March 4, 2024
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Linking Northern and Central NJ, Bronx, Manhattan, Westchester and CT

Creative Ways to Keep the Family Busy

As we continue to spend countless hours at home, people are tapping into their creative juices to come up with ways to help the kids and their parents pass the time. Two households in Teaneck have launched Facebook programs and activities that offer options for the whole family.

Get Your Play On(line) is the brainchild of Leora Zomick, a soon-to-be-certified child life specialist. Knowing how important it is for children to be involved in play and wanting to be able to do something while in self-isolation, she reached out to the child life specialist community. Within 24 hours, she had close to 30 volunteers from across the country interested in helping create this digital platform that focuses on providing therapeutic activities, remotely, to help meet developmental needs of all children. “Child life specialists have a strong background in child development and therapeutic benefits of play,” explained Zomick. “With this knowledge, we are all equipped to support children in stressful situations.”

Get Your Plan On(line) offers families four live events a day in addition to other segments on the platform. The activities range from live events to downloadable content for children of all ages. Programs and activities include arts and crafts; painting and creating; messy masterpieces (mix of art and science); dancing/get moving activities; building with Lego; outdoor play; cooking and baking; puppy play; creative time; nightly bedtime stories and Spanish activities. The activities are mainly geared towards school-age kids. Use of the platform is completely free. All you need is access to Facebook and Facebook Live. You can also view past live events on YouTube.

“During this stressful time it’s great to have the opportunity to have an impact on children even when we can’t see them face to face,” reflected Emily Liebermann, one of the non-denominational volunteers.

For many of the activities, parents don’t need to be hands-on and simply need to be there to assist. The supply list is posted the night before so that they know what they’ll need the following day.

“Play is so important for children. It is the way in which they communicate. Not being able to play with their friends for a child is like not being able to text for an adult. Taking their main form of communication away stifles their growth and development,” shared Zomick.

For more information Get Your Play On-Line on Facebook

�(www.facebook.com/getyourplayonline) and Instagram (@getyourplayonline)

or email [email protected].

Devorah and Yonah Heidings found that their family was spending a lot of time crafting during quarantine. “We like to craft as a family,” Devorah Heidings told the Jewish Link. “We agreed that there were probably other people who would like to craft too. We brainstormed as a family how we could share this with the community and decided that we could make kits for people to do while they’re stuck in their homes.” Recognizing that people don’t have the time to prepare the pieces of the crafting projects, they decided this would be a great way to help people out and literally give them the tools they needed. The result was Let’s Craft It. They are selling the kits and a portion of the proceeds goes to Project Ezrah.

“Project Ezrah helps families who are struggling financially in the moment,” Heidings said. “We’re sure that due to the circumstances, there might be some families who could use the help.”

Not only is this project helping bored families in the community, it’s also given the Heidings a good opportunity to spend quality time with their kids. Let’s Craft It is truly a family affair. Their 11-year-old son filmed the videos that can be seen on Facebook and their 10-year-old daughter has written up the instructions. Even the younger kids have gotten involved and help pack the bags and help deliver the kits. “We’re a COVID-19-free household,” Heidings assures readers. When they pack the kits they wear masks and gloves and they do the same when delivering the kits. In addition, every kit comes with a bag with a Clorox wipe in it so people can wipe down the kit to ensure it’s clean.

“Everything comes worry-free. You don’t have to worry about the materials or the instructions because they come included. And it’s screen-free after you view the instructions online,” said Heidings.

Some of the crafting projects include: bath bombs; melted crayon kits; birdhouses; sculpty necklace pendants; STEM activities and more.

To learn more about Let’s Craft It, visit https://www.facebook.com/Justcraftit2020/?modal=admin_todo_tour

or email [email protected].

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