Getting out of the house is at a premium for the moment, because we’re not supposed to do so unless for absolute emergencies (like going to pick up some groceries, or a pint at the pub). That means that you finally have a chance to get to know your wonderful family even better! Like learning how much you can only handle them in small doses, and you realize just how wonderful school and outings to a football game can be to your mental well being.
That’s why a vacation away is always so valuable. However since that’s also not exactly on the table, you have to make your own fun for the kids, if only so you can have some downtime or private time with your partner
Even when the world gets back to what resembles normal, these examples can be just as valuable, because as selfish as you might want to be with your travel dreams, your credit card can be quite stingy.
Arts, Crafts, and Movies
Keeping kids’ hands and brains busy at the same time isn’t easy, and it’s especially hard if you suddenly find yourself trying to make something absolutely fun and not all like any sort of school work. Arts and crafts are always a good start, especially since you are trying to balance out screen time with anything else that isn’t a glowing advertisement.
That said, dangling some of their favourites in new ways can be a good afternoon time waster. Have them design a wand or decorate a cape, and then sit them down to watch some Harry Potter. Buy a few more capes (get them in bulk) and you can help them play marvel Superheroes before watching the seemingly endless films in that series.
Whether it’s using markers, glitter, glue, or plenty of cardboard, a toy that they make themselves will have a lot more value (if only for the rest of the weekend) than something you bought for plenty more online.
It’s a lot of work, but it all leads up to a selfish mum being able to start up a movie that ties in nicely with the themes and styles of what you were designed during the days leading up to this moment. Now the kids can stare at the screen with a newfound appreciation for how difficult it is to save the world while looking stylish the whole time.
Eat Like Your Travelling
The place where people get most into routines is the kitchen table, and so changing that can create the biggest surprise. Now, this doesn’t mean ordering food every night for a week (although sometimes you can get some good ideas by trying new things on the menu of your favourite restaurants).
There are countless websites that can teach you how to whip up an exotic meal after one quick trip to the grocer’s, and you’ll be surprised how many dishes are simply a few different sauces atop a bed of noodles or rice (and tofu is always an easy replacement for meat if some of your family members feel that way).
At the same time, the delivery person is not your enemy, and it’s easy to mix up homemade pad thai for lunch and then have sushi brought to your door for dinner if you want to spend the weekend as if you were dining out in East Asia.
A Video Game Adventure
Ah, the old school mom’s famous adversary. That strange box below the television that either shuts the kids up as they stare at the screen and mash buttons on the controller or yell and scream over whose turn it is to play.
At first, the complaint was that it kept kids from going outside and playing, and then the problem was that they were too violent. Now the biggest problem is that the kids are tired of you always spending time sprucing up your Animal Crossing: New Horizons island because they want to play Mario.
One of the best games that have been out for a few years in ‘The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild’, where you play a young swordsman who has to save a magical medieval kingdom that you can slowly explore to your heart’s content. From towering mountains to sandy beaches to deep forests, it will feel like you are exploring a mythical, expansive world from the comfort of your couch.
The Outdoor Nature Walk
By now you know if you have the type of kid(s) who can’t wait to put on their shoes and jacket and go exploring in the woods and lift up every rock to see if there’s a weird creepy-crawly underneath it (and if the kids are too young for you to know what they like, you can probably put them in a stroller).
It’s never fun to ‘drag’ your kids anywhere, but hopefully, if they’ve been cooped up as long as you, even a forest in some overcast weather will be overflowing with possibilities.
Someplace ‘new’ is always appealing to kids, and it doesn’t necessarily have to involve an airplane flight or train trip. Going beyond the playground can be a very rewarding experience, and an afternoon stroll through some forested areas could ignite a lifelong love of the outdoors, which is not only a great way to keep them healthy and in shape but will also let you enjoy a quiet home more often.