Hi there. I know exactly how frustrated you feel. This virus is wreaking mayhem across the entire globe, and disrupting everything and everyone in our day to day lives. The vast majority of us are now stuck at home with our kids for a number of weeks in order to practice social distancing to avoid spreading the virus further. Social distancing is great for keeping the virus from spreading but it comes at the heavy cost of having to entertain our children for a few weeks (if you were lucky enough to stay home!). The majority of us are also facing closures from government run facilities like daycares, libraries and museums and some of us are even feeling the pinch from retailers and privately run businesses as well. Understandable, but as I said above, very frustrating.
So what are you supposed to do?
Kids can entertain themselves, that is true. Can they entertain themselves for three weeks straight? Probably not. It’s also fun to spend time with them doing activities that the entire family can enjoy during your voluntary (or perhaps not) quarantine time.
I came up with a list of ten ideas that may help you get through the next few weeks of being home with your kids.
1. Visit a wildlife sanctuary.
There are so many benefits to visiting a sanctuary.
– You get to immerse yourself in nature and see it up close.
– You get fresh air. Everyone knows fresh air is good for you and can even calm you down.
– It’s a walk doubled up with an educational experience. Identify birds, take photos, view ponds and enjoy wildlife.
There’s a local sanctuary where the birds will fly into your hand and eat bird seed right out of your palm. I’m hoping to visit that place soon. Follow me on Instagram for photos!
2. Do some sensory activities.
These ones are so easy to prepare and you can do it with things around your house. Create home made play dough, slime or cloud dough for a messy play time. Fill a bucket or storage bin with rocks, dirt, leaves, Easter grass or shredded newspaper with small toys and add a pair of tongs or a scoop. Instant fun.
3. Art Activities.
The best art activities are child directed because it gives them a chance to allow their creativity to flourish. They’re able to discover new painting materials, or create unique collages or draw anything they desire. When I was younger I used to love creating board games. I would get a pizza box or another long sheet of cardboard and create an entire game board with rules, players and more. It was fun, creative and educational at the same time.
4. Reading a New Book Together.
Some of my fondest childhood memories involved reading my favourite books. I was a huge fan of book series in particular, where I could read about my favourite characters during their multiple wacky adventures. My daughter is finally letting us introduce some new books to her and she’s loving them! Some of my favourite series can be found here. A list of my classic favourites can be found here.
5. Have them Write Letters for Seniors.
Seniors and those with compromised immune systems are at the center of this deadly virus. They are the most vulnerable, and therefore are some of the most protected. The nursing homes and long term care facilities are bunkering down and cutting off access for the seniors from the rest of the world.
Consider drawing a picture, making a card, writing a letter or decorating something and mailing it to a nursing home. It may just brighten the senior’s day.
6. Rearrange or redecorate a bedroom.
This may sound like work but spring is nearly here and who doesn’t love the crisp, fresh feeling that spring cleaning brings? Take this opportunity to move the furniture around in your kid’s rooms and clean underneath. Go through the closet and organize the clothing and toys for donation or for the upcoming garage sale season. Make a list with your kids about what they would like to change in their rooms, and work on decorations together. It’s productive for you and exciting for them. Win win.
7. Play board games.
This is one of my favourite past times. I love board games. I love the competitiveness of them, the hours of fun and laughter they bring and even the arguing and fights they can cause.
I created a list a while ago of my favourite board games that you should take a peek at if you’re in the market for new ones! See that list here.
8. Create a big fort.
What kid doesn’t love a fort? Find a large blanket and drape it over chairs, tables or sofas. Add some smaller blankets, pillows and plushies inside and voila! Fort.
Increase the fun by adding a movie (Frozen 2 anyone?) and lots of tasty treats. It’ll be a great time that they won’t forget anytime soon.
9. Do some baking.
Baking treats is one of my favourite things to do. I love how it makes the house smell, it uses up ingredients I would otherwise throw away and it’s a delicious reward after a long day. My daughter and I love to bake together and she always looks forward to watching our tasty treat bake in the oven. Here are some recipes for banana bread and chocolate chip muffins for you to try! Yum yum.
10. Learn about your family history.
This one may not interest the younger crowd, but for school age and older it may be interesting to discover your family’s history! Check out my entire section on genealogy here with links and resources to help you discover your lineage.
I recently discovered my family is descended from Princess Anne Plantagenet which is incredible. My husband is cousins with Emily Dickinson! Who knows what you will discover.
Being under a social distancing order may not be the worst thing when you have a lot of fun options to do. If all else fails, visit a park or go for a walk. Those two options will cure cabin fever and burn some energy. What are your plans for the Covid-19 quarantine? Let me know below!
Stay safe everyone!