I had a feeling when things became so serious with the spread of COVID-19 that there would be some good to come out of it.
Don’t get me wrong..it’s still very scary and I pray that none of us or anyone we know becomes infected.
BUT our lives get so crazy busy with our own hobbies, our kids activities and whatever else we cram into our schedules that we don’t have a lot of time to just BE. The families out for a walk or a bike ride, moms and dads playing out in the yard with their children, or all enjoying a sunset at our beloved Lions Bridge touches me in a special way.
We needed something like the Corona Virus to slow us down and think about what truly matters— family.
With the changing up our daily routine, I’ve been trying to get more creative about different activities to do with the kids and as a family.
Here are some FUN and FREE Activities for Families to do at Home During Covid-19:
Photos are the most meaningful when you can sit down and flip through them, rehashing old memories. Old photos of myself as a child are quite embarrassing and are likely to get a good laugh. I’ve also hit a point in my life where I love to retell stories of my childhood to my children. I remember stories even now that my mother has been telling me for well over twenty years.
You could even grab an album from a recent vacation you took as a family. Go through the album and ask your children what they loved about the vacation. What memories stand out to them? Pretend y’all are there now. What would you be doing?
2. RANDOM ACTS OF KINDNESS
Something I miss about Colby’s old Elementary school is how much they focused on kindness. Have each member of the family do at least one random act of kindness for another family member. You can assign each person to a specific person or keep it completely random. Either way, there will be lots of feel good-vibes today!
3. BAKE/COOK TOGETHER
Baking from scratch with my mom was one of my most favorite memories! Licking the beaters, smelling the warm deliciousness coming from the oven and of course EATING the cookies. Bake a family favorite and let the kids help! Or have the whole family cook dinner together.
Everyone has to do something, no excuses! Peeling, chopping, stirring, opening boxes, serving, setting the table, whatever they enjoy most. Typically if the child gets to choose what’s being made they’re a lot more interested in helping out. No worries though, if you’ve already got a meal planned, just rope everyone in to the kitchen when it’s time to start cooking.
4. DANCE PARTY
I mean there’s no better way to tire out energetic kids before bed time. More times than I can count Caroline asks for a dance party so she can put on a “twirly dress” and dance her little heart out. Each family member gets to choose one song (even if that means listening to Baby Shark for the one millionth time). Blast it loud, with no exceptions EVERYONE has to dance, and the best and worst dancers win treats.
Everyone sit down together on the sofa and take turns saying something you’d like to start doing or somewhere you’d like to go in the year to come. It could be a place that you’ve been desperate to go to, a new hobby you’d like to try, a new habit you’d like to start, or maybe just something you’d like to do more of. Once everyone’s had a turn, try and come up with suggestions and ways to make as many of them possible.
Let each child choose one thing they’d like you to play/do with them for 10 minutes and do it. Try not to be distracted by anything else – make sure your phone is in a different room. Really throw yourself into it with as much enthusiasm as you can muster. Even if it’s something you really don’t enjoy personally (HELLO pretending to be an Avenger), it’s just for 10 minutes and it’ll mean so much to your child that you’ve done it. If they suggest something that’s not possible in 10 minutes, try to encourage them to think of something else that is, or make it a shorter, easier version – often they’ll be just as happy with that and will be ready to move onto something else 10 minutes later anyway.
7. MOVIE NIGHT
Bring all the pillows and blankets into the living room, pop some popcorn and/or sweets and have everyone curl up together to watch a film. If you can, try and get everyone to agree on the movie earlier in the day (or just make the decision yourself).
8. HIDE + SEEK
This is an oldy but goody! Play hide + seek. The whole family. Try to come up with new and the most inventive place you can. Give extra-long counting time (perhaps a minute instead of 10-20 seconds) to give people chance to find a really good spot. If your house really doesn’t have many good hiding places (or if you’ve well and truly exhausted them all on previous games of hide + seek) then each family member can hide an object instead – everyone could each have a stuffed animal, a piece of fruit, a shoe, whatever you like 🙂
9. PAMPER TIME
Make your own family ‘salon’. Each family member can choose their own 10 minute ‘treatment’ that another member of the family will give them. Paint nails, massage heads and/or backs, put on face masks, give foot rubs, whatever makes each of you happy!
Draw each other. Give everyone a piece of paper and pencil- set 10 minutes on a clock to draw one other family member. The drawing can be realistic, abstract, caricature, comical or just experimental. If you want, get even more official and place all the drawings in frames and hang them as a family gallery.
11. BACKYARD CAMPING
If you have camping gear packed away and shoved deep into the attic, I challenge you to take it out and camp in your backyard. Make sure to go all the way with hotdogs, s’mores and silly flashlight stories. You’ll be amazed at how this simple change in scenery really lights up your little ones. TIP: If it’s too chilly to camp overnight, simply make it a camp evening and head back inside to your cozy beds.