no longer in stock; but just to have the product, we found them on a different website, link here – these are the ones in our pictures below).ย 
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11. Jocuri cu animalute / Playing with animals
RO: Cred ca nu exista joc cu animalute care sa nu ii atraga atentia intr-un fel sau altul. Fie ca sunt jucarii sau plusuri in forma de animale, sau animale in carti sau carduri, sunt intotdeauna de interes pentru Alexei. Am incercat chiar si un joc de umbre cu animalutele, inspirata fiind de aici. Si i-au placut foarte mult ๐Ÿ™‚

EN: I think there is no animal game in the world that Alexei would not be attracted by. Either toys or stuffed toys in the shape of animals, or animals in books or cards, they are always a real success for Alexei. We even tried a shadow drawing game, inspired by this link. and he loved it ๐Ÿ™‚
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12. Casuta din cartoane / Paperboard house
RO: Aceasta a fost 100% ideea lui Andrei de activitate tata-fiu, care poate fi facuta atat in casa cat si afara. A urmarit cateva tutoriale pe Youtube, a improvizat in functie de ce materiale a avut la indemana si a iesit o casuta subreda dar extrem simpatica. Nu conteaza oricum cat de bine iese, este o activitate noua care ii va tine pe copii ocupati si antrenati in joaca. Preferabil de facut in weekend, cand ambii parinti au mai mult timp la dispozitie, pentru ca este o activitate ce poate dura cateva zile bune ๐Ÿ™‚ Noi am inceput-o zilele trecute, insa este un mic proiect la care vom lucra zi de zi. Intr-una din zile pictam ferestre, in alta desenam interiorul, apoi o “mobilam” si tot asa.

EN: This was 100% Andrei’s idea of father and son activity, that can be made inside or outside the house. He watched some Youtube tutorials, he improvised depending on what materials he had at hand and in the end they made a shabby but really cute paperboard house. It doesn’t really matter how perfect it is, it is an activity that will keep the children busy and involved in playing. It is preferably to make it during weekends, when both parents have more time because it is an activity that can last several ddays :)) We recently started it but it is a small project that we will work for every day. In one of the days we will draw the windows, in another day we will paint the interior, then we will add some “furniture” and so on and so forward.ย 
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13. Abtibilduri / Stickers
RO: Probabil ca nu este copil pe lume care sa nu fie atras de abtibilduri. Noi ii luam de oriunde gasim abtibilduri interesante, insa cel mai des comandam de la Usborne (carti speciale cu abtibilduri) sau de la Hema – au foi pline de abtibilduri (link aici) sau cutii mari cu abtibidluri din spuma (link aici) pe care le dezlipeste si le lipeste unde vrea, pe caiet sau pe ferestre. Ba chiar am gasit niste abtibilduri speciale pentru geamuri, care nu au lipici si se pot refolosi foarte usor (nu lasa urme de lipici pe geam) – acestea sunt pentru noi o mana cereasca (link aici), insa nu pot fi folosite altundeva decat pe geam.

EN: Probably there’s no kid on this world that doesn’t like stickers. We buy him stickers from anywhere we find interesting ones, but most often we order from Usborne (sticker books) or from Hema – they have foils with stickers (link here) or big boxes with foam stickers (link here) that he can glue and unglue wherever he wants, on the notebook or on the windows. But we also found some stickers that are especially made for windows, have no glue and can be easily reused (they leave no glue on the window) – these are a godsend for us (link here) but they cannot be used anywhere else, just on the window.
34_Home Activities_Stickers
14. Baloane sapun / Soap Bubbles
RO: Evitam sa folosim baloanele cu sapun in casa, dar daca este absolut necesar… le folosim si in casa ๐Ÿ™‚ Este o activitate care la noi se lasa cu multa mizerie, pentru ca este intotdeauna mai amuzat de aruncat lichidul pentru baloane pe jos, decat de baloane in sine, daaaar daca reusim sa facem acest lucru afara, il putem tine ocupat destul de mult timp. Si alergand dupa baloane, ca sa le sparga, face si activitate fizica ๐Ÿ™‚ Pozele folosite sunt facute in Amsterdam, iarna aceasta, le-am ales doar pentru ca sunt mai frumoase decat cele facute acasa ๐Ÿ™‚

