San Fernando Valley and Some Los Angeles Schools Closed Due To Fires; What to Do with Kids
As the Skirball and Ventura fires continue to rage, more than 100,000 residents have been evacuated and schools are closed in the San Fernando Valley, Santa Monica, Malibu and parts of West LA. The campuses of UCLA, CSUN, and USC are also closed.
Parents are scrambling to find childcare for their kids and those that can stay home are trying to figure out what to do with their children for the next two days. Here are a few suggestions on what to do with kids.
- Mommy (and Daddy) Camp – Friends and I do this over the summer and breaks. Parents who work from home, teachers who are off today or anyone who can take the day off, takes all the kids to their house. Families switch off as needed. If only one parent is available? Do something really nice for them for helping you out in a bind.
- If you find yourself working from home and really need to get work done, let them do whatever they want as long as it’s indoors (within reason of course) – and don’t feel bad about it. That means letting them play video games, watch television or text their friends all day long. It’s unexpected and you need to work to support your family. A couple of days of Minecraft, Sesame Street, or whatever youtuber they’re into, won’t kill them.
- Have them go through their clothes, shoes and household items to give away. There is going to be a lot of displaced people that need help. According to ABC7, “Catholic Charities is accepting donations of gently used clothing as well as new toys and clothing to be given as Christmas gifts to families displaced by the fires. Donations can be dropped off at Catholic Charities’ Ventura Community Services Center at 303 N. Ventura Ave. Ventura, CA 93001. The charity has also established a special fund to help offset the cost of home repairs. Donations can be made to the Catholic Charities website.”
- If they’re old enough, have them start reading a new book, start a puzzle or work on homework. It’s the end of the semester and kids will likely have tests next week. It’s a good time to study.
- Have them do something on the computer that’s not playing video games. My boys were home from school yesterday and we had them do typing programs on their computer. Today, they can’t play video games until they do an hour of typing. You could also head to Khan Academy for interesting, free learning.
- Go the closest public library. If your kids are the type that can sit quietly and read in the children’s area, it’s a great place to go to get out of the house and allowing you to work on your computer while you’re kids are occupied.
- Head to Pinterest. There are 8 million craft ideas on Pinterest for anything you want to do if you have the supplies. Here is a link to our DIY Gifts Pinterest Board for some ideas.
Whatever you end up doing with your kids today, be safe and be aware of what’s going on around you. If you are in a the path of the fire, please listen to authorities and evacuate if told to go. Here is our post about How to Prepare Your Family for an Emergency Evacuation.