This weekend, like most of the United States, we took our social distancing up a notch and I found myself scrambling for fun things to do that are entertaining, different from the norm, cost nothing or are very cheap, include things we have on hand and can keep us having fun as a family both inside and out!
We started the weekend off with a Nature Scavenger hunt!
We took this card I made, a pencil and Owen grabbed his favorite Ollie Ella basket and we headed out! It was refreshing to be in the cool air, far from the media and news coverage. We had so much fun and we plan on starting an "earth jar" with our finds in the future by saving our favorites from each walk in a big mason jar!
We also had a blast making good ole fashioned paper bag puppets!
I don't know about you, but I grew up making paper bag puppets. I was so excited when I came across a stash of bags I didn't even know we had! I quickly gathered a bunch of odds and ends and we got to work. Glue, markers, googly eyes, yarn for hair, pipe cleaners, pom poms, you name it, we had it out! Owen had a total blast, he named his "Elsa bag" and we plan on expanding our puppet family as the weeks go on. We will have enough for a full fledged puppet show soon!
Some other ideas I have saved are:
Paper Airplane Races!
I found some really cool different airplane designs over on the DIY Network that I can't wait to make! We plan to make some targets for inside days. But also maybe find an old hula hoop in the garage to fly these bad boys through. The person that gets the most points gets to choose the movie for family movie night!
Sensory Bin-Puzzle Hide and Seek
Have a sensory bin? An old tub, a big container? Literally anything can become a sensory bin if you add dried rice, beans, beads, cotton balls! But add and extra layer of fun. Take a puzzle, hide the pieces in the bin and have your little ones find all the pieces and assemble.
Hidden Figure Slime
Contact Paper Stained Glass Windows
While scrolling through the internet for ideas, I came across this one for Contact paper window art and immediately saved it! Easy, fun and brings color right into the house....just when we need it most!
Going through insta stories last night, I came across Evie Pearl Handmade's (eviepearlhandmade on insta, you should be following her anyway because she makes the most gorgeous bows!) brilliant idea. She took a roll of ikea paper, rolled it out, drew simple line drawings and had her kiddos use Magna-Tiles to dress the people or recreate the figures on top of them. I was so impressed by this brilliant idea, I just had to share!
Something I LOVED as a kid was flashlight tag. My sister, brother and I used to turn off all the lights in our rooms and take turns hiding while the "Seeker" used the flashlight to find us. First person found became the seeker. A simple, but old family favorite.
Owen has recently gotten into Cosmic Yoga on Youtube. Probably because she does character yoga that includes his one and only, Elsa. But with times being extra stressful, and kids feeding off of that, it's a nice way to unwind and relax. Hop in on the fun. A family that yogas together, stays together!
We all know that right now is extra stressful on the older generations. Sit down with your family, write letters, draw pictures, send some mail to local nursing homes. I promise, there is no one that will appreciate it more than the one's that are most vulnerable.
Choose a wall in your home and get to creating. Kiddos missing their school friends and teachers? Make portraits! What better way to practice your art skills than drawing the people you miss the most. Bring them right into your home. Go the extra mile and add Gallery Tags to each work of art!
Have your kiddos go through the house and take a picture of 27 objects starting with letters A-Z. Once they have finished the alphabet, they win a prize!
Add a bunch of characters to a bowl on folded pieces of paper. Take turns as a family picking a character. Set a timer for 5 minutes and get to work! The family must collect items from closets to make your costumes. When the time is up, meet back in the living room. Everyone gets a chance to act out their character in their newly created costume. Once done, everyone gets to vote who created the best costume, but you can't vote for yourself!
Movie Picnic Challenge
Meet as a family and go around the table as everyone lists their 3 favorite movies. Write each one on a small piece of paper and add to a bowl. Every weekend, create a picnic in the living room and pick a movie from the bowl. You win once you have watched them all as a family!
I know things feel really scary and stressful. Schools are closed, jobs are on hold, everything feels really up in the air. Take a moment to reframe this less than ideal situation as a chance to love harder, to hold your family tighter, to laugh more when you feel like you can, to spend more time together without the interruption of outside priorities and plans. As a village, we will all get through this. Wash your hands, stay home, and make memories.
If you are feeling overwhelmed, extra anxious, or depressed, know there are resources. There is an incredible list of them HERE.
I will continue to add ideas to the TWE Facebook page as well as coloring sheets and other fun ideas as I see them or think of them.
I love you, I am thinking of you, I am right there with you. We've got this TWE family.