The mother said she has bought a basketball, volleyball and tennis balls to entertain the kids during the pandemic.

She was not the only parent who has turned to backyard sports to keep the housebound kids from bouncing off the wall.

York Region stores are seeing items such as trampolines, pools and backyard camping equipment flying off the shelves.

Sales of in-line skates have shot up 300 per cent at National Sports in Newmarket.

“In-line skates, as a category, had almost disappeared for us and, all of a sudden, it became the hottest thing,” said manager Jenilee Goncalves said.

While sales of competitive team sports gear have nosedived, people are picking up baseballs, baseball gloves and soccer balls to have casual fun with their kids at home, the Bradford resident said.

Parents don’t have to provide a backyard carnival to keep their kids entertained as they weather the pandemic, Stephanie Ellis, the York Region District School Board’s chief of physical and occupational therapy services, said.

The most important consideration is finding activities that create joy and meaning while growing relationships, she said.

“You have to make a balance between giving them what they want and being a ‘bad guy’,” Rossi said, adding that kids tended to think “they’re the centre of the universe.”

Amid her busy schedule with kids, Rossi, who aspired to be an art teacher, said she would find a few hours a day to paint in her basement-turned-studio, sometimes with her six-year-old around.

She’s also made housework part of her kids’ daily routine.

Sometimes kids’ needs can be overlooked, even when they are by your side 24-7, Rossi cautioned.

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“Take a moment for one child alone and listen to him or her with your heart and your mind,” Rossi said.

 — With files from Lisa Queen


 A newcomer from Chile responded to an interview request made by reporter Sheila Wang about keeping kids entertained while cooped up at home and shared her unique experience staying at home for six months in a new country.



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