By Shannon Anderson, author of Mindset Power: A Kid’s Guide to Growing Better Every Day
Many families are normally so overscheduled that they hardly see each other. Now, they find themselves spending countless hours together. To prevent the spread of COVID-19, schools and many work environments are closed, causing people to stay home.
Families have more time than they know what to do with, which is wonderful, yet unusual. Parents normally craving family time are now seeking ways to make the most of it. This is an opportunity to be creative and make memories, despite the horrible virus causing all this disruption to our normal schedules.
If you or your family members are experiencing a touch of cabin fever, here are some ideas to help you make the most of your time.
This is a wonderful time to create new recipes or teach your kids to make some traditional family dishes. Preparing meals is a life skill. Take time together in the kitchen to cook, bake, and taste something delicious.
During this hard time, show your appreciation for those who are on the front lines, such as health care workers, police officers, delivery drivers, and food industry workers. Think of ways you can express kindness and gratitude. Maybe you can write letters, send texts, spread positive messages on social media, or donate to good causes.
B—Break Out the Games
Whether it is a board game, a video game, or a good old-fashioned game of hide-and-seek, you can have some fun playing games with your family. Dig out a game you haven’t played in so long that you have to relearn how to play it. Create a bracket and have a friendly competition. Or maybe you can invent your own game together.
I—Improve at Something
What is something you’ve always wanted to learn? It could be informational in nature or a new skill. Maybe now is the time to start a new hobby. You could learn how to crochet or build a bookcase. What is something one of your kids would enjoy learning? Have you always wanted to learn another language? Try it together.
N—Nurture Your Soul
Take care of yourself. Meditation, prayer, yoga, and other mindfulness activities can calm your anxieties and make you feel good. Figure out ways to pamper yourself. Maybe soak in a bubble bath, take a nap, or give yourself a manicure.
F—Find Ways to Stay Fit
Get up and move! Thankfully, we are allowed to go outside and enjoy the fresh air. Take the dog for a walk, go on a bike ride, or crank up the music and dance. There are plenty of ways to be active, even while the gyms are closed.
You can find plenty of painting and drawing tutorials online to walk you step-by-step through creating your own piece of art. You can also pick up forms of art you may have enjoyed in the past. Did you used to sculpt with clay? Knit? Illustrate? Write poetry? This is a great time to express yourself and enjoy creating something beautiful.
There are many virtual field trips you can take as a family! This is your chance to visit museums, zoos, and other places of interest without the crowds or costs. You can go directly to many attraction websites or check out this source, which has links to multiple virtual field trips.
Go through old home videos of your family enjoying special moments together. There’s nothing more heartwarming! Or, pop a bowl of popcorn and watch a movie together.
Look at your living room or bedroom from a new perspective. This is a great time to rearrange the furniture or even just reorganize a closet or desk. Maybe you could even come up with a cool reading nook area or art space.
I hope you can try some of these ideas, or go online to find many others. Author-illustrator Mo Willems is posting daily doodles, and many other teachers and creatives are coming up with activities for kids that allow them to use their imaginations. Try author-illustrator Jarrett Lerner’s free activities here. Or, check out my videos for crafts and writing lessons for kids.
The important thing is to realize that these are unprecedented times. We will all look back on these days and remember what we did. Try to make good memories and find positive ways to spend this precious time with your families.
Shannon Anderson has her master’s degree in education and is currently a third-grade teacher, high ability coordinator, and presenter, and a former first-grade teacher, adjunct professor, and literacy coach. She loves spending time with her family, playing with words, teaching kids and adults, running very early in the morning, traveling to new places, and eating ice cream. She also enjoys doing author visits and events. Shannon lives in Indiana with her husband, Matt, and their daughters, Emily and Madison.
Free Spirit books by Shannon:
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