I am so glad this is posting today. I wrote this last week and have been continually updating it as I find more resources. I could not make myself stop so thankfully when it posts today I will be forced to stop messing with it.
With so many people globally being put into quarantine or choosing to self-quarantine to help slow the transmission of CoVid-19, I thought it would be good to share some great things to do during this time at home to stay occupied and entertained. My husband and I are staying in the next two weeks, just going out to walk the dog and get a bit of fresh air in our neighborhood, but still keep our distance from neighbors, as his company is asking employees to work from home to help do their part to slow the spread of the virus.
It will help if you try to keep a somewhat regular routine so you do not get bored. It will also help when you have to transition back to normal life. It will not be such a huge adjustment to get back to your regular routine. Get up everyday at approximately the same time as usual. Sleeping in an extra hour or staying up a bit later than normal is not bad, but staying up until 4 a.m. when you normally go to bed at 11 p.m. could disrupt your sleep patterns when you try to get back to normal.
So now, what to do with all this extra time at home? Here are a few suggestions that do not include sitting on the couch and mindlessly binge watching two weeks worth of TV shows, though you could do that too, but why not check out these entertaining and educational options.
It will be important to keep active while stuck at home. Even doing just a little light yoga everyday can help improve mood and circulation. If you prefer lifting weights but can't get to the gym, substitute household items. Canned goods, jugs of milk, and books are just a few things in your home that can be used as makeshift weights. YouTube has tons of free workout videos from beginner aerobics to Zumba. You can find something for just about every fitness level.
I would, of course, suggest starting off with Stephen Burckhardt's Into the West Saga Serial, they are clean reads and parents have found them to be suitable for at least 10-years-old and up, but once you have finished reading those (and hopefully left a review on Amazon or Goodreads) you can find numerous free or discounted deals on Amazon.com and B&N.com. There are books for just about every age and interest. Numerous classics are now in the public domain and can be downloaded for free. This could be your chance to finally read Pride and Prejudice or Moby Dick (which I still have to finish). Don't forget to check out your local library's website, most libraries have a virtual lending program for ebooks. Even if you are not local, places like The New York Public Library are expanding their online resource offerings to help everyone get through this time.
3. Learn a Language
Have you ever wanted to learn Spanish or French or any number of other languages? Now is a perfect time to do it! There are several free apps available to help you learn and practice some new language skills. PC Magazine gives you a breakdown of some of the best free apps.
4. Deep Clean Your House
This is not the first thing I would personally opt for when suddenly forced to be home more, but why not take advantage of the time at home and get those chores done around the house that always seem to get put off. I know for me, I don't vacuum under the couch as often as I should. Now, since the hubbie is home with me, I have someone to hold up the couch while I vacuum.
5. Virtually Tour a Museum or National Park
If you go to Mental Floss' website or AdventuresinFamilyhood.com, you will find a lists outstanding museums and other organizations from around the world where you can take virtual tours right from your own couch. Why not check out some great artwork, learn more about the space program, learn about pandas, or check out the differences in between the Triassic, Jurassic, and Cretaceous periods. If you want to view a park, check out this article on Thrillist.com. It lists several national parks you can virtually tour on google earth.
6. DIY Crafts
Why not have a home version of Nailed It? Have a family craft night where each member tries to replicate the same DIY craft. You can find many options online for all skill levels. The one who does the best and the worst job, gets a prize. You can even go outside the family with this by challenging friends and family online to try the same craft and post photos on social media. Have the online community vote to see who nailed it and who didn't.
7. Become a Mad Scientist
Turn your kitchen into a science lab and whip up a little mad science with some simple experiments. Check out the video posted below or go to MommyPoppins.com for a list of 63 simple experiments families can do using common household items. Do you have eggs, glass bottles, candles, matches, milk, and vinegar on hand? Well then, you are all set to do your best mad scientist impersonation with at least two of the experiments from the list.
8. Family Game Night
My husband and I love to play cards together, though anyone watching us would think we hate it because we get vicious while the game is on, but we really love it and have so much fun together. We are just both very competitive. We also love playing video games together and just downloaded Monopoly on Xbox. However, you do not need anything special to have a family game night. It can be as simple as playing charades or just GoFish.
9. Charity work
Charity can begin in your own neighborhood. Do you have elderly or disabled neighbors who can't get to the store right now? Why not make them a care package? It is a safe bet they have been having trouble finding the basics just like everyone else, but they might not have the strength or the means to travel to five or six stores to find what they need. If you have a little extra to spare or can pick up a few extras while you are out, you can make a care package for them with toilet paper, hand sanitizer, Clorox wipes, tissues, bread, apples, and canned or packaged dry soups. It would be fantastic if you gave them your phone number in case they need something later or just need to talk. If you are frightened right now, imagine how an elderly person living alone might feel. Your kindness just might help save a life or, at the very least, help you make a new friend.
10. Take a Class
Everyday more and more institutions are offering free online classes to help everyone get through this trying time. You can learn the basics of ballet, learn to draw with Mo Williams in his free Lunchtime Doodles Class on Facebook, and Scholastic is offering free classes for kids. IF you have ever wanted to learn to cook or just improve your current skills you should check out massimobottura on instagram. He will be giving free cooking class on his Instagram channel. If you prefer Facebook, check out Italian grandpa Pasquale Sciarappa. I personally love watching his videos and have tried a few of his recipes, they were fantastic and so simple to make. If can't find something that interests you now, just wait. More offerings are popping up daily.
11. Visit a Theater . . . Virtually
The Met is offering free streaming of past performances. You can watch classics like Carmen, La Traviata, La Bohème and more. Check out their website for the full performance calendar. If opera is not your thing and you would prefer a Broadway show instead, checkout Playbill.com where they have several popular performances available for free viewing including Rent, Cats, and Sweeney Todd, The Demon Barber of Fleet Street. What better time to enjoy the arts?
12. Check out a Concert
Several artists from John Legend to Keith Urban are streaming live concerts from their home or studio to help those affected by the coronavirus outbreak. Check out #TogetherAtHome to find more listings or go to abc6onyourside.com, a news station in Ohio, for more information.
13. Have Story Time
Several authors are taking to the web to provide story time to those who are stuck at home right now. One of my favorite is with Josh Gad on his Twitter page #GadBookClub. If you don't recognize that name you must not have read the credits for some of Disney's biggest movies the last few years. He was LeFou in the live action Beauty and the Beast but he might be best known as the voice of Olaf in Frozen and Frozen II. Storyline Online is another great option with a fantastic selection of stories and related activities.
14. Search the Web
This is just a short list of activities I was able to find with a quick search of the web. Imagine what you can find if you take the time to do a lengthy search. YouTube is a great resource. They have free full length movies that are in the public domain, you can watch instructional videos to learn to cook, sew, knit, make furniture, and so much more. This could be the time to find your next favorite hobby
I hope everyone is (and stays) safe, happy, and healthy! We CAN do this, #TogetherAtHome!
Harry the Dirty Dog Read by Betty White
5 Amazing Kids Science Experiments with Balloons by
The Dad Lab
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