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Events around the World feel so surreal. It’s like something out of a George Orwell Novel.
Personally, I feel a little lost. I’m not sure what the best move is. Should I plan more, should I stockpile, should I be optimistic, should we batten down for a major recession???? All I’m certain of is that right now, home is a sanctuary and washing hands obsessively has become the new normal.
In New Zealand we are under a strict society Lockdown. What that means is that it’s technically illegal to leave our home for anything other than essential services – food, medical and health related reasons.
Supermarket visits are made sparingly by one member of the family (me) and it’s resulted in an extremely awkward Social Event. We stand in line 2 meters apart outside the door as the Security Guard allows people in on a one in/one out basis. I’m never sure whether to chat, smile or stare at the painted line under my feet. Rather than live with this uncertainty, I’ve decided to use every Supermarket line as an opportunity to meet someone new. So, apologies if you find yourself standing behind me in the queue.
It highlights the seriousness of what’s happening but at the same time, despite what’s happening outside our homes, we need to think smaller and focus on what happening in our own homes.
We are Moms. Nothing changes that. Not Pandemics, Recessions or Bad Days.
And our kids need us to deal with the day to day. No matter what that looks like in your home right now.
Many of us are spending alot of time in our lounge rooms with our kids and we are feeling lost. What now? How do we keep it together when we are worried about – well, everything.
Our kids need us right now. They need us to be present and they need to feel safe. Even when we’re spinning. (If you’re feeling stuck, try this little strategy to get you … well.. unstuck).
I know that having fun is the last thing you are prioritising riht now, but I think we need to make it part of our day. For them and for us.
Turn off the TV.
Shut down Social Media.
The News can wait for the next hour.
Choose to Play.
I’ve put together a list of Fun Family Activities to enjoy with your kids during this period that you are spending in our little Bubble. If you do one a day, it’s two weeks worth of activities.
I’ve tried to include activities that will work or can be tweaked for all ages (And will be fun for Moms and Dads too).
14 FUN FAMILY GAMES FOR LOCKDOWN
Family Game Night
This is an easy one. Stock up on Board Games if you haven’t done that yet. They provide a lifetime of entertainment for the entire family. Some of our Family favorites are:
- Balderdash (If you can get it)
- Monopoly (the original one with the money)
- Exploding Kittens (technically a card game, but so much fun)
- Charades – Not a Board Game but one of the funniest game to play with the family. Here are 101 Charade Ideas for Kids, along with the rules and some ideas on how to get the little ones involved.
Start a Veggie Garden
One of the lessons I have learned from this Pandemic is this: My family was not prepared for a crisis. It’s highlighted the need for us to learn to be more self sufficient. And this starts with being able to feed ourselves. We are making our vegetable patch our priority over the next few months – I’ll be sharing pics on my Instagram as I go if you’re interested (but warning- this will be purely trial and error because gardening is not in my DNA).
Read a Book
I know libraries are closed and if you didn’t stock up on books, then you’ll be kicking yourself. Luckily, I purchased a Kindle which is seriously the best investment I ever made. I can keep an entire library in my handbag.The kids have been fighting over it, so I may need to get another one.
The Kids Kindle includes thousands of books and has a week of battery life. But you don’t need to own a Kindle to get the benefit of the Kindle Library. The Kindle app works on pretty much any device and Kindle Unlimted Membership gives you unlimited reading and listening FOR FREE FOR ONE MONTH (which should hopefully get us through these tougher days).
For more reading Apps, you can check your library website for online books or visit Open Library to borrow books.
We have some time on our hands. Maybe get out those knitting needles and teach the kids to knit. With Easter just round the corner, give this easy knitted bunny a go. We’re first time knitters in our home and this was a fantastic knitting project for the whole family.
Learn a New Skill
I know a lot of us are thinking about what lies ahead. My huband and I have had to close our plumbing business during this Lockdown period. Which is scary. Not only is there no work, but we aren’t allowed to work. We have no idea what going to happen on the other side.
