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40 Outrageously Fun Activities for the Entire Family

Spending time enjoying family activities together is one of life's greatest joys and make for bonding together.

how-to-keep-your-family-busy-during-coronavirus

“Children learn as they play. Most importantly, in play children learn how to learn. ” ~ O. Fred Donaldson

Strengthen Family Ties

Family playtime brings lasting memories for the entire family. Spending time together strengthens family bonding and builds trust, especially among children. Trying new things is a good way to better understand who you are and to unlock skills you didn't know you had. After all, the more you try something new, the more you'll know.

I've rounded up a few ways that will keep busy, entertained, and growing. So, say yes to new things and shake up your routine as you open up a whole world of possibilities.

Have You Ever Tried Rock Painting?

My first try at decorating rocks. I started 1 year ago and now I'm addicted!

My first try at decorating rocks. I started 1 year ago and now I'm addicted!

1. Rock Art Is Fun For The Whole Family

Two years ago our mountain community had to be evacuated because of a devastating forest fire. Fortunately, a kind couple that I didn't know from Adam, invited me and my dog to stay with them for 3 weeks. During this time I was introduced to rock art and spent every day learning to design "kindness rocks." I loved it! My artwork was not very good at first but I worked hard and practiced drawing like crazy.

Friends gave me books on how to draw and design and along with Youtube videos I slowly started to improve. Now, I place my kindness rocks in the community, hiding them for others to find. I highly recommend this fun project for individuals and families. It's a great way to spend a few hours, relieve stress and the paints and brushes can be purchased online and delivered right to you.

If drawing isn't your cup of tea you may want to give "rock pouring" a try. This method is easy and the results are pretty amazing.

Rock Pouring Is Easy And Fun

Pour a few colors of paint in small cups from the dollar store then in a larger cup drip a drop or two in layers. Finish by pouring on a clean, smooth rock.

Pour a few colors of paint in small cups from the dollar store then in a larger cup drip a drop or two in layers. Finish by pouring on a clean, smooth rock.

2. Free Your Singing Voice

When you sing, endorphins (feel-good chemicals) are released in your brain. This brings about positive psychological effects. If you suffer from depression or are temporarily down in the dumps after being isolated, singing will help lift you from your dark place into the light.

Singing favorite songs is something the whole family can do, and if you or one of your kids can play a few chords on the guitar or piano, why not form a family band?

Singing games can be a lot of fun and a great way to pass the time. I've used the following ideas on long car trips with adults and children:

  • Pick a color and sing or name songs with the color in the title like " Green Green Grass of Home" or "Little Red Wagon."
  • Sing a song with the word "Happy" in the lyrics.
  • Sing a sad song.
  • Sing a funny song.
  • Sing a song about Christmas.
  • Sing a song about an animal.
  • Play "Name That Tune".

You get the idea. There are no set rules except this one: Avoid criticizing anyones voice or making fun of the way they sing. Keep it light and make it fun!

Singing Relieves Stress

We  were born with the tools needed to sing. Learn what they are and how to use them.

We were born with the tools needed to sing. Learn what they are and how to use them.

3. Spring Cleaning Any Time of Year

Whether it's spring in your neck of the woods or not, get out your cleaning supplies and assign family members areas to clean. Even the little ones can pick up their toys or wipe away "fairy dust" from furniture. Praise goes a long way for keeping little people excited about cleaning.

When I need help picking up trash or leaves in the yard I make this a game too. "Who can pick up the most litter?" works better than "Get outside and clean up the yard!"

Write About Your Family

Set up an interview with each member of the family.  Record this time to refer to when writing your family history.

Set up an interview with each member of the family. Record this time to refer to when writing your family history.

4. Tips For Writing Your Family History

You are the shadow on the page of your history left for others to read, learn and even know themselves a little better. Remember that your life story is indeed your story. Write about events from your point of view, as you remember them. It's natural and normal for people to have different memories about the same event and that's all right. Your memories are your own.

Most memories are pleasant but life isn't sugar-coated and it's important to write about the dark side too. This allows you to share the wisdom you have gained from surviving hard times, deep personal hurts and/or devastating losses. You don't have to share everything about your life. You decide what to include and what to leave out. Writing about the dark side of life can be therapeutic. As you write truthfully you will discover truths about yourself and other relationships.

What was it like to be a child? Write about your early years, from birth until about the age of 12 or later:.

