Kids Learning To Play Again: A Quarantine Positive

I still can’t believe this is happening. It’s like we’re living out a Netflix series. I’ve shared a bit about my personal struggles with the stress and my OMG PTSD, and so many have reached out to tell me I’m not freaking out alone. Thanks for that. 

This situation is disarming with obvious negatives. 

But, during this scary pandemic, there are some unexpected positives.

Here’s one. 

Kids are kicking it old school and it’s refreshing. It feels like some kind of childhood reset.

Kids are learning to play again—they’re imagining, crafting, and pretending. Not all day, every day. Let’s be real. My kids have spent way more time online than I care to admit. For e-learning of course, but also for fluffy entertainment. When I’m working and need to concentrate, my daughter is usually on a device. Sometimes she’s doing schoolwork. Sometimes she’s on a chat app talking to a friend. Sometimes she’s watching Ninja Kids TV (her current obsession) on You Tube.

Even screenagers are starting to say enough is enough and have found other ways to entertain themselves… offline. OFFLINE—the mysterious place where we GenXers used to roam, free-range style, until the streetlights turned on.

My son picked up his dusty guitar and started playing again. He’s reading and taking photos—and not on an iThing, but with an actual DSLR camera. Apparently when given free rein to tech their heads off, kids have a limit and will seek other means of entertainment. Who knew?

Children have rich imaginations.

How sad that we often lose that as we get older. Our son, who is sixteen now, used to play “store” when he was little. He set up shop in his room and hung a sign that read, “No Money.” He waited patiently for strangers to pass by his bedroom. It makes me want to cry when I look at these photos. How adorable and charitable. He wanted to give his things away to people in need. And how sweetly naive to think random shoppers would just happen by his room to purchase goods from the boy in the Curious George PJs. 

Our daughter is heavily programmed during the school year with activities and lessons and sports. So, this new non-negotiable down time is a blessing in many ways. For now anyway, talk to me in another month.

My special girl, who can submerse herself in a world of You Tube videos for hours, is finding creative ways to entertain herself with very little direction from her parents.

She wouldn’t remember the curly haired salesboy missing his two front teeth, but apparently the salesforce gene runs strong in this family. 

Yesterday she set up her own store in the front hall.


Due to social distancing, street traffic was slow, but she still ended up making $30! 

Yes, the products in the store were from around the house. And yes, $20 was from me, and $10 came from her dad. But it was money well spent. I re-stocked up on dog treats and hand sanitizer. I’m not even sure what my husband re-bought. 

The pandemic is awful. I can barely breathe when I think about the future implications. But, there are positives—like this reset back to a time before ipads and digital distractions. Kids are playing and imagining again.

Creativity is being rediscovered.

A beautiful thing is blossoming during this dark time. 


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  • Lisa:
    You have done it again!!!! Huge goosebumps. remembering long ago times before digital which OF COURSE didn’t appear for years after I had grown up. We had roller skates that fastened on our shoes and we could tighten them to fit, WITH A KEY. In the summer we would go to the local school and play ball against a wall using first our right hand and then left hand, sometimes using 3 balls in succession if we were really fast!!! We would recite verses that “fit” with what we were doing. Being from a small town, we would play in groups and there was never the fear of someone walking home alone! We were all from the same neighbourhood. There were orchards behind our homes then and we could go and pick apples off a tree, or a handful of bing cherries as a snack! If it was raining or cold outside we could play paper dolls, making up conversations, designing houses and rooms using items cut from a Sears catalogue. Lots of imagination and exercise! I am so in later yearskids are having an opportunity to “play” during this pandemic, yet still have the technology available in THEIR WORLD.

    • Oh Carol, I absolutely loved reading this. Took me right back! I played those same things!! And yes, I know about the rollerskates that tightened with a key. I miss those simpler days. I feel bad for kids today. Life is so fast and stressful and far too connected (digitally) in my opinion. Wish we could step back a bit.

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