If your family is anything like mine, it has been a struggle finding new things to do around the house. With schools, museums, movie theaters and other typical out of home activities either closed or deemed to be a little too risky, everyone has had to get a little more creative in how we have stayed occupied. I have listed some of the activities that have brought some joy to our family during these uncertain times.
1 - Explore a New Hobby
We have collectively started several new hobbies as a family. We rediscovered our bird feeders and have enjoyed watching the wildlife that gathers in our yard each day. During the rainy days, my daughter became enamored with the mushrooms that began popping up throughout the yard. I was then inspired to get her a mushroom growing kit from local Austin company Hi-Fi Mycology. She has had a great time watching her mushrooms grow and it has been considerably less traumatizing than our brief experiment raising a pet caterpillar (RIP Cabbage :cry:).
2 - Get Creative with Zoom
Zoom (as well as Google Hangouts, FaceTime, etc.) has been a great way to feel connected to others while not able to be physically close. In addition to the simple pleasure of seeing loved ones’ faces and feeling more connected, Zoom can be a great way to play some of your favorite games that you would otherwise not have enough players for. Our friend group has just started a weekly virtual board game night using Google Hangouts and Board Game Arena. Another great option is to find someone with the same yard game you have (washers, cornhole, ladder golf, etc.) and challenge them to a game over video chat.
3 - Rediscover Hidden Gems in the Closet
Everyone has one or two things hiding in their closet that they forget about. Some of it needs to be given away, but some of it might find new life in your house if given the chance. For us, the diamond in the rough was a hammock that was gifted to us that we had never found the time to set up. Once we finally took the time to get it installed in our backyard, it provided a great new hangout spot as well as lots of entertainment value for our kiddos.
4 - Do Something Nice for a Neighbor/Family Member
One of the few silver linings of the pandemic has been the way it has brought our neighbors together. We stay in better contact and have many more physically distant visits than we ever have before. The other day my wife even literally borrowed a cup of sugar from one neighbor to make birthday cupcakes for another. My daughter has also made several beautiful drawings and other art projects as gifts for different neighbors and family members throughout the stay at home period. It adds meaning to her art in addition to providing a nice interaction for the neighbor.
5 - Reconfigure a Room in Your Home
Nothing makes an old area feel new like rearranging things. For us, we filled our garage with a shuffleboard table and a racing simulator. We have also had clients convert their game room into an all-out arcade space. However, you can also get plenty of enjoyment out of moving the furniture in your living room around in order to accommodate a blanket fort.
I hope you have gotten a few ideas to try in your own home. Feel free to comment below with anything that you have found to be a fresh source of entertainment for you/your family.