Dance-offs, teatime and crafty ‘hugs’: fresh ideas for family entertainment

By Angie Norris

As COVID-19 social distancing and self-quarantining continue, some of us may be going stir-crazy not being able to go and do the things we’re used to doing. Our habits have changed and a new “normal” is something that we’re all trying to get used to. You’ve been cooped up for weeks, only leaving the house for essentials, and it’s hard to come up with activities to keep your family entertained that you haven’t already done. If you’re running low on your list of things to do at home, here are a few options to keep your family busy.

Plugged in

Everyone knows that most kids love video games. That’s what they want to spend most of their time doing. So, why not join in with them for a game or two? Have a video game football or basketball championship with the whole family. You could get a dancing game and have dance-offs, or a band game and have concerts. Even a racing game with cars or motorcycles would be fun for the whole family. Have one family member keep score and see who wins at the end. Let whoever wins pick dinner or dessert. Or, you could even make a family trophy for the winner out of household items like pop bottles and foil.

Keepsake craft

A lot of us have been at home not able to visit loved ones like we normally do. It can be hard to not have that warmth of a hug from mom or dad, or grandma and grandpa. Although it wouldn’t be as good as the real thing, here’s an idea to help. You could get a white, or lightly colored blanket, nothing too fluffy, the smoother the better for this project.

The Norris family enjoys a video game championship. (Photo by Angie Norris)

Have your little ones lay down with their arms spread out like they’re about to hug someone. Trace around their torso, arms out, with a fabric marker, then have them write a short message to their loved one. After they’re done, wash it with laundry sanitizer, place it in a Ziploc bag and wrap it with pretty paper. Mail it to your loved one and when they open it, they can wrap themselves in your little one’s hug. How cool is that! Whoever gets this precious keepsake would be sure to cherish it.

Teatime

Hosting a family tea party can be fun for everyone and leave loving memories for your children to carry with them. You could even put on Alice in Wonderland and mimic your tea party like the one in the movie. You could make brightly colored flowers out of colored paper and put them in a vase on the table or string up for decoration. Make three tiered platters out of plates, and candle holders or teacups to keep yummy goodies on like cookies, macarons and small tea sandwiches. Have a platter of different teas, along with things like honey, lemon and cream to add. Go ahead and dress up in your Sunday best for the occasion. it’s been a while and dressing up makes everyone feel good.

Be sure to take care of yourself and give yourself a break. You can’t take care of anyone else if you’re not healthy. Kindness and compassion during these times are what we all need. If you’re doing the best you can, then that’s what really matters.