21 Fun Things We’re Doing as a Family While Social Distancing at Home
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Let’s make the most of forced family time!
Normally, my crew is running at full speed between work, school, and lots of sports and after-school activities. With all of that suddenly stopped because of the Coronavirus, we have found ourselves with lots of free time on our hands. It’s definitely an adjustment as we navigate everything happening on the outside, and staying entertained and sane on the inside while social distancing!
I’m thinking you can relate.
Social Distancing Mode: ON
At my house, we have had more of a relaxed flexible schedule while my husband and I work during the day and then are able to spend some quality time with the kids in the evenings, often making dinner together. Even though my kids are older, they still get bored, so planning some easy activities to do together has been helpful to keep us positive and our moods happy.
Maybe kids can remember quarantine as a time when everyone relaxed more, did some crafts, had a messy house, played with the dog a lot, and ate every meal together. ❤️
Readers have been asking our team for suggestions on what to do as a family that are not school-related.
Here are some fun suggestions that I’m personally doing and/or plan to do with my family to keep LIVING and to make the best of a scary situation. Think of these ideas as a Quarantine Bucket List of sorts.
1.) Get creative and paint art together.
Now’s the perfect time to encourage your little artists to express themselves through painting art. I actually love to join in too even if I’m not great at painting. It’s relaxing, and fun to sit and create something fun.
2.) Paint kindness rocks!
Spread some love by painting rocks with encouraging messages, and distribute them around your neighborhood for folks to see while walking. We loved creating our rocks as a family as it was a relaxing activity. After painting, use a clear sealer like Mod Podge so the paint will last longer.
Here are some other great kid’s craft ideas:
3.) Stay busy with puzzles and activity books.
We love these paint by sticker books, where you place a corresponding sticker to its number and then it creates a cool design at the end. I personally love adult coloring books too, as it’s actually calming to sit and color!
Hip Tip: If your younger kiddos haven’t filled out My Book About Me by Dr. Seuss yet, now would be a nice time to do it as a family activity!
4.) Get your body moving!
This could mean in your front yard playing basketball or indoors by doing a fitness class together. Check out P.E with Joe on Youtube. There are new and FREE episodes each day, and it’s definitely kid-friendly fun!
As another idea, It’d be fun to have the kids create their own CrossFit style workout stations at home as a family activity!
Hip Tip: Be sure to check out our list of free online workouts during closures.
5.) Do some science experiments.
We like anything to do with food, and this ice cream in a bag recipe totally counts as a science experiment! The best part is enjoying the treat afterward, and it makes for a fun activity.
Hip Tip: If you’re looking for more FREE science experiments to do at home, check out SteveSpanglerScience.com for lots of fun and easy options.
6.) Build the ultimate indoor fort.
Grab some sheets, blankets, heavy books, and chip clips to build a fun fort! My daughter and I recently took some time to build a huge fort with lots of blankets and pillows to make it cozy. She actually slept in there for a few nights and read books and watched movies in there.
Another fun idea would be to set up a tent in the backyard outdoors, if the weather permits, and make s’mores!
7.) Teach the kids to cook.
I’m not sure about yours, but my family has never been hungrier during this time! LOL! We’ve been preparing meals as a family lately and I love that time together. My daughter loves to bake and she cooks from this cute cookbook called Cooking Class that’s perfect for kids to learn from. We love the crepes and lemon bar recipes!
After all of this is over, I may need to social distance myself from the treats!
Here are some other great recipes for kids to try:
8.) Play some fun family games.
We love family game night! Monopoly is a favorite, although sometimes it can get too competitive and out of control for us 😂, but I’m going to share our personal favorites with you in case you’re interested!
- Smart A**: Ok it has a funny name, but it’s actually a really great fast-moving trivia game with lots of geography, history, and pop culture questions. My husband always wins, but we still try to beat him every time!
- Hearing Things: This game is sure to bring LOTS of laughs, I promise! The earphones play loud sounds and your partner reads phrases that you try to lip read. It’s hilarious!
- Scrambled States of America: I originally bought this when my kids were learning states and capitals, but we still play it and I love that you have to think fast to win.
9.) Stay connected to family with video chat or letter writing.
We are finding that staying in touch with friends and family brings joy and normalcy. You can even schedule some face time in advance to have something to look forward to. We are currently using Apple FaceTime, Zoom, and Marco Polo app to stay connected. I am planning to do this with all my mom friends too as a virtual happy hour!
10.) Encourage your family to keep a journal of this time.
We are currently experiencing something unprecedented, and encouraging the kids to write down their thoughts in a journal is a productive activity that will be invaluable to read in the future.
