Go Ask Mom

Go Ask Mom

Made by Mom Gift Guide: Local moms write book to help parents, kids find safe ways to play during pandemic

Posted December 8, 2020 8:53 p.m. EST

Courtesy: Azure Cutter

As occupational therapists, Azure Cutter and Miel Binford have been helping kids move their bodies and play with others for years. But the pandemic has cut off opportunities for kids to get together. That's why, together, they wrote "Pandemic Play: Promoting Socialization While Social Distancing," to help parents find safe ways for their kids to gather during COVID.

"Pandemic Play" is featured in this year's Made by Mom Go Ask Mom Gift Guide. Keep reading for more details about the book.

Azure Cutter and Miel Binford

Go Ask Mom: What was the impetus for getting the book together? Was there an aha moment?

Azure Cutter: Miel and I decided to write the book after planning a socially distanced play date for our own kids. My oldest son had come up with a list of activities that he could do with friends from 6 feet away. I suggested some to other friends and they liked them and said they wouldn’t have thought of them. So we expanded the ideas and write the book.

GAM: You have little ones. What's been the best way to keep them active?

AC: I am lucky to have 4 boys and Miel has 2, so even at the height of quarantine they still had playmates. We kept them active and social with their peers using some of the ideas in our book. We also make it a point to spend as much time outside as possible even if it’s just us!

GAM: It's hard to encourage people to get together. Yet kids also need that socialization. What are some ways kids can play together safely these days?

AC: All it takes to play safely is space and planning. Kids are resilient and adaptable. Rules can be presented in fun ways and masks are manageable for most children if they are needed. Some of new indoor activities include paper air plane races, “snowball” fights, and collaborative games.

Pandemic Play

GAM: Everybody has different thresholds for risk, which you address in the book. Some families may be up for a playground visit. For others, only a bike ride seems like the safest option. What's your advice for parents who are navigating those conversations together?

AC: We have a whole section in our book for pre-play conversations and how to navigate them. My best advice is to be open and honest with the other parties and to have the conversation before every play date. With COVID numbers constantly shifting people‘s comfort levels are fluid. If you find that you and the other family have drastically different risk thresholds then stick to the lower risk activities in the book.

GAM: What do you hope parents will gain from reading the book?

AC: We hope that we can encourage parents to get together with friends safely. Everyone is tired of the pandemic, but the pandemic isn’t tired of us. Kids need an outlet for socialization and we hope that this book will both increase parents comfort with play date and their caution during them.