Fifteen, Fantastic & Frugal Family Activities ( During Quarantine )
Many of us around the world are experiencing the reality of more time with our spouses and/ or children. For some families, this can add pressure in many ways. But when we look at self isolation/ quarantine life, and social distancing as a blessing, we may begin to find the joy in the frustration.
Unlimited, uninterrupted free time together is what so many of us crave. And rarely get because we live busy, modern lives. It is undeniable that the world right now is in a state of upheaval. Making your days at home the perfect opportunity to explore, think, enjoy, relax and spend quality time with the humans you love most.
Sit down with your kids and/ or spouse and ask yourselves what you would do with your time if you didn’t have to work or go to school. Put the virus and scary stuff aside for a few moments. Forget about the reason why you have this opportunity and decide instead how you are going to utilize it. Together, and as individuals.
Below is a short and sweet list of potential ideas to get your mind gears turning.
1. Read. Read, read. And read some more.
2. Cardboard Boxes - the possibilities are endless
* think box cars, play houses, landscape backgrounds, tunnels, forts, mess free art. Pinterest is your friend when it comes to this. See below our attempts at playing with cardboard.
3. Daily Dance Party, Yoga, shadow boxing, obstacle course. *Get those endorphins flowing when cooper up inside. Cuz as we know... endorphins make you happy. (“And happy people don’t kill their husbands.”)
4. Walking, Hiking, Biking
*going outside, breathing fresh air and soaking up vitamin D is - currently - okay. Be smart about it, but get outside AT LEAST once a day.
5. Pick a country or culture and study it as intently as you would like. Explore the food, music, holidays, language etc.
6. Plant something, care for it, and watch it grow. *when the world seems dim, it often can help watching something flourish that you have control over. Whether that’s a flower, vegetables or an herb. Just plant the seed and see what magic happens when you give unconditional love and care to something.
7. Family Talent Show
* and send me videos because I want to see all your amazing talents!
8. Board Game Championships
* probably best with older cubs. perfect for couples after bedtime!
9. Disney Movie Marathon (or Star Wars, Harry Potter, Etc Etc Etc)
* screen time is not the enemy. especially right now. No quarantine is too long, no pup is to small. Embrace the Paw Patrol and hope they save us soon. In the meantime, we have Netflix and Disney+ (which seems to be on trend of releasing movies early for us to enjoy.)
10. Bake something delicious and eat it guilt free * cuz what’s better to fight off those bad feelings that the occasional cupcake... or three
11. Make an old school fort, camp in your living room or backyard * often just a simple switch to your routine can lift spirits and make a normal Tuesday feel special. We no longer have to wait for the weekend or a sick day. Today is the day. Take advantage of it!
12. Toy Animal Habitats
* depending on the toys you have and the age of your kiddos is where the limits - or lack of- come in. You can get as into this as you want with the materials you have on. Don’t worry if you don’t have actual toy animals. You can draw some on cardboard, print out images online, etc.
13. Craft, craft, craft. Art, art, art.
14. Make a lovely mess with sensory play & science experiments
* I could write an entire post (more like novel)?about the different ways you could implement this. When I taught preschool I liked to have one ’wet’ activity (like water, jello, slime, playdough, etc) and one ‘dry’. (such as uncooked pasta, rice, dirt, oatmeal, kinetic sand, etc).
Don’t feel pressured to do both every day if you don’t want to. Most sensory bins last a couple days at least. Additives such as small toys, measuring cups, sand castle tools, and more can increase the longevity of play.
Make sure you follow your little cubs lead and not to take it personally if they aren’t feeling sensory at the moment. I’ve spent time making playdough only to have it rejected at the moment it was ready. Leave it, do something else and come back later to try again.
15. Have a family meeting and talk about your values, your dreams, and hopes for the future. Create a family manifesto together with rules and goals.
The best advice I can give you, is not to stress about how to fill your days. A fool proof way is to select one activity for the following categories. -gross motor
There a million more ideas I could list here. But I gave myself a limit to keep from making the article too long. In the coming weeks, I’ll be posting two more lists. One for couples, and one for individuals. Keep your eyes open for those. Until then, it’s your turn to talk:
What do you wish your family had more time for? If you never had to work again, how would you spend your days?
-Mama Bear 🐻