Pandemic parenting is no joke, right? The struggle of keeping up with daily chores, managing our own feelings of worry and anxiety, helping the kids process their emotions, working from home while also helping kids with virtual school . . . I’ll stop. You already know the never ending list of things that are on your plate.
I was inspired by all the innovative products that I’ve seen from small business owners - the same small business owners that are hurting during the pandemic and need our support now more than ever. Here are some of my favourite products from my wish list, or ones that I already have make my pandemic parenting life easier. The best part is they’re all available from some of my favourite mom-run businesses.
Available from @cutekidstuff
Since we are doing virtual learning, I totally did not expect to be packing my kids lunches in lunchboxes as if they were going to school. But their lunch break is exactly an hour, and I aim to make sure they have time to burn energy, so here I am, packing lunches again. The Yumbox style makes it really easy because I can pack the night before, it all stays enclosed in my fridge and the kids can grab it independently. Plus, the divided trays have adorable themed illustrations with all the food groups listed right on it, so all I have to do is fill the box with an item for each section. I’m all for anything that requires less brain power from me right now!
Available from @hipmommies
This is multifunctional balance board is tons of fun for kids and adults. It encourages open ended play - imagine it as a balance board, a lounge seat, a bridge, part of a race track, a horse’s back. Especially during quarantine times, or cold Canadian winters (or quarantining during cold Canadian winters), we need to find ways to entertain the kids indoors. This classic balance board activates physical play, while also encouraging them to discover and be creative. Hello, favourite “recess” toy!
Rewardums Routine Chart
Available from @rewardums
We have these stuck up pretty much everywhere all over our house. There’s one in the main living area that helps our youngest clearly see what her daily routine is from breakfast to bedtime. There’s one in the bathroom to provide those ever-important reminders to wash hands. There’s one in the kids bathroom upstairs right on the mirror, so they can stare at it during bedtime and get a reminder of what their next step should be. With kids that are easily distractable, and always on the go, these little repositionable wall safe stickers do some of the talking for me so I don’t *always* have to be the one that says “Brush your teeth!” (I still have to say it sometimes, they’re stickers not magic wands).
My Mindset Magnets
Available from @mykindnesscalendar
We got a sneak peak at these amazing new magnets launching in late October, and they are awesome. The set includes over 200 inspiring words so kids can build their own magnetic affirmation statements, and tap into the power of positive thinking. Kids can make their own statements like “I am strong” and “I can persevere” which fosters confidence, and emotional intelligence. Plus, they’re a fun way to do some literacy practice - each of the words is colour coded to help kids learn their verbs, nouns and adjectives. It's such a fun home schooling teaching tool, and was developed in consultation with child psychologists and educators, so you know it’s legit!
Available from @joyfulhearts and @glowkiddoglow
These illustrated affirmation cards use the power of words to teach kids about their strengths, and their emotions. The cards are a great starting point for a conversation, about what the word on the card means to them, how they see this trait in their lives, and how they can share it. With repeated exposure to these powerful words like “I can learn from my mistakes” (@joyfulhearts), and “I follow my gut not the crowd” (@glowkiddoglow) it becomes part of their identity.
Available from @cre8tionsbymel
Are your kids constantly wanting to take their masks off and promptly losing them? Forgetting where they left the mask? Or worse, dropping it in some dirty spot so they can’t wear it again? Maybe tossing it on the floor and then smearing their dirty outdoor shoes right on top of the mask (gross)? My kids have done all of the above, until they got their personalized mask lanyards. Now anytime we go out, they clip their mask on to this, so they can easily pull it up when needed and tuck it inside their shirt when it isn’t needed. They’re even personalized with their beaded names, which is such a nice touch.
These products are great for kids of all ages (yes, even the adults in my family use a Yumbox some days), and make hectic parenting life just a tiny bit easier. And, aside from getting a time machine to return life back to 2019 styles, I’ll take anything that makes life “a tiny bit easier”.
Go check out their Instagram profiles and tell them Jenn at Spark Journals sent you! If you’re looking for more tips, and confidence boosting activities for kids, pop your email in down below. We’ll send you an instant download of a mini growth mindset journal for kids, and weekly encouragement (and deals) just for joining.