It seems to be a reality that the C********** (I’m not spelling it out to prevent being penalized by Google!) will be radically changing our lives for the next several months. In Ontario, all public and private schools will be closed for an additional two weeks after the one week March break that takes place March 16-20, 2020. So with your kids home for an unexpected three weeks and public health officials advising people to avoid large gatherings, how are you going to keep yourself and your kids entertained? Below are 10 family activities to do while you are stuck at home. Why not make the best of this surprise break to strengthen family bonds?
1. Paint Night at Home
Many people, including me, enjoy attending Paint Nite events; however, I suspect that many of these events will be canceled due to the close proximity of attendees. There are many YouTube videos that offer instruction for beginner or intermediate painters. All it will involve is a trip to Michael’s or if you’re lucky, your local dollar store, to pick up a few canvases, brushes and paints. The benefit of painting from YouTube instruction is you can pause the video and paint at your own leisure, which is not an option when you attend the very rushed Paint Night events!
2. Cooking with Your Family
You may already enlist your kids and partner to help out with after-work cooking duties, but why not schedule a special cooking day where all family members participate to prepare something special? Perhaps you can spend the afternoon preparing Easter or Passover cookies? Or choose a recipe that you enjoy at your favourite restaurant? How about a pizza-making weekend? Or a day spent trying new recipes such as Chicken Tikka Masala, paella or Banh mi?
Puzzles are a great way for your family to bond. Not only are they fun to do, but they offer so many benefits. For instance, the research indicates that engaging in puzzles enhances spatial skills, promotes memory retention and improves collaboration and cooperation. In fact, according to this article, puzzles are the number one item that Bill Gates brings with him on vacation. That man knows a thing or two about brain power! When beginning your puzzle, make sure to turn over all the pieces first and begin with the frame of the puzzle.
4. Decorate Easter Eggs
Easter is next month (Sunday, April 12, 2020 to be exact) so why not prepare for the holiday by getting your kids to decorate Easter eggs? It’s a fun, relaxing and concentrated activity and you can display the finished eggs as part of your Easter home decor. If you’re celebrating Passover, you can help your kids make Lego or Felt Seder Plates.
5. Game Night
Remember way back in the day before the Xbox was released that families used to sit around a table and play board games? That may be before your time, but believe me, it was a thing because I used to do it. If you don’t have any board games such as Monopoly, Trivial Pursuit, Clue or Scrabble collecting dust in your basement, you might be able to pick one of these games up cheap at your local secondhand store.
What a great time to tackle the books piling up on your night table or get your kids reacquainted with the love of reading! Having a bit of downtime will give you and your kids enough time to dive deeply into that intriguing mystery book or Sci-Fi novel. Here are some of the books I’m currently reading.
7. Start Your Garden
Fun family activities while you’re stuck at home include getting your kids involved in gardening by having them plant seeds indoors. Mid-March is a great time to start planting seeds indoors since it is recommended that you sow seeds indoors 6-8 weeks before the last spring frost. According to The Old Farmer’s Almanac, the best vegetable seeds to start planting indoors include broccoli, lettuce, tomatoes, peppers, cauliflower, cabbage, eggplant, Swiss chard and pumpkins. You will then transplant your plants into the garden near the May long weekend. Be sure to label your containers so you know what is growing where!
8. Learn to Knit
Fun family activities while you’re stuck at home include learning a new skill. Have you always wanted to learn to knit or crochet? If you’re stuck at home, you can easily learn to knit from a parent who knows how to knit or by watching YouTube videos. You will probably have finished a hat or scarf by the time your stay at home is finished!
9. Spa Day at Home
You may be postponing your regular visits to the spa so why not plan a spa day at home for you and your teenage daughter where you do each other’s manicures and pedicures and give yourselves facials. Just because you’re stuck inside, there’s no need to let your beauty routine go!
10. Go Outside
There is no need to spend all your time indoors. Go for a walk or enjoy a game of catch or frisbee in your backyard. Just make sure to stay two metres away from other people while you’re passing them on the sidewalk.
I hope you enjoy these family activities while you’re stuck at home. Stay safe everyone!