Bored at home? Try these screen-free family activities
With social distancing, everyone’s doing their part to stay home and stop the spread of COVID-19. But staying put means a big adjustment for the whole family, and unease and worry for little ones.
Between juggling work, distance learning and keeping the kiddos entertained, it’s easy to rely on smart phones, tablets and other devices when you hear the words, “I’m bored.” While some screen time is ok, alternating activities will keep help keep children mentally and physically active, and families more engaged and connected.
Here are 10 screen-free family activities to help bust the boredom while you’re staying home.
1. Schedule a game night.
Open the cupboard and take stock of your game stash. There’s no better time for a little family-friendly competition. Choose board games that appeal to all ages and can be played as a group.
2. Try your hand at a puzzle.
Starting a jigsaw puzzle on the dining room table or other central spot in your home is a great way to get everyone involved, no matter their age. Have young family members sort puzzle-piece colors, shapes and patterns.
3. Move outdoors.
Social distancing doesn’t mean you have to stay inside, as long as you’re keeping at least 6 feet between yourselves and others. Head to the backyard for croquet, cornhole or a game of fetch with fido. Grab some chalk and draw up a quick game of hopscotch. Take a family walk or bike ride around the neighborhood. Just avoid public playgrounds or touching common surfaces.
4. Curl up for a family read.
Some designated quiet time for reading is a great way to bring the family together. But don’t make it about schoolwork. Let kids read magazines, newspapers or other literature. This might also be a good time to revisit a favorite family book or book series. Take turns reading aloud or listen together to the audio version.
5. Go on a scavenger hunt.
Turn everyday household items into something fun. Make a list of items for kids to find throughout the house (or in the backyard) and turn them loose, then let them create a special hunt just for you.
6. Make cleaning a family affair.
More people at home means more mess and clutter. Since you’re all in this together, now’s the time to have everyone help with household chores. For little ones, make tidying up a daily activity. For older children, explain the importance of coming together at a time of need, and why cleaning and disinfecting common surfaces is more important than ever.
7. Make it or bake it.
Cancelled activities and closed restaurants mean more time eating at home. Get the whole family involved in the kitchen, from learning basic cooking skills to meal planning to creating special snacks and desserts. Encourage feedback and involvement from younger kiddos, even if it’s something as simple as making a peanut butter and jelly sandwich. Let older kids cook and bake on their own whenever they want. It will keep them entertained and teach them a lifelong skill.
8. Share some memories.
In this digital age of iPhone photos and mobile videos, it’s hard to remember the days of photo albums. Now is a good time to dust off the old snapshots and share stories with the kids about when you were their age.
9. Plant a garden.
Digging in the soil can be a welcomed diversion during this stressful and uncertain time, for kids and parents alike. Depending on your space, you can plant a garden as simple as a few herbs in pots, or as bountiful as a backyard vegetable patch. Regardless, it only takes a few packs of seeds to get growing.
10. Write letters.
During this period of self-isolation, everyone’s feeling disconnected from loved ones. Rather than sending a text or email, reach out in a more personal way. Have the whole family hand-write letters or cards to friends or family members, especially those older relatives in facilities where visitors are restricted.
This can be a scary and overwhelming time for children. But it’s also a time to reconnect as a family and have a little fun (while staying safe), of course.
What Indigo is doing to keep you and your family safe
We know you may have concerns about your family’s health during the COVID-19 outbreak. If you or your child has an unexpected minor illness or injury during this time, we are here to care for you, every day, from 8 am to 8 pm.
Indigo Urgent Care is taking extra precautions to observe social distancing guidelines and protect the safety of all of our patients, visitors and staff. During this time, we ask you to:
- Schedule an appointment online. This helps limit the number of visitors in the clinic at any one time.
- Limit the number of people who accompany you into the clinic to one, if possible.
- Call us when you arrive at the clinic. One of our friendly concierges will take care of most of your check-in process over the phone, while you’re still in your car. The concierge will guide you to an exam suite when it’s ready.
View our list of frequently asked questions for more information about COVID-19 and our safety precautions.