We have had no lack of resources for online learning and entertainment. As parents, we’ve learned about online story times, drawing lessons, cooking lessons, Facebook Live Zoo times, etc. etc. etc. How wonderful to have such a plethora of resources! But some parents may be looking for some ideas that do NOT involve screens. See below for some suggestions.

  1. Rearrange a Room: Have older children measure furniture and space, and draw a blueprint about how they envision the furniture arrangements. Remind them to consider access to things like outlets, light switches, etc. Younger children can give suggestions about where to move one or two pieces of furniture, or even just take all of the pictures off of their walls and rearrange them. Bonus: In the midst of rearranging, you may also do some clearing out and find out that there are toys and other items that are not needed anymore!
  2. Create a Mandala: Mandalas are often used in the Buddhist faith as form of meditation and focus. They are also a beautiful source of art. Most importantly, Mandalas are much more about the experience of creating them than the finished product. To create a mandala, take something from nature and put it in a pattern in a circle. Then use other pieces of nature to create another circle around that one. Continue for as long as you would like. This is a calming strategy for people of all ages, and requires nothing more than dirt, grass, leaves, and any other nature items you have available to you. It could even be done inside using household items.
  3. Board Games: Many of our children have grown up in a culture where our agendas are always full, and they may not have played a lot of board games. So while this could feel like an activity your children may not be interested in, they may surprise you. Don’t have many board games? Encourage your children to make one!
  4. Yard  and Garden Work: You won’t believe how much your kids like pulling weeds, or even doing some clipping and cutting of larger limbs, depending on age and supervision. You don’t have to leave your house or buy anything in order for children to help clean up in the yard. Children also love to plant and tend their own little gardens, and now id the perfect time to help them create one.
  5. Water Play (IE…wash the car): Again, what students wants to wash a car right now? Turn it into a water play day and lots of them will want to! Let them put on clothes they can get wet and spray each other while they scrub the cars. Chores made fun!
  6. Old Movies: Okay, it’s a screen, but not a computer screen. What were YOUR favorite movies as a child? Try showing them to your own child. You’ll be surprised how much they enjoy a glimpse into your childhood, and what insights they have into the “olden days.” Be ready to explain about things like typewriters and pay phones.
  7. READ! No matter what the age of your students, create a family reading time. Whether it’s an old favorite classic or a new book you have at home, consider a family reading time and read out loud to each other.
  8. Exercise: Whether it’s going for a walk or a bike ride or making up an obstacle course in your driveway, exercise is good for the body and mind.
  9. Spread Kindness: As a family, write notes of encouragement. These could be mailed to friends and family far away, or given to strangers. They can be notes, pictures, or even cut out magazine collages.
  10. Quiet Time: As isolated as we are right now, we may forget that alone and quiet time for reflection is still important. Set aside a time each day that each family member spends time alone. Even if you are all in the same room, choose a time when you each work on your own activity, read your own book, write in your own journal, etc. Alone time is still important for reflection and recharging.