With students’ learning going digital, and friends and family shifting to video chats versus in-person hangouts, it can be difficult to manage our screentime. Even our libraries are providing e-books and e-resources. When we look at screens for extended periods of time, it can affect our quality of sleep. Depending on what the content is, it can also increase our anxiety and tire out our brain. So how do you keep you and your family entertained without switching on the TV or pulling out the iPad?
At-Home Art Gallary
This is a great idea for kids, but can be done by any age! Spend the day creating art and then displaying it in a gallery setting around your home. All you will need is paper and anything to draw on the paper. You can even repurpose old magazines in your home and make a collage. Have your kids “curate” the exhibit and choose what paintings will go where. You can have a reception with snacks and walk around the gallery and pick your favorite pieces. You could even have an art “auction” with fake money. This is not only a fun and time-consuming activity, but it will engage kids’ and adults’ creativity.
The schools may be closed but the lab is still open. With materials found around your house, you can create science experiments right on your own kitchen counter. Using eggs, sharpies, dollar bills, baking soda, and batteries, you can create fun and educational experiences for your kids. For hundreds of at-home science activities, visit: https://www.stevespanglerscience.com/lab/experiment-library/
If you have any musical instruments at home, now is the time to bring them out! Even if you’re not an expert, singing and making music with your family is a great way to spend time and have fun. If you have young children, it can even help them grow important neurons connections. If you don’t have a musical instrument, challenge your kids to make some! You can make instruments using shoe boxes, rubber bands, toilet paper tubes, rice, cans, pots and pans, almost anything. If in doubt, you can always use the original instrument … your voice. Check here for some ideas on how to create your own musical instruments: https://redtri.com/homemade-instruments/
You might not be able to visit your favorite campsite right now, but your home can make a wonderful campsite! Using either a small tent or pillows and blankets, build a “tent” in your living room. Encourage camping activities like telling stories around a “campfire” (you can use flashlights or make one out of paper), going on a hike around your house, and identifying the local flora and fauna (is that a ladybug in its natural habitat?). You can go one step further and create a treasure hunt to pair with the camping adventure. For ideas on treasure and scavenger hunts, check this out! https://theniftynerd.com/diy-projects/how-to-create-a-scavenger-hunt-for-kids/
Stores are closed, so a shopping spree or a trip to the mall is a no-go. However, you have a mall right in your own home! Get out the off-season attire and open the closet to spend a day exploring the fashion and accessories you already have. Create looks for different occasions and organize a game out of the experience. Take pictures of you and your kids’ looks as if you are models or celebrities. Not only is this a fun activity, but getting dressed is an important part of maintaining a routine while working and learning from home. Wearing pajamas or comfy clothes is tempting as we are learning and working from home, but getting dressed as if you are leaving the house can make you feel uplifted and more motivated. It can also remind you that it’s ok to look great (or silly, or fancy) just for you!
Our modern connectivity is giving us amazing services and communication options but it’s still important to balance our time on screens. We hope the above ideas will help you take some time away from devices and inspire you to discover even more ways to explore!