Thursday, June 26, 2008

When Your Child Can Not Go

I think others in Northern California will agree we have five seasons instead of four. Winter...when the rain starts in October or November and doesn't end for 4-5 months, but we don't mind too much as everything turns green and the Sierras get snow. Spring just like everyone else with daffodils and iris' blooming and we hit the slopes for some corn. Summer when we get our first triple digits...and it comes well before official date on the calendar. But our 5th season is fire season. It comes a few weeks after the triple digits start and things go from green to crunchy beneath your feet.

Fire season started early this year. We have photos of CDF bombers dropping retardant in late April. And with an unprecedented lightning storm last Saturday that brought 8000 strikes and 800 fires (per AP news reports...and my eyes and nose agree) season is in full swing.

Unfortunately we are used to this every summer and it means our children can not go. Air Quality has now for several days been unhealthy. Recess has been held indoors all week at my daughter's preschool. And home is starting to feel smaller and smaller. But spending our 12th year in NorCal with this season and our 4th with children we have prepared for this for our children just as much as we have done our fire abatement activities outside clearing 100ft from our house, etc..

Here's some suggestions:
  • Keep a tub of art supplies at the ready for projects
    • A friend of mine had her 6yr olds doing scrap books of a recent trip
    • Collages of places they would like to go or things they would like to see
  • Turn your living room into a jungle or farm using your art supplies, sheets, stuffed animals, etc..
  • Movie Night...Move the furniture and bring out the sleeping bags for a family flick
  • Let bath time run kids are really missing their pool right now
  • Play a game...Chutes and Ladders, Candyland, Bingo, etc..
  • Camp-out Inside...set-up the tent and do dinner ala camp-style and tell stories around flashlights.
  • Keep a large box from a recent shipment and make a house or a boat allowing your child to design and decorate it
These are just a few things we have dreamed up. Every location seems to have their special season that requires kids to stay inside so hopefully one or two of these work for your season stuck inside when the walls start closing in.

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