The Coronavirus has become a pandemic crisis impacting every aspect of our lives. Parents are being forced into the role of educator as our children are pushed into a home-schooling situation. To add to that stress, many of us do not know how long we will have a paycheck or a job as so many industries are having to reduce operations or shut down completely. We are being asked to limit contact with others. All of this is causing anxieties to rise in both adults and children.
Be mindful that your children are looking to you to see if they should be scared. Do not completely ignore what is happening. Answer your child’s questions in an age appropriate way. Develop a new routine so that your child can feel safe. Talk to them about taking the recommended precautions to stay healthy.
Additionally, do a daily “worry” check in. With my child it goes something like this, “Let’s check in. Tell me something you are worried about today?” or “Are you concerned about anything today?” It is enlightening what you may find out. Many days those concerns have nothing to do with what is currently happening and many times it is something that a parent can address easily. The later is great. It gives you a boost in your confidence level as a parent and your child is reassured that things are okay. Soon, you may find that your child is initiating the daily check in. “Hey Mom! Tell me how your day went? What made you happy today?” At my house, we change the questions up. Sometimes worried focused questions, sometimes feelings focused questions and sometimes activity focused questions.
Here are some ideas for activities that you can do to keep your child engaged and to help with your own self-care during this unsettling time:
Read a book aloud. My child’s class has read aloud time during the school day and it is something he enjoys. Pick a series and read together for thirty minutes a day.
Do an art project together. Draw, make slime, finger paint, color—build with legos.
Write a “book” together. Develop a story line, take turns writing paragraphs, create illustrations. It can be a true or fantasy.
Take a hike. Go someplace and enjoy nature together.
Watch a movie or find a series on Netflix or Amazon Prime that is family friendly. Gilligan’s
Bake or cook with your child. This helps to develop math, reading and survival skills.
Teach your child to clean and disinfect.
Play outside…basketball, catch, blow bubbles, hide and seek, take a walk.
Play tic tac toe, board games, card games, or make up your own game.
Structure can help get you through this crisis and as a bonus the “together time activities” will help to strengthen family bonds.
A Magical performance of Stillpoint’s presentation of The Nutcracker in Grants Pass at Grants Pass Performing Arts Center.
A Holiday Tradition every December not to be missed.
Tickets on sale now.
Southern Oregon is ready to celebrate with some Autumn Adventures. Find family favorite Harvest Festivals and Pumpkin Patches, Corn Mazes, Haunts and more. Bring the family and join in for all the fun Fall Festivities.
Harvest Festivals and Pumpkin Patches
Pheasant Fields Farm Harvest Festival. Pumpkin Patch, Hay ride, Corn Maze, Music, Local artisans and more! Located at 1865 Camp Baker Rd in Medford, Oregon. facebook.com/pheasantfieldsfarmoregon
Flashlight Nights at Pheasant Fields Farm Corn Maze. facebook.com/pheasantfieldsfarmoregon
Valley View Nursery Harvest Festival. Weekends Oct. 12, 13 & 19 , 20 & 26, 27 , 2019 from 10am-4pm. Activity bracelet available for purchase for all day unlimited. Take a hay ride to the Pumpkin Patch, haystack climb, ride the bug train, slide down squirrel moutain, jump house, corn maze, wood fired pizza, food & beverages available. Located at 1675 N. Valley View Rd. in Ashland, Oregon. http://www.valleyviewnursery.com/
Fort Vannoy Pumpkin Patch & Corn Maze. Open Daily in October from 11am-6pm. Farm stand, pumpkin patch, kid’s activities. Weekends : Hay rides, zip lines, pumpkin chunker, cow train, monster truck rides, camel rides, petting zoo, bounce house, food vendors. Located at 5791 Lower River Rd. in Grants Pass Oregon. www.fortvannoyfarms.com
Haunted Maze at Fort Vannoy Farms. October 11, 12, 18, 19, 25, 26, 30, 31 from 7pm-10pm. Located at 5791 Lower River Rd in Grants Pass, Oregon. www.fortvannoyfarms.com
Harry & David Harvest Festival. Oct. 12 & 13, 19 & 20th, 2019 from 11-3pm. Pumpkin and face painting for children ages 12 and under. Live music and delicious treats for the whole family. Beer and wine tastings for ages 21 and older. Free admission, canned food donations to benefit Teresa McCormick Center are encouraged. Located at Harry & David Country Village Store, 1314 Center Dr. Medford, Oregon. https://stores.harryanddavid.com/medford-or?utm_source=local&utm_medium=organic&utm_campaign=gmb
