Kids are home, most of you (I hope) are staying home. Social isolation and physical distancing is beginning to take its toll for some of you. Patience is wearing thin, kids are bored and grumpy, and they may just be getting on your last nerve right about now. If you’re at your wits end, why not put together some fun activities that the kids can do and some things that you can do as a family?
Kids these days are so into their screens so your mission will be to come up with something that will get them up off the sofa, outside if possible to get some exercise, and to encourage analytical thinking in the context of having some fun and friendly competition. If they can’t get out, you can incorporate use of their phones and tablets.
Here are a few fun activities you can do as a family:
- Scavenger hunt around the house: Put up clues around both inside and outside. Each clue has a word or phrase that gives a clue to the next location. You can add an element of difficulty by making one or two words something they need to look up to decode. Make sure that the winner gets a good reward such as skipping a chore, choosing what’s for dinner or choice of game or movie for the next game or movie night.
- Family Game Night: Board and card games are a great way for the family to get together and spend some time playing and having fun. You can rotate adult and kids’ choice or put all the games in a hat and let them take turns choosing. Be sure to make your games age appropriate so kids can have fun and not get frustrated.
- Movie Nights There are so many streaming services you can use or play DVD or Blue Rays. The catch to this is that everyone has to agree on the movie. This encourages cooperation and compromise.
- Exercise classes or yoga online: Even small children can follow along with Zumba dance, yoga or cardio workout. We all need to keep moving and exercising. This is a great hour to incorporate into your daily routine while you’re in isolation. When kids start going stir crazy and bouncing off the walls, you can direct them in some structured exercise.
- Outdoor “Camping”: Pitch tents in the back yard and outfit them with all the gear as if you were camping. Get your BBQ and do the camping food, and ice chest of beverages and have a backyard campout. If you’re stuck in an apartment, make a blanket fort and let the kids “camp” in the living room. Sleeping out under the starts is a fun family activity.
These are only 5 ideas. I’m sure you creative parents can come up with some other great ones. Ask your kids what they most want to do, and see if there’s a stay-at-home version you can come up with the goal to get everyone working and playing together.