As you know, we are experiencing unprecedented times. The news cycle changes daily, many people are out of work, children are completing schoolwork online, and families are staying home together more than ever due to stay at home orders.
Are your kids bored? Starting arguments for something to do? Watching too much TV or spending too much time playing video games?
I don’t know what your home is like, but my family is a little stir crazy. Everyone is ready for nice Spring weather and time to spend outside. The kids don’t understand why we can’t go places or Visit friends like normal. Mom and Dad are ready for more adult time and adult conversations.
While our situation is in a state of flux and unlikely to change anytime soon, there are a lot of ways to Connect and have quality time together without going nuts. Some of these may be activities your family is already doing together, but some may be ones you haven’t thought of.
Teach a new skill
A lot of people learn through doing and the same for kids. Now is a great time to teach them valuable life skills like checking a car’s oil, how to check tire pressure or change a tire, how to balance a checkbook, how to sew, how to wash laundry, how to boil an egg, etc.
Do chores together
Cooking, gardening, cleaning windows, folding clothes – a lot of chores can be much more fun when done together.
Get your creative juices flowing by making art! Make a collage from objects found during your daily walks, finger paint, recreate famous paintings and take photographs, write a new song together… the possibilities are endless.
Learn something new together
Watch YouTube tutorials to learn a new skill, practice a new language with an app like Duolingo or by watching language-learning videos online, when you’re asked a question that you don’t know the answer to look it up together.
Share your favorites and your memories
What better time to show your children the movies you loved as a kid? We’ve watched movies like The Goonies, The Sand Lot, My Girl, and more.
Visit somewhere new
There are many ways to visit somewhere new without leaving your home. Many museums, like the Louvre, the Metroplitan Museum of Art, and others offer free virtual tours. You can find videos of amusement park rides on YouTube (my kids like the Jurassic Park ride and the Pirates of the Caribbean).
Take advantage of online learning activities
Tons of websites and blogs offer free learning activities, from lessons, to games, to coloring sheets, there is a lot of material to keep your kiddos occupied.
Get physical and exercise together!
Staying cooped up inside all day is tough. When the weather allows, let kids run around in the backyard or take a family bike ride. You’ll get some fresh air, a change of scenery, and work of some steam- just remember to follow all social distancing rules.
Dress up and have a tea party, create costumes and put on a play, have a fashion show, the sky’s the limit!
Manage stress, help regulate emotions, and encourage mindfulness by meditating together. Start with breathing exercises and work up to guided meditations. Meditation is a wonderful way to help kids center themselves, sleep better, and to increase their focus.
Kids love books and love to be read to. If you’re tired of the books at home, download books to a Kindle or other device. Check out library apps, like Hoopla, which allow you to borrow e-books and audiobooks, even movies or music! All you need is a valid library card and a device like a smart phone, smart TV, PC, or tablet.
Have a virtual chat
My daughter misses her teacher and school friends, we all miss Grandma and Grandpa and all of the aunts, uncles, and cousins. Sometimes we have conversations over speaker phone, but lately we’ve been using Skype, Citrix, and Zoom video chat capabilities to visit with each other. Although not the same as being together in person, it gives us a chance to see and speak with our loved ones.
While it can be tough to be out of our normal routines and in a difficult situation, there are many ways that families can break the boredom, connect, and have a little fun. I hope that some of these suggestions will be helpful to you! This is just the tip of the iceberg, so get creative!
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