Shooting Star Nursery Apple Tasting & Fall Celebration. Oct. 19th, 2019 from 11-3pm. Apple tasting, music, apple cider, kid’s craft table, food, ice cream and more. Located at 3223 Taylor Rd. Central Point, Oregon www.roguevalleynursery.com
Scarecrow Festival. Saturday October 5th & Sunday October 6th, 2019 from 11am-4pm. In the centuries-old tradition farmers used to save their crops, you can make your own scarecrow. When you’ve completed your scarecrow you can enter it in the Scarecrow Contest and compete for a People’s Choice Award, OR take your scarecrow home with. Everything you need to make a scarecrow is available in a kit for just $15 ($10 for SOHS Members). While you’re at the farm plan to take a hay ride, paint a pumpkin or bob for an apple, browse the Hanley Mercantile, enjoy lunch prepared by the Jackson County Master Food Preservers, or tour the Hanley House ($5). Don’t miss your chance to be part of the Scarecrow Festival Weekend! 1053 Hanley Road, Central Point. http://www.sohs.org/node/185002
Grants Pass Shopping Center Halloween Festival. Oct. 26th, 2019 from 1-4pm. Trick or Treat at participating store, BugsRUs, Bounce Houses, face painting, kid’s costume contest, balloon animals. 959 NE D St, Grants Pass.
Day of the Dead Race. November 2nd, 2019. 1mi, 5k, 10k race, food, dance, music, culture, face painting, booths, community and more! Located in Talent, Oregon near City Hall. http://dayofthedeadrace.com/
The Wood House Festival. Halloween Open House. Located in Eagle Point, Oregon. https://southernoregonfamily.com/wood-house/
Kruse Farms Pumpkin Patch. Weekends in October from 10am-4pm. Pumpkin Patch, Hayrides, Corn Maze, Hay Maze, food and more. Located at 532 Melrose Rd. Roseburg, Oregon. http://www.krusefarms.com/
Youngs Fall Festival. Open Fridays & Saturdays in October. Located in Roseburg, Oregon. http://www.youngs-garden.com/event/
Mahaffy Ranch Pumpkin Patch. Pumpkin Patch, Hay Maze, Corn Maze and more. Located in Coos Bay, Oregon. http://mahaffyranch.com/
Klamath Basin Potato Festival. Parade, food, vendors, Spud Run, music, exhibits and more. Located in Merrill, Oregon. http://www.klamathbasinpotatofestival.com/home
>>>>>>>>>Find Halloween Haunts Here
For more Family Friendly Events and Kids Activities download the current issue at: southernoregonfamily.com
Ever since seeing pictures of the clear blue water of Spring Creek, I was dying to go! In August, we had the chance to go and didn’t hesitate.
We put in at Spring Creek Recreation Site and kayaked upstream to the headwaters. The current is so gentle that, whether you’re going down stream or up, it’s pretty easy to paddle. This easy paddling allows you to take in the beautiful scenery – especially the crystal clear, turquoise water! I didn’t get sick of staring at it the entire trip. When looking at the other kayakers moving across the water, it looks as if they are gliding on ice … and if you feel the water you’ll find it’s just about as cold as ice. I could only handle having a hand or foot in for a few seconds before quickly pulling out in pain.
Once you reach the headwaters, you can see where the spring originates from bubbling up out of the ground. Some people call the little hurricanes of sand “dancing sand.” My son jumped out and stepped in one and was surprised to find that his foot sank in quite a bit!
We picnicked in our kayaks before heading back downstream.
Another favorite part of the trip was seeing the Mare’s Eggs- a rare freshwater algae that only grow in a few places around the world. It grows in colonies that cover the bottom of the creek in certain areas. I could go on and on about how gorgeous this area is, but all you have to do is take one look at a picture and you’ll be dying to see it for yourself!
Some families bring their own kayaks or you can rent from
Lakes Wilderness Adventures. 112 W Chocktoot St, Chiloquin, OR 97624 (541) 591-0949
I recently found Sugar Plumb Acres on Facebook and was super excited to go out and check out the farm located at 1850 Pioneer Rd. in Talent, Oregon.
We have a family recipe for a peach cake that my children love so it was easy to talk them into coming. When we pulled up to the farm the first thing that caught my eye was all the beautiful flowers!
They have a u-pick area that you can find reasonable priced flowers to make your own bouquet. Our next trip out we will be taking advantage of this for sure. We were directed to area to pick the peaches, you need to bring your own containers to transport them, we brought reusable fruit bags.
