In our last post we shared some things to do during the COVID-19 stay-at-home directive… But if you have kids at home, it’s likely that the whole family is starting to feel the confinement. It’s easy to get on each others’ nerves when stuck at home together for an extended period of time, and for once your kids are probably not exaggerating when they say they’re bored!
As we continue to stay home (non-essential Maryland businesses are expected to stay closed through at least May 10th), it’s important to find new ways to keep busy, to keep entertained, and most importantly—to keep the peace! While we count down the days until our skating rink can reopen, check out these ideas to help your family pass the time.
3 Ways to Keep Your Family Busy During the COVID-19 Pandemic
Send some snail mail.
Hopefully you’ve been keeping in touch with loved ones outside of your household by using Zoom, HouseParty, etc. But if you want to step things up a notch, send some real, physical mail!
Clear out all of that old stationary you’ve never used, or help your kids make cards for a fun creative activity. Send your letters, cards, artwork, or postcards to grandparents, siblings, aunts and uncles, coworkers, teachers, classmates—anyone whose day you want to brighten! You can even send notes and cards to fight loneliness among elderly people.
Get on a schedule.
One of the best (though admittedly, hardest) things you can do right now is create a schedule for your family. A complete lack of structure isn’t good for most people, so work with your family to create a daily schedule everyone can get on board with. Include things like wake-up times, mealtimes when everyone will sit down and eat together at the table, bedtimes, etc. It can also be helpful to split the rest of the day into different categories, with time for exercise, studying, chores, solo activities or relaxation, and family activities. Check out these examples:
- A daily COVID-19 schedule from Prodigy
- This customizable and printable family schedule
- The pandemic schedule that made this mom go viral
Make simple things special.
Speaking of scheduling, remember that a routine doesn’t have to be monotonous. Schedule time for dedicated family fun at least a couple times a week. By keeping everyone on a schedule and making the time you do spend together fun, it will be easier to keep spirits up and avoid bickering.
These are just a few ideas for family fun “events.” What unique ideas do you have?
- Movie night: Pile up some pillows and blankets, pop some popcorn, and get comfy!
- Field day: Backyard relay races, hopscotch tournaments, etc. are great boredom fighters that actually provide exercise, too!
- Board game party: Put on a fun playlist and break out those board games. Let everyone take turns choosing games to keep it fun. (Of course, it wouldn’t hurt to “curate” the game choices if you want to remove anything overly long, involved, or likely to end in a fracas. Looking at you, Monopoly!)
Installation art exhibit: Write positive messages or draw pictures on your driveway or fence with sidewalk chalk. Make some signs to encourage your neighbors and prop them up against trees facing the street. Or head outside with a portable speaker and challenge your neighbors to a dance off from the safety of your respective yards!