EN: We try to avoid using soap bubbles inside the house, but if it is absolutely necessary… we use them indoors as well ๐Ÿ™‚ This is a really messy activity for us, as it is always a lot more fun to throw the bubble liquid on the floor rather than enjoy the balloons, buuuut if we manage to do this outside, we can keep him busy for quite a while. And running after the balloons to break them, he also does some physical activity ๐Ÿ™‚ The pictures used are taken in Amsterdam this winter, we have chosen them as they are nicer than the ones we took at home ๐Ÿ™‚
31_Home Activities_Soap Bubbles
31_Home Activities_Soap Bubbles3
15. Pachete de Carduri / Cards
RO: Avem foarte multe astfel de pachete de carti/carduri, cu diverse tematici. Animale, fructe, legume, obiectede tot soiul. Este o activitate care ii place foarte mult pentru ca invata multe lucruri noi. Iar multe dintre aceste carduri au si informatii interesante, pe care incercam sa i le citim intr-un mod cat mai amuzant.

EN: We have plenty of such cards, with different themes. Animals, fruits, vegetables, all sort of objects. This is an activity that he really likes because he learns a lot of new things. And most of these cards have interesting information written on them and we try to read that to Alexei in a funny way.ย 
21_Home Activities_Cards
22_Home Activities_Cards
16. Puzzleuri / Puzzles
RO: Multa vreme Alexei nu a fost foarte interesat de puzzleuri, insa dupa 18 luni a devenit brusc innebunit dupa ele. In prima faza de cele cu piese foarte mari si groase, speciale pentru copii mici (avem unele extrem de frumoase de la Pepco, in forma de animale, pe care inca le foloseste si le face si cu ochii inchisi :D). Apoi a inceput sa prefere si puzzleurile normale, cu piese mai mici, cum este cel din imaginea de mai jos. Nu reuseste sa il faca singur dar este o activitate draguta de facut impreuna. Puzzleul cu harta lumii este de la Petit Collage, link aici.

EN: For quite a while Alexei was not so interested in puzzles, but after 18 months he suddently became obssesed with them. At first he wanted to play with large ones, especially made for young children (we have some really nice ones from Pepco, in the shape of animals – he still uses them and makes them even with his eyes closed :D). Then, he started to prefer the normal puzzles, with smaller pieces, as the one in the image below. He can’t make it on his own, but it is a nice activity to do together. The puzzle with the world map is from Petit Collage, link here.ย 
2_Home Activities_Puzzles
17. Tablita magnetica / Magnetic Board
RO: Multe dintre jocurile si activitatile pe care le facem cu Alexei sunt de la Petit Collage, luate de la jucariialtfel.ro. Au tot felul de jucarii educative, care la noi au functionat de minune. Pe langa puzzle de mai sus cu harta lumii, si tablita magnetica il atrage foarte mult. Este insa pentru copii mai mari, avand piese mici si foarte mici (a noastra se poate gasi aici), insa ne jucam impreuna si avem mare grija sa nu duca piesele inspre gura.

EN: Many of the games and activities that we do with Alexei are from Petit Collage, bought fromย  jucariialtfel.ro. They have all sort of educational toys, that worked magically for us. Besides the world map puzzle, the magnetic board attracts him very much. It is for older children, as it has small and very small pieces (ours can be found here) but we play together and we take care that he never takes the pieces towards his mouth.ย 
12_Home Activities_Magnetic Playset
18. Stampile / Stamps
RO: Stampile cu diverse forme, pe care sa le imprime pe hartie. Am gasit unele interesante la Hema, cu foarte multe forme (link aici), insa si la Ikea au unele similare (mai putine forme insa, link aici).

