Celebrity Parents Haylie Duff Reveals Her Solution for Daughter's Kindergarten Entry amid Coronavirus Pandemic Haylie Duff — who's competing in Off the Menu's Wing Showdown — talks about parenting during a pandemic, how her toddler is taking to mask-wearing and more By Jen Juneau Jen Juneau Twitter Jen Juneau is a digital news writer for PEOPLE. A '90s teen and horror film connoisseur, she started at the brand in 2016, after a decade of working as a technical writer and then moonlighting as a journalist beginning in 2013. Originally from New Orleans, Jen grew up both in NOLA and Florida and eventually attended the University of Central Florida in Orlando (still her home base!), where she earned a bachelor's in English/technical communication, with a minor in magazine journalism. People Editorial Guidelines Published on July 31, 2020 05:40 PM Share Tweet Pin Email Haylie Duff and daughter Ryan. Photo: Haylie Duff/Instagram Haylie Duff's daughter is gearing up for her first day of kindergarten — but just like for many other kids, it's going to look a little different this year. The actress, singer and Real Girl's Kitchen blogger chatted with PEOPLE about her participation in Off the Menu's Wing Showdown, presented by Uber Eats and how she's faring at home as a mother of two amid the ongoing novel coronavirus pandemic. "We have found a very small group of kids that would be in her kindergarten class, and we're doing a pod with a teacher and rotating homes until we feel the schools are opening safely," explains Duff, 35, of the creative way she's trying to give 5-year-old daughter Ryan Ava Erhard the most normal kindergarten experience possible. "The families have all had very big conversations about the kind of exposure they have, who they see, and then tightening that up when they start this pod." "It's our new normal for a while, and it's the best solution that we can find for letting our kids ... have social interactions with other kids and hoping for the best," she says. "Families are grinding more than ever before during this time, and you just have to figure out the best solution for your family." Duff adds that she passes "no judgment on the families that send their kids back to school because both parents are working full time," as "everybody's gotta do what they can do to get through all of this. We were fortunate enough to know some families that were gonna be in [Ryan's] school that were into this idea of a pod-style [classroom], so I'm hoping it works out as well as we think it's going to! I'm going into it very positive." Never miss a story — sign up for PEOPLE's free daily newsletter to stay up-to-date on the best of what PEOPLE has to offer, from juicy celebrity news to compelling human interest stories. Why Hilary Duff Would Let Son Luca, 8, "Make the Choice" on Distance Versus in-Person School Duff jokes that she's "out of ideas" when it comes to entertaining Ryan and her 2-year-old little sister Lulu Gray, but they've been "taking little adventures" together here and there alongside Duff's fiancé Matt Rosenberg and his mother — like a recent trip to feed the ducks at a nearby pond. "Families have gotten back to the root of what's important [during the pandemic], which is spending time with each other; you don't always have to make such big efforts to have a good time," she tells PEOPLE. "My kids just want us to spend time with them; they don't care that we're doing these over-the-top things." And while Lulu may only be a toddler, she has taken to mask-wearing too, thanks to Ryan leading by example. "She wants to do everything her older sister does," Duff says. "Yesterday, for example, at the farmer's market, she was wearing a little baby mask. Sometimes she'll pull it under her nose — which is not, obviously, the totally correct way to do it — but she's on the team, too. She's wearing a mask just like we all are." "I've honestly never been so grateful for having two kids during this time because they can entertain each other, play with each other," she adds. "I've been really grateful for their little bond developing the way that it has, too." RELATED VIDEO: Haylie Duff Opens Up About Having a Nanny for Her Two Daughters: "My Job Doesn't Stop" For Duff, her "Texan roots" influenced the way she wanted to approach her recipe for the Wing Showdown. But she couldn't resist incorporating a bit of her current "L.A. lifestyle," as well. "I had to bake the wings. My research was all about how to make crispy skin on the wings in the oven, and I found the ultimate trick," she tells PEOPLE. "It's basically putting baking powder in the dry rub and it dehydrates the skin so when you bake it, it's actually crispy." To learn more about Duff's wing recipe and vote for her in the Wing Showdown through Sunday, visit thewingshowdown.com/haylie. As information about the coronavirus pandemic rapidly changes, PEOPLE is committed to providing the most recent data in our coverage. Some of the information in this story may have changed after publication. For the latest on COVID-19, readers are encouraged to use online resources from CDC, WHO, and local public health departments. PEOPLE has partnered with GoFundMe to raise money for the COVID-19 Relief Fund, a GoFundMe.org fundraiser to support everything from frontline responders to families in need, as well as organizations helping communities. For more information or to donate, click here.