Right now I am infinitely grateful for this Blog. It means I can still earn money for my family and I can work from home. My revenue has halved, but it’s still coming in – which is a darn site better than nothing. I’ve always operated my blog as a hobby. It’s earned my money and I enjoy it. I never thought that there would come a time when it became my full time job. Going forward it’s one of the things I will be working a lot harder on.
If you are insecure about your future, rather than sit and worry about it – develop your hobby or Learn a new skill. Here are 8 ideas to get your creative juices flowing:
- Bake Bread including making your own yeast!!
- Hula Hooping
- Bottle Top Tossing (Google this one).
- Learn a magic trick
- Learn to Juggle
- Learn to Draw
- Sign up to a Course
- Start an online Business
Before you moan and groan about this one, Puzzles are a lot fun when done as a family. It’s a great way to take your mind off the events of the World and practice a little mindfulness. Puzzles don’t require a lot of thought power and even the youngest kid can match colors and shapes. Mix it up if you want – make it a Team event, timed event or simply a chill afternoon activity. Our familys favorite puzzles are the Wasjigs (500 or 1000 pieces). You’re never quite sure what the picture is until you finish the puzzle.
Nerf Gun War
I cannot even begin to count the hours of fun we have with Nerf Guns in our home. We have a collection of the smaller hand held set and a ton of bullets. Games can be indoor or outdoors. Capture the flag can be played pretty much anywhere. If you don’t have Nerf Guns, this game works well with Water pistols too. Just a little wetter.
Paper plane flying competition
Always a goodie. Who can construct the fastest, longest flying paper plane in your family? Give every family member a predetermined amount of time to research and construct their best paper plane, and then line up and give them a go. If you’re feeling really inspired, you can add a little engine to your paper plane or this kit lets you control your paper plane with your phone!!
This is no longer just for Toddlers. Make up a huge batch of Play Dough and play old fashioned charades. But instead of acting out the Word, you need to mold it out of play dough. Here is a fantastic No Cook Basic Recipe for Play Dough.
Every home should keep a pack of cards handy.I’d go so far as to say they should be in your Emergency stash. Next to the candles and the matches. Last year we were snowed in to our holiday cabin and cards were a life saver. If you’re new to Card Games or not sure what to play with kids, here are the top three Classic Family Cards Games and how to play them.
Nothing cheers the heart like yummy baked goods. I’m talking sugar!! Forget the diet regime for a moment. Bake something delicious that you know the kids will love. Chocolate Muffins, Banana Bread, Biscuits. Never thought I’d be encouraging my Readers to make a sugary treat – but Serious times call for some serious cheering up.
These Biscuits were originally made famous as a War time snack for Australian and New Zealand Soldiers. They are made using regular pantry ingredients and store well. They are easy to make and a great recipe for kids to try.
Move the mattresses into the lounge, pop some popcorn and enjoy a Movie with the kids. Stick to happy, funny movies becuase right now we all need some laughter in our lives. If you have little kids, you might need to watch a Frozen or Toy Story a couple more times. Kids like to feel certain and secure, and watching reruns (sorry Moms who are stuck with Peppa Pig) fulfil that need really well.
Whether it’s a model aircraft, mini golf course, lego ship in a bottle, minecraft village or bird house – it’s not about the ‘what’, it’s more about working together on a project that requires some planning, time and consitent effort. Giving your family a goal to construct or complete a project will help them feel as if they have achieved something when all days start to seem the same.
Fairy Garden / Minecraft World / Mini Zoo / Mini Racetrack
The point to this activity is to create a mini World either in the garden or in an area of your home. The smaller the better as this requires a little more imagination. Reuse, recyle and create. Girls will love the Fairy Garden idea (altough my boys were quite into this idea too – because, and I quote. “fairies are boys too”. For a little inspo – here are some Gorgeous Fairy Gardens and also some Suprisingly Fun & Useful Things to Make with a Plastic Bottle.
There are loads of free printable resources available on the internet to keep the family entertained. From Coloring Pages to Activity Sheets.
FINALLY – A WORD FOR MOMS
Remember – this too shall pass.
How we go forward is up to us. For many of us it may mean a change in careers or a restructuring of how we run our homes. Take charge of the things that you can control. Use this time to declutter your home, refine your budget or bond with your kids.
Be kind to yourself.