There are plenty of low hanging fruit so that even your toddlers are able to participate. Once you’ve gathered all your peaches you just have to pull up to the exit and you’re able to weight and pay right there, the farm does only take cash or checks.
For more information visit http://www.sugarplumacres.info
Photos by: rhardestyphotography.com
Consider these safety tips:
Never swim alone. Always have a buddy—or, ideally, a lifeguard at a designated swim area—and maintain constant supervision of a swimmer. Follow rules of swimming areas.
• Never leave a child unattended near water.
• Make sure everyone in your family learns to swim well. Swim lessons. Wearing a US Coast Guard-approved life jacket can help young or inexperienced swimmers, but do not rely on jackets alone. Always maintain a watch on a swimmer.
• If you have a pool, secure it with appropriate barriers. Many children who drown in home pools were out of sight for less than five minutes and in the care of one or both parents at the time.
• If a child is missing, check the water first. Seconds count in preventing death or disability.
Whether in a backyard swimming, in a community pool or in the ocean, always watch your
child closely in and around water.
Great parenting doesn’t happen in isolation.
The Family Connection provides a regional parenting hub where parents can come together, learn effective parenting skills from certified parenting educators, be introduced to community resources and find support from other parents. Parenting is hard work!
As Southern Oregon’s Parenting Hub, The Family Connection and The Oregon Parenting Education Collaborative (OPEC) were founded to help.
Please take advantage of our FREE parenting classes, workshops, and events!
Remember, great parenting doesn’t happen in isolation… Let’s get connected! We also provide organizations and agencies the ability to contract an evidence based parenting series or workshop for their clients.
Head to our online Parenting Education Community Calendar to sign-up for FREE parenting classes, workshops, and family friendly events in Jackson and Josephine counties. https://thefamilyconnect.org/events-calendar/
We all know that babies don’t come with an “instruction manual!” What’s a mom or dad to do when they need help? The answer: … call Grandmas2Go-Family Coaches and be matched with a “trained and trusted” community volunteer Grandma!
The idea for this program came from Linda Otto, when she realized through her work as a CASA (Court Appointed Special Advocate), a Baby Cuddler at Asante Special Care Nursery, and a trained Postpartum Doula and Infant Massage Instructor, that parents today are stressed out, overwhelmed and need help. So, she decided to fill that need by starting a non-profit called Grandmas2Go-Family Coaches.
The mission of Grandmas2Go is to mentor, nurture and support parents, infants and toddlers during the critical years of childhood brain growth – from pregnancy to preschool. This multi-generational program is changing lives …not only for struggling families, but also for the senior volunteers who are staying active, engaged, and finding a new life-purpose!
In 2017, Grandmas2Go entered the national Generation to Generation Encore Prize Competition and was named one of the top five new, innovative, inter-generational programs in the country! Grandmas2Go has been featured in major local and national media including Forbes, MarketWatch, and Wall Street Journal. PBS’ online newsletter, Next Avenue, recently published an article: “Grandmas2Go Arrive with Love”.
Volunteer Grandmas are ‘women of wisdom and experience.” We partner with local agencies to help all our children to thrive! With families today facing a multitude of challenges, no wonder a father of twins stated, “I don’t know how we would have survived without Grandmas2Go!” A single mom wrote “My Grandma2Go helped me get through that dark period …. we love our Grandma2Go!” And from a mother of two, who was helped by her grandma-mentor to get her US Citizenship: “Thank you for helping me make my dream come true!”
Grandmas2Go is growing, replicating and scaling to serve communities throughout Oregon and across America! And we’re promoting this growth through our “Help Us Grow -“HUG” Campaign. Help us reach more families! Send your name and email address to [email protected] and receive an invitation to Help Us Grow!
We need community support to continue our compelling work. We invite you to join us … as a volunteer Grandma, a donor, or in helping spread the word by hosting a presentation in your neighborhood, church, or social club.
As Linda, Founder & CEO, says, “We know that one caring adult can change the life of a child. Just imagine what a team of Grandmas can do!”
The Oregon Bee Store in Eagle Point has the cutest little store with the cutest stuff inside and pure local honey. But the main reason we stopped was for the U Pick strawberries!
My 3 1/2 year old daughter had a blast picking her own strawberries . It is a great way to get outside and teach children where strawberries come from, how they are grown, when they are just right and taste a freshly picked one.
The Oregon Bee Store offer buckets to pick the strawberries but don’t forget to bring something to take them home in.