Keeping the Family Engaged
Fun Family Activities To Do At Home
Social distancing has never been so fun!
With the COVID-19 crisis still underway in the Hudson Valley (and in the world) local, state, and federal governments are urging people to practice the art of social distancing. With so many people already infected and our local hospitals bursting at the seams with sick patients, social distancing is being used to limit the number of infected individuals.
While it may seem like a dream come true to some, to be able to work from the comfort of your own home or binge watch that latest Netflix series, social distancing can quickly become, well, let’s just say––boring! Especially when you have children who need to continue to learn, grow, and play.
With those families in mind, Rivertown has compiled a list of ideas to keep your little ones entertained during this time at home.
Let’s be serious – we all need to eat (hence the massive hoarding at local supermarkets). That said, use mealtime as an opportunity to get the whole family involved. Whether you decide on a new nutritious meal or old family favorite, give everyone a task to help bring the meal together. Not only is this a good chance to bond and entertain your children, it is subconsciously preparing them for later in life.
Spending so much time at home is often a luxury most of us don’t usually have. Use this time to do some tasks you have otherwise been putting off, such as some spring cleaning. Tackle each room together and split up the chores. Before you know it, your home will be cleaned.
Take this a step further and start decluttering. Give each kiddo a basket and challenge them to go through their toys and pick some items to donate so other kids have nice toys too. Then, have them try on their clothes. Anything that they don’t fit in or like that is in otherwise good condition, wash and put into a bag for goodwill. This will not only free up space at home, but will teach little ones sharing, compassion, and goodwill towards others. When the opportunity to go out again is available, go as a family to donate the items.
DIY Family Photos
Now that you are all home together, break out the selfie stick or prop your phone against something and take some nice family photos. Take the time to do different poses, wear different outfits and gather in different groupings. Before you know it, you will have some great new photos to print for your home. After all, it is a scary time in this world, but, when your kids look back, you want them to remember that you did your part. You stayed home, but you also enjoyed time with each other too.
As the weather continues to get nicer, it will get harder and harder to remain indoors. So, let the little ones play outside in the backyard, go for walks around your neighborhood or stop by your local state park. Just make sure you practice social distancing with others while you are out and about.
Make a Family Scrapbook/Photo Album
We all have thousands of images on our phones/iPads/computers and now is the time to sit down as a family and go through them. Scroll through and delete the outtakes and save the ones that you all love. Then, send those special photographs to be printed, once they are mailed to you, gather around a table and put them together in a scrapbook/ photo album. After all, what better way is there to reflect and remember our time together as a family then sitting together viewing our lives in photographs.
Ah, nothing beats a good old fashioned movie night. With so many streaming platforms at our fingertips, finding a movie for each member of your family has never been easier. So compile a list, make some popcorn, put on some PJ’s, and plop on the couch. It’s movie time!!
While it might not be warm enough to break out the camping gear outdoors, you can have a nice campout in your house. So ditch technology (pretend you are out of cell service), set up some tents or build a fort in the living room, gather “supplies” like trail mix and board games, and just spend the day together.
Perhaps the most difficult part of “social distancing” is being apart from the family and friends we are used to seeing every day!! So, dedicate some time each day to video message those specific people. By doing this, you let your kids know that these individuals still hold an important place in your daily life and that no amount of physical distance can change the relationship you have with the person!
Educational Craft and Learning time
While it is important to have some fun while you are all home together, it is vital to make sure you are instilling the importance of education in your kids’ lives. To do this, set aside some time each day to do some learning-based activities that are age appropriate including story time. The kids will enjoy the chance to play and learn with you and you will enjoy teaching them!
Indoor/Outdoor Scavenger Hunt
Set up a scavenger hunt inside your home/in your yard and set the kids up to look for key items. Along the way, give them activities to do to get the next clue. This is the perfect way to keep them entertained and interacting with you. Top it off with a treat like a small toy at the end and you have a new family favorite game!!
Samantha Finch is a graduate of Pace University with a MA in Media Communications and Journalism and a minor in Photography. She has been photographing across the Hudson Valley since 2007, telling the stories of the amazing residents and business owners of our Rivertowns.