By Theresa Westfall MS, LPC for The Aha! Connection
The recent concerns about the spread of COVID-19 have created major ripple effects. Many children are home from school and many parents are working from home (when they are able) or taking time off from work. People are trying to stay home as much as possible to reduce the risk of exposure. The natural consequence of all of these changes is that parents and kids are getting a lot of extra time together. Everyone is trying to avoid “cabin fever”. What can you do to make the most of this time? Here are some ideas for fun, in-home, family activities:
- Movie Night
Pop some popcorn and make it a fun night in! If you can not find a movie that everyone agrees upon then you could plan several movie nights and draw names from a hat to see who gets to show their chosen movie first!
Take this opportunity to make use of those empty toilet paper rolls! Pull out your paper, paint, scissors, glue, glitter, and whatever other arts and crafts supplies that you may have stashed away. Use this time to create together as a family. You can look on Pintrest or Google for cute craft ideas, or you can just start creating and see where it leads!
- Baking/ Cooking
What a perfect opportunity to teach your child a valuable skill and spend quality time cooking together. Maybe there is a special family recipe that you have been meaning to share and teach.
- Teach a New Skill
Is there a skill that you would like to share with your child or teenager? What a great opportunity to teach them how to change the oil in a car, or how to sew, or how to play chess. Or maybe your teenager has a skill that they would be willing to teach you? Our lives are typically so busy and scheduled that there is not time available to pass along this knowledge. What a great way to take advantage of this extra time together!
- Engage With Pets
I am pretty sure that pets everywhere are thoroughly enjoying this extra time with family. Take this opportunity to really bond and connect with furry family members. Children can be involved in brushing, bathing, and playing games like fetch. Break out the laser pointer and laugh as the family cat pounces around the room!
- Board Games/ Card Games
Board games and card games are a great way to spend time together as a family. Even if you don’t own board games, you could play charades or Pictionary together. This can create an atmosphere of fun and bonding. It can also set the stage for lessons on good sportsmanship.
Puzzles can be a great family activity to pass time and exercise your visual and spatial reasoning skills.
- Snowball Fight
I have some very soft and light balls that have yielded hours of fun for my family. We break up into teams and use the balls to have an indoor snowball fight. We typically do this in the hallway or an area where there are not fragile items around that can be knocked over. It is a great way to laugh, get everybody moving around, and have a lot of fun together!
- Nerf Battle
If you already own Nerf toys, this is a great way to get teenagers off of the couch and engaged with the family. Again, I would suggest finding an area of your home where there are not a lot of breakable items around. Some people may want to park cars in the driveway and use the empty garage as the battle zone.
- Blanket Fort
Especially for younger kids, few things can compare to the magic of a blanket fort! It is a great way to build something together and let them use their imaginations! What an amazing way to create memorable moments!
- Living Room Camp Out
You could decide to extend the fun and let your kids sleep in the blanket fort for the night, or you could actually pull out the camping gear and set up a tent indoors for a camping experience without the bugs and the convenience of indoor plumbing!
- Scavenger Hunt
A scavenger hunt is a great way to give your kids something fun and engaging to do without needing to leave the house.
- Dance Party
I have to admit, this is my personal favorite family activity. Turn up your favorite music and dance together with your kids. Some of my most cherished childhood memories, are of time spent dancing with my family, and I want the same to be true for my kids!
- Dance Off
It may be more of a challenge to get teenagers to get up and dance with you. Why not challenge them to a dance off? Break out your best moves and give them a chance to showcase theirs. This plan has all of the ingredients for some pretty hilarious and memorable family moments.
Whatever you decide to do while you are practicing social distancing with your family, remember to make the moments count. Quality family time is all about connecting, hearing one another, and having fun. Hopefully you and your family can come through these challenging circumstances with the silver lining of positive memories that will last a lifetime.
Atlanta Specialized Care