Covid-19 Boredom: A Remedy.
As seen in a previous post, camping in your backyard resonated with so many of my readers! That makes my heart so full, to know that I can give you ideas on what to do during these strange times. But here we are, almost (more for some, less for others) a month into quarantine, and the term "stir crazy" is becoming extremely real... We have to stay sane and human nature depends on changes, sunlight, and interaction with others to sustain happiness and good health. So let me share some ideas with you...
Mornings Are A Fresh Start.
If you are having to homeschool, this is the best time of day to knock out those assignments. However, I have read that after a consecutive hour and a half, if the attention span is getting short and the mood is getting less than appealing, then call it a day. There are SO many distractions at home. The siblings, the animals, the TV, the PANTRY! If they can give you a solid hour of hard work on those assignments, I say "job well done". Always add at least a twenty minute reading "down time" slot if possible. Even if that is after taking a break from the written assignments. Reach out to your child's teacher for help when you need it. They are prepared to help you and are just as unfamiliar with what we are dealing with as you are being a homeschool parent. You're in good company for sure. I also LOVE this Etsy shop: https://www.etsy.com/shop/CraftandBoogie She creates "busy boxes" filled with crafts with dozens of different themes. Order one for your own kids or ship one to a niece, nephew, or grandchild that you are especially missing during these times. And what is school without recess?? Get all of that morning energy out by taking a morning walk. Possibly after school work is finished? Outdoor scavenger hunts in nature can be so fun. Jot a list of items down and give the list and a baggie of some sort to your kiddo and send them into the backyard to hunt. Now here is another more extreme game of "scavenger hunt". I got this idea from my son's school teacher and it was amazing! Have one parent go around your community and tape up signs with words written on them. Place them in safe areas (think neighborhoods) where yard sale signs are generally hung. Then take the kids on a relaxing drive. Roll those windows down and blare that soul refreshing music. Look for your signs and have your child write them down. After finding all of the words, see if your kid can unscramble the words to reveal a hidden message.
A picnic lunch. This time of day has started to give me anxiety recently. I mean, we're only half way through the day and I have barely even begun to think of ideas for supper. No worries. Fix a sandwich for the 50th time but this time, throw it in a bag with some chips and a blanket and go look for a public pond or lake. As long as the area is a safe public property, able to be enjoyed at a safe distance from others, enjoy a picnic with the fam. We took a small bluetooth speak with us and some old leftover bread crumbs for the geese and enjoyed an amazing lunch outdoors.
Amazon.com is showing some delays in some areas for some items. Ebay and Walmart are still offering two day shipping for some items. This is great for ordering essentials for that quarantine boredom.
A kiddie pool. This is a must. Whether you plan on filling it with water or sand, the entertainment can fill hours of mundane days. The following link is the one that we bought. It has been perfect for our family of four! https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B014KOI0CG/ref=ppx_yo_dt_b_asin_title_o02_s00?ie=UTF8&psc=1
Craft supplies. Giving certain kids supervised safety scissors, Elmer's glue, and construction paper, can be such a healthy and fun outlet. I'm not gonna lie. We have never gone through crayons like we have over the last few weeks. If you are new to the crafting world and low on supplies, see https://www.amazon.com/Dragon-Too-Mega-Kids-Supplies/dp/B07JC2Q2VD/ref=sr_1_2?dchild=1&keywords=craft+kit&qid=1586905520&sr=8-2 for a nice little starter kit. While looking around, remember the Crayola brand has tons of sets that entertain for hours.
Forgotten projects. So this can be as simple as the kids getting old toys out that need to be fixed or batteries replaced, repositioning furniture in a room or sprucing up an old item that has seen better days. My son has an old Step2 play house that is a little rough around the edges that he outgrew a long time ago. Thanks to Amazon we got 4 cans of spray paint and we now have a cute little doughnut shop/cafe that our three year old daughter is going to love once complete.
