I know we are all getting bored being at home ALL THE TIME. We all know being at home is a good thing. We are doing our part. However, my littles are going a bit stir crazy and even though the country is moving toward opening back up the kids are not going to be going back to school in most places and our summer plans are going to look a little different this year.
With that in mind, I wanted to give you some tips and ideas that will help beat the boredom and free up some time for you to get work or other things done.
Family time is so important. Often times with the business of life you have to be really intentional with family time. Now with the pandemic we are able to cultivate a lot more family and one on one time daily.
While all the activities listed in this writing can be done as a family, here are a few ideas to cultivate that extra connection time together:
Walks– We have been walking daily (weather permitting) in the neighborhood or we go to a local park with walking trails. I got some inexpensive scavenger/nature hunt activities (in the target dollar section) to help keep the littles engaged when we have been walking the same places several days in a row.
Family devotionals & Reading together– Reading together as a family have been so enriching. We enjoy a quick family devotional in the morning (right now we are reading How Great is Our God. pictured above) and then later in the afternoon we read a chapter or two from a book we are reading together. Some of out favorite book have been: Holes, Wonder, Harry Potter, Chronicles of Narnia, Charlottes web, The one and only Ivan.
Movie and Game night– We often have movie and game nights together but during the pandemic we have had a lot more. I asked the kids to give me 2 movies and one game they would like to do as a family and I scheduled them on the calendar with Grant and my choices. The kids get excited about “their day” and I love how they are all enjoying each others favorite things. I also create a “build your own popcorn mix and snacks” for the movie and game nights.
Some of our favorite games are: Catan, Forbidden island, sushi go, and good old monopoly. Some of the movies the kids picked were: Walle, Miracle, Toy story, inside out, the mighty ducks, and The great outdoors.
Cooking together– Being home means we have been cooking more at home. To make things new and fun we have been having regional cuisine nights like Italian night or Japanese night. It has been fun to learn new cooking techniques and enjoy new flavors. I have also been pulling out older cookbooks and just trying new recipes. It can be challenging to cook with littles in the kitchen, especially if you are used to cooking alone. I recommend starting with simple recipes and a glass of wine lol. Just have patience, it gets easer the more you cook together. If you are cooking with multiple children, give specific jobs to each one. This will help keep the littles from fighting for the same job.
Because we homeschool and do a lot of hands on activities I really had to be creative and make things not feel like it was something we have done before. When the stay at home orders first went out I knew I need to figure out ways that make being at home feel different and fun. My kids spend a lot of time outside of home playing sports and being in clubs and activities so I knew I would need to fill that void. So I decided to invest in some pre-made kits. I choose to try the Kiwi Crates, Radish and the magic school bus kit.
Kiwi Crates– You can buy them individually or as a subscription. When the pandemic first started, Kiwi Co had a deal where if you spent a certain amount you would get a percentage off your total order. I purchases 5 crates (Friction climbers, Hydraulic claw, pinball, exploring stars, and a Canon launcher)in my fist order and I believe each crate costs around 24.00. With a code, I paid around $80.00 for the 5 crates.
I have to say, these were a hit. My kids loved them all. I loved that everything came in the box and that instructions were so easy to understand that the kids needed little to no help. Even my 16 year old enjoyed them. These crates gave me a lot of freed up time to go my business emails and have a coffee by myself. On average the kids got at least 1-2 hours of mom free entertainment that was not screen time.
Radish kits– These kits are like a cooking school in a box. Each box comes with 3 recipes, a kitchen tool, craft and a cooking technique lesson. The box includes a shopping list so you do have to go to your local grocery to pick up the supplies. Can I just say I love curb-side pick-up! These boxes can be purchases as a single box or a subscription. I purchased 2 boxes (Rainbow, Space) and the boxes were $24.00.
These kits were fun and full of activities. The directions were simple to use and the littles needed little to no help from me. I do cook a lot with the kids so they are comfortable using the stove and oven. With that said, If I wasn’t in the kitchen, I did have my 16 year oldie the kitchen with the boys. Each box had cooking technique and kitchen safety lessons as well as other themed lessons and a craft. The material was informative and I felt my boys learned new things. Even though the kids enjoyed the kits, and I think they were good, I do not think I would order them as a subscription. But it was a change from just picking a recipe from a cook book.
Magic School bus kits– These kits can be purchased individually or as a subscription. We were gifted a subscription several years ago so Im not sure the cost. Each kit has supplies for several different experiments. You will need to gather some supples that are general household supplies.
My kids did enjoy these kits. However, some of the experiments either did not work or the supplies that were provided did not work as intended and I had to supplement something from our homeschool science stuff. These kits also required my help. They are not something you can give to your kids and walk away. While some of the experiments were fun I would not do them again. I think picking up a book of home science experiments would have been more valuable and less frustrating.
Some days just feel really long! Those are the days my kids are bickering about small things and are more emotional than normal. On these days I am always thankful that I took the extra time to preplanned and prep some art projects. I keep preplanned projects in a bin in my closet so when there is a pitcularly difficult day they are easy to just pull out. Having preplanned art projects doesn’t mean they have to be complicated. A handful of of cheap craft pant, brushes and something to paint on is enough to create a fun mood changing project. Here are a couple of examples:
Story Stones– If you are familiar with story cubes these are the same idea. I got flat river rock online and I have cheap acrylic paint. I gave each child several stones and they painted simple things on them (like a trees, rainbows, pirate boat ect). When the stones are dry I put them in a box and one by one you pull them out and create a story together.
Recipe/quote blocks– I had my husband cut a 2×4 into small 4 to 8 inch blocks. These are super handy for all kinds of painting projects, but one of my favorites is to have the kids paint a picture on one side and we add a recipe or quote to the other. I give the kids a prompt (barnyard friends, space stories or Monet/artist inspired) to help spark creativity.
Paint pour– This is fun, but messy! You will need fluid acrylic paint or a pouring medium that you can add color to, and canvas board or wood panels. There are several art and craft stores that now sell kits to get you started. Essentially, you are putting 3-5 colors in a disposable cup and pour onto your paint surface. The dry time is long so make sure you have a place to put your art to dry overnight. There are YouTube videos you can watch for more complete directions.
How to draw in 30 days– This is a book, I bought it and a sketch pad for each of my kids on Amazon. We have been working through this book for the last couple of weeks since the stay at home order started. My kids have enjoyed it and has made them more confident drawers. Each lesson is short and well explained and easy to understand.
Sidewalk art– My kids love sidewalk chalk! During this time we have been enjoying walking in the neighborhood and seeing all the sidewalk art and positive messages all around. This is a fun and easy way to brighten not only your littles day but others too.
Friends, I know this is a difficult time for many families. We all are overcoming different challenges during this time. I pray that you and your family are safe and well. I hope that some of the ideas above will help with the boredom and free-up some time for you to do what you need to do.
I am here for moms & their families in Noblesville, Westfield, Carmel, Fishers and surrounding areas.