Staying Sane During Quarantine: COVID19-Proof Ideas For In-Home Adventure, Community, And Structure With Kids!
“Zoom,” “toilet paper,” and “quarantine” are words we’re hearing a lot these days, and yet a little more than a month ago they wouldn’t have even crossed our minds. These are crazy times, indeed. With anxieties swelling, we find ourselves facing our deepest human desires for community, fun and a little sanity!
For those of us at home with kids especially, we’re managing schoolwork, attempting a semblance of structure and order, and trying to keep littles entertained (not to mention fed and alive)! All the while, we’re striving to keep our own jobs intact. In light of these new challenges, we’ve compiled a list (and some killer resources!) of activities to keep us ALL sane during these days at home. In this post, you’ll find ideas for adventure, community-building, and the ins and outs of schooling and meal planning. We may feel alone, but we can be alone together.
Open those windows!
In Nashville, it’s been quite rainy, but we all know fresh air is good for the soul. These days, most of us can’t even sleep or relax without some ambient nature sound machine – so how about a live one for relaxation during the day? Sounds of birds chirping and rainfall bring calm to our bodies, reminding us of beauty and life outdoors.
Play in the rain or mud! (Or maybe just get your bigger kids to do so while you do some work, chores or meal planning.) All kids need to get outside and move for a mental break, and rainy weather shouldn’t be an obstacle, but an enhancement! Rain or shine, getting outside is crucial for healthy development and exercise!
Watch classic movies together, and laugh! Play a game of cards, jump on the bed, get down on the ground and play with your kids. Children who can mentally grasp what’s going on need the element of play to ease their little minds, and giving them joy and hope will help them (and YOU) transition into this new reality of being home without friends. Plus – you will never regret being childlike with your children!
Getting outside for a walk – even if just for ten minutes – improves mood, gets movement into your weary bones, and increases energy! Plus, kids need to be outside once a day if at all possible. Even though we recommend social distancing from other walkers, it will renew your sense of connectedness to wave and smile to neighbors and strangers – an added bonus!
Review Family Goals!
Use this time to recharge and renew your sense of adventure and growth as a family! How are you doing so far in 2020? Bust out the family white board, and share how you want to grow as a person, physically, mentally and emotionally. Circle back to those New Year’s resolutions you made just a short three months ago!
An in-home dance party is a sure-fire way to kick a bad mood to the curb! When tantrums strike or teens get “battitidues,” bust a move! In a day-in-age where Siri, Google Home and Alexa are household names, this should only be a voice command away. Maybe you could even create a family playlist so it’s ready when the time comes!
There are several online community events being live-streamed or made available for viewing across the world! Check out the list of all the zoo animal exhibits across the globe that are available through live web cams! Several art museums have also opened their exhibits to the world wide web, including 14 museums in Paris and several more all across the world!
Facetime, Zoom and Google Hangout
Call an old friend and catch up, or FaceTime friends and family (did you know group texts have a FT feature?)! Let the grandparents do virtual story time so you can enjoy a glass of wine with your spouse. Host a Zoom dinner date or game night with another family to reconnect! Missing that weekly book club? It can live on through Google Hangout!
Have the kids help make signs to put up in your front windows to make neighbors smile as they go on a daily stroll. Phrases like, “Keep Shining,” “Be Well,” and “Have Hope” with images of suns, hearts, or rainbows will lift folks’ spirits as they walk by, no matter their age!
Mail A Letter.
The art of letter-writing is both an educational activity and a character-builder in young people. Have them write a heart-felt letter to a loved one to stay connected! In times like these, it’s especially thoughtful reach out to those in nursing homes, those living alone, the postman, the unemployed and all caregivers. Whether it’s a toddler’s hand-drawn picture or a high-schooler’s handwritten note, this is a gift that will bring a smile to any face.
Dust Off The Posterity Box!
How often do we go through old photo albums or memory boxes? This is the PERFECT time to dust them off and show our kids where they come from! Children love hearing stories, especially your own. Watch as the family bonding unfolds before your misty, nostalgic eyes.
FREE Educational Resources
We handpicked our favorite collection of free resources like BookFlix, an online video and virtual book library on several subjects for all ages. They’re offering all their books and videos for FREE during COVID19 with the username “Learning20” and password “Clifford.” Amazing! If you’ve found yourself homeschooling, here also is a master list of homeschool activities for all ages from Rock Your Homeschool! If you have littles, see our post on 8 Montessori Activities With Household Items!
School Schedule Suggestions
It can be overwhelming to manage a variety of age groups’ school schedules at home. Here are a couple of ideas to get you started! We love Busy Toddler’s sample COVID19 Schedule for littles at home and this example from Confessions of a Home Schooler for middle schoolers! All about encouraging more analytically challenging subjects like math first thing in the A.M. while energy is high! This sample teen schedule from Teen Take 30 encourages fresh air to kickstart new “chunks” of time in the A.M. and in the afternoon during lulls.
It can be difficult to juggle all the meals, in addition to kids’ school, your own jobs, marriage and health. Good thing we found some easy snacks and lunches kids can make themselves! Seriously. Even small children can grab some grub for themselves. Some of it may take a little prep on the weekends, or shifting things to an accessible shelf in the fridge, but it can be done! Children love taking ownership in the meal planning and prepping, too! Have them submit ideas for meals each week, and ask their help in preparing their meal of choice! It may take a little longer, but it builds life skills, and, once they get it down, they’ll be able to help a ton more in the future!
No matter your situation, we’re hoping this will be an opportunity for all of us to dig deep and remind ourselves what truly matters. There is value in structure. There is still fun to be had. And though we’re at home, we’re all in this thing together. Maybe we will all look back on COVID19 as a time of replenishment, bonding and reset with the ones we love the most.
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