Movie Matinee. That's right. I am fully endorsing a midday screen time moment (trust me, we indulge in that more often than once). Pop the popcorn, add some candy and cuddle up on the couch. FandangoNow is a great digital movie rental source that I love. Even better? They sell FandangoNow gift cards on their website, but more on that later. Trying to save that money during these uncertain times? Text or call some friends and find out who has what DVD's the family may not have seen yet. Arrange to have the movies left on each other's front doorstep and create a system to trade movies all while maintaining a safe social distance.
Order accessories. Do you have a trampoline? They have accessories for those that will give an old toy new tricks! Turn your trampoline into a big splash pad for the kids!! https://www.amazon.com/Trampoline-Waterpark-Sprinkler-Outdoor-Accessories/dp/B07YZVCRB8/ref=sr_1_1_sspa?crid=1KOEQVU5W67U4&dchild=1&keywords=trampoline+sprinkler&qid=1586905950&s=toys-and-games&sprefix=trampoline+sprin%2Ctoys-and-games%2C191&sr=1-1-spons&psc=1&spLa=ZW5jcnlwdGVkUXVhbGlmaWVyPUFXMTBHOVNOSTBPUFUmZW5jcnlwdGVkSWQ9QTA0MzkzNTcxTTFXQ1FRV0FNMDAyJmVuY3J5cHRlZEFkSWQ9QTA1NjAyNjEzVTc2REtDSkQwNEc1JndpZGdldE5hbWU9c3BfYXRmJmFjdGlvbj1jbGlja1JlZGlyZWN0JmRvTm90TG9nQ2xpY2s9dHJ1ZQ== Or even a hoop like this one can put a new spin on an old trampoline: https://www.amazon.com/Exacme-Trampoline-Basketball-U-Bolt-Attachment/dp/B07BNFT54W/ref=sr_1_1_sspa?dchild=1&keywords=trampoline+hoop+basketball+attachment&qid=1586914250&sr=8-1-spons&psc=1&spLa=ZW5jcnlwdGVkUXVhbGlmaWVyPUExNTRFQkI4V0hTRVlZJmVuY3J5cHRlZElkPUEwMjI3NDY5MUdUUjZPWEtKN0ZYUiZlbmNyeXB0ZWRBZElkPUEwNjE0MjQwNlJaVzUyT0pZUFVUJndpZGdldE5hbWU9c3BfYXRmJmFjdGlvbj1jbGlja1JlZGlyZWN0JmRvTm90TG9nQ2xpY2s9dHJ1ZQ==
Binge a series. Everyone is finding a series or two or seven to binge watch on TV. The following link has a short list that I am trying to complete myself. Check it out. https://www.esquire.com/entertainment/tv/g30383688/best-netflix-series-2020/
Pick up a book. You can order a book for next to nothing online but even finding an oldie around the house could be an option as well. Reignite or even develop a love for reading during your downtime. Don't forget a front porch trade with a friend or family member can be fun as well. Puzzles work for this as well!
Spring cleaning is a real thing that can be a daunting thought and task, while still extremely gratifying once complete. Head to the attic or garage and go through those old boxes. Purge. It can be so cleansing for the mind and soul during these worrisome days.
Job hunt. Need to make money and still work from home? Look into medical billing. The medical field is an essential and high in demand job, always. There's no harm in researching it. Visit your local hospital's website for job listings as well as calling the billing department and requesting more info.
Evening Routines Get Virtual.
Sure, we could all put a bottle of Pinot down the hatch as an evening ritual but let's find a healthier outlet, shall we?
Virtual movie screenings: Movie night is obvious and is always a crowd pleaser but what about a movie night with a friend(s)? Pic a movie together and create a group FaceTime chat. Be sure to sync up your movie start time, as in 3...2...1... everyone press play. Be sure to mute your call and un-mute when you need to interject your thoughts. FYI: this is way more fun with the horror genres.
Virtual happy hour. Ok, ok, bring the Pinot back out. Pour a glass, step out onto your porch and video group chat your besties. This has been one of my biggest outlets for sanity. Reach out to your tribe. No, its not the same, but nothing really is these days. It's better than you think.
