There’s no denying it, folks, life just got complicated. As if our day-to-day wasn’t already complete with challenges, we’re now faced with a pandemic that has no clear end in sight.
But there’s another side to this.
At any given hour of the day, we can see our social feeds flooding with pics and videos of families playing, creating, laughing, and loving one another. Many families have taken a financial blow, and some are facing worse challenges. But if we’re going to get through this, we’re going to have to get back to the basics, back to the simple things.
“Family is not an important thing, it’s everything.” – Michael J. Fox
Yes, the future looks a little scary, even terrifying at times. But as is the case with any war, there are hidden fruits. A positive side to the chaos.
So, on that note, we felt an urge to share what’s been working for our family; activities that have kept us occupied and happy through this quarantine fiasco. There are many more, but here are a few of our favorites.
1. Let’s Cook!
For millenniums, cooking has been a staple of many family traditions, but when was the last time the entire family (not just Mom) gathered to prepare a feast? Pinterest is a great place to find simple and fun recipes. Assign each family member a task and get to work! It’s a deliciously bonding experience!
2. Board Games
We’re sure that by now most of you have probably reached for your favorite board game, but it’s still one of our favorite things to do as a family so we thought we’d include it here. Classics games such as Yahtzee, Life, Battleship, Scattergories, Trivial Pursuit, and Monopoly do the job. And for the unseasoned gamer, checkers is always a no-brainer.
3. Experience Venice (Virtually)
Commercial airlines have been shut down indefinitely, which means any plans for international travel have halted. Luckily, we’re living in an age of limitless technological options.
Gather the fam around the home computer, laptop, or smart TV and experience a 360° virtual gondola tour of Venice here. Or maybe take a trip to Africa’s Sahara Desert here. Head to AirPano and choose from dozens of destinations from around the globe to explore.
4. Creative Writing
Kids love to share their feelings, and one of the best ways for them to express themselves is through the art of creative writing. Dust off the paper and pens and head to Journal Buddies for some creative writing ideas. After they’ve poured their little hearts out, assign a family member to read each piece aloud.
And if you’re an iPad-friendly family, check out the simple iA Writer app.
5. Outdoor Fun
Take a daily break from the electronics and get a little sunshine by heading to the park (or the backyard) for some healthy outdoor fun. Bocce, badminton, crochet, soccer, cornhole . . . the list is endless!
6. Family Paint Night
You don’t need to be Bob Ross to enjoy yourself a little panting. Head over to Pinterest for some amazingly creative painting ideas for the whole family!
7. No Gym? No Problem!
Youtube is home to thousands of free exercise videos and programs. Whether it’s yoga, calisthenics, weight-raining, bands, or dance workouts you’re looking for, you’ll find it on Youtube. Gather around the family smart TV and get your sweat on!
8. Write a Letter
Let’s face it, the art of the hand-penned letter pretty much died with the rotary telephone. Nevertheless, quarantine life has reintroduced many of the forgotten methods and habits that were once cherished by millions. Consider historic figures such as Dale Carnegie, Abe Lincoln, and Emily Dickinson, who built their legacies on the backs of their handwritten works.
This video will provide your kiddos with a simple process of writing a letter.
9. Story Time with Audible
For ages, kids have been drawn to good stories. The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, Matilda, Charlotte’s Web . . . the list goes on. While movies are always fun, there’s nothing like hearing a story being read to you.
Try this: start a free Audible trial, download a classic onto your iPhone, pop some popcorn, and gather the family on the sofa for an hour of engaged storytelling. You can kick it off with this classic.
Hide-’N-Seek in one of those games that just never get’s old. It’s a fantastic way to fill your home with laughter and thrills.
11. Start a Travel Journal
What was the last trip your family took together? Quarantine time has a way of making us feel a little closed off from the world. Why not take a mental trip back to the beaches of Spain, or Italy’s Leaning Tower of Pisa. This is an awesome exercise for both kids and adults alike to revisit those priceless moments of our lives.
12. Spring Cleaning
With all of the added time in the home, and the indefinite departure of housecleaning services, it’s time to do some spring cleaning. The kids will fuss and moan at first, but with the help of Dad’s retro eighties playlist and Mom’s good spirits, they’ll come around.
There are few things more rewarding than the smell of a freshly-cleaned home in which the entire team contributed.
13. Listen to a Podcast
It’s good for the kids to take a break from the XBOX and iPad once in a while and try a different medium of entertainment—one that actually has an educational aspect to it. There are some fun (and informative) podcasts available for kids to explore.
“But Why” is a good example. It’s a show led by kids. They ask the questions and the adults find the answers. With topics such as, “Are Llamas Ticklish?” and “What is Electricity?” kids can spend an hour or two learning a thing or two. The best part? It’s totally free!
14. Watch a Musical
Musicals aren’t for everyone, but for many of us, they’re a wonderful way to fill our hearts with melodious nostalgia. Ageless classics like Fidler On the Roof, Grease, and the The Sound of Music are always a good choice. And if you’re in the mood for a live performance, try the mind-blowing broadway spectacular: The Phantom of the Opera.
15. Learn About Bugs
It would be weird to end this article without something about bugs.
Since scorpion season is officially upon us here in sunny Phoenix, why not learn a little about the Bark Scorpion.
These creepy little arachnids are always fun for the kids!
We hope this article sparked an idea or two for you and yours. If we continue to appreciate the little things, we’ll be better equipped to endure the big things. Hang in there, and remember: we’re in this together.
The Urban Desert Pest Team
Urban Desert Pest Control provides services for Anthem, Ahwatukee, Avondale, Buckeye, Carefree, Cave Creek, Chandler, El Mirage, Glendale, Goodyear, Laveen, Litchfield Park, Mesa, New River, Paradise Valley, Peoria, Phoenix, Scottsdale, Sun City, Sun City West, Surprise, Tempe, and Tolleson residents.