If streaming movies and tablet time are starting to get ho-hum reactions from your family, it’s time to step up your inside activities planning. All it really takes is a little creativity and guidance to bring everyone together under one roof. Whether it’s a rainy day, weekend, or your kids are home from school, we have ideas!
Bake a Special Treat
Family members of all ages can work through a recipe together. Maybe you pull out that old holiday favorite written on a yellowed index card by a grandparent and give it your all. Older kids can help measure ingredients and read instructions out loud. Let younger children stir the mixture and put used cooking tools into the sink.
Once the treat is prepped and baked, sit down as a family together to enjoy what you created. This activity could easily become a favorite weekend afternoon routine as a way to connect after a busy week.
Go on a Bear Hunt
Once the rainy days of spring subside, head outside for a little family fun. As we practice social distancing, stay in your yard or go for walks, bike rides, roller skating or scooter riding along the public sidewalks.
Encourage families in your neighborhood to display a stuffed teddy bear in their windows for passersby to spot and count. Display a bear in one of your front windows if you want to join in on the fun. Then, take your family on a bear hunt this evening after dinner. Getting fresh air, stretching your legs and socializing safely with neighborhood friends will create lots of smiles.
Decluttering, Downsizing and Donating
As we spend more time indoors, why not freshen the kids’ closets to prepare for the addition of new summer clothes and toys? Start by emptying the contents of each closet onto their beds. Toss anything stained or broken, then choose what to keep and what to donate. Now is the time to pass on clothes that’s too small and toys that aren’t being enjoyed.
Place all the donatable items into a big box and offer the items to your neighborhood friends that could put them to good use. Lay a blanket out on your porch or driveway and display the freebies for passersby by to take. Then, mention the goodies (with a photo) on your neighborhood social groups, like Nextdoor and Facebook. Remind visitors to approach the items one at a time to stay safe.
Celebrate a New Holiday
If you have lots of time on your hands, why not get festive? Ask each family member what their favorite holiday is, mix them together and bring a new event to life.
For example, if the kids love Halloween and the adults pick Christmas, you could put up the Christmas tree together and make Halloween theme ornaments for it using craft supplies. As you decorate, come up with a seasonal song to sing, like Rudolph the Orange-nosed Pumpkin. Make the kids come up with silly new song lines!
To tie in with the holiday theme, you could read seasonal storybooks together, make holiday cookies and dress in previous Halloween costumes, topped with Santa hats! Be creative!
Play a Tabletop Game
When was the last time you went through the closet full of games? Now is the time to do that! Whether it’s Monopoly, Candyland, or Uno, introduce your children to the excitement of tabletop board games that aren’t played on a screen.
To get into the spirit, dress for team-based games. For example, make everyone on the blue team put on an outfit that’s all blue, head to toe, no matter how goofy or mismatched it looks. As you play, remind the kids of good sportsmanship conduct and keep things fun, not competitive. Embrace the smallest of teachable moments even when playing a hand of cards or moving game pieces across a board.
When you’re inside with the family, think beyond the usual go-to electronic entertainment sources. Find ways to connect with one another, laugh, and learn. Here’s to more family time ahead!