EN: Stamps with different shapes that can be printed on paper. We found some interesting ones at Hema, with a lot of shapes (link here), but Ikea also has similar ones (less shapes, link here).
35_Home Activities_Stamps
19. Gatit sau orice alta activitate casnica / Cooking or any other home-keeping activity
RO: De multa vreme am inceput sa il implicam pe Alexei in gatitul meselor, dandu-i mici atributii, ceea ce il face extrem de mandru si responsabil. Nu se plictiseste repede, ba dimpotriva, il putem tine antrenat pe toata perioada pregatirii mancarii. Si orice alta activitate de “oameni mari” are acelasi efect (datul cu aspiratorul, cu mopul, cu matura in gradina, udatul gradinii, ales si aranjat haine, uscat parul cu feonul si orice alte activitati casnice).

EN: For quite a while we started to involve Alexei in cooking our meals, giving him some small chores, which makes him really proud and responsible. He doesn’t get bored quickly, actually on the contrary, we can keep him entertained as long as we cook. And any other “grown-up” activity has the same effect (using the vacuum cleaner, mopping up the floor, sweeping out the garden with the broom, watering the garden, choosing and arranging clothes, drying mommy’s hair and any other domestic chore).ย 
3_Home Activities_Cooking
20. Pietricele
RO: De orice forma sau marime, pietricelele au fost intotdeauna o mica obsesie pentru Alexei ๐Ÿ™‚ Ori de cate ori mergeam intr-un parc cu alei cu pietre sau cand treceam prin fata vreunei curti cu pietre, voia sa le adune, sa le arunce, sau sa le ia cu el ๐Ÿ™‚ Astfel ca avem cateva pietre culese de prin plimbarile noastre, pe care le mai folosim din cand in cand in diverse jocuri. Ultimul joc de care a fost interesat a fost sa aruncam si ascundem pietrele in iarba din curte, iar el sa le adune si sa le aduca pe masa. L-a tinut ocupat aproximativ 30 minute aceasta vanatoare de pietre ๐Ÿ™‚

EN: Pebbles have always been a small obsession for Alexei, no matter the size or shape ๐Ÿ™‚ Every time we were walking in a park with alleys that had pebbles or every time we pasted in front of a house with pebbles in the frontyard, he wanted to take them, to pile them, to throw them or take them with him ๐Ÿ™‚ So we have a couple of pebbles in our house, gathered from our walks and we use them from time to time in different activities. The last game we played was to throw and hide them in the grass from our courtyard and he had to find them and bring them on the table. This pebbles hunt kept him busy around 30 minutes ๐Ÿ™‚

21. Masti / Masks
RO: Deghizat in animalute (sau orice tip de masti). Alexei e innebunit dupa animalute, ii place sa le imite (in special pe cele fioroase), asa ca i-a placut mult sa ne punem toti trei masti si sa ne prefacem ca suntem animalute din jungla. Am gasit unele foarte dragute si accesibile la Hema, link aici.

EN: Disguising in animals (or any other type of masks). Alexei loves animals, he likes to imitate them (especially the fierce ones) so he really enjoyed it when all three of us used masks to pretend we are jungle animals. We found some nice and affordable ones at Hema, link here.
26_Home Activities_Masks
22. Jocuri de rol / Role Playing
RO: Mai nou, il distreaza teribil sa imite diverse personaje din povestile pe care le citim. Fix in perioada aceasta e innebunit dupa o poveste cu un hot si un politist din Paris, astfel ca facem ture prin casa, alergand (noi suntem politistii, el hotul). Ceea ce ne bucura nespus, pentru ca isi consuma energia, oboseste si adoarme mai usor. Apoi, jocurile in care se preface ca este bucatar (avem o bucatarie draguta de jucarie pe care o foloseste zi de zi si multe, multe alimente, legume si fructe) sau mester (avem un banc de lucru de la Little Dutch care ii place foarte mult, link aici).

