A nation as a whole is experiencing an unexpected change of plans that touches almost every aspect of our lives. Canceled vacations, work and schools nationwide. Right as we were getting ready to welcome longer days and warmer weather, we are asked to stay indoors and away from others. Millions of parents are in the same boat, sharing their experiences online with others with helpful activities to help pass the time productively without relying too heavily on screentime. Helping both adults and kids blow off some steam while learning in unconventional ways while in the comfort and safety of home. Start by taking a deep breath, let go of any pressure and know you can steer your ship any way that feels right to you, your day to day doesn’t have to be structured like a regular school day all day long. Get your kids to do their official homework early, then let expectations go and you may find yourself having a bit more fun than you expected.
1) Backyard Adventures
Just because we are told to stay home doesn’t mean you can’t explore your own backyard with the kids. All kids regardless of age can enjoy the stimulation the backyard provides. If you are on a work-at-home schedule consider taking your lunch breaks outside with the family, it will give you all a chance to enjoy the fresh air and spring sun. For those on looser time constraints, the backyard will be a choose your own adventure outlet. Encourage the kids to go on a bug hunt (trust us even the teens will get a kick out of this) magnifying glasses and empty jars will provide a safe environment for bugs and kids to get up close and personal. Plant identification can help make a few hours pass, pressing picked plant leaves and flowers can come in handy for later crafts or journaling. If the weather allows it don’t be afraid of turning on the hose and letting kids be kids in the mud.
2) Bath Painting
After getting messy in the garden outing try some painting in the tub. Add a squirt of shampoo, 2 tablespoons of corn starch and a few drops of food coloring. Using hands or brushes lets kids create some masterpieces on the bathroom tile after the paint is all gone hose the tiles down creating a luxurious bubble bath. Got teens? A much-needed bath might help de-stress while providing them with the peace and quiet they seek. Toddlers or teens won’t be able to resist.
3)Toilet Paper Tube Art
You should have a few tubes hanging out in your recycling bin waiting to be created into a work of art. You don’t need state of the art supplies, just a few squirts of paint and imagination. Have some balls of yarn or scrap fabric? You can make a village of tube people complete with yarn hair and clothes. Skies the limit with this craft that never gets old or runs out of tubes.
3) Vacation Postcards
Okay, so your vacation was canceled that doesn’t mean you guys can’t send friends and family postcards from spring break. Let the kids unleash their art on postcard size cardstock personalizing each one for a special someone. This craft is not just a great creative outlet but it’s a grammar and writing exercise covertly disguised.
4) Spring Cleaning Crew
No better time to get the house in order than some daily light chores to accomplish. Teens and toddlers can pitch in by wiping down surfaces and windows. Equip your new cleaning crew with spray bottles of water or a non-toxic cleaner to get their job done. Take a few hours to go through closets and drawers re-organizing and clearing out. Add some elements of fun and challenge the group to find the oddest forgotten item or model the most outgrown pieces of clothes for a good laugh.
5) Day Time Dance Club
You may not be shaking it in Vegas but you sure can bring the club vibe to your living room. Join forces and create a group playlist to get down to. Push furniture aside and put delicate pieces away before the dance gang cuts a rug. Take turns belting out tunes or solo dances. Laughs will be had and a great way to burn off energy.
6) Fort building
Nothing says childhood than building forts in the living room. This activity will keep kids entertained with minimal supervision as they drape blankets over the couch or chairs.
This fort can be as simple as a few key pieces or a mansion of a structure, let kids run wild with their creativity and problem-solving skills. Let this be a monument to kid kingdom, as the kids deck out the inside with their fort with pillows, battery operated twinkle lights and stuffed animals.
After the kids have designed their perfect fort what a better way to celebrate their newly created space than with a read-a-thon. A great way to lure kids away from screens and exploring books. Send them in with some snacks and a stack of books that will keep their minds busy for an afternoon. If minds start to wander, it most likely will be focused on their fort, leaving you with a little time to enjoy yourself.
8) Mini Chef
Put those fractions and math skills to work in a delicious way! Not only are you flexing mental muscles but teaching them useful life skills. The kids will love helping you in the kitchen creating snacks or full meals with you. Explaining what each ingredient does along the way in helping kids understand the basics of cooking as well as being in awe that little things help bind the big things together.
9) Dine Out but In
Were you guys looking forwards to eating at your favorite restaurant on vacation? Chances are you might be able to find dupe recipes online for your favorite dish. This activity can be strung along the day right up to dinner. Have the kids re-create the menus with their artistic abilities and give your dining room the restaurant vibe by setting the table like the 5-star dining experience you deserve. This a great time to learn proper plate settings and etiquette.
From our Family at Motioneaze, we hope you and your loved ones stay healthy and safe in these times. We hope you find moments to learn together and reconnect with those who mean the most. Although travel plans may be postponed it never means adventure is off the schedule.