Fun at home during social distancing!

We're all feeling a bit uncertain about what we can do: how can we keep our families safe while we help each other? It's hard to be part of a community and then feel so shut off. A few days ago I posted on Facebook that I would be happy to help families that are feeling overwhelmed by the thought of their kids home for an extended period of time. I have been homeschooling for a long time. We have a lot of togetherness experience. So I decided to write some blog posts with ideas.

Yesterday, my kiddos helped me clean out our pantry. I wanted to make sure I knew what we had since we may be doing some creative cooking in the weeks to come. While we sorted, organized, and wiped things down, my 10 year old made the beginning of our social distancing bucket list, which I thought we'd share here. 

  1. Create a backyard scavenger hunt with a prize at the end.
  2. Movie night! Pop your popcorn on the stove.
    Video: How Does Popcorn Work?
    Video: popcorn popping slo-mo
    Experiment from Scientific American:
Song: Pop, pop, popping corn. Pop, pop, pop some more. (Have them bounce like a popcorn kernel while they sing.)
  1. Easy Bake Oven (or regular oven) day. Or, if your kids need something they can do almost entirely on their own, a microwave mug cake! 
  1. Play a board game. Make it into a tournament. Better yet, make up a board game!
  2. Make candy! Get creative, you could melt down lollipops into new shapes, melt chocolate, dip marshmallows into something yummy, etc. There are loads of recipes online, chances are you can find something to make with the stuff shoved to the back of the pantry. 
  3. Dog fashion show. Our dogs don’t have dedicated outfits, but they can fit into some tshirts. We also love to make them bandanas (out of old shirts or swatches of fabric). They always feel pretty & proud when they’re fancied up! 
  4. Dance party! Use Amazon Music or YouTube to create a family playlist (everyone picks a song or two). Turn the lights down a little (people feel less awkward for some reason) and start dancing. Bonus: this counts as PE! 
  5. Reading nooks: task each child with creating a quiet, cozy place for reading time (hint: my kids love to put pillows in the *clean* bathtub to read). Then DEAR (Drop Everything And Read). When we have DEAR time, the adults in the house drop everything, too! 
  6. Make, and fly, paper bag kites. Don’t have room in your own yard for kite flying? You can go to the park during social distancing, just don’t play on the playground. I know, I know. It’ll be hard for your kids, but it’s possible. If you think your kids will fight back, take them to an open space like a practice field. 
  1. If you’re like me and it’s rainy this week, go on a puddle walk! My 16 year old did this just yesterday. It gives you permission to stomp your feet, which is a great way to spend some energy (stress energy, anyone?). Find a rain-made stream and see what you can float in it. Leaves? Make a twig boat? If you’re lucky, while you’re out playing you may see a rainbow! 
Please feel free to share your ideas in the comments. If you have specific questions, post those, too. One of the things I want to remind you...homeschooling isn't about sitting at home and filling in workbooks or listening to online lectures. I can turn almost any activity into a lesson of some kind. Be creative. Use Pinterest. Share your ideas so your friends can use them, too. We're all in this together.

Be kind. And wash your hands.