  1. What do you remember with real pleasure from your childhood? Tell about a good time growing up.
  2. What was distressing or scary during your childhood years? Tell about a difficult time growing up.
  3. Did you ever get into trouble? What did you want to be when you grew up?
  4. Was anyone ever mean to you? How did you handle that?
  5. Who was your best friend?
  6. Did you have a favorite teacher?
  7. What was your best birthday?
  8. What was one of your favorite gifts?
  9. Did you go on special trips and vacations?
  10. Talk about your talents, hobbies, and interests.

After you have written four or five chapters, put them aside for a few weeks. Then go back and reread your work and do some editing. Keep in mind the questions What? Who? When? Where? Why?

In the life of all of us, there are turning points. Write about yours. Write about the road you have traveled. Someday, someone will treasure every word.

5. Plant Vegetables In A Pot

Trim the bottom part of green onions and plant them in a pot, covering the roots. You'll soon have plenty of green onions. Very easy to grow.

Trim the bottom part of green onions and plant them in a pot, covering the roots. You'll soon have plenty of green onions. Very easy to grow.

6 - 19 Open a Door to a New Activity

  • Listen to some podcasts.
  • Finish reading that novel you started last year.
  • Check out some free E-books and Audio books.
  • Get through that list of movies you've been meaning to watch.
  • Set aside a window cleaning day and let the kids join in.
  • Seniors need to stay active. Pull out a chair and do some sitting exercises.
  • Watch funny animal videos on You tube.
  • Clean out the car.
  • When's the last time you played Monopoly?
  • Take a virtual class and learn something new.
  • Schedule a yoga class for the family. There are many different videos available from beginners to advanced.
  • You tube to the rescue! I'm learning guitar chords for the first time.
  • Start a craft project either for yourself or the kids.
  • Plan a Happy Hour with your friends using platforms like Zoom or Skype.

“Play is the highest expression of human development in childhood, for it alone is the free expression of what is in a child’s soul.” ~ Friedrich Froebel

20. Puzzle Time

Here's a time consuming project involving the entire family.

Here's a time consuming project involving the entire family.

21. Breathing Room

Taking time to learn how to breathe effectively can help to alleviate stress, reduce anxiety, and maintain focus. It's a basic human function and essential in life, yet all too often people do it with little or no thought and take it for granted. Diaphragmatic Breathing (the belly breath) is practiced by top athletes, performers, and CEO's and they swear by it. So do I!

Give yourself a healthy gift and learn how to change your breathing from "shallow" to "full" and here's how.

Since breathing is something that can be controlled and regulated, it's a useful tool for achieving a relaxed and clear state of mind. Breathe in through the nose and out through the mouth.

22. Try This Healthy Kale Squash Recipe

Kale is an excellent source of vitamin K. One cup of chopped cooked kale has more than eight times the daily requirement.

Kale is an excellent source of vitamin K. One cup of chopped cooked kale has more than eight times the daily requirement.

My Winning Kale Recipe

Kale is packed with vitamin A, beta-carotene and serves up 100 percent of the daily needs of vitamin C in one cup cooked. This makes kale a great vegetable to eat for eye health, immunity boosting, and anti-aging. And this isn't all. This super food is also a good source of calcium, manganese, vitamin B6, potassium and copper. If you're looking for a high fiber food, Kale will do the trick.

My family used to give me a "no thank you" to most of my kale recipes until I came up with this one:

  • Rinse well two bunches (about 1 1/2 pounds) of fresh, organic kale
  • Use your hands to pull the kale leaves from their stems. Coarsely chop the leaves. Rinse them, but do not dry.
  • Wash and slice one zucchini squash and one yellow squash.
  • Spray a large non-stick pan with avocado or olive oil. (About two tablespoons).
  • Saute plenty of diced white onion on low heat.
  • Add squash and stir so all pieces are covered with oil.
  • Add the kale a few handfuls at a time, stirring after each handful
  • Cover and cook for about 5 minutes or until tender.
  • Serve immediately.

* I add Himalayan salt and course black pepper along with a couple of shakes of nutritional yeast (for a cheesy taste). Adding crisp bacon pieces and tomatoes also treats the palate.

