A break from work or school sounds excellent, but remember why we are all practicing social distancing. By avoiding large groups, we can all fight this together! The kids must know that this is not like a spring break where you can go to the movies, the park, and the mall. The family will have to work together to come up with ideas to fill each day with productivity and fun.
1. Just surviving is ok!
I have seen a lot of lists about amusing tasks and activities that you can design for your kids while the whole family is at home – I am about to share some of those. But it is also ok to just get through this. The laundry may go undone, and the dishes unwashed. Don’t make yourself feel guilty if you don’t become superhuman just because you are home.
2. Be active every day
It might be tempting to lay on the couch and binge-watch Disney+, but after a couple of days, you will get sore and cranky. Try to find fun ways that the family can all play together. Log on to Tik-Tok and learn a new dance. Ride bikes, take a walk, or play fetch with the dog. If the kids enjoy it, then they will burn off a little bit of that energy.
3. Chores, of course
4. Home improvement projects
Have a project inside your home that you’ve not had the time to fix or improve? Go pick out some new paint and supplies now before you are stuck at home!! #familybonding #nowerenotplayingvideogamesallday
5. Support small businesses
This short window of time when people are staying home may disproportionately affect small businesses. Small, locally-owned businesses may be operating with very little cash, and even a minor disruption can hurt the company and its employees (your neighbors). Consider helping out your favorite local restaurant, shop, or cleaning service. Some ideas to support small businesses during this time are buying gift cards, shopping online and off, taking advantage of discounts, order in, and tip a little more than usual. Read more here.
6. Waste a little time
Doing jigsaw puzzles is like marathon training for your brain. Really. Read about it here. You could waste some time with the kids by doing puzzles or playing a game.
7. Go on a virtual museum tour
The Guggenheim has a virtual tour, and so do these other great museums. You don’t have to know a lot about art to take these tours. Just think about your reaction to the art. Do you keep going back to a particular picture? Does some art make you nervous or angry? These 100 museums put their collections into coloring pages, so you can make a little art yourself.
8. Make a schedule as a family
You probably have an idea in your head or maybe even a spreadsheet about how you are going to manage the days this week. Some of you are going to have to organize online work while dealing with family. Some of you may have your weekly routine of home management wildly disrupted by all the people in the house.
Think about making a schedule with the family. Give the kids an idea of some of the things that should be scheduled and how much time each activity should take. The family will decide together (with mom and dad having veto power) what the plan is.
Some things to organize throughout the day:
-Screen Time (Movie Nights?)
-Meals (trading responsibility)
For children and adults that suffer from anxiety, creating a predictable schedule will reduce some of the uncertainty of this time.