Family life has quickly become the most significant part of our social lives. Already an important part of our lives, spending time with family is now one of the primary ways through which we can blow off some steam, have fun and laugh. Being together is a powerful and valuable way to promote a healthy mindset. Discovering ways to distract yourself and the kids with various activities will help keep everyone’s spirits up.
With hope for a normal future on the horizon, people are quickly becoming antsy about the times ahead. Screens have been how we interact with the world for the past 11 months and now we are wanting to engage with something a little more tactile. So the Open Air Team wanted to provide you with some options for spending time with the family in a more tangible way.
Let’s face it! In this day and age if children are not in school, their faces are glued to some sort of screen. You can round up the kids and explore your neighborhood as long as you follow the social distancing guidelines recommended by the CDC. This will help tighten your family bond and can be used as family therapy to avoid psychological and physical stresses caused by lockdown. If you don’t want a couch potato in the house, then just grab your walking shoes and open the door.
From our first suggestion, you might be thinking are we not trying to minimize screen time? Yes we are but an occasional movie night never hurt anyone! Pop some popcorn, open a pack of chips and get ready to experience a fantasy world come to live. It’s crazy how much content has been produced during COVID and we know you’re just itching to see it all. To spice it up, let each family member choose a show or movie! You’d be surprised how much you can learn about someone based on what they like to watch.
Bake a pizza, whip up some noodles or cook a cake. There’s nothing like enjoying something you made yourself. COVID-19 has spurred a culinary trend that spans wide and far. Everyone is testing their skills out in the kitchen. Measuring and weighing ingredients can also be a great medium to teach the kids numbers while away from school. Elevate the kid’s experience even more by highlighting the nutritional impacts of the food you are preparing. Exploring and creating new recipes from old ones is a fantastic way to keep it spicy and at the very least, if cooking isn’t doing it for you, there’s always the chance for a high energy food fight!
Whether it’s painting, drawing, building or throwing (we’ll explain), creating something for the family is always a great way to actively participate in communal activities. Art can be an outlet for emotions, providing a canvas for you and your loved ones to express what is important to them and what they dream about for the future. For little ones, try splatter painting! Get a blank canvas or large poster board and tape it to a glass window that can be easily cleaned or head outside even. Give the kiddos some brushes and let them hurl paint at the canvas, creating sporadic yet exciting designs.
Staying healthy and fit poses a major problem during the pandemic. Participating in a fitness class with your family is a fun way to get in some quality time, while you sneak in some exercise. You can go online to find a variety of free fitness courses you can stream from the comfort of your home.
Grab a book or better yet a books series and read aloud to/as a family. For the older kids, make it more like an in-house book club. Read a set of chapters and meet at the end of every week to discuss the topics addressed in the book. This is the perfect way to keep everyone engaged with at home learning.
Music holds the power to make you remember and allow you to forget. Playing songs throughout the house energizes everyone, and invites a level of playfulness or calmness that everyone needs. Go one step further and host a karaoke night for your fam! It only takes one Lady Gaga song to come on before everyone is up off their seats and dancing around the room. Be careful though, not all neighbors will appreciate the noise so be mindful with your volume.
Haven’t you heard? Green thumbs are in! With all the free time on our hands, and the crazy warm weather, there’s never been a better time to plant a garden for your home-to-harvest dinners. Not enough space – no worries – you can even grow smaller plants in glass jars. Make it a challenge and see who can grow that tallest flower. Gardening is something children can control and be proud of as they watch the seeds take root and maybe even with time provide food. There is nothing as great as enjoying the fruits of your labor!
After you have confirmed that the weather is excellent for camping, grab some pillows, blankets, and maybe a tent and head outside. Watch the clouds soar during the day and the moon light up the sky at night. If you have an outdoor fireplace, whip out the marshmallows and chocolate for smores. If not, just cook ’em inside and bring them back out to enjoy. Camping stories and glow-in-the-dark tag are always options too!
Picnics don’t have to be on location! They can happen steps from your front door. Simply plan it and make it happen. If inside is more your speed, build fort using cushions and blankets. Outside, all it takes is a blanket, some dishes and silverware and maybe a vase with flowers and you’re all set. It’s the most wholesome way to get that dining out experience while at home!
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