23 - 36 More Fun Family Things To Do At Home

Keeping kids busy and free from boredom doesn't have to be a challenge. Here are a few more suggestions to try:

  • Plan a family picnic.
  • Go camping in the back yard or living room.
  • Go on an indoor treasure hunt.
  • Play pretend school and let a child be the teacher.
  • Play charades.
  • Have a spelling bee.
  • Play "dress-up" reversing roles.
  • Put on a family talent show.
  • Make a family video.
  • Play match game, monopoly, and other board games.
  • Have a movie marathon.
  • Build an obstacle course our of boxes.
  • Start a gratitude list. Each member of the family will list three or more things they are grateful for. Place each list in a bowl and allow the family to draw one list and read it out loud.
  • Serving others is still an option during this pandemic. Gather the kids, head to the kitchen, and whip up some yummy cookies to be placed on someone's doorstep.

36 - 40 Our Family Has Talent

Sharing the talent in your family is not only fun, it's also a confidence builder.

  • Call on each family member to sing a song, play an instrument, tell a joke or story, color a picture, dance, or simply recite the alphabet. And don't forget to thank the talented child with a big round of applause.
  • Make a family music video.
  • Sing karaoke no matter how you sound. It's all in fun.
  • Put on some music and teach your children rhythm by clapping along.

Closing Message

Which ever activity you choose, whether it involves children, or adults, make it fun. This is not a time to be judgmental or critical which defeats the whole purpose. Keep all activities lighthearted to make the experience a positive one.

As Alfie Kohn said, “To take children seriously is to value them for who they are right now rather than adults-in-the-making.”

© 2020 Audrey Hunt

Comments

manatita44 from london on October 26, 2020:

A lot of useful tips here, Audrey, and the culinary ones to. Looks awesome, that dish. Singing is my thing and a little exercise. Need to do more. I love the family history piece. Noble effort and a great article!

Jacob from Delhi, India on October 01, 2020:

Nice tips. Jesus Loves You. I find meditation on the word of God is a good thing to do. Blessings

Audrey Hunt (author) from Idyllwild Ca. on September 21, 2020:

Fay

How you doing? Thanks for enjoying these ideas for keeping busy during this pandemic. You'll like "paint pouring." It's easy and fun. https://feltmagnet.com/painting/How-to-Make-an-Eas...

Take care.

Fay Favored from USA on September 19, 2020:

Tons of great ideas that help stimulate the mind. One thing I've wanted to do is rock painting. Haven't done it yet, but it's on a crafting list. Music is a staple in our house and singing is a must ... it renews my youth like an eagle! Sharing this for sure.

Audrey Hunt (author) from Idyllwild Ca. on July 14, 2020:

Umesh

Thank you for being here and for liking these ideas. I hope the Covid-19 virus is not affecting you in your country. Stay safe.

Umesh Chandra Bhatt from Kharghar, Navi Mumbai, India on July 11, 2020:

You have given quite an ideas. Thanks.

Audrey Hunt (author) from Idyllwild Ca. on July 10, 2020:

Hi Peggy

I, too have watched more TV than ever before, and like you, I explore new recipes more than normal. I do love gardening and watching my veggies and flowers grow, except for the raccoons that help themselves to a few bites on occasion.

I'm almost finished with a rock painting tutorial for beginners featuring rock pouring so look for it soon. Stay healthy my friend and I'll do the same!

Peggy Woods from Houston, Texas on July 06, 2020:

It is easy to see how you stay busy during this stressful time of the pandemic. We have tried quite a few new recipes and have watched more movies on TV than we have ever done in such a short time. I have also caught up on more reading of books which is fun. It is so hot right now in Houston, but I maintain our small garden and all of our outdoor plants. I have yet to try rock painting, but it is on my to do list. Stay well!

Audrey Hunt (author) from Idyllwild Ca. on July 06, 2020:

Nithya

I'm glad you like the rock painting activity. So much fun! Thanks for being here and stay safe.

Rajan

I love kale...it's on my menu almost daily. Rock painting is both a fun hobby and a service I provide for others. I hide them in our mountain community for others to find. Thanks and be healthy.

Rajan Singh Jolly from From Mumbai, presently in Jalandhar, INDIA. on July 06, 2020:

I love the rock art show here. A wonderful list of things to do during these stressful times indoors. Thanks for sharing your kale recipe.

Nithya Venkat from Dubai on May 19, 2020:

Great ideas for spending time with family, I love the rock painting activity seems like fun. Your recipe makes kale delicious, will try it out.

Audrey Hunt (author) from Idyllwild Ca. on April 25, 2020:

Dear Paula

I'm glad to know you're safe and going strong. It will take more than this lousy pandemic to do us girls in - right? Still, I worry about family and friends 'cause ya' just never know.

