Daily life has looked a lot different for many of us over the last few weeks as the coronavirus pandemic has all but come in like a wrecking ball. The CDCs recommendations for social distancing, and the mandatory shelter-in-place orders in effect across the nation have not only had an effect on our work and school schedules, but have also infiltrated our social lives. It’s changed the way we shop, the way we have meals, the way we make plans, and the way we interact with the people in our circles.
Flatten the Curve with Your Family
Change can be tough, but in these circumstances, it’s so important for our safety and for the safety of others that we do all we can to positively contribute, to flatten the curve, and to stop the spread of COVID-19. But being home essentially all the time with your family can come with a lot of challenges. Your crew probably isn’t used to so much time at the homestead OR so much time spent all together. Of course, it can get a little crazy at times, but it’s also a great opportunity to strengthen your bonds with family members, and actively enjoy this extra time you have together.
Even so, you may find that your list of engaging activities is running low, along with your sanity. That’s why your friends at NiteOwl Pediatrics came up with a list of fun things to do with your kids while social distancing. Try a few to make the most of this time with your little ones.
1– Prepare a meal together.
For many of us, our rocket-paced lives result in a lot of hurried meals, take out, drive-thru, or otherwise haphazardly thrown-together dinners for quick sustenance on the go. Take advantage of this slower pace of life with less driving all over town, less rushing about, and fewer places to be (aka: nowhere to be). Prep and cook a meal together, and share it without the stress that often takes over weeknight dinners. When you hit the grocery store for ingredients, remember to wear a mask and gloves if you have them, keep a safe distance from other shoppers, and don't forget that toilet paper!
2– Go for a walk!
Take advantage of the incredible spring weather for a little time outside with the fam. Confront your cabin fever head on, and go for a stroll around your neighborhood. Maybe even break out the bicycles for a family ride. It’s a great way to get out of the house, get active, and get a little vitamin D. Trust us, you’ll feel totally rejuvenated afterward. The fresh air and exercise are not only great for you physically, but will provide a boost for your mental health as well, according to a recent USA Today story.
3– Get artsy.
You’ve seen it all over the internet. Families across the country are crafting like nobody’s business. So, dig out the paints, popsicle sticks, and pipe cleaners, and make a fun craft with your kiddos. It’ll be a great break from screens, and teach them to tap into their creative sides. Check out some fun ideas from Good Housekeeping here.
4– Read a book!
Reading for pleasure is a luxury many of us just don’t have time for in real life. So now, in this COVID-19 alternate universe, take advantage of all this forced time at home and read some of those books you always buy, but never actually have time for. Find a great chapter book you loved as a child and reread it to your children. Encourage them to read for 30 minutes each day to expand their minds, their vocabularies, and their imagination too! Check out this Scholastic list of 100 Best Read-Aloud Books for inspiration.
5– Play a board game.
Level with us. How long has it been since you busted out the Twister game or Clue? Now is the perfect time to dust off those old board games, and have a little good, old fashioned family fun with your brood. Hide the Nintendo Switch and the iPad, and grab those Uno cards instead. Interact with your partner and children, and remind yourself how enchanting that brand of simple fun can really be.
6– Connect with Friends Virtually!
Zoom is the new dinner party, y’all. During this strange time of social distancing, stay-at-home orders mean we can’t make plans with our family and friends. Unless those plans are virtual! So set up a Zoom or Google Hangouts meeting with the people you’re missing most! Perhaps it’s just a group conversation, or maybe you play a game together or share a meal from opposite ends of the city. Turn on some tunes and have a pandemic dance party. No matter what, it’ll feel great to connect again– albeit in a different way– and check up on each other. Let your kids set up a Zoom meeting with Memaw, or maybe a few school friends they haven’t seen in a few weeks. It’s a surefire way to lift spirits while still making conscious decisions to flatten the curve!
7– Have a campfire.
Assemble the s’mores stuff, and have a campfire in your yard! It’s the perfect time of year for a backyard fire pit hangout with your clan. Tap into your most primal self, and marvel at the magic that is fire. Studies actually show that time spent around a glowing fire actually lowers blood pressure, leaving people in a more relaxed and sociable state. The flickering light, soft cracks and pops, warmth, and even the smell of a campfire will do the soul some much needed good.
8– Make homemade masks together.
Hopefully your social distancing measures keep you at home 99% of the time, but for the inevitable times you must venture out into the world for groceries or medicine, you’ll want to wear a mask. Take those crafting urges to the next level with a DIY mask making project that’s as useful as it is fun. Check out this Huffington Post tutorial for an easy no-sew mask made from a bandana and hair ties. Your kids will love being able to help make something so easy and yet so important!
No matter how you choose to spend your quarantine time, we hope you and yours will stay safe and healthy out there. While you stay at home, and safe from infectious diseases, try some of these fun suggestions for passing the time in a meaningful way with your family. These days are precious and few. Practice social distancing, washing your hands, and being grateful. As always, if you need us, we’re just a phone call away!