This past week, my city has been dealing with air quality warnings because the smoke in our area is so bad. Every year, we deal with forest fires in the neighboring province, as we live right off the mountains. This year, the smoke has hit an air quality level of ten. Out of ten. It’s really bad. When the air quality level is this poor, it’s important to stay inside.
What I have found, is that this is a difficult feat with three children who just want to play. It has helped that I can explain to my children that the smoke is very bad outside from the fires and that if we go outside, we can get sick. We have also talked about how the smoke gets to be so bad, and have referenced the movie Planes Fire Rescue, as it is a good movie that shows how forest fires move and how they are taken care of. While I haven’t gotten around to it, we have also talked about watching videos on YouTube about the forest fires.
I love being able to apply life events as learning opportunities for my children. We have talked about the difference between fog and smoke, and I think they understand the difference between the two now. Jack now says that it is foggy smoke. It’s a fair compromise.
While there is no perfect solution to explaining to your young children why they have to stay inside while it is smokey, I think the things I have done have gone well. Pros and cons of this smoke is that it has kept the heat levels down, but I do have to keep all our windows and doors shut so that we can have the cleanest air possible in our house.
Due to the smoke, I have found that I have been getting really bad headaches. Being that I was alone this week while my husband was at a conference, I was left to deal with the headaches solo. Not ideal, but I have trained my children so that if I have a headache, I can turn on a movie and cuddle with them while I try to nap it off. Most of the time, I can get rid of the worst of it. Yay me.
So, what are some good activities that you can do while stuck inside during the summer? We have been playing a lot of playdough, and it has been really great to see how creative the kids have been. We have also made cookies, and the kids have had tea parties. Jack has also been able to play more with his lego and created some really cool robots and vehicles without any help at all.
While it has been challenging for all of us to be stuck inside while this smoke is around us, it has also been nice quality time together. I am very excited for when the smoke clears, but the reality is that we can’t control mother nature, and at least the fires are not by us. So, we’ll just whether the weather, no matter the weather. Together.