With so many people in quarantine situations right now, we’re facing daily challenges on how to juggle our lives--work, school, health, connections with friends and family, and more. How can we make the most out of our time at home?
Check out 25 tips and activities for making the best out of being in quarantine. All ideas are based on feedback from our global community of parents and educators in Raising Kids with a Growth Mindset Facebook Group.
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1. Create positive memories for your children to talk about in the future. For example, do weekly theme nights, create a family gratitude tree, or let your children camp out in the living room. Focus on connection, relationships, gratitude, and having fun.
2. Establish a learning environment that works best for your family. Don’t replicate the classroom. Each family has its own unique circumstances. Allow for flexibility, fun and creativity.
3. Give your child some freedom to choose what they want to learn. Use My Learning Projects template inside the FREE Stay-At-Home Care Package.
4. Add a weekly tradition to your family so everyone has something to look forward to. For example, you can do family film nights, cook recipes from different cultures or do a video call with a different relative each week.
5. Begin the day with “family time”. Every day, a different person decides what the family does for the first hour of the day. For example, it can be jiggsaws, card games, a family walk, etc. It’s empowering for each family member to feel a sense of collaborative control and ownership of each day.
6. Fill a healthy snack box at the start of the day. Your child can choose when they snack and how often. When the box is empty, that’s it for the day.
7. Take a short break when things get difficult. Do not think too far ahead. Take one step at a time.
9. Learn a new skill yourself! For example, practice meditation, take a positive psychology course online or learn origami. By showing children that learning is truly a lifelong process, we set a great example for them to follow.
10. Create a morning routine that works for your family by adding fun activities like family yoga or dance party.
11. Teach children important life skills such as doing the wash, cleaning bathrooms, fixing things around the house and cooking. Have them plan and cook one meal at least once a week.
12. Make a fort and hide the Big Life Journal inside! Have a pretend camp-out, including a picnic, inside the fort.
13. Create a quarantine diary or time capsule. Keep track of your daily activities and write them down. This will be a fun project to look back on in the years to come.
14. Start a "Looking Forward To" jar. Every time someone wishes they could do a specific thing, write it on a note and put it in the jar to do after the restrictions end. The children know these things will happen, just not right now.
15. Fill a small box with things that make your children feel good (something soft or squishy to touch, lyrics or quotes from favourite songs or shows, a favorite book, a non-perishable snack they like, etc). Incorporate items that cover all five senses. Reach for the box anytime someone is feeling bored or overwhelmed with the changes/losses. It can help them regroup and get connected.
16. Have family meetings to talk about what's working and what needs to be adjusted. Have a look at some helpful tips in our blog post here.
17. Create a list of daily “challenges”, which might include reading a certain number of pages, making an art project, working on a jigsaw, ringing a friend or relative, building something, etc.
18. Invent a game! Here’s an idea from a member of the Raising Kids with a Growth Mindset Facebook Group: get game dice and LEGO® bricks (or something similar). Roll the dice and the number you get is the number of pieces you have to build with. Keep rolling and create some amazing and imaginative projects!
19. Throw a Choose Your Own Adventure dance party! Roll a dice. If it’s: 1 or 4: freeze dance (dance until the music is paused). If it’s a 2 or 5: keep it moving (you can’t stop moving until the song is done). If you roll a 3 or 6: dress up dance (put on a mask, cape, costume, funny hat, etc.). Have fun!
20. Find ways to help your local community from home. Donate to a local food bank, sew masks, drop off food for elderly neighbours, etc.
21. Turn a hallway into a bowling alley for rainy days or make one outdoors on sunny days. Use toilet paper rolls for bowling pins or design your own with cardstock paper. Get creative!
22. Exercise daily! Have the children make a “sports video” for their friends. Designate Family Exercise time each day and go for walks, ride bikes, have a dance party, etc.
23. Start a garden or grow indoor plants or herbs using recycled containers. Research which herbs, plants, vegetables or fruits grow well in your area. Find gardening videos or ebooks to add to the learning.
24. Make a Jar of Fun! Brainstorm a list of activities and write them down on slips of paper. Place them in a jar. When someone gets bored, pick an activity from the jar to do alone or with someone in the family.
25. Go on a “trip” or “holiday” from home. Were your holiday plans cancelled or postponed? Make pretend airplane or train tickets. Research the location, watch videos about the destination, cook foods, make postcards, make a funny video about your trip. Remember to take pictures!