A Quarantine Garden:

My husband came home from shopping one day saying, ” I have a surprise for you.”  It was no special occasion, but he will often pick up little treats he thinks we will both enjoy.  Well this was a surprise, alright- 10 packages of seeds – carrots, lettuce, beans, parsley along with all our other favourites.  I should have guessed. It’s about this time of year that he gets spring fever and the urge to start thinking about gardening. But apparently, he is not the only one.

Just yesterday, on CBC, while I was preparing dinner, a guest was encouraging  people to begin a garden by first starting the seeds inside which can be done now.  She gave the instruction and list of supplies that would be needed. This morning, again on CBC,  a lady who lives on  a farm  and has a large country garden encouraged  people to become more  independent by supplying some of their own food source by having a garden. This year she is calling her garden, a Quarantine Garden since she  will be  planting it during a time of quarantine.

Our garden last spring.

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Needing Ideas for Keeping the Kids Entertained?

With movie theatres, YMCA camps, libraries and schools being closed, are you having trouble thinking of positive ways of keeping your children entertained?

Get cooking

Yesterday was a perfect day to spend some time in the kitchen making St. Patrick’s Day cookies. Involve the children in measuring, mixing, cutting out the shapes and then the fun part of decorating and eating them.

Depending on the age of the child, let them use a crinkle chopper to help get vegetables ready for a salad, e.g., cucumber, hard-boiled eggs, etc. An older child could handle cutting potatoes and carrots.

Get outside

Going for a hike can be a fun thing to do – watching for birds or playing I Spy – while at the same time getting some fresh air and exercise. Or hide some new, inexpensive toys (or toys they may have forgotten about!) in the backyard, and then give the child clues as to whether they are getting hotter (closer) or colder (farther away) as they look behind bushes and trees. This could even be Easter Eggs with Easter approaching.

Get creative

Dig out some things to make crafts, for example – colourful wrapping paper, empty cardboard tubes, yarn, stickers, paints and more. Let the child decide what they will create.

Learn about the world

If you are concerned about your child missing school, a number of educational programs are being offered by virtual reality including a tour of The San Diego Zoo, The Great Wall of China, Yellowstone National Park, Hawaii’s Waikiki Beach and more. Activities that would normally not be free and for most, too far away.

Learn about how we’ve handled pandemics in the past

GroundedExperts recommend talking to small children about the virus if they ask, and then with the assurance that we are doing things like carefully washing our hands and staying home to stay healthy.

For older kids (grades 3-5), I have a novel Grounded and an activity book to go with it. It has lots of fun activities and older children can learn about how kids in the past lived through a pandemic. This might also be a time for learning about what life was like for their grandparents and great-grandparents, who will probably remember the polio pandemic.

If you are interested in my Grounded novel and activity book for your child or student, I am selling the kit for $20.00+shipping (no tax), as this is a particularly timely topic.

Keep well,

Shirley Hartung

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