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With Covid and schools closed indefinitely in Ontario right now, trying to find things to do is, well.... hard. Add to the challenge that you can't go anywhere and friends are off-limits, it can be pretty difficult to not become best friends with your screens. (I will admit, my kids are on screens ALL THE TIME and I do not feel an ounce of guilt about it anymore. I used to... but with both of us parents working from home, it has become what it is and it keeps our kids connected with their friends). Having said that, here are 10 at-home activities you CAN do that don't require screens. But I hereby give you full permission to allow your kids to go on screens and not feel guilty about it... getting through this pandemic is hard enough! Ok, let's get to Number 1!
Number 1: Write Down Things You Are Grateful For
I know, it seems mundane and preachy, but actually taking the time to think about what you are grateful for and putting on paper really works. Triggering those happy thoughts creates happy feelings, which in turn makes you feel more joy, and in turn makes you more motivated to get through your day. Our kids both have a journal to do so, and it really helps with mindfulness, too! Now how is that for a great start?
Number 2: Snuggle a Pet
Another idea that will increase those happy feelings. It really isn't even an activity per se and if you have a pet, you're probably are already snuggling them a lot. If you don't have a pet, your kids can create a zoo with stuffies they may have at home, rename them, and pretend they are new pets to care for! Not sure what do to before dinner starts? Try snuggling!
Number 3: Clean Your House
You may be scoffing at me... and I will let you. There's something about having a clean and tidy space that resets moods. I LOVE to turn on a happy playlist really loudly, and it sets the tone. Making it seems less like a chore and more of something the family can do together helps, too. So go ahead and blast some of your favourite music, and if you happen to dance with your vacuum, we won't tell!
Number 4: Plan A Trip
This is actually the perfect time to start researching your next trip! Whether it be overseas, at a local camping ground, planning a trip and discovering places to go and what to do can be a fun family project. Getting the kids involved also helps create excitement and helps them feel part of the process. Where would you go? What would you do? What would you see? And once everything is open again, you'll be so organized that all you will have to do is pay and pack!
Number 5: At-Home Spa Day
I will admit - clipping my kids toenails has not been on the top of my to-do list these days, nor is it fun. But you know what is? Cutting up cucumbers, putting on masks, eating yummy snacks, and feeling that you are taking care of yourself can also kill some time! I personally love using facial razors for myself to scrape off my facial fluff; guys, it is magic. Don't knock it until you try it!
Number 6: Bake Something New
Some days I just do not have the energy NOR the desire to cook, let along bake, but knowing how amazing the house will smell is motivation enough. Sit back with a coffee or tea and peruse Pinterest for some new ideas, or pull out your old magazines and find a new recipe you would like to try. I absolutely loved making these thumbprint cookies; I found they tasted best pulled out of the freezer. YUM!
Number 7: Go Fishing!
Be sure to check with your local government what you can fish and where you can fish. Here is a local map for Southern Ontario which also lists all the fish that can be found! Be sure to have a valid fishing licence as well. It really is a relaxing sport and can clear your mind. Our son, who LIVES for video games, will also happily fish any time, all day long. Even if he doesn't catch anything, he loves the way it makes him feel. Not into fishing? Play the old Go Fish card game at home!
Number 9: Go Outside.
I wish I could take a dose of my own medicine here as this is something I do NOT do as often as I should. But getting outside is a great way to reset the brain, take in fresh air, get in a bit of movement, and ground yourself. I find myself saying "yes" more when my husband asks if I will join in on a walk, not because I want to, but because I need to. Maybe hug a tree, or walk barefoot on the grass, whatever you do, be in the moment.
Number 10: Do Whatever You Fancy
The number one activity on this list (besides being grateful!) ... do the heck whatever you want. Friends, life is too short and if Covid has taught us anything, it is to do the things that bring us the most joy. Facetime with family. Read a book. Colour in your parents' bed. Watch movies all day long. If it is going to fill your bucket - do it.
I hope this list has give you a few ideas to inspire you and your family, and if it hasn't, at the very least I hope it has shown you that it is ok to even not do one thing. Some days that are filled with nothings... are often filled with a lot of little somethings.
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