EN: Recently, he likes to imitate different characters from the stories we read him. Precisely right now he is mad about a story with a burglar and a policeman from Paris, so we often run inside the house (we are the policeman, he is the burglar). Which makes us really happy, because at the end of the play he is tired and sleeps better. Then, we have different toys that allow him to be a cook (we hae a nice wooden kitchen that he uses every day and lots of vegetables and fruits) or carpenter (we have a workbench from Little Dutch that he loves, link here).ย 
4_Home Activities_Kitchen
23. Activitati Paste / Easter Activities
RO: Am vrut sa facem tot felul de activitati ca sa ii explicam lui Alexei ce este Pastele si care sunt traditiile. Am comandat oua de plastic de la Blokker (link aici) pentru a le colora cu carioci sau acuarele (din pacate a fost cam greu sa facem asta cu cele gasite, au o suprafata poroasa si sunt greu de colorat/pictat). Am gasit insa o idee foarte draguta de ou de plastic, pozitionat pe o tija rotativa, care poate fi pictat cu acuarele (l-am gasit tot la Blokker, link aici, insa prea tarziu pentru a mai face o comanda online care sa ajunga inainte de Paste). Am desenat, decupat si lipit pe geam oua colorate din hartie, am pus stickere de Paste pe geamuri (niste stickere speciale, fara lipici, speciale pentru geam, le-am gasit la Hema, link aici).

EN: We wanted to have all sort of activities so that we can explain to Alexei what is Easter and what are the traditions. We ordered plastic eggs from Blokker (link here) so that we can color them with felt pens or water colors (unfortunately it was a bit hard to do that with the ones we found, they are a bit spongy and that makes them hard to colour/paint). We found a really nice idea of plastic eggs, positioned on a rotating stick so that it can be easily painted with water colors (found them at Blokker, link here, but a bit too late for an online order that would get before Easter). We drew a lot, we cut and stuck colorful paper eggs, we used Easter stickers on our windows (some special stickers, without glue, made especially for windows, we found them at Hema, link here).
16_Home Activities_Easter
17_Home Activities_Easter
36_Home Activities_Easter
24. Activitati fizice / Physical Activities
RO: Suntem norocosi sa putem petrece foarte mult timp in curte (chiar daca este o curte mica, este perfecta pentru perioada aceasta) iar multe dintre activitatile fizice le facem afara (alergat prin iarba, jucat cu mingea, udat gradina cu furtunul de apa, plimbat cu tricicleta etc), insa chiar si in casa reusim sa improvizam cateva activitati care sa ii consume putin energia. Folosim turnul de invatare Leea ca sa ii facem tobogan (e innebunit dupa tobogane), il lasam sa urce si sa coboare scarile (e fix in perioada in care descopera coboratul pe scari si ii place mult sa faca asta), se joaca cu masinutele pe care le avem pentru casa (un set Modu Kit de la davidandthea.com, link aici si o masinuta de lemn de la catenlunasinstele, link aici), dansam (danseaza si singur, dar e foarte amuzat cand dansam toti trei) si incercam sa prelungim baia cat posibil, cu joaca si stropit, ca sa oboseasca si sa doarma mai bine.

EN: We are lucky that we can spend a lot of time in the backyard (even if it is a small backyard, it is perfect for time period) and do a lot of activities outside (running in the grass, playing with the ball, watering the garden, riding the tricycle etc) but we also improvise some indoors activities as well. We use the Leea learning tower to make it a playground slide (he is crazy about slides), he goes up and down the stairs (he is now discovering how to go downstairs on his own and loves doing that), he plays with the cars we have for indoors (a Modu Kit set from davidandthea.com, link here and a wooden car from catenlunasinstele, link here), we dance (he dances by himself, but is a lot more fun when all three of us are doing this) and we try to make the bath longer, playing and splashing, so that he gets tired and then sleep better.
14_Home Activities_Masinuta Modu Kit
25. Alte activitati / Other activities
RO: Incercam sa gasim mereu activitati noi care l-ar putea tenta pe Alexei si pentru perioada urmatoare am vrea sa incercam nisipul kinetic (am tot auzit de el insa nu l-am folosit pana acum). La recomandarea unei mamici ne-ar tenta sa incercam sa vopsim orez in diverse culori si sa ii facem tot felul de activitati (se va lasa cu multa mizerie, asa ca inca mai analizam daca sa facem aceasta activitate :D). Si origami. Am gasit foi de origami la Ikea, cum prindem putin timp liber ne vom uita la niste tutoriale si vom invata sa ii facem diverse forme. Ca inspiratie, deseori ma uit pe blogul Five Minute Mum, unde sunt tot felul de idei interesante de activitati, iar pe Instagram urmaresc contul @activitati.si.jocuri.istete.

