We are at the threshold of a season of life that we could have never predicted. COVID-19 has forced us all to face some level of uncertainty. Non-essential workers have either been furloughed or fired, schools and universities have been shut down for the foreseeable future, students forced to finish out the semester online. Many businesses are shut down, unsure of whether they’ll survive the pandemic; businesses that are lucky enough to still be open are operating under completely new (and restrictive) guidelines. 

Out of all of this, perhaps the most harrowing part of the pandemic has been being quarantined to our homes, only being able to leave the house for essential errands like grocery shopping. This has been hard enough on adults, but even harder on the younger generations. If the weather is nice, they can spend a small portion of their day playing outside, but how do you keep kids entertained day in and day out for the foreseeable future?

This is a question so many parents are struggling to answer. Some are taking creative measures to occupy their kids, but that also requires an immense amount of effort most days. And for parents who are still required to work from home, this is even harder.

This is what inspired best-selling children’s author Mo Willems to do what he could not only to give parents a break, but to give kids something to look forward to throughout the week. 

Mo Willems and the Kennedy Center partnered together to create ‘Lunch Doodles with Mo Willems!”, a virtual drawing session that inspires kids to practice their artwork. Every weekday for three weeks, Mo uploaded a new video to his YouTube channel that invited kids of all ages to draw and write with him. That’s a total of 15 videos, which will all stay archived on his channel if your children ever want to revisit them in the future.

One week, Mo taught his viewers how to draw an elephant, a pig, and a pigeon. In another episode, Mo created his own game called Super Bounce, which he invited his viewers to draw up themselves and play along with him. 

Mo isn’t the first to create and lead virtual activities, but he is one of the first to do it with kids in mind. And as you can imagine, children and parents everywhere are thankful for the fun, engaging tutorials. Some parents were interviewed for Today and shared some of the reactions from their kids and what it has meant for their family during this trying time.

The doodle videos can range anywhere from 15 to 30 minutes in length and are a great way to break up the day and encourage kids to do something a little different!