11.) Write messages of encouragement on your driveway in chalk.
Lots of neighbors have been creating inspiring chalk art on their driveways in my community using sidewalk chalk. It can be a fun activity to do as a family and will help you stay connected with your community. It’s neat to walk, while social distancing, and look at everyone else’s messages!
Hip Tip: Try this awesome stained glass chalk art project using painter’s tape to do with the family!
12.) Purge and organize your home.
This idea may not seem as fun of an idea, but it can be a great time to purge unwanted items as a family, focus on home organization, and donate things you may no longer use. I recently organized my bathroom cabinet and it’s spurred an entire home purge for us, which is good because I’m participating in our Hip2Save Declutter Challenge!
Check out these fun organizing posts:
13.) Decorate your outside windows with construction paper hearts.
This is a trend that’s popping up in neighborhoods around the world and I think it’s so beautiful. The idea is to decorate the outside of your windows or garage doors with colored paper hearts that can be seen from the street as a sign of hope and solidarity to the neighbors and community surrounding you.
If you need ideas or even just a nice pick-me-up, be sure to visit the new Facebook group “Hearts in the Window” for inspiration.
14.) Practice some self care.
Since salon visits are not an option, do pedicures, manicures, and face masks at home! The other day I did a mini facial on myself with goodies from my Fab Fit Fun box and I hardly ever take the time to do that! My tweens are into Biore pore strips and charcoal masks.
With all this constant hand washing, my hands are super duper dry. I highly recommend this AHAVA mineral hand cream that I’ve been using since it was featured in FabFitFun. I also like using a homemade hand scrub to get rid of any flakiness before moisturizing.
Hip Tip: Check out this Indian Healing Clay Mask that my sidekicks are raving about!
15.) Make a fun dance video.
If you’ve got older kids, you likely know all about the app TikTok and how users dance and lip-sync to music. Consider joining them in one to make a fun video as a family. My kids are wanting us to learn some moves and do one! 😆 And of course, you can always record a dance video on your phone for fun and not put it online at all.
16.) Teach Life Skills 101.
This could be an opportunity for kids to catch up on some basic life skills around the house we’d normally be too busy to discuss.
Some ideas could be:
- how to sew a button
- how to change air filters
- how to check air pressure and other car maintenance
- putting together a first aid kit
Hip Tip: Check out this fun and FREE printable Chore Bingo for kids to participate in!
17.) Read a good book out loud.
The other day I found my daughter on facetime reading a book out loud to her friends and they were actually listening intently. The next day they even picked up where she stopped. So she was staying connected to friends while also reading. This can be done as a family, too!
18.) Play a round of cornhole outside.
This fun bean bag toss game is our favorite family outdoor backyard game. We get pretty competitive, so games can get intense! My husband actually built our cornhole set following these directions years ago, however you can purchase Cornhole sets online.
19.) Make tie-dye t-shirts as a family.
20.) Have an epic movie marathon.
Now’s a good time to watch all the movies you want and not feel guilty! We watched the Back to the Future trilogy last weekend, and it’d be fun to re-watch all of the Harry Potter movies, and of course Star Wars! If you’ve got older kids, watching all of the John Hughes 80’s movies would be a fun goal. We’ve been crossing a few of those off our list.
Hip Tip: Write a bunch of movie titles on pieces of paper and put them all in a jar. Let your kids pick from the jar each evening.
21.) Create a DIY escape room.
An escape room is like an epic scavenger hunt where you’re usually trying to solve a puzzle to unlock a code or lock at the end. My kids love them, and when they had the idea to create one for my husband and me to solve last week, it was so fun! If your kids are younger, then consider creating an escape room or scavenger hunt around the house.
In our made-up scenario, the kids were pretending there was a zombie apocalypse and we (my husband and I) needed to find the code to unlock the house (using our smart lock on the front door.) The kids set up clues in our front yard and that kept them busy for a while. It was fun!
Hip Tip: If you’re needing some escape room ideas, visit LockPaperScissor.com for lots of inspiration!
On a personal note: I’m thinking of you all. ❤️
I know things are uncertain and frightening, and I’m personally feeling all the anxiety and concern along with you all too. I’m grateful for our wonderful readers here at Hip2Save, the opportunity to work from home, and am wanting to thank all our essential workers during this time.
There’s a lot happening that’s out of our control, but we can control how we are connecting at home with kids and help foster some positive memories they can take away from this time. And don’t forget to give yourself some grace if all you can do is snuggle on the couch with your family! Take care.