If there is something the entire world has learned in 2020, it is the importance of finding ways to entertain the family at home. And while the concept comes in handy during a pandemic, it’s also a good practice to have regardless of circumstances. It fosters family time, is a good way to create fond memories, and provides an outlet for children for whom certain medical conditions make it difficult or impractical to go play outside on a regular basis. So, what is a parent or caregiver to do?
10 Fun Family Activities That You Can Do at Home
This is an activity that will serve your child well if started early. If they’re toddlers, sit them on your lap — if possible — and read them a story. Older children can get more involved in the process by choosing the books they want to read with you. Place colorful books that may pique their interest around the house. Classics such as Alice in Wonderland, Curious George, and Peter Rabbit, are good places to start. If your child is older, find a series that’s popular among grade school kids or young adult (YA) novels for teenagers.
2. Practice Meditation
If you have small children, you may have laughed at this suggestion. However — just as with reading — this is a practice that will promote a healthier, happier life. If you don’t know where to start — or if getting them to sit still seems impossible — look for guided resources, such as Headspace for Kids. It has different exercises geared to toddlers, young children, and preteens. Themes for the guided meditations include calmness, focus, kindness, sleep, and waking up.
3. Do Puzzles
Pick puzzles that are age-appropriate and look for themes that your child is already interested in. Do they love Spiderman? Star Wars? SpongeBob? Get fun images of any of those themes. Show them how to sort the pieces by color and start piecing the image together by connecting the outside edges. Encourage them every time they find pieces that go together by doing a fun little dance, cheering, and clapping. It’s a fun hobby that will help them develop problem-solving and critical thinking skills.
4. Meal Prep
Make it fun for the kids. Ask them what they want to include. This way they feel like they are part of a fun process instead of being told what to do. Incorporate healthy options — such as making ants on a log using raisins and peanut butter on celery or making a smiley face with fruits. Keep processed foods to a minimum. What your child learns to eat will likely stay with them for the rest of their lives — and it’s a proven fact that healthy eating is the basis for a good quality of life. Teach them life skills by having them measure portions and mix ingredients. And let them be creative.
5. Plan a Treasure Hunt
Start by making it even more fun from the get-go by creating a map. It doesn’t have to be anything fancy. Take some paper and crayons and give your family clues as to where the hidden treasures may be located. Bonus points if the clues rhyme. Make sure to establish ground rules to prevent fighting — the first one to run is out, no pushing, etc. Let everyone know whether the hunt includes indoors and the backyard. Make it fun for adults in the family, too — such as hiding coupons for making someone’s favorite dinner or having their favorite cocktail delivered.
6. Schedule Movie Nights
This is not just about popping in a DVD and letting them stare at the screen for two hours. Make it a night at the cinema experience. Choose together fun movies that everyone in the family loves. Make healthy snacks — such as making homemade popcorn, chocolate-covered strawberries, or chips and guacamole. If it’s a kid’s movie — and you already know the songs or dialogue because they’ve watched it a million times — make funny voices and sing along. Get up and dance with them. Have everyone in the family dress up as the characters. Stage an intermission so that everyone has a break to go to the bathroom and talk about their favorite parts of the movie.
7. Foster an Attitude of Gratitude
Gratitude is a factor that often goes unrecognized and is seldom on people’s radars. However, it’s an essential component to promote good mental health. It also improves physical health and makes you happier. To make it a fun family activity, start a gratitude journal. Pick one with a cover your child will enjoy. If you don’t have access to one, use a regular notebook. Other options include making a gratitude collage by cutting out pictures from magazines, writing items with dry-erase markers on your windows, or starting a gratitude jar — everyone in the family writes down on a piece of paper something they’re grateful for. At the end of the week, everyone can sit together and read them out loud.
8. Create Art
This is a versatile activity that can be tailored to any age — from toddlers to adults. Pick out coloring books, paper, and watercolors, or regular notebooks and coloring pencils. Make it more interesting by attending a virtual museum tour and having everyone recreate their favorite pieces. Or skip the tour altogether, have everyone draw whatever they wish, and then do a show and tell with the family.
9. Make Photo Albums
In this day and age, everything is virtual. Change it up at home by taking fun pictures, printing them, and starting a photo album. Let everyone in the family include their own captions under each photograph. Or turn it into a scrapbook and incorporate stickers, colorful construction paper, ribbons, and other fun embellishments. Print out old pictures you already have on your phone and include a section of important events for your family — such as birthdays, anniversaries, or loved ones visiting.
10. Watch the Sunset
This one will depend on your home’s location. But if you can see the sunset at all — even if it’s over other buildings — make it a family event. Have everyone sit on the front porch, backyard, or in front of a window. Prepare a fun version of hot chocolate. Have everyone mention their favorite moment of the day. Ask them to suggest fun things to do tomorrow. Use it as inspiration for watercolors when creating art, or to make fun experiments such as sunset in a jar.
Contact Care Options for Kids for Home Health Care in Florida
It can be hard to balance your time between work, home, and caring for a child. That’s why our team of professionals at Care Options for Kids are here to help.
Our home care services offer support in the comfort of your home. We refer loving and competent nurses to provide customized care for families — from a few hours a day to around-the-clock supervision. Contact us directly to speak with a home health care professional or request a free in-home assessment. Together we can determine the best plan of action to keep your loved ones happy and healthy.