Virtual trivia. If you haven't heard of "Zoom", you really should look into it for your conference calls/meetings. It is a program that allows you to video chat while seeing at least twenty people on your screen at a time. The other night, Garrett's cousin hosted a "trivia night" via Zoom. We had a BLAST! The host calls out questions and using the honor system, you keep score and name a winner at the end. The winner gets to host the next trivia night. We laughed, we jokingly bantered over the friendly competition, and we reconnected as well. It truly was a great time that was had by all. The video/virtual chats are so pivotal during these times!
Virtual campouts and sleepovers. This is a fun one for the kids. Set up a fort in their room or a tent outside. Give them a computer, iPad or phone with virtual chat capabilities. Set up a good location that their friend can see most of the room or inside the fort. Bring them the snacks, a video game, board game, ect. and let them and a friend have a "sleepover". You and the other child's parent can collaborate to ensure each kid has the same video games, snacks and boardgames. This makes it seem a little more real. Good news: you only have to fix one of them breakfast in the morning!
Glow stick bath time! This is SO cool. Simply run your child a bath and add glow sticks. I highly advise you supervise closely due to the darkness/water combination. Safety being number one but also, something about this activity is so exciting and fun, the splash level is driven up immensely. My bathroom had water on the ceiling and that was with supervision! Remember that kiddie pool you ordered? Add glow sticks to that for some nighttime swimming fun.
Speaking of glow fun... If you have a basketball goal outside, you can order a glow kit to give new life and nighttime fun to your old basketball game. https://www.amazon.com/GlowCity-Light-Basketball-Hoop-Blue/dp/B01FU72D8E/ref=sr_1_22?dchild=1&keywords=trampoline%2Bhoop%2Bbasketball%2Battachment&qid=1586913685&sr=8-22&th=1
Flash light hide and seek. Take the classic game of hide and seek to the dark. One of my kids most favorite games. The seeker is given a flash light to spotlight on the hider once found. This is even more fun in the backyard under the stars.
You know those people celebrating birthdays in quarantine and not having parties? And those couples canceling their weddings and not having ceremonies and showers? If you love to surprise people with gifts and are still making an income, then consider mailing them an Amazon or FandangoNow gift card, both can be purchased online and mailed directly to the address you put in. I guarantee you this will will bring joy to them during this disheartening time. Try to ensure that your gift is made/sold in your own country to help stimulate this economy back up to where it was. Every bit helps. And let's face it, we are all doing one of three things: either not spending money at all, shopping online, or renting movies. If money is tight, like it is for so much of our country right now, consider a hand written card/letter to remind them that you are thinking of them and loving them from afar. This is truly the most thoughtful way to stay in touch. I think of the times of Jane Austen and her books filled with entire chapters about the meaning of hand written letters and how the shortest distances were so far and how letters were everything during those times. Metaphorically and literally, we find ourselves in similar times. My mother's house is only so many feet from my own home yet due to her essential job in healthcare, leaving her messages in chalk on her driveway seem to mean the most right now. It's cruel to our humanity and is only won by prayer and hope. Read on...
Hang In There.
We are all in this world together, one race; the human race. And we are in the most surreal and unprecedented time of this generation's lifetime. Even during wars, we could hold our loved ones near. Grandparents could carry our children around. But this... this is different and yet so similar. A beast, like a war, that keeps us separated and divided yet bringing us closer than we ever have been before. The only way to beat the evil part of it, while keeping our sanity, is to find a form of normalcy. Find excitement and fun within our own homes and backyards in new ways. As it's been said before, introverts have been preparing for this their whole lives, however, the extroverts have not. Continue to reach out. Make silly live videos on social media to feel connected with others while making them feel connected as well. Post pictures of progress and good health. Post statuses of prayer chains to be started, not by copy and pasting, but by calling on people by name. Meditation with God, trusting in him. Offering an ear and even a screen to see people, to love them. We need each other during a time we must stay separated. You can do your part by staying active on social media in a positive way and spread love and joy as often as you can. Cheers.
The Adventurous Alfords