Thanks so much for being here, my dear friend, and your ongoing support. You are such a treasure.

Stay well and try to avoid the crazy's out there who balk at the necessary safety tips.

Sending hugs and love,

Audrey

Audrey Hunt (author) from Idyllwild Ca. on April 24, 2020:

Thelma

I read your article on recycling and painting cans and guess what? I'm now following in your footsteps. It's fun to switch from rock painting to decorating cans. When you start rock painting - the river rocks are the best - smooth and round or oval work well. I think you and I would have fun together. Thanks, my friend!

Suzie from Carson City on April 23, 2020:

Hey Lady Friend.....What a beautiful CREW you have and of course, I'm not surprised. They're all off-shoots of your beauty, brains & Talent!

Your ideas and suggestions are spot-on & what I haven't already put into action.....I guess we'll give it a GO!

Here's hoping we arrive at the end of the lock-up before too much longer. Just so everyone keeps the safety tips in mind....we'll be O.K,

Peace & Love!! Paula

Patricia Scott from North Central Florida on April 23, 2020:

So many excellent suggestions...it is I alone here as my family lives about 45 minutes away. But I keep busy busy gardening, putting puzzles together, coloring in adult coloring books, knitting, and walking. ( I do sing some...and often have music in the background). I have seen others do rock painting but have not tried it...now I will. Thanks for these suggestions...I liked this so much I emailed to myself and posted on facebook. Angels headed your way..stay safe. ps

Thelma Alberts from Germany and Philippines on April 21, 2020:

Hi Audrey,

They are all great suggestions on how to keep busy. I tried my best to keep busy and have done some of the ideas you have mentioned above. I have discovered a new hobby and that is recycling and painting cans as well as water bottles for making them into planters. I have planted some flowers, spring onions, ginger roots, strawberries and some herbs. All in all are in the pots in my balcony.

I have read about rock painting and I want to try it when I find some rocks nearby, maybe rocks from the Rhine river when I can walk there again. Thank you very much for reminding me this. Keep safe and stay healthy,

Audrey Hunt (author) from Idyllwild Ca. on April 15, 2020:

Job

How nice to see you here. Thanks for reading my article and keep safe.

Audrey Hunt (author) from Idyllwild Ca. on April 15, 2020:

Dora

You're a girl after my own heart...as the old saying goes. Planting vegetables has to be right up there with singing, for me. I find that planting and gardening are my happiness seeds. Glad you liked my tips for keeping busy. Stay safe, my dear friend.

Audrey Hunt (author) from Idyllwild Ca. on April 13, 2020:

Liz

Thanks for being here. Maybe you can try the kale recipe at a later time. I hope you are keeping yourself well during this time.

Audrey Hunt (author) from Idyllwild Ca. on April 13, 2020:

Linda

Vegetables are so delicious when we experiment with spices. I think you'll enjoy this kale and squash recipe. Thank you for liking my suggestions for keeping busy.

Stay safe and keep well!

Audrey Hunt (author) from Idyllwild Ca. on April 11, 2020:

Lorelie

Thanks for reading my article on keeping busy. I hope you found a few things that you can use during this stressful time.

Ruby

It sounds like you have things under control and stay busy. I like to find the "silver lining" behind each cloud and keeping myself occupied helps a lot. How nice to hear about the painted rocks left at your home. And, of course, It always lifts my spirits to hear that my vocal instruction CD is bringing others great results.

Thank you, my friend.

Audrey Hunt (author) from Idyllwild Ca. on April 10, 2020:

Pamela

I hope you're doing well during this difficult time. It looks like we're in for a long haul and will need to keep ourselves busy to help reduce boredom and stress. Who'd ever believe we'd be isolated like this?

Be safe, my friend and keep on singing.

Audrey Hunt (author) from Idyllwild Ca. on April 10, 2020:

Hi John

Yes, I know what you mean, we've had non-stop rain and snow. Hopefully the sun will show it's face in a day or two. Thanks for liking my suggestions for keeping busy.

Stay safe.

Job Motsedi Mojalefa Maja from Johannesburg South Africa on April 10, 2020:

Good articles and helpful one for the people.

