Several weeks of social distancing during the COVID-19 outbreak got you down? Is each day of staying home, wearing pajamas, and checking your milk and toilet paper inventory beginning to run into the next? We’ve got you covered with a list of ten daily goals to help keep you and your kids a little healthier and happier during the quarantine.
While you and your kids are munching on (hopefully somewhat healthy) snacks all day long, make sure you’re also drinking enough water. Fill a large water bottle each morning, and keep track of your refills throughout the day. Encourage your kids to do the same. As an adult, you should be drinking at least 64 ounces of water daily. Children ages 5 and up need at least 40 ounces per day.
When it comes to reading, anything and everything counts! Browse magazines. Look through cookbooks for new dinner recipe ideas together. Listen to audiobooks with your kids or through your headphones. Escape in a great novel.
Can’t go to the library or bookstore right now? If you have a public library card, you can use the Libby app to borrow digital editions of books for two week. Many children’s authors like Mo Willems and B.J. Novak are doing live read-alouds of their popular children’s books for kids on YouTube and Facebook. The Amazon Rapids (free for everyone) and Vooks (free for teachers) apps will also read and animate age-appropriate books and stories for your kids.
Make something as a family! Bake homemade bread or cookies together. Paint smooth rocks or a canvas with acrylic paint. Revive a sad piece of furniture with chalk paint. Start a nature journal, and draw the plants, insects, and birds you find in your backyard each day. Sew, knit, or crochet a bag or piece of clothing. Make a collage or a vision board by cutting up old magazines.
Create chalk art on your sidewalk or fence to cheer up your neighbors. Plant a victory garden with vegetables and herbs. Pick blooms and foliage from your yard, and make a flower arrangement in a vase or Mason jar to brighten up your kitchen counter. You can even drop off extra arrangements on your neighbors’ doorsteps! It will certainly brighten their day during this quarantine.
Try to wipe down high-touch surfaces, like countertops, door handles, and light switches daily. Get your kids involved in this easy task by giving them disinfectant cleaning wipes or spray and paper towels. (I let my daughters wear their inline skates inside the house if they’re cleaning for extra motivation! It actually seems to make them clean faster.) Sweep or vacuum as needed. You can also declutter one cabinet, shelf, drawer, or closet each day as a family.
Take a field trip with your kids without ever leaving the couch — virtually. Major museums, famous gardens, Canadian farms, historic homes, and even the U.S. Capitol offer amazing virtual tours online. Aquariums and zoos like Monterey Bay Aquarium, San Diego Zoo, and Houston Zoo are also offering daily livestreams of their animal enclosures on YouTube and Facebook.
Being under quarantine doesn’t mean you can’t socialize! You can text, call, or use free apps like Zoom, Marco Polo, and Facebook Messenger to communicate with friends and family. Messenger Kids is a safe app for children that’s easy to monitor through your Facebook account.
You can also exchange old-fashioned letters through the mail! This is a great way for your children to practice their handwriting skills. You might even want to find them a pen pal during this season of social distancing.
Go for a walk, ride bikes, or go on a nature scavenger hunt with your kids if the weather is good. If it’s a rainy day, have a dance party in the living room. You can also try out Cosmic Kids Yoga or GoNoodle on YouTube, or download the free Super Stretch Yoga app for more fun family exercise ideas.
There are endless online resources for you and your kids to learn something new each day during the quarantine! Let your children’s interests lead your path to discovery as much as possible. The BrainPop Featured Movie, Google Arts & Culture, and NASA apps and the National Geographic Kids and Smithsonian Learning Lab websites are all great places to start.
Light a candle, and soak in a bathtub filled with soothing bubbles or epsom salts. Take a nap in a hammock. Get lost in a good book. (See # 2 above.) Meditate with a free trial of the Calm app. Pop some popcorn, pour your favorite drink, and get comfortable on the couch or recliner to watch a feel-good movie or two after your kids go to bed. It’s important to take care of yourself during this traumatic and uncertain time.
Keep a journal with your kids of all of the relatives you want to hug, places you want to go, and friends you want to meet for coffee and playdates after quarantine is over. Make plans for things you want to do and trips you want to take together. Don’t dwell on the negativity of the current situation so much that you stop thinking about happier times in the future!
— Lauren Flake
This article originally appeared on Baby Chick. Lauren Flake is a wife, mom to two girls, watercolor artist, seventh generation Texan, and early onset Alzheimer's daughter. She is the author and co-illustrator of two award-winning children's books for grieving preschoolers, Where Did My Sweet Grandma Go? and Where Did My Sweet Grandpa Go?, and the editor of Love of Dixie magazine. She loves green tea, dark chocolate, and collecting all things turquoise. You can find her at LaurenFlake.com.
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