We know the Coronavirus epidemic has brought a lot of unforeseen changes to the daily lives of families all over the world. While we are staying safe and learning to adjust to the new “normal,” change can be difficult and having your entire family at home can be taxing. But time together at home doesn’t have to be stressful. If you find tensions rising or family time growing stale, try shaking it up a little with some new approaches to togetherness.
Have a Chat: Saying the right thing about the ongoing epidemic can be difficult in a situation where no one really has all of the answers right now. Need help starting or continuing the conversation? Learn more with advice from the experts at the Child Mind Institute on approaching the sensitive topic to ensure you are framing the discussion in a way that will be thoughtful, informative, but still reassuring.
Make Something: Fun DIY projects—like making soap or building a wooden clock—can be entertaining and stimulating. There are a lot of great (free) activities available online at Michaels and Uncommon Goods. (And don’t forget that time-tested favorite: making fake snot!)
Think Outside the Box: Get creative with common household items by using what you already have on hand in fun new ways. Skittles in the pantry can become paint! Empty toilet paper rolls never looked so good! What other fun items can you repurpose? (Hint: raiding the recycling bin is a good place to start.)
Go Virtual: Since you can’t physically visit places, why not explore virtual environments? You can now explore places like National Parks and international museums, such as the National Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art, Seoul from the comfort of your home. Exploration is just a click away!
Get Creative: Bust out the art supplies and let the creativity flow. While at home, try different media and tools that you might not have thought to use before. Did you know that bubble wrap can make for an excellent paintbrush? Or that you can incorporate science in art by “painting” in milk? Get inspired by other messy ideas here.
Game On: Why not make the most of having everyone home? Games that use different parts of your brain are educational and build family memories at the same time. We recommend the Melissa & Doug Suspend Family Game, which makes you think about weight and balance, and never fails to bring on the giggles.
Get Outside: Now is a great time to walk the dog or take a family stroll—making sure to stay a healthy distance away from other people, of course. Make walks fun for younger kids by counting houses, spelling street names, or playing I Spy.
Be Mindful: The constant change and unknown can be really stressful for everyone in the family right now, which makes it especially important to take a few mindful minutes every day to reset. Work meditation into your schedule with apps like Headspace.
Create an Attitude of Gratitude: Research shows that gratitude is a strong counter to stress. In the spirit of being grateful for your family’s relative comfort and safety, add a new tradition to your routine: In the morning, have everyone list something they are thankful for or share something you’ll each do to make it a great day. And, if you have the ability, consider donating your time or money to a charitable organization like UNICEF or Feeding America.
Break a Sweat: Many of your favorite fitness studios and instructors are producing “home workout” content or offering free trial subscriptions. Extra time at home can provide an opportunity to try yoga or that fitness program you’ve been wanting to check out, either on your own or with the family. There are also a wide variety of Youtube workout videos that are fun for the entire family!
We know change is hard, but we’re in this together and are here to help. If you have any questions or need more fun, educational ideas, don’t hesitate to contact us.