How to have fun inside during this period of social distancing

How to have fun inside during this period of social distancing

If it hasn’t hit yet, it’s inevitable: cabin fever will eventually set in as we are staying home and abiding by social distancing recommendations. And if you have kids, that feeling might come sooner rather than later.

The good news is, you don’t have to feel like a prisoner in your own home. There are tons of activities that can keep kids of any age occupied – and keep the fun level as high as possible.

Here are a few ideas for when you’re home during the COVID-19 outbreak.

Background photo with paints and paint brushes and a canvas with the words "GET CREATIVE"

Get creative with paint and play

Whether your kids are 2 or 22, there are endless ways to get crafty and expel some energy through creating something with your hands. 

Paint with your little kids. Let them make a mess and a magnificent creation you can hang in the house or mail as a pick-me-up gift to the grandparents. 

Work on that Pinterest goal of yours and or make your own game of “Nailed It” and bake a character cake with your children.

Let them color, let them build things out of regular household items. You’ll never know what kind of untapped potential your child might have if you don’t encourage them to experiment with their creative side.

Maybe that means writing short stories and acting them out or having puppet shows with socks. Build elaborate scenes with living room furniture and blankets and let your imagination run wild. Encourage your children to dress up and act out roles.

See what kind of joy you can create with things laying around your house – and the bonus is you might just clear out that junk drawer while you’re at it! 

Little girl outside on swing

Get some fresh air and stay active

Staying home doesn’t mean you have to stay inside. If you can, enjoy some time in the back yard or on your own front porch. Let the kids run around and play basketball, soccer or on your personal swing set.

If those things aren’t available, go for a walk or a bike ride around your neighborhood, but make sure to maintain the practice of social distancing by staying six feet away from others.

Get out the chalk and draw encouraging messages on your driveway with your children and teach them the importance of maintaining their health and the health of others during this uncertain time.

Plant a garden with your kids, have them help you mow the lawn or finish up that landscaping project that may have taken a backseat to the craziness of life.

The weather is beginning to get more beautiful every day, so take advantage of the sunshine and its natural Vitamin D and don’t allow yourself to fall victim to cabin fever.

Man with cell phone extended in front of him smiling (as though he's on FaceTime)

Keep in touch with your friends digitally

Don’t think that just because you aren’t seeing people outside of your immediate family face-to-face that means you’re going to lose touch with your other relatives and friends. 

Make a point to call them via Skype, FaceTime or WhatsApp and have a virtual visit or virtual playdate. Catch up with each other weekly or daily, and leverage your support system as best you can, without breaking the “rules” of social distancing.

Connect with old friends on social media through Facebook, Twitter, Instagram or SnapChat. Social distancing means keeping physical distance between you and others – not distancing yourself from your support system altogether.

Another fun idea is to get all dolled up and have a virtual dinner party with your friends and family. There are lots of free resources you can use to create a video conference. 

Celebrities are also putting on concerts and posting videos to entertain their fans for free. Take advantage of these digital offerings on Facebook, Instagram and YouTube.

Hands crocheting with teal blue yarn

Learn a new skill

Has there been something you’ve wanted to do but couldn’t because you didn’t have the time? Maybe now you’ll be able to.

Take some time to learn a new language, pick up a new hobby or work on a project you’ve been putting off.

Have you ever thought about getting into 3D printing? Do you enjoy wood working, building with LEGO, or crocheting? If you don’t know what you might be interested in, do some research and find a new skill or hobby that could pass the time. You never know, you could find a hidden talent and ultimately turn it into a profit – or just make things for friends and family.

young back toddler wearing jeans and glasses mopping the floor

Clean, clean clean – and spring clean

Being home more means your house might be prone to more messes. Make cleaning and picking up toys fun with incentives for the kids such as treats, activities or small prizes.

Help teach them how to organize your home for better efficiency and storage and take advantage of your time off to spring clean. You might find items you’ve been looking for or create a collection for a garage sale – which you can have once life resumes as normal.

While you’re cooped up inside, don’t forget to sanitize regularly touched areas of your homes such as door handles, light switches, faucets, toilets, keyboards, computer mouses and remotes.

close up photo of monopoly board

Board games, card games and family fun

What better way to spend time as a family than in a situation where it’s best to stay home? If you don’t already have a set family night, create one. Let one child pick the menu, another pick the activity and see what kind of crazy shenanigans you can get into with those closest to you.

Whether you’re one for board games, video games, movie nights with popcorn, Bible studies or other family activities, the possibilities are endless.

Play charades or break out that dusty Monopoly board game and sit around the table for some old school fun. 

Let your child teach you how to play their video games and take an interest in what shows and movies they like to watch.

These are just a few examples of how to pass the time in a fun, productive way during this period of social distancing. 

Most importantly, remember that even though you’re staying home, viruses and illness can creep in, so be sure to regularly wash your hands, don’t touch your face and disinfect surfaces.

mom and daughter in white t-shirts looking at tablet

Help your kids learn at home 

Are you unexpectedly homeschooling? If you’re looking for ways to keep your kids’ minds sharp during this time, places like Exploration Place in Wichita are offering online content to challenge young minds.

With Stay at Home STEM, Exploration Place will teach your child through Facebook and YouTube about science, technology, engineering and mechanics with videos and interactive challenges.

Take your kids on a virtual tour of history museums around the country with free offerings by the National Gallery of Art in Washington, D.C., Musée d’Orsay in Paris, the National Museum of Anthropology in Mexico City and the Guggenheim Museum in New York. Not all museums allow you to see all exhibits, but there are free offerings and street tours available.

PBSkids.org also has fun educational games for your kids. Click on their “Parents” section and you can connect to complete lessons and educational curriculum for kids up to age 8 in the PBSKids Lab. Best of all, it’s free!

These are just a few examples of how to pass the time in a fun, productive way during this period of social distancing. 

Most importantly, remember that even though you’re staying home, viruses and illness can creep in, so be sure to regularly wash your hands, don’t touch your face and disinfect surfaces.