As we are experiencing very high humidity and high temperatures throughout the South these days, as well as high air pollution levels, I have to think of my children’s well-being. I raised my kids to love and enjoy the outdoors, and we spend lots of time doing that. But, it can be challenging for them to be stuck inside for different weather related reasons. My daughter is trained what to do in this case, and she has no problem being inside. On the other hand, Amin has great difficulties to cope with any kind of changes. That is why I developed an emergency plan for bad weather.
We live in an area where we experience sunshine most of the time, but it comes with a price to pay for such a good weather. We have Hurricanes, we have high pollen count at times, and we also have heat waves.
For these days, we stay indoors, except to go to school and therapy. I usually hide some of their favorite toys and activity supplies for indoor times. I tell both of them that we will not go out today at all for their health benefits. Than I bring out the box with the toys, but they are not allowed to take out more than one toy at a time. We sit in different rooms of the house as we do activities and play. We take the pillows and covers and make houses out of them. I have a tunnel which we connect to a tent and make an obstacle course for them and that keeps everyone happy and occupied for a very long time. We play with legos and soft blocks. We do lots of crafts and painting. They even have water play inside the bathtub.
Unfortunately it has been 3 days now that we did not go out even at night-time. It is not easy to deal with children during this time, but if you keep them occupied it gets easier and easier. I gave them activities, and when they got bored I asked them to choose a short movie to watch. I have to be with them most of the time and I do get behind in my work, but it sure beats the crying and tantrums. I discovered during movie time (about 15-30 minutes) that I can get my own things accomplished as well. If we have only heat advisory in our area, after 3 days of being inside I usually take them to an indoor play house. Fortunately, we have enough of those here, so we can have a safe outing and much-needed physical activities. We usually visit I-Pez, Monkey Joe’s, and now they just opened a play area for autistic children and their siblings called Puzzels.
By the time the weather advisory is over, I can tell they actually had a great time being indoors, and believe it or not, it was somewhat a break for me too from all the driving and outdoor activities.
I find it important to have a backup plan for all type of situations, so they may develop some flexibility and tolerance for changes. Amin really needs these changes, because he still has a very hard time transitioning from his routine. So far they are having a great time and me too. I learned to look for goodness in every situation and it is amazing to see my children adopting this practice as well.