Is your family getting tired of the same old games? Try these!
With all of us sheltering in place at home, our family has been reading more, playing board games, and getting a solid start on spring cleaning. But it’s already clear that, with eight sets of hands pitching in, the cleaning will wind down before long, and the love for board games will start to wane at some point, too. Instead of over-indulging in screen time, I want to treat these extra hours as an unexpected gift of time that we can use for good. Since our kids range from 4 to 15 years old, we need a variety of activities that can accommodate multiple ages. In case you do, too, give some of these options a try with us!
Thankfully, spring is here, even in the chilly, northern Midwest. Even though I had planned to not have a garden this year, in order to make more time for the kids’ summer sports and family activities, this recent burst of at-home togetherness has changed my mind. We now have the extra time and the extra hands to work outside. Even the 4-year old can help plant seeds and pull weeds. Gardening gets us out of the house and into the fresh air and sunshine — both so important for our physical and mental health. Even if you don’t have a yard that allows for a garden, just tending to a few potted vegetables and flowers on the patio, balcony, or kitchen windowsill can bring joy, beauty and a sense of accomplishment into our home-bound lives.
This is a good time not only to eat many more meals together as a family, but to get the kids actively involved in planning and cooking. Our 11-, 13-, and 15-year old daughters are each choosing recipes and cooking dinner once a week while we’re all at home. I am there to help them if they need a hand, and to just enjoy time together with them in the kitchen. They’re having fun while learning important life skills. Younger kids also love helping to bake and cook.
We now also have the opportunity to indulge in guilt-free time spent drawing, painting, dancing to music, writing stories, learning calligraphy, sculpting, etc. During normal times we often don’t have much free time to really enjoy the arts. Give the kids a large piece of paper and some watercolors and let them create masterpieces. Take an online drawing or music class. There are numerous free ones available at this time.