The new normal of social distancing coupled with the abysmal springless weather has been making my family feel unnaturally penned up! In fact, as soon as the shops and recreation facilities around us started closing, I got panicked texts from some of my mom friends. “What are we going to do all day if we can’t leave the house?” was a common question.
Unsurprisingly, my family and I have dived into a few new activities to keep ourselves entertained and active! The ideas came from a few coworkers, mom friends, family members, and internet searches. If you are looking for some fun things to do with kids while you’re stuck at home, here are some ideas!
The Royal Tyrell Museum
For Polar Bear’s 3rd birthday, which is coming up in May, my family was planning on making a trip to the Royal Tyrell Museum. Unfortunately, the museum isn’t anticipated to be reopening any time soon but we were able to find this little virtual gem! Take a grand tour at your own pace without leaving the house! You’ll feel like you’re really out and get a chance to educate the little ones while you’re at it – click here.
Start a Garden
Get spring going with a little indoor garden! My family and I started with herbs that sprout really quick, like cilantro and parsley. They go great on any pasta dish and allow us to experience a little spring activity. Add to the garden with your favourite vegetables. You can start the fun indoors with potters and move them outside when the right weather arrives.
Teach your Pet a New Trick
Our family pet is a nine year old dog. She is incredibly smart and as my munchkins grow, they are taking on more of an active role in her care. We started teaching her a few new tricks in our free time, involving her more in our family routines and giving her more attention! My boys really like watching her learn more tricks and she loves the resulting treats!
Create a Family Tree
With the present secluded nature of the world, it’s hard for the family to keep up with our social lives, and the little ones seem to forget friends and family quickly (my older Grizzly Bear was playing MarioKart and told me his ‘friends’ – the NPCs – were winning the game). That’s when I decided to help my boys make a family tree! It helps if you have a printer or pictures of your family to cut out and glue to the tree, it helps them understand who they are and who their family is! Beware though! Too much knowledge has led Grizzly Bear to start calling Grandpa “Mom’s Dad.”
Make a Maze
This timeless game of making a maze on the floor using painter’s tape is a great game for those active kids, especially those too young to read clues in a more advanced treasure hunt. If you have a big space and a little kid, the maze can be for them. If it’s a little space and multiple kids, let the munchkins drive cars or roll balls through the maze. I also brought their new favourite movie, Disney’s Onward, into play by giving them wooden spoons for wizard’s staffs, making little bridges, and placing an orange ball at the end for the Pheonix Gem. They loved it!
Note: If your kids are really into this and you want to enchant it up, write secret messages to them and leave them within the maze using lemon juice invisible ink! Find the secret recipe here.
Have a Tea Party
My kids and I have gotten into tea parties as part of our afternoon snack. It gives me a break from work and a fun get-together for the family. My son’s started quoting a scene from the original Toy Story too – asking me, Mrs. Nesbitt, if I would like some more tea! Adorable. It’s helped them learn some table manners too!
Wii Play and Wii Fit
With the current weather and closed recreation centres, it’s been a challenge for the whole family to get exercise. Luckily, my husband was able to find our old Wii and a couple of active games. My sons’ only foray into the video game world thus far has been Mariokart. With these active games, we’ve now enjoyed tennis, fishing, yoga, and other strength training games. It’s been a great way to get exercise and have fun!
Not everyone’s favourite activity but this extra time at home has really helped my husband and I tackle some much needed home organizing. It’s even helped us save a bit of money too! Rather than driving back and forth to work, going out for dinner, shopping for new items, and spending on recreational activities, we’ve been spending more time with each other and saving funds! This gave me the idea to get some tasks done that I normally wouldn’t have time for, such as repairing old toys and clothing, things that would be too cumbersome normally and would result in purchasing new items! Now my kids and I are fixing things, having fun, learning a bit, and saving money! What a show stopper!
See anything on this short list that inspires you? Notice anything missing? Tell us all about it! We’d love to hear more ideas or know what you and your family are up to! It’s important to feel connected while still staying safe! Give us your ideas to share with others or give us a shout to let us know something new you’ve tried. Hope to hear from your family soon!