To paraphrase the great artist that is Drake— this went 0 to 100 real quick. This of course is the Corona Virus, or Covid-19. Whether or not you believe that the hysteria is justified, one thing that we can all agree on is that it is having a real affect on major aspects of our everyday life. Supermarket shelves are emptying at an alarming rate (people are standing in line by the hundreds at several Costco locations around the country), major music festivals and other events have either been canceled or postponed indefinitely. There’s talk of the Olympics being canceled this Summer if things don’t improve. The stock market has tanked. Amusement parks and museums have closed. But, to top everything off, daycares, schools, and universities are closing in an unprecedented domino effect.
With all of this said, you may find yourself wondering what to do with your children during this unexpected extended Spring Break, all while the government has advised that we stay home or keep a social distance of 5ft from people when in public. While my kids are not of school age yet, I am pretty used to coming up with activities to keep them entertained (and keep my sanity) during the day. I have compiled a list of a few fun things to do that don’t require a lot and also provide a fun family experience.
- Movie Day– This one is especially great for older kids who can sit still for the duration of the average movie. Mine aren’t quite there yet–unless of course the movie is Moana. Then even my one year old is locked in from beginning to end. Anyway, put on some comfy clothes, grab some pillows, blankets and/or comforters, snacks, and just relax. Put on a movie that you loved as a child, maybe your kids will love it just the same. If you don’t have a streaming service or cable, you can rent movies online through websites like Amazon or Redbox.
- Arts & Crafts– Never underestimate the power of a good old fashion arts and crafts session. With the advent of Pinterest, there are literally thousands of ideas available at your fingertips. I’ve mentioned on Instagram how I always seem to forget my reusable bags when I go shopping. This means that I have paper bags coming out of my ears. I love to reuse and re-purpose the bags through crafting. I used them to make decorations for my kids birthday party this past year, we’ve done holiday artwork using them, and more recently sent someone a Valentine’s Day card made out of one of the paper bags. Crafting is great because it makes your child focus and it is so fun to see how creative their minds are and their viewpoint.
3. Nature Scavenger Hunt– Don’t let cabin fever get you down. Get outside! If the weather allows it, take a walk around your neighborhood. Or, if you’re trying to keep social distance, go in your yard and have a scavenger hunt. There are several printables to choose from if you want a more formal guide. If you’re more of a “go with the flow” kind of person simply call out items that you see and let your children find them. Have them search for beetles, point out green leaves, look for wild flowers, it can be as simple as pointing out the grass. The idea is to get outside in the fresh air and have some fun. Here’s a simple printable found on Pinterest:
4. Sensory Activities– This one is great for the younger kids. We LOVE sensory activities. They allow your child to explore different textures and temperatures of things and keep them occupied for quite some time. A recent favorite of ours is homemade snow. All you need is baking soda and water–that’s it! You can also incorporate other toys or objects into the sensory space for even more fun. We have a pine tree in our yard and collected pine cones to put in the “snow”. My son had a blast!
5. Take a Drive– Anxiety might be high, but gas prices are low. Taking a drive is a great way to get out of the house while also maintaining social distance from people. Pack snacks and water so that you aren’t tempted to get fast food while you’re out, and explore. Luckily my family and I live in an area that is sandwiched between two larger cities meaning that there is a lot to see from the comfort of your own car. Our go to destination is usually Dallas. I have seen city skylines all over the world, but there is something about the Dallas skyline that I just love. If you’re in the city you can drive past where JFK was assassinated (a mood booster for sure), drive through the beautiful posh neighborhoods of Highland Park and Uptown. Or, take a tour of the super cool Deep Ellum. Oh, and there’s also a giant eyeball downtown. So, check that out as well. There’s definitely a lot that will catch your eye in Dallas (see what I did there?).
6. Get Cookin’–Involve your kids in the kitchen. If you have older kids task them with making a dish or even a meal. Have them find a recipe that includes ingredients that you already have in stock and empower them to make it. Not sure where to start? Raddish is currently offering FREE cooking kits as well as access to their online at-home cooking camp program. Visit http://raddishkids.com for more information. If you’re like me and have smaller kids they will enjoy any task given to them in the kitchen. It can be as simple as having them toss in smoothie ingredients in the blender or helping to decorate cookies. Being knowledgeable in the kitchen is an important life skill, so what better time than now to start with your children?
7. Dance Party– If you can move your body, you can dance. Let your hair down and have some fun! Dancing is great way to get some exercise in for yourself and your family while boosting everyone’s mood. We love to use the TikTok app on our phones. There’s way too many dance trends to keep up with, but we never fail to end up laughing as we try. It’s fun. In this climate we could all use a bit of fun. If you’re on TikTok already follow me (and I’ll follow you) @crunchymamadfw— we can have a virtual dance party :-).
8. Virtual Museum Visit– Many museums around the world have temporarily closed its doors. However, you can now visit over 500 museums virtually. Google Arts & Culture has teamed up with hundreds of museums globally to offer this amazing experience for the whole family to enjoy. Visit https://artsandculture.google.com/explore to learn more and start your tour. If your children are especially interested in natural history I would suggest visiting the Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History’s website to take a virtual tour– it is fantastic! Visit https://naturalhistory.si.edu/ to get started.
These are just a few options to keep yourself and your kids entertained as we navigate through this period of uncertainty. Get creative. Activities can be as simple or as complex as you want to make them. Lean on your family and friends if you are starting to get overwhelmed. We are living in a very unique time right now, but the good thing is that we’re all trying to get through it together. Let’s have fun for our kids. Let’s show them that while it is important to be prepared, it is even more imperative that we keep a level head and avoid panic. Stay safe y’all, and wash your hands.
Sound off in the comments if you want to add to this list. 🙂