Preparing to Stay Home

UPDATE: When I wrote this post 3 years ago, I never could have imagined the fallout of the Covid-19 pandemic. I’m leaving this post up to serve as a reminder for myself of my frame of mind when the whole pandemic started.

Hey all! This has been a crazy couple of weeks, especially with the spread of the coronavirus that has everyone on pins and needles. I feel like everyone in the media and social media are saying contradictory things at times and it can be hard to figure out what to do in these uncertain times. Here in Kentucky, we have seen the closure of churches, canceling of many events, and we are being asked to limit our travel. My husband and I just cancelled an international trip to Morocco. Hopefully we will have the opportunity to go when all of this is over. 

Being Prepared

For me what it all boils down to is that I need to be prepared – to have my kids home with me full time for awhile. Prepared with activities for them to do so we don’t all go crazy. Prepared mentally for the next few months to come. We need to be prepared to help our communities by staying home as much as possible and giving our amazing doctors, nurses and medical staff the ability to treat those affected. 

One thing that really resonated with me as a mom was this question posed on Facebook: 

“If you are going to be staying home for 2-3 weeks, what can you do now to prepare to make an awesome staycation at home with your kids really fun and memorable?” 

So, I’ve compiled a list of fun things that we can do as a family but also that my kids can do by themselves. I want my kids to continue learning even when they are not in school. A little bit of planning on my part can help that to happen. Even though my kids’ school has not yet cancelled, I am anticipating a closure to happen soon (and if that doesn’t happen I will have lots of ideas for summer activities already!). Below is a list I’ve compiled of fun, mostly screen-free activities that kids can do at the drop of a hat.

I want to make this time memorable for my kids (and bearable for me), while also helping our community and doing our part. I’d love to add your suggestions to this post and keep it updated it so we can all benefit when we are told, “There’s nothing to do!!! I’m so BORED!” 

Here are some ideas:

  • Build with Legos/Magna-tiles
  • Build a fort with blankets
  • Draw a picture
  • Play a board game
  • Write and illustrate a “book” or comic
  • Paint a picture/watercolor/finger paint
  • Sidewalk chalk with a water bottle (to spray it)
  • Use a paintbrush and water to “paint” outside
  • Plant a garden/start seeds for the garden and keep a seed journal
  • Make hand sanitizer
  • Family movie night (during the day with popcorn)
  • Read a book
  • Audiobooks, audiobooks, audiobooks–check out Overdrive from your local library or pay for an audible subscription, etc…
  • FaceTime a friend or family member
  • Photo scavenger hunt around the house or outside in nature
  • Have a dance party
  • Start a rock collection
  • Blow bubbles
  • Catch a bug in a jar
  • Ride your bike
  • Make cookies
  • Create something out of recycled material
  • Obstacle course
  • Learn to sew or crochet (thank you YouTube!)
  • Set up a tent and a “campfire,” make smores
  • Charades
  • Dominoes
  • Origami
  • Write a letter to a friend, relative or someone who needs it.
  • Go for a walk and search for things you see in nature. Write them down (10-15 things).
  • Collect leaves and make some leaf rubbings with paper and crayons.
  • Old magazines—make a collage
  • Play soccer with your siblings.
  • Play outside on the playset.
  • Make a homemade board game
  • Learn to type on the computer–We’ll be trying out this website
  • Learn a foreign language–any suggestions for something online for this?
  • Learn a new song to play on the piano or practice an instrument
  • Build the tallest tower you can
  • Math workbooks or math word problems
  • Make a necklace out of yarn/beads/macaroni
  • Pick wildflowers and press them into a book or make a bookmark
  • Research your favorite animal and make a presentation about it to your family
  • Play tag outside with siblings
  • Ask mom for some jobs you can do around the house to earn money.
  • Sweep the floors, vacuum or clean a bathroom
  • Make a video and learn to use video editing computer software (iMovie)
  • Make a track for marbles out of recycled materials
  • Do some puzzles (set up a folding table if you need to)
  • Pull out all your arts and crafts, cotton balls, toothpicks, q-tips, glue and create something 
  • Rubber band bracelets/friendship bracelets
  • Painters tape on floor and make a track for cars, indoor hopscotch…use your imagination
  • Card games…lots of them!
  • Karaoke
  • Watch a birds nest being built, and document it with pictures
  • Workbooks
  • Practice juggling or yo-yos
  • Clean your room
  • Perler beads
  • Photography tutorial online and practice taking pictures of family or nature
  • Set up a rice table or sensory bin for kids to play in

Easter-Specific Ideas

  • Dye Easter Eggs
  • Create an Easter Egg hunt for your siblings
  • “Egg” a neighbor’s house with nice messages of support, love, inspiring quotes or scriptures (if you want)–hang them from a tree
  • Make some delicious Easter bread from different countries (I’ll be posting new recipes every week!)
  • Make an Easter nativity or order this one and this Easter book ideas for kids or adults to go along with it.
  • Easter character drawings, readings, devotionals

What are some of your ideas? I’d love to continuously update this list. You can also find the word document here to print out and put on your fridge–easy access for the kids!

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  1. So important to be prepared NOW, for what is ahead. I love your list of activities!! That’ll keep everyone busy for awhile! For the Easter part, you might add that EASTER nativity and Easter character drawings, readings, and Easter week devotionals. I love your positive attitude, initiative and dedicated mothering! ❤️🙏🏻❤️