This dad is dressing up in costumes everyday for at-home field trips for his kids

Who says you can’t take your kids on an adventure while staying indoors?

March 23, 2020, 3:15 PM

Who says you can’t take your kids on an adventure while staying indoors?

One Kentucky dad is getting creative with homeschooling while self-quarantining during the coronavirus outbreak.

Matt Nestheide, a contract analyst, has dressed up as a mad scientist, fitness instructor and even a BobRoss impersonator to teach his three girls -- Cole, 8, Sydney, 6, and Mila, 3 -- a different life lesson each day while their schools closed.

PHOTO: Matt Nestheide dressed as a "wake boarder," poses with children, Cole, Sydney, and Mila.
Matt Nestheide dressed as a "wake boarder," poses with children, Cole, Sydney, and Mila.
Traci Nestheide

“[Their] routines have obviously gotten thrown out the window, so we wanted to just have a little bit of fun and a little bit of lightheartedness as we started our days,” said Nestheide, noting it started as a one-off. “I told my wife on Sunday night, ‘I think I’m just going to throw on a suit on Monday morning and just walk upstairs and act like a principal or a teacher.’ I did it and the girls were cracking up and laughing. They really enjoyed it. So I thought, ‘Alright, maybe I should think about doing something different tomorrow.' It just kind of snowballed from there.”

PHOTO: Matt Nestheide dressed as a scientist and ready for an at-home science experiment with children, Cole, Sydney, and Mila.
Matt Nestheide dressed as a scientist and ready for an at-home science experiment with children, Cole, Sydney, and Mila.
Traci Nestheide

The surprise costumes have added joy to their mornings, he said. The family of five has been self-isolating at home for about two weeks because their youngest daughter is immunocompromised, Nestheide told “GMA.”

“We’re cautious. Our youngest, Mila, has a congenital heart defect, so [she’s in] the at-risk immunocompromised population,” said Nestheide. “Obviously we’re doing everything that we can to keep her healthy and keep all the kids healthy. We’re trying to be appropriately cautious, yet optimistic.”

So far, Nestheide has been a principal, a gym teacher, a science professor, a wakeboarder and Bob Ross. His wife, Traci, is sharing the photos on Facebook, where they have earned online praise.

PHOTO: Matt Nestheide dressed as a wake boarder and ready to take his kids on an at-home "boat ride" made of pillows.
Matt Nestheide dressed as a wake boarder and ready to take his kids on an at-home "boat ride" made of pillows.
Traci Nestheide
PHOTO: Matt Nestheide dressed as a gym teacher.
Matt Nestheide dressed as a gym teacher.
Traci Nestheide

Nestheide was told to work from home and like many parents across the country is juggling work and being a teacher and caregiver all at the same time. Nestheide's advice for other parents who may be feeling overwhelmed right now is that patience and being a “goofball” can go a long way.

“Traci and I, we’re juggling a lot as parents right now. So first, we have to be patient with each other and to show each other grace. We can’t control what’s going on out there, but we can control our attitude,” said Nestheide. “[Second], don’t be afraid to look like a goofball! I can see [my kids’] faces literally light up. They laugh and they start imagining things and pretending.”

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