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Beyond board games: 6 boredom busters for kids of all ages

FAMILY GAMES

David Prado Perucha - Shutterstock

Zrinka Peters - published on 05/08/20

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!

Garden

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.

GARDENING
Maria Sbytova|Shutterstock

Cook

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.

Create art

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. 

LITTLE GIRL PAINTING
Dragon images I Shutterstock

Write a letter

This is also an excellent time to keep in touch with grandparents, distant relatives, and penpals by mail. Letter-writing is an art that has been largely lost in the age of digital communication. Why not revive it, and bring a smile to both the sender and the receiver?

Pray

Spending more time together in prayer as a family at this time will surely bear good fruit long after we stop talking about the coronavirus. Whether just beginning to pray together, or strengthening the family prayer life that already exists, we are growing spiritually and depending our family ties. Since faith formation classes are not in session right now, the need for us as parents to lead and encourage our kids in prayer is that much more urgent.

fr412193c.jpg
P Deliss | Godong

Serve

There are more needs than ever, during this time of uncertainty, fear, and financial instability for so many. Even when we can’t readily leave our homes, there are still ways that both adults and kids can serve from home. When buying groceries, we can buy a little extra for the food bank. One mom, through Facebook, offered sourdough starter (along with instructions on how to use it) to anyone locally who would like some. Kids can write letters of gratitude to our military, veterans, and First Responders, and send them through Operation Gratitude. They can also color beautiful pictures and send them to senior citizens and overseas troops through Color a Smile. They can write kind and cheerful letters and send them to elders in senior communities through Love for the Elderly. They can also put almsgiving into practice by earning money for doing extra chores, and donating a part of their earnings to charity.    

Having more time as a family at home can be an unexpected blessing. Let’s use it as much as possible to strengthen our families, our faith, and our communities!


FED UP

Read more:
5 Signs you may going a little quarantine-crazy


FAMILY

Read more:
What the quarantine has revealed to me about the importance of family

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CoronavirusFamily
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