If you’ve ventured outside in the past few weeks and have taken in the reality of our altered world, it can be a bit overwhelming. Plexiglas dividers between merchants and customers, masks and gloves hiding once smiling faces, conversations with neighbours from an awkward distance, blocked off playgrounds and quarantined kids.
The world outside our door is a bit unsettling. So I’ve found myself pulling inwards. Choosing to focus on what’s right in front of me – family. There’s comfort inside my little bubble and our world within these walls is much easier to digest.
And even though I’m not necessarily feeling assured or settled or confident in what will come next, I’m practicing creating a safe and comfortable space for my tribe.
My kids are okay. In fact they are better than okay. They are happy at home. They aren’t asking to leave and are not feeling like something in their world is lacking.
They have adjusted to learning at home fairly well. They have embraced the friendships that are right in front of them in each other. They are using technology to stay connected to friends when they feel the pull. But for the most part they are totally fine.
We’re making the best of this time together as a family. We’re focusing on quality time, creativity, and connection. Here are some of the ways we’re staying sane in solitude.
Take a Virtual Vacation
No need to pack your bags, you can relive your family vacations from the comfort of your couch. Use your smart TV or screen-mirroring feature on your smart phone to display the images in large format on the big screen. This is such a crowd pleaser as everyone recalls his or her most memorable moments from the trip.
Get Your Game On
Whether it’s a few quick rounds of go fish, a long and leisurely game of Monopoly, or a revved up rendition of Mario Kart, playing games is a great way to gather together and have some laughs. Yes, game time around here has been known to end in tears and tantrums, from kids and adults alike, but it also makes for a ton of fun.
Play With Your Kids
Being a patron at my little’s latest make-believe startup brings me so much unexpected joy. These past few weeks the hubby and I have dined out at Beckett’s Pizza Parlour and Piper’s French Patisserie, shopped at a farmer’s market overflowing with plastic fruit and veggies, and even visited Quinn’s tattoo parlour where the house specialty was neck tattoos.
Make Room For Media
Whether it’s movies, sitcoms, game shows, or gaming, there is something so cozy about cuddling on the couch to be entertained together. Introduce the kids to some of your cherished childhood favourites, catch up on the latest franchise flicks, binge watch a classic sitcom series, or make a weekly ritual of playing along with a tv game show.
Stay Friendly with FaceTime
Kids don’t always know what to say or do while on a call, so we’ve gotten creative in order to keep them connected. From coming up with a little Q + A to prep the grandparents beforehand, to encouraging them to play games while chatting with friends, using technology to talk to family and friends is a good thing.
Walk Around The Block
Enjoy the outdoors while maintaining a safe distance. We’ve been going on walks almost every evening. Exploring local trails, park paths, and visiting with a beaver family at a nearby pond. We even play “I Spy” and look for art in windows, painted rocks along park trails, and read sidewalk chalk messages along our route.
Explore Country Roads
Hop in the car, roll down the windows and see where the road takes you. Enjoy the scenery, spot some interesting sights, and just get away from it all for a short time. We try to keep our excursions to an hour or two, round trip, as we want to avoid the need for bathroom breaks.
Plan A Porch Drop
Spread a little joy on your journey and consider doing a porch drop for a friend in need. Whether it’s groceries for grandma, a kid crafted card for a friend, or simply stopping by to wave from afar, a little act of love goes a long way to spreading a big dose of delight for the recipient.
Play Backyard Games
Whether it’s your backyard, side yard, or front lawn, getting outside for your daily dose of Vitamin D is a must do. From classic games of catch, to old school games like croquet and corn hole, to bouncing on a trampoline, finding fun ways to enjoy our outdoor living space is helping us feel a little less confined.
Create A Campout
When the weather warms up consider popping a tent, stringing up some patio lights, and sleeping under the stars. Even if you just create the space to snuggle up, share stories and snack on s’mores before heading back indoors, this inspired idea is really speaking to my inner child right now.
It’s hard to believe we are six weeks into all of this and still aren’t sure when we’ll be able to come up for air. However you decide to spend this time with your family, I hope you stay safe, stay healthy and stay strong together.