Different doesn’t necessarily have to be a dreadful thing. Yes, the holidays are going to be a whole lot different than what we are used to. The pandemic is now part of our everyday life, but no need to worry! We have plenty of out-of-the-box ideas you might want to try to put excitement back into your routine. Whether you are running out of ideas to keep your children busy during the long days at home or you’re still feeling the holiday spirit, you can make this time of year just as special even while safely distanced. You are not alone, check these out:
- Gardening 101: Get to enjoy gardening as you create the garden you always wanted, producing a sense of pride and pleasure for you and your household. Simply order the supplies online and maintain your area. It is also a great time to introduce kids to gardening in preparing their own growing areas and sowing seeds.
- Dinner theme night: Brainstorm ideas as a family for a dinner theme night every week and have a dress code where everyone shows up at the table dressed to impress! From ‘70s night to favorite cartoon character or favorite rock star– the list goes on. Alternatively, you can also have your child choose what to have for dinner and pick an after-dinner activity. This will give them a chance in meal-planning and the fun activities to follow!
- Backyard camping: Immerse yourself with an outdoor adventure. Set up a tent, get sleeping bags, flashlights, and board games. If you have a grill, try out some new ideas to cook over the campfire. You can add fun ingredients to classic s’mores or prepare some campfire popcorn or kebabs. Roasting food over a fire makes food taste great and it is fun too!
- Fun family makeover: Have everyone stay up late and play truth or dare or give each other crazy makeovers or manicure and have a pillow fight. How about a fashion show, dress in ugly Christmas sweaters, or have everyone choose clothes to make up a crazy outfit? Be creative!
- Backyard festival/ obstacle race: Come up with carnival games and set them up. Ring or water balloon toss, a potato sack race, face painting and a photo booth are good DIY options. Set up a backyard obstacle course by gathering up hula hoops, jump ropes and balls.
- Predict your future game: Ask everyone to imagine what they anticipate the school year will look like this winter. Will classes resume? Will there be recess? Have the kids draw pictures of what they see as their new normal and talk about what they're looking forward to and what they're sad about.
- Driveway drive-in movie: Do you have a projector? Make use of it and have a drive-in movie in your driveway. Just project the movie onto your garage door. Make it fun and let the kids sit in their handmade cardboard cars while watching a movie. If you do not have a projector, create a new movie on your phone or iPad and do a family quarantine vlog.
- Family board games: By now, you have probably been playing lots of board games during the pandemic. It is time to add to your collection or dig up an old classic like Monopoly, Scrabble© or Chutes and Ladders. Board games are a great, inexpensive way for families to spend quality time.
- Kids cooking challenge: Let your kids pick out a few random ingredients and create something, or better yet just give your kids free rein of the kitchen to make their own snack or lunch. Have them try-something-new to overcome their pickiness. But guess what, the grown-ups must do the same.
- Holiday baking: It is that time of the year again! Set out sprinkles, frosting, food coloring and give the kids some cupcakes to decorate. The holidays are here now you have a legit excuse to bake pies, cupcakes and all the sweet stuff without having to make up a reason.
- Holiday zoom parties: Before the pandemic, if someone could not make it to a holiday gathering, we missed them. From hosting Thanksgiving to singing Christmas carols together, thanks to zoom you can now do it virtually. You still get to “see” everyone though you cannot be together in person. Have the kids draw some pictures and make some cards to send to people — grandparents, essential workers, people in long-term care facilities among others.
Remember keep it small, gather virtually, shop online, deliver home cooked meals or order food online to protect vulnerable relatives and get creative with the ideas above!