EN: We always try to find new activities that could be tempting for Alexei and for the next few weeks we would like to try the kinetic sand (we heard a lot about it but never tried it until now). We received a recommendation to try to color some rice and make all kind of activities (it will be quite messy so we are still analyzing if we really want to try this activity :D). And origami. We found origami paper at Ikea, as soon as we will have some spare time we will watch some tutorials and learn how to do different forms. As an inspiration, I often check the blog Five Minute Mum, where there are many interesting ideas of activites and on Instagram I follow the account @activitati.si.jocuri.istete.ย 
37_Home Activities_Cards
RO: Nu este mereu usor sa il tinem ocupat, insa ne-am propus amandoi sa evitam complet televizorul, tableta sau telefonul in aceasta perioada. Pana acum (aproape doi ani) nu am folosit deloc ecrane pentru a-l tine ocupat, si am vrea sa reusim sa facem acest lucru cat mai mult posibil. Este o perioada grea si poate ca nu in fiecare zi avem chef de atat de multa joaca sau activitati, insa incercam sa facem cu randul, sa ii citim, sa ne jucam, sa il invatam diverse lucruri pe rand. Are si momente in care se joaca singur, insa in general prefera ca unul dintre noi sa fie alaturi. Iar pe noi nu ne deranjeaza, nici frustreaza acest lucru, stim cat de importanta este joaca pentru el in aceasta perioada a vietii lui, cand este pur si simplu un burete care absoarbe orice informatie o aude sau vede. Incercam sa fim rabdatori, sa ii acordam timp si sa fim calmi si toleranti. O sa treaca totul si ne vom reveni la normal, insa pana atunci facem tot posibilul sa il tinem ocupat, sa nu simta statul in casa si sa se bucure de timpul petrecut cu amandoi acasa, pentru ca dupa ce va trece aceasta perioada, sansele sa avem atatea saptamani la rand toti trei impreuna, zi de zi, ora de ora, vor fi… minime.

EN: It’s not always easy to keep him busy, but we both agreed to completely avoid TV, tablets or phone during this period. Up until now (almost two years) we haven’t used screens to keep him busy, and we would like to that for as long as we can. It is a rough period and maybe we’re not always in the mood for playing or for activities, but we try to take turns, to read him, to play with him and teach him all sort of things. He has some moments when he plays alone, but in general he prefers one of us around. And this doesn’t bother us at all, we know how important playing is for him at this stage of his life when he simply absorbs all the information he hears or sees. We try to be patient, to give him time and to be calm and tolerant. Everything will be back to normal, but until then we have to do whatever we have to do to keep him busy while he stays indoors and to enjoy the time spent with both of us at home. Because once this will all be over, chances to have so many weeks in a row at home, all three of us, day by day, hour by hour, will be… minimal.
15_Home Activities_Reading

 

 

 

5 thoughts on “Home Activities for Children during Isolation

  1. Excelentฤƒ lista! Mulศ›umesc! ๐Ÿ™‚ รŽศ›i dau ศ™i eu o idee care are succes la fetiศ›a mea de 1 an ศ™i 8 luni. รŽmbrฤƒcat/costumat cu orice รฎศ™i doreศ™te din dulap ศ™i apoi maimutarit รฎn oglindฤƒ. Este foarte fericitฤƒ cรขnd facem asta. ศ˜i foarte mรขndrฤƒ dacฤƒ reuศ™eศ™te sa se รฎmbrace singurฤƒ cu unele piese. Cu cรขt mai multe accesorii cu atรขt mai bine ๐Ÿ˜€ (รฎncฤƒlศ›ฤƒri, ochelari, ศ™apcฤƒ, ghiozdan etc)

      1. Hi…, not that I know of any. In fact by looking at the Html code of the your pages I didn’t found any plugin tag … but since I was seeing the I-frame tag I wasn’t sure of it… I know… It’s a pain doing it manually, but better than nothing…
        It is odd thaw that you are doing it on the same page… Technically you can do it by creating a bilingual or multilingual website or blog … but generally this kind of option comes integrated or built in the Theme that you are using. The problem with multi language websites is that often they do not translate correctly the text… especially form Romanian to English so part of the procedure needs to be done manually anyway…

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