It’s hard to begin a post like this, because honestly it’s not one I ever expected to write. Like the rest of the world, I never dreamed that 2020 would take this kind of turn! To my readers, I hope that you are safe and surviving this difficult time well. If you are out of work, my heart goes out to you. If you are working from home and juggling education tasks for your children, I feel for you. If you are a teacher who is having to convert an entire curriculum to online learning, I am in awe of you. If you are an essential worker, thank you for helping the world keep turning. If you are the front lines, you have my prayers and deep gratitude. I look forward to the time when all of this will become another fascinating part of human history, rather than our present reality.
This post, however, is meant to encourage and inspire you as we face this challenge together! I want to share the things my family has been enjoying while we are spending so much time at home. Some of these will be product suggestions, but many of them will be ideas for activities and celebrations you can enjoy from home as we continue to work to “flatten the curve” together. Here is what my family is loving during our Spring Break at home!
Arts & Crafts
We have been cleaning out our craft closet and using up what we have. For us this includes pulling out old hobbies like crocheting, painting, rock painting, diamond art, adult coloring books, sidewalk art, and even some DIY musical instruments from cardboard scraps. Some of our family favorites include:
Diamond Art Kits-My 13 year olds especially enjoy this! I think it would be a little too tedious for me, but the results are incredible and they have a bit more patience than I do at this point.
Crocheting– My favorite crocheting project is making small cotton squares for removing makeup and washing your face. It’s very easy, you just need a small crochet hook, cotton yarn and to learn the double crochet stitch.
Rock Painting-We all enjoy painting rocks and when the smoke clears we will continue to hide and hunt for them in public places like parks! Click here to get all the info you need to start painting rocks.
Sidewalk Chalk-Since our neighborhood has been getting more foot traffic as people getting out and walking, we have been drawing and writing Bible verses on the driveway and street in front of our house, hoping to encourage others. It’s your chance to share your good vibes with the passersby!
Our whole family has enjoyed spending more time in the kitchen. We’ve been baking constantly and probably need to cut back on the carbs at this point. We have also enjoyed pulling out holiday recipes for extra treats. It seems like food is the most attainable splurge we can indulge in, so we’ve been eating delicious meals weekly! We have especially loved our Thanksgiving Feast with turkey and gravy, cornbread dressing, cranberry sauce, sweet potato casserole and green beans. We found that while many stores were low on chicken, whole turkeys were easier to come by and this is a great opportunity to remember everything we are thankful for. Next goal: mastering homemade bread. If you have any baking tips, I’d love to hear in the comments!
Games & Puzzles
This is is a great opportunity to play the games you haven’t had time to learn or to pull out old favorites. We have been revisiting my childhood with classics like Sorry, Clue, Monopoly, and Yatzee as well as trying newer ones. Our favorite addictive game options include:
Sushi Go-Super fun, fairly quick, easy to learn. This works great for our whole family, and I think most 6 year olds would have no problem joining in. This is very relaxed, allowing for plenty of conversation between hands.
Monopoly Deal-We never get tired of this and have actually had to replace our first set from excessive use! This is one that my 7 year old can play well and the rounds aren’t very long. Nice for Monopoly fans who don’t have time for a 3 hour game!
Dutch Blitz-This is too difficult for our 7 year old (he just can’t keep up) and my husband is not a huge fan, but my daughters and I LOVE this game. It is very fast paced and we get so excited we stand up to play! Once the social distancing rules are relaxed, it’s a very fun game for a large group of teens or adults!
Rubik’s Race-This is an speedy one-on-one competition and if your kids are into Rubik’s cubes they will particularly love it. I enjoy playing it also, but the kids are so fast that I never win. Very fun!
While we are stuck at home, our backyard has really become our only outlet for recreation, fresh air, and exercise. Although our yard is fairly small, we’ve found some small toys that pack big bang for your buck! Here are some of our favorite outdoor toys to date!
Slackline- This has been one of our favorite inexpensive purchases and became an instant surprise hit with our girls and their friends! All you really need is two trees. Be sure to choose a slackline with an additional practice line or guide line, because believe me, this is harder than it looks. The model we have is no longer available, but this one looks like a good affordable option.
Swings-We have a traditional swingset that all three of my kids still enjoy, however my sister has these portable fabric swings for their trees and I can’t believe how affordable, comfortable and easy they are! If you have a good tree branch, I totally recommend this style of swing!
Pogo Jumper-I picked up one of these at a thrift store and it was hilarious how much the kids enjoyed it. Even though it was clearly designed for a young child all of my daughter’s tween friends took turns racing it at their birthday party last fall. This one is only $12.99 which is a bargain, but there is also a model designed for big kids and adults here. Now that my girls are older, I might order these ball hoppers to give them something a little more challenging.
Wishes & Plans
Since it’s clear staying home won’t be over anytime soon, here are some of the projects and activities we’ve planned for the next month.
Sewing-I have basic sewing skills and I own a machine, so I’m ready to try my hand at sewing masks for our family. I think it’s obvious that we should be wearing masks by the time we venture out in public, so that way we will be ready. Here is the youtube video that I plan to use. In addition, I have quite a few mending projects that I’ve putting off and if not now, when? Time to drag out the machine!
Spring Cleaning-To my children’s disappointment, I have some VERY big plans for Spring Cleaning this year. In fact, this might become its own blog post. I’m ready to hit all the closets and declutter, scrub, and re-organize. I can’t wait! (No, really!)
Yardwork-Over the last few weeks, we’ve done some major trimming, raking, and hauling off of limbs. I intend to continue by some intense weeding and possibly making some kind of garden. Since our soil is pretty awful, I’m very interested in a patio garden set-up. I’m currently looking the Tower Garden and Lettuce Grow. If you have experience with a similar raised garden device, please leave a comment for me.
Exercise-We have never had at-home exercise equipment, but I think I’m ready to invest in a treadmill or exercise bike. I’ve been drooling over the Mirror, which is really cool technology but still seems a little pricey. If you have a specific recommendation for me, please let me know!
Let me know what your family is doing to stay healthy and busy during COVID-19 Quarantine.
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