Monday, March 16, 2020

30 Ideas for When School is Closed

It is always exciting when you first hear that school is closed to think about how you can sleep in and relax, but after the initial day you may be looking for some things to do to combat boredom for your kids and yourself.  Today was Day 1 of a four-week period that my kids will be home due to our school being closed to help mitigate the spread of COVID-19.  During this time at home, my kids decided we should make a bucket list of things to do, so I thought I'd share our ideas with you!

30 Ideas for When School is Closed - Indoor and Outdoor Activities from Home
I will admit, today was a little overwhelming, trying to figure out what we all should be doing to make sure that our kids won't fall behind during this critical time in the academic year, and have some fun, all while staying at home to keep our distance from others.  I saw tons of apps and websites and YouTube channels and schedule templates today, and while I am appreciative of all these things being available, it was all almost a little paralyzing.

The summer can almost have this same affect, and that is why our family makes a Summer Bucket List each year.  It's an easy way for us to wrap our head around getting things accomplished, and having some fun at the same time.  So that's why we decided to make a list of things to do while school is closed.  These are things that can be done in the house or outside at our home and don't require us to travel anywhere: 

30 Ideas for When School is Closed - Indoor and Outdoor Activities from Home

  • Get out our Trampoline (Now it isn't quite warm enough to do this yet, but the kids are excited for some spring weather and jumping on our trampoline.)
  • Play in the Clubhouse (Once that nicer weather does arrive, they can use their imaginations in their clubhouse connected to our swing set.)
  • Build a Tree House (Now this is something they've been wanting for a long time and with social gatherings cancelling, we might just finally get this done.)
  • Play TBall (All the kids are looking forward to getting out their gloves and getting some catching and batting practice in.)
  • Go on a Nature Walk (With spring on the horizon, it'll be fun to explore our backyard and see the changing of the seasons.)
  • Play Duck, Duck, Goose (This will be a great way to get the kids moving and burn off some energy.)
  • Watch Lunch Doodles with Mo Willems (Now this is something we saw today that the kids were very excited about.  Author Mo Willems, who all my kids know and enjoy his books, is hosting a weekly "Lunch Doodles" on Mondays where he encourages all ages to draw and write with him.)
  • Decorate the house for Easter (My kids love to make "decorations" for holidays and birthdays, and I love displaying all of their homemade creations.)
  • Easter Crafts (Speaking of decorating the house for Easter, the kids are excited to find some fun Easter crafts to do to help us decorate.  Watch out Pinterest - we're coming for you!)
  • Science Experiments (We have a couple science experiment kits we haven't done yet that we're excited to try.)
  • Build a Spaceship (It sounds like they are going to uses boxes, paper, and chairs to make their spaceship.  If you have a giant cardboard box lying around your house, this would be a great way to use it!)
  • LEGO contests (All of my kids love playing with LEGOs and they want to challenge each other with some building contests and to simply create with LEGOs.  Their first idea is to build marble mazes out of LEGOs.)
  • Play with Play-Dough (It would even be fun to make some homemade play-dough.)
  • Make a Time Capsule (This is an idea I convinced the kids should be on the list, because I truly believe this COVID-19 outbreak will be a major news event of my childrens' youth and it'll be a great way to remember and document it.)
  • Read-A-Thon (Spend a morning or afternoon in your favorite chair, with a pile of books and just sit back, relax and read.)
  • Family Book Club (Our idea is that we'll have a night where each member of our family will share with everyone else about the book they have been reading lately or like the most.)
  • Create a Book Video (Have you ever watched a YouTube video of your favorite author or actor reading a children's book? Well, we want to do our own with some of our favorite books.)
  • Write a Letter/Send a Card (I have some blank cards that the kids are planning on designing and writing in to send to different family members.)
  • Put on a Concert (While it probably won't be the same as the concert my husband and I are supposed to attend next week, the kids love putting on a show for us.)
  • Put on a Magic Show (We have several magic tricks at our house and I'm sure the kids will make up some of their own.)
  • Tell Jokes (Our kids love hearing jokes, making up jokes, and even like listening to a "Bade Dad Joke" daily podcast.  It's always great to smile and hear the kids laughing.)
  • Put up a Tent (We have some easy set up tents and tubes that the kids love playing in and they're excited to get them out during the next month.)
  • Have a Sleepover (The kids have a big plan that the whole family has a big sleepover together in the living room, complete with sleeping bags, movies and popcorn.)
  • Bunk beds (Our kids have bunk beds but we have always kept them apart as single twin beds.  Sounds like they want to change things up in their bedrooms.)
  • Movie Marathon (Now while the kids wanted to make a goal of watching a movie a day, I told them we could compromise with a movie marathon sometime during the next month where we watch all of the Toy Story movies or all of the Ice Age movies, or something along those lines.)
  • Family Game Night (We have a cupboard full of board games and puzzles, so we decided it'd be good to have a weekly family game night.)
  • Plan & Make Supper (The kids decided that each week they want a turn planning and making supper with me.  Each kid will have their own meal so this should help us out not having too many people trying to squeeze onto the step ladder at once like we do now.)
  • Bake a Pie (Now their first idea was to have a pie eating contest... but I convinced them we should just make a pie, or two, or more instead.)
  • Bake a lot (It's a good thing I stocked up on flour and sugar because the kids have plans on baking regularly.  I think a batch of my Six Week Muffins will be the first thing we make and will be perfect for this extended time period at home.)
  • Have a Picnic (Inside or outside, our family always enjoys having a picnic together.)

We easily came up with these 30 ideas during a brainstorming session at the dinning room table and have them now hanging on our refrigerator.  Our goal is to cross one off a day.  What ideas would you add?  Are you home for an extended period of time due to the coronavirus?

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