If you’re like millions of Americans whose children are home from school due to the coronavirus, here are some ideas for fun activities you can all enjoy.
1. Get out the family photo albums and movies.
Everyone loves to see old pictures of themselves, adults and kids alike. This is a great opportunity to share stories, memories, and teach your children more about your life and your family’s history.
2. Read books together.
Reading any book together is an activity that can be meaningful and educational. But stories with cliffhanger chapters, like a Series of Unfortunate Events, can be especially enjoyable. You can read one chapter a day, and the kids have something to anticipate and talk about for weeks.
- Start a movie club.
First, make a list of family-friendly movies you all want to watch together. Then, break out the snacks, popcorn and fuzzy blankets to create a festive atmosphere as you watch one movie per evening. Need ideas for family-friendly flicks? Princess Bride, Joe vs The Volcano, the Toy Story series, The Parent Trap, Big (with Tom Hanks)—these are just a few film ideas to get you started.
- Do a reverse puzzle.
Try flipping a puzzle over so that you can assemble it using only its shapes rather than the picture. It’s a challenge!
- Get creative with clothing.
Wear pajamas all day. Wear clothes backwards. Wear hats. Have everyone wear the same color. Wear as many patterns as possible. Or give a prize for the craziest clothing combination of the day.
- Have a smelling contest.
Blindfold the players and whoever guesses the most smells correctly wins. (You can use coffee, toothpaste, fruit, cinnamon, pepper, bubblegum, vanilla, smelly socks…whatever you have on hand.)
- Hold an indoor scavenger hunt.
Make a series of clues on pieces of paper and hide them around the house. Kids can find and collect various items along the way—or just follow to the end for the “prize.”
- Hold a talent show.
You know what to do! You can even create a special “stage” complete with curtains and lighting.
- Play “I Spy.”
Everyone loves a good game of “I Spy”—and you can do it indoors. For added difficulty and educational value use difficult colors that the children have to learn or look up. For example, “I spy with my little eye something that’s magenta (or chartreuse or saffron—you get the idea.)
- Choose superhero names for the day.
Allow everyone to choose their own special name for the day, and if anyone forgets someone else’s and uses their real name, that person has to do 10 jumping jacks. If they forget again, they have to do 20, etc. (Optionally, make everyone speak in an accent—like Southern or British—all day. Or talk pirate. Or speak in rhymes.)