Thanks for your endeavor to make life easy for us

Audrey Hunt (author) from Idyllwild Ca. on April 10, 2020:

Hi Sha

I'm so glad to know you're business is still up and running. And just look at your son raking up all those leaves! Looks like you've got it together. I love rock painting but with all this rain, and now snow, I've had to put this on hold as I work on this project out on the deck.

Please stay safe and well during this difficult time. Sending you plenty of hugs, my friend.

Dora Weithers from The Caribbean on April 09, 2020:

Thanks for these great suggestions, Audrey. I actually have my planting pots ready. That would be my early morning and late evening exercises. At other times, the heat from the sun is formidable. Not complaining, simply explaining.

Liz Westwood from UK on April 09, 2020:

You give some interesting and original suggestions of how we can spend our time. I wish I had seen your kale recipe before I used it up last week.

Linda Crampton from British Columbia, Canada on April 08, 2020:

I love your advice to "stay busy and keep a positive outlook." Your recipe sounds delicious. I like your list of things to do as well.

Audrey Hunt (author) from Idyllwild Ca. on April 08, 2020:

Hi Bill,

Well, you and Bev are keeping busy for sure. Bless your little pea pick'in hearts. If it ever stops snowing here in my neck of the woods I'll start my garden.

Meanwhile, I'm rewriting chapter 2 and it sure needs your help. I'm halfway through and hoping to get this to you by the end of the week.

Love,

Audrey

Audrey Hunt (author) from Idyllwild Ca. on April 08, 2020:

Flourish

How old is your nephew? Will he be staying with you indefinitely? Not being nosey, just thinking about more options for you. I'm so glad you found this article helpful. Not an easy time. Stay safe!

Devika

You're keeping busy and being productive. Good going! Thanks and stay healthy!

Ruby Jean Richert from Southern Illinois on April 08, 2020:

Audrey, you have some excellent ideas to keep us busy and carefree. I especially like the rock painting idea. I have some painted rocks in my flower beds. I didn't paint them. The lady we bought the house from painted them, and there are lots of unpainted ones she didn't get painted. Of course singing. I sing as I do my work and BTW I sing much better since receiving your CD. Thank you again! We love to play 500 rummy, so we play most nights, and we love to do crossword puzzles. Everyone on our block is home and I do believe we are more friendly than ever before. Please take care, stay healthy and sing while you work.

Lorelei Cohen from Canada on April 08, 2020:

Yep, this is going to be a very long haul.

Pamela Oglesby from Sunny Florida on April 08, 2020:

I like you very unique suggestions. It is no surprise that singing is included, Audrey. I would really like the spring cleaning done so that is a goal for me, Stay safe and healthy.

John Coviello from New Jersey on April 08, 2020:

Great ideas Audrey. I want to do spring cleaning, but spring weather has been in short supply where I live. It's been a good time to read and write.

Shauna L Bowling from Central Florida on April 08, 2020:

Audrey, these are all great ideas. My place of business is still in operation, so I'm not house-bound - yet. However, the company my son works for just gave the stay-at-home order until further notice. Not working is driving him crazy. So, he raked and bagged our entire property. What normally takes a couple of weekends, kept him occupied for two days. Today he plans on cleaning his room from top to bottom.

My neighbor has been doing rock painting for a couple of years now, as well. She painted several and put them on her sister's and mother's graves. I love your idea of placing them around the community for people to find. I can imagine the smiles that erupt on finding such an unexpected treasure!

I hope you and your family stay well, both physically and emotionally, Audrey.

Bill Holland from Olympia, WA on April 08, 2020:

I painted the shed yesterday while Bev prepared the soil for the garden. Not once were we afraid of the pandemic....just sayin'

love and blessings always

Devika Primic on April 08, 2020:

Hi Audrey I have cooked many different foods isolation has given me the time for planting taking care of my flower garden and writing more now than before. So much to do as you have mentioned and your ideas are great.

FlourishAnyway from USA on April 08, 2020:

This is absolutely fantastic and gives me some additional ideas for working with my nephew who is staying with us.

Audrey Hunt (author) from Idyllwild Ca. on April 08, 2020:

manatita

Hello, dear friend. Thank you for your remarks. I pray that you are staying safe during this challenging time. I hope my tips will be of help to others. It's important to stay busy and keep our minds distracted from all the news.

Take care manatita.

manatita44 from london on April 07, 2020:

Beautiful tips. Maybe I'll take up the harmonium. Ido sing as well as the movie thing, but i'm yet to tackle the Spring clean.

Nice work on the kale and on gratitude.

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