(Guest post from Becky Flansburg)
There was a time not all that long ago when our world was thrown into an unfamiliar situation for a period of time. During those months of COVID19, there was much debate about the Shelter In Place mandates, quarantine, social distancing, and food/supply shortages.
Back then, no one knew when it would end and if a pandemic would even end well.
We all know now that it DID end, and there were some silver linings among the dark clouds.
Here are four right off the top of my head:
- More Family Time: Like, real LEGIT family time. There was time to do puzzles, take walks, watch movies, bake, and read together. Bond. THAT, my friends, was pure GOLD.
- Prep for the New Normal: This hardcore *reset* of life as we once knew it gave us a chance to pare down, re-evaluate, and make positive shifts in our styles. Many of us were missing lunch dates with friends, movie theatres, family gatherings, and social events, but we shifted to new things to keep our minds busy.
- Changes in Spending Habits: During lock down, many of us missed the habit of aimlessly roaming the aisles of our favorite stores looking for something that caught our eyes (and most of the time, didn’t really need) This state of the world really could give us all a chance to reevaluate all of the *wants* in our lives that we are currently without and decide…really mindfully decide, what we want to add back in when this is all over.
- Home is a Priviledge: The chance to re-evaluate our homes/personal sanctuaries and strive to surrounds ourselves with things of need, purpose, keepsakes, and beauty.
Since then, minimalism has taken on a new meaning and importance for many folks. But for just as many, there’s been a shift towards “dopamine decor” or the habit of adding only things into our place of residence that make our hearts sing.
The long weeks and months in 2020 were filled with struggle and uncertainty but also valuable lessons.
Lessons we should try hard not to forget.
So with that in mind, I’d like to share some Shelter In Place Discussion Questions for Kids that can be an excellent chance to look back on the pandemic and reflect on the life we are living now.
Maybe you are doing more with less. Maybe you are more mindful of friendships and relationships. Maybe there are things you or your family once took for granted.
Let’s talk about it.
COVID Reflections | Discussion Questions for Kids:
- What is different now than in was before COVID-19?
- During lockdown, did you like distance learning? Would you rather learn from home or be in a school setting?
- What did you miss most during the Shelter-In Place order?
- How is life better now?
- Did you family try new things when you were home together?
- Did you like the added family time? Or did it drive you nuts?
- If you could live 2020 over again, what would you change?
- What did you learn about yourself during COVID-19?
How About This? Could YOU “Live Tiny?”
One thing that many people took away from the pandemic years was to pare down and live simpler.
Maybe that meant less activities and spending, or maybe it just meant less stuff in their home. A handful of people even even took it one step further and downsized into a smaller home. The smallest of small homes would be what is known as a Tiny House.
The typical Tiny House is less than 399 square feet and often as small as 100; a far cry from the national average in 2014 of 2,453 square feet. Tiny Houses can be placed on a permanent foundation like a regular home, or on a trailer for a more mobile living lifestyle.
So, if a Tiny House is around 300 square feet, that is likely the size of the average living room!
With that in mind, here are some great Discussion Points to help kids understand the idea of “doing more with less.”
- If your family wanted to “go tiny” and everything you needed would have to fit in your living room (while still leaving room to cook, eat, sleep, use the bathroom, do homework, etc.) what items would your family NEED.
- Based on the question above, what items would you WANT to take with you? Things that make you happy, remind you of fond memories, treasures, keepsakes, etc?
- In the book, Sissy Goes Tiny, Sissy was very glad when Daddy chose to leave behind the ukulele that hurt her ears. What possessions would you be OK with leaving behind?
- Where would you want to go first if you would pull your Tiny House behind your vehicle and visit ANY state/town/destination in the USA?
- If you lived in a Tiny House, what do you think would be the easiest thing to learn? The hardest?
- Many tiny house dwellers utilize their outdoor spaces so much that they consider it part of their daily living space. What fun things could your family bring with or add to your Tiny House adventure to take advantage of the great outdoors? A swing? A slide?
- Many tiny house dwellers utilize their indoor spaces as much as possible as well. To do this, they choose items that have “double duty.” The kitchen center island can double as a place for the dog to sleep. Footstools can become dining room chairs. Stairs have secret compartments in them to store things. What kind of cool ideas do you have for household items that can have more than one purpose?
Looking for a beautiful and unconventional diverse picture book for kids? Check out the upcoming, Sissy Goes Tiny! Sissy Goes Tiny by Rebecca Flansburg and B.A. Norrgard.
In Sissy Goes Tiny, eight-year-old Sissy and her parents boldly choose to downsize their life and embark on a journey of living tiny and doing more with less.
At first, Sissy struggles to get used to the idea of living in a tiny house on wheels and traveling around the U.S, but as she and her mommy and daddy learn about downsizing, repurposing, and how “stuff is just stuff,” she soon understands that a life of “living tiny” will be filled with the big adventures and learning.
This gorgeous, diverse picture book is available in hardcover on the Ap website and Amazon.
This book is also available in Kindle ebook form.
“I believe that Sissy Goes Tiny will open so many minds for people! A tiny house is absolutely not for everyone, but we all like to dream and step into the shoes of another lifestyle in our minds. Learning about this lifestyle I think will help people be more supportive of people who do choose to live unconventionally. Sissy and her family are a great example of that.” Co-author, B.A. Norrgard