One of the hardest adjustments I have had to make since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic is that I need to figure out how to entertain myself now that I am stuck inside all the time and basketball and baseball have been cancelled. With how bored I sometimes feel in the house, I know that those of you who now have children home all of the time have things much worse as you adjust to your children being home all of the time. Below I have listed some social-distancing friendly activities to help you and your kids fight off quarantine boredom:
1. Exercise: Just because the gym may be closed does not mean you can slack on your fitness. Whether you’re an adult fighting off the quarantine 15 or you just need a way to help your kids burn some energy, there is still plenty to do. There are countless free online workout and instructional videos you can follow along with from your living room. You can even start a new learning something new from these videos, like kickboxing or yoga. There are even kid-friendly yoga instructional videos. We can also still go outside and do whatever activities you normally do, provided you’re still following social fitness guidelines. This is especially important for those of us working remotely, as going outside is one of the top recommendations for an effective day of working from home.
2. School Work: As many of you transition to the dual roles of parent and teacher while schools are closed, it is important to work with your kids to make sure they stay on top of their education and make sure they’re prepared when school resumes. It is also important to make sure that both parents have access to the kid’s online school work so they can help.
3. CDC Sick Room: During Pandemics, the CDC recommends designating a sick room in case a member of your family gets ill. Get together as a family, decide which room you will use and have everyone chip in to prepare the room in case anyone gets sick.
4. Teach your kids to cook and clean: With everyone in your house now at home most of the time and eating most meals at home you have probably noticed that you’re cooking even more than usual and that your kids have even more time to mess up the house. Parents have all this additional work to do and are not necessarily getting more time off from their other responsibility to focus on these household chores, meaning now is a great time to have your kids helping you around the house. This can be as simple as assigning some daily cleaning chores, but for older kids you could even go as far as designating one week a night where they make dinner and clean the dishes, giving you a well deserved break.
5. Learn Cursive: Most schools don’t even teach cursive anymore, but every kid should at least be able to sign their name in cursive. There are several online programs available for this, including one for free from ABC Mouse.
6. Journal about COVID-19: There is no question that this pandemic will have a lasting effect on this generation and be remembered as a key moment in history. Having children journal about the experience will let them a tangible record of their experience to pass onto others and will help them process and deal with the effects of the pandemic in real-time.
7. Help those in need: Odds are that everyone reading this is struggling through this pandemic or knows someone who is. If you’re able, this is a great opportunity for kids to give back to their communities by helping those in need. Whether it is by delivering supplies or doing yardwork for an elderly neighbor, your child can find a way to help those around them.
8. Virtual Tourism: Countless zoos, aquariums, museums, and amusement parks have made virtual tours of their facilities and attractions available for free online. Whether your child has to do a school report on a specific animal or you just need something to entertain them for a few minutes, there is something available for everyone.
9. Learn about COVID-19, viruses, and history: Now is as good a time as any for kids to learn about viruses, how they work, and how to stop them. In addition to resources specifically about COVID-19, these recent events have inspired people to revisit past pandemics like the Spanish flu. There is so much to learn about how certain social norms and modern practices were influenced by historical pandemics like these, and it may help inform your child about what life will be like when COVID-19 has passed.
10. Online Coloring Books: There are thousands of coloring books available to print off from the internet for free. These are especially great if you’re parenting from a distance and cannot travel to see your child right now, since you can each print off the same book or pages and color them together, even though you’re apart.
- Links to free online workout/yoga programs for kids or go outside
- School work (and make sure other parent can help/has access)
- CDC sick room
- Teach them to cook/clean
- Teach them cursive: use ABC Mouse
- Journal/diary about quarantine
- Help those in need: make food, offer to do yardwork, deliver supplies
- Virtual tourism, theme parks, museums
- Learn about Corona virus/germ video
- Tons of resources out there to learn about viruses like this, learn about other viruses throughout history and how they impacted the world, learn how to prevent spread and what precautions to take
- Online coloring books- great if parenting from afar
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