BY BROOKE ORR
Due to COVID-19, many parents are working from home while children attempt at-home learning. With families spending more time together than ever, it is easy to start feeling a little stir crazy. If your family has fallen into an at-home slump, have no fear – boredom busters are here. These tried and true activities are sure to put a smile on even the grumpiest family member’s face!
1. Movie night done right. Screen time may have lost some of its novelty during the pandemic, but family movie night can still inspire fun family memories. Start with the food. Try a build-your-own popcorn bar. Put out popcorn, Reese’s Pieces, Sour Patch Kids, Butter Finger Bites, ranch seasoning, taco seasoning and parmesan cheese and let your family build their perfect movie snack! In addition to fun snacks, make picking the movie a true honor. Have each family member write his or her name on a scrap of paper, fold it up and put it in a hat or container. Let kids get silly making drumroll noises, then pick and announce the winner of who gets to pick the movie of the night. Spread pillows and blankets around the room, or even consider building a fort. Snuggle up and enjoy!
2. Family Game Night – Tournament – Get the family involved in planning. Have each person choose a game to be played, and decide as a group what the tournament winner will get. Next, make a chart where all can see – put family members’ names in column one and game titles across the top in row one. As the game night progresses, update the chart by giving a point to the person who wins each game.
3. Treasure Hunt – Who can resist a treasure hunt? This classic can be done outside or in. Come up with clever clues, or use these from The Spruce.com and watch your kids have fun solving the puzzle together! (thespruce.com/indoor-treasure-hunt-for-children-1695332)
4. Hide and Seek – An oldy but goