It’s a whole new world out there. We’re all reinventing the way we’re spending time at home, how we’re staying connected to friends and family, and how we’re keeping things fun. New creative ways to have fun using technology are surfacing every day. Don’t forget about the good old “non-tech” ways to have fun too … there’s nothing like a great board game or cooking to bring the family together!
1.Take a virtual field trip with your family
Explore some of the world’s best zoos, museums, aquariums, volcanoes — even Mars! — without stepping outside. Educational experts, media outlets and many others have assembled extensive lists of places to “visit” from your couch, making learning fun. There are so many virtual places to discover!
2.Attend a virtual story hour. Virtual story hours are popping up everywhere, and all day long! The authors at Penguin Kids read fairy tales daily; celebrities including Betty White, Eva Longoria, Lily Tomlin, Oprah Winfrey, Rami Malek and many more read their favourite stories, and you can also hear authors reading their own works aloud.
3.Banish the bored with a board game. Dust off Monopoly and surreptitiously polish up kids’ math skills, play checkers to hone strategic thinking; rustle up Scrabble to work on spelling, board games make learning fun. And don’t forget the card games. There’s nothing like a rousing game of Go Fish, Spit, War or Crazy Eights to get the family connecting!
4. Stay together, apart. RIght now it’s more important than ever to stay connected with friends and family — especially for those who are on their own. Video-calls are one great way to catch up; apps such as FaceTime, WhatsApp, Skype are free to download (though data charges may apply) and are a fun way to reconnect as a group online. Or, hang out virtually and play games together on Houseparty, or search the App Store or Google Play for all kinds of free games.
5.Cook up a storm. Most kids love baking especially if it gets messy. So, find a favourite cookie or cake recipe and create something delicious together. It’s a great opportunity to teach a great life skill. Have older kids? Task them with making dinner (you’re off the hook!). Even finding recipes can be fun- this free app lets you upload ingredients you have and suggests recipes using them.
6.Schedule “Appy Hour”. Even the World Health Organization is advising people to stay home and play online with friends. Keep up your friendships by designating an hour to hang out with your friends online. There are free apps for word games, board games like Risk, Uno and Monopoly, and even trivia quizzes to help keep your friendships active and fun.
7.Create your own family game show in your living room. Create a hilarious do-it-yourself quiz and see how well family members know each other. This free and easy app lets you create your own multiple choice or true or false questions. Display them on your tv or laptop and have family members compete on their smartphones.
8.Get your house in order. All this time at home is likely producing messes. Turn doing laundry, washing dishes and putting toys and clothes away into a game by seeing who can finish the job first. The winner gets to choose which tv show or movie the family watches that night. Get the kids to help gather those books, toys and clothes they’ve outgrown. Re-arrange closets, drawers and shelves; tidy your workspace –even if it’s your kitchen table. Gather items to give away and store these for when donation centres re-open. It’s always easier to work in an orderly space!
9. Channel your creativity. From paper mache art to bedazzling, and tie dying to candle and soap making, there are loads of inexpensive ways to get creative at home – whatever your age. Order supplies online and let those creative juices flow!
10. Get ‘zen’. In this era of go-go-go, sometimes it’s nice to slow down and stop. Turn off the cellphones and practice simple breathing and yoga poses as a family to start or end each day. Your chi will thank you!
Nobody knows how long we’ll all be stuck inside, but if we’re going to be together, we may as well have fun together! Hopefully these ideas can help keep boredom at bay and you more productive. Remember, at some point, this too shall pass. Till then stay safe!