With COVID-19 fears shutting down schools and event spaces, parents are looking for fun things they can do at home. As much as my kids are thrilled with the prospect of watching TV and playing video games on loop for hours, that’s not gonna fly. Oh no, no, no… I don’t think so!
So here are some activities that you can do as a family to help keep everyone engaged, entertained and close to home. And as a bonus for all you parents out there, I’ve added a couple just for you 😉
Cooking is Cool
Cooking meals or baking desserts together is a great way to keep kids occupied and get them learning new skills at the same time. When kids are in the kitchen, they tend to become more invested in the ingredients they’re using, which in turn exposes them to different things to eat.
Kids also get to practice their math skills, using the fractions and measurements required in reading and following recipes. Children have the opportunity to work together in order to create something from scratch.
Also, working with food is a great opportunity to talk about health and nutrition. What better way for kids to understand things like sugar or salt content than seeing what goes into a dish?
Overall, the benefits are numerous and spending time in the kitchen is a great way to bring all ages together and encourage a life skill your children will have forever. Pinterest is a great place for recipe ideas and a simple search will yield yummy results.
Outside Play FTW
As long as you’re feeling well, there’s no reason you can’t get outside. Just today, I saw my neighbour tossing a soft-ball with his son. It was nice to see! Our basketball net may still have some snow around the base but the driveway is clear and I’m sure the kids will be out there at some point this week.
It’s also a great time of year to get back on those local trails. But be prepared and wear those rubber boots! It may be muddy out there.
Games for Everyone
I don’t know about you but we definitely have some board games stashed in the basement. Time to dust them off! Looking for some great family suggestions? We love Jenga, The Game of Life, Clue and Connect Four.
Have a game to suggest? Please let us know in the comments below!!
Crafts & Good Old Imagination
When my kids were littles, they used to love building forts out of the couch pillows. Watching them use their imagination and have fun was great to see (my anxiety about flattened couch pillows aside). But truthfully, I struggled to find other ideas that were kid-friendly.
Fortunately, all you need today is Pinterest! Doing a search for kids indoor activities will result in a whole bunch of great ideas like Balloon Rockets! If you’re feeling uninspired, you’ll definitely find some sparks here.
A fantastic way to burn off energy and release some steam – especially before bed time, am I right? – is to get up and get moving! Turn up the tunes and shake your booty to some top-40 tunes or introduce your kids to some old-time favourites.
Very much like cooking and baking, cleaning is a valuable life skill for kids to learn. I have some regular help in this area but I still ensure the kids have a role in weekly maintenance with some floor cleaning and keeping their rooms tidy.
During longer periods of down-time, like in this case of a global pandemic, I give them bigger tasks to work on. We have a ton of boxes waiting to be broken down for recycling so I’ll be putting them up to that task! I’m also considering having them paint some window frames 😉 Smaller kiddos can easily help as well… give them a dust rag and set them free to wipe off easy-to-reach surfaces.
Okay, let’s not be completely unrealistic… some TV is not a bad thing when you have a whole lotta time on your hands. Consider adding a unique and fun subscription service to your regular scheduled programming – even if it’s just short term – to give your family something new to watch.
Now, let’s not forget that parents need some down time too. It’s okay to think about yourself as well and do some things to improve your mood. Go for a drive, take a bubble bath, read a book! Can’t go to the gym? This is a great time to explore at-home alternatives like online videos or maybe doing a FaceTime class together with friends. My husband is downstairs as I write this, playing video games himself. And why not?!? The best way to stay positive during these times is to keep a positive mindset.
Whatever the next few weeks brings, I hope you and your family remain safe and healthy. The best advice out there is to be responsible, limit social interaction and be considerate of others. As always, be kind.