12 Stay at Home Activities & Tips

4 weeks! That’s how long we’ve all been at home with our kids, socially distancing from others to stop the spread of the Coronavirus. And we know for sure that we’ll still be here for at least a few more weeks. These are strange and scary times, but we can promote our own and our kids’ wellbeing by using some of our time at home to connect, focus on kindness, organize, or help our kids learn some new skills they don’t normally have time to practice.

It’s good for our mental and emotional health to mix things up once in a while, so here are some of my ideas for stay at home activities you might want to try.

#1 Participate in 30 Days of Kindness

Focus on others by doing small (and large) acts of kindness, and it will make you feel better, too!

#2 Mail a hand-written letter or note

Everyone LOVES getting a real letter in the mail. Collect the random cards and stationery from around your house (or in your camp supplies). Next, write a postcard, note, or letter and mail it to a friend, relative, or even a stranger (see ideas in 30 Days of Kindness)! You might even get one back, which is super fun!

Many kids do not know how to address a letter. This is a great time to learn that skill!

#3 Learn to cook something new

What’s a favorite recipe you want to learn how to cook? Take this time at home to learn how to cook something (or several things)! Cook the recipe three times, each time doing the cooking more independently.
Step 1 Cook the recipe with your parent.
Step 2 Cook the recipe with your parent supervising, but you doing all the cooking.
Step 3 Cook the recipe on your own. Let your parent relax while you cook!

Here are a few moments of video of me (Step 2 above) my 16-year-old making this POMEGRANATE HABANERO SHREDDED BEEF RECIPE:

#4 Clean out your game/puzzle cabinet(s)

What’s even in there? Go through your games and puzzles. Find a favorite or two to get out to play as a family. For ones you no longer use because they are for younger kids , create a stack to donate to another family or neighbor. For ones with missing pieces, recycle, use for creating a craft, or put in the trash.

#5 Make a list of 10 things you’ve been wanting to do

With school now online and extracurricular activities, sports, and in-person social time with friends limited, we’ve got some extra time on our hands. This is – for many of us – a new situation. And it can feel uncomfortable having so much down time. Try writing a list of 10 things ranging from random “to dos” to things you’d like to learn. This can include books you’ve wanted to read, hobbies or crafts you’ve been interested in trying, a musical instrument you’d like to learn to play or practice playing more, learning sign language, or anything else that comes to mind for you! You can try to include things that include:
• Something physical (train for a 5K run, do a daily plank, try an online yoga class)
• Something creative (friendship bracelet, crochet, painting)
• Something social (call or write a letter to a friend)
• Things you haven’t had time for (a book you’ve wanted to read or movie you’ve wanted to watch)

Then, take the first step. Start reading the book or research how to do the hobby.

#6 Sort your books by color

Do you love books and reading? Take some time to organize your books. Create a beautiful shelf by organizing your books by color!

#7 Move some furniture (or create a little quiet space just for yourself)

To make your home feel a little different, move some furniture around a bit so that it feels “new.” Or, create a little space for yourself on a cozy chair or on some pillows in your bedroom or a closet or room that doesn’t get much use. Put some of your favorite “quiet” activities in a basket or box there – things like mazes, coloring supplies, books to read, or crafts to do.

#8 Call or FaceTime a friend

Now that you’re an expert on Zoom and other online meeting platforms, organize a get-together with a friend or group of friends. To make it even more fun, have a theme like “crazy hair.” For a fun activity, get a game like Yahtzee that you can play together by each having your own set of dice! Or, play “Name that Tune” or “Pictionary.”

#9 Make family dinner like a campfire

Pretend you’re at camp around the campfire and you’re the counselor. Lead a discussion like counselors at camp do! Have every family member share their high, low, and hero of the day or ask a question that everyone answers.

#10 Brainstorm (as a family) things you’re interested in doing together for fun

Create a list with your family of things you’re each interested in (rotate whose idea you do together as a family)
    • Nature walk: identify birds, build a trail
    • Movie marathon: pick an actor and watch all the movies with that actor in it
    • Puzzle competition with another family

#11 Make a list of things to organize or spruce up in your room or house

Take a walk around your house and make your list of things you’ve wanted to do around your bedroom/house (Ideas: hang a picture, make a collage for your wall, clean out drawers of things to hand down to a sibling, friend, or to donate). Take before and after pictures and send them to us!

#12 Find things to laugh at

Laughter makes us all feel better. Find funny memes and videos to share with each other. Here’s my “Funny Stuff” board on Pinterest. My kids enjoy it because they like watching me laugh even though they don’t find the same things funny!

For example…

Do you have any fun tips for stay at home activities? Share them with me so I can share with our community!


Ep. 132: Creating Structure, Fun, & Connection

Ep. 133: What’s Working (and What’s Not!) During COVID-19


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