Over the last months, we have all been spending much more time indoors than we would have wanted to. Many families had to readjust and adapt to a new way of living and working. And, with some schools still closed and the rise of online learning, some of the consequences of the pandemic may stick around for many years to come.
Undoubtedly, this time indoors might have been proving and challenging for all. However, don’t forget that it can also be an extremely important moment to bond with your little ones and dedicate time to endless family activities. If you are still trying to find your balance, check out the tips below to make the most out of the time at home with your whole family.
Being outdoors is not only a great activity for the whole family, but it is also crucial to look after the mental health of your little ones. Naturally, it is crucial to stay away from crowded areas, parks, and playgrounds. However, you can start looking at a wilder park or wooded area with the eyes of a child: you are always bound to find something to have fun with!
So if you know of a beach, field, or small wood where you can go and spend some time in nature, don’t hold back! Even short walks of 30 minutes to an hour can be everything you need to have a chat, strengthen your bond, and have some fun together.
Choose the right kind of hike. If you look on local websites most hikes are given a grade for how difficult they are. The younger and more inexperienced your hikers, the easier you will want the trail to be.
Choose a hike with a fun destination. Two of my kids’ favorite hikes end with a waterfall. They love that they can cool off and play in the water after the hike, even in the winter a waterfall is a great destination hike. Think drawing, skipping rocks and taking pictures
Hike in the morning. Try to get your hikes in while it is cool. Hiking during the heat of the day is asking for heat exhaustion and the kids will wear out faster. Remember even in the winter to wear sunscreen!
Turn it into a scavenger hunt. My kids love having something to look for while we are hiking. The one above is our favorite list!
Spend Quality Time Together
When spending so much time indoors and together, it is easy to start being annoyed or irritated. And, even worse, your routine can start to keep up and cause you to feel like you are trapped within your four walls. It is even possible that your whole family feels in the same way! So, it is crucial to choose to break such a routine and decide to spend quality time together. After all, our homes have become much more than the place where we relax at the end of the day during the past months! Some ideas for fun, different ways to spend time together.
-Cook as a Family
Make dinner together. Bake for the neighbors. Do an Iron chef type bake off. You have to eat, you may as well turn it into a fun family activity.
– Work Out As a Family
One of our favorite ways to spend time together is to work out as a family.
Family Obstacle Course
This is one of our absolute favorite ways to work out together as a family! We create an obstacle course with items from our home and then we run it! We run our obstacle courses in a few different ways.
The first way is the most obvious: each person runs the course separately and we time them! The person with the fastest time wins.
The second way is a little more unconventional but my kids absolutely love it! We call it Follow The Leader. Each member of the family runs the obstacle course in a single file line. The first person in line runs the obstacles but adds a little bit of flair. For instance, they will sing I’m A Little Teapot while jumping on the trampoline or stick out their tongue while jump roping. The goal is to be the most like the leader. Sometimes we have someone sit out and judge and sometimes we all just get in on the fun. My kids beg to do this version of an obstacle course every single day! Now that is a win!
For your obstacle course, you can use fitness items or you can use items from around your home. You don’t have to go out and buy anything special, but it can make it a little more fun.
Some ideas for items in your obstacle course
- Jump rope
- Cones to run around (we used cans of food before we bought cones)
- Small trampoline for jumping
- Large fitness ball for bouncing on
- Hula hoops
- Basketball and hoop
- A play tube that you have to crawl through
- Balance beam
Ideas for your obstacle course that don’t involve buying a lot of extra things
- Running around items, such as cans on the ground
- Jumping over items, such as a couch in the house, or a toy in the backyard
- Make a tunnel out of chairs and blankets and crawl through it
- Streamers in a hallway taped to the walls create a laser course. Go through the course and don’t touch the streamers!
- A tape balance beam or even a garden wall
- Chairs to climb over or around
- Crab walking
- Wheelbarrow walking with two people
Seriously. Give an obstacle course a try. You’ll find that you laugh and have a great workout!
Always Have a Project Going
If you have been struggling with boredom or a dull routine, you should consider taking on a project. After all, once the crucial time of this pandemic is over, we will all want to spend as much time as possible outdoors! Therefore, you should consider taking on a DIY challenge, such as re-panting, re-styling the house, or organizing the garage.
And there is no need to wait until you can leave your little ones with their grandparents. Instead, make sure they can join in and participate in your project! Of course, eliminate all risks and make sure that the job you have given your children is suitable for their ages and capabilities. However, it can be a great way to have a common goal and an activity to make the most of your days together at home.
Know Who to Contact
If you have been at home for quite some time, it is normal to start feeling like you are alone or isolated. However, when it comes down to looking after your little ones’ physical or mental health, you will never be alone or left without help.
At the same time, it is crucial to undertake the necessary research and have all the contact details of the professionals you trust at hands, such as the number of kids dentist or pediatricians. This is a useful strategy in the case of an emergency, but it can also help you be prepared when you need to know an important piece of information.
Use Tech Right
While we have all been trying to keep our little ones away from technology, this is not all bad or damaging. Indeed, the right technology, when used wisely, can enhance relationships and can even be used for educational purposes. For example, you should encourage your little ones to keep in touch with their friends or closest family members. And you might use certain virtual tours to help them discover more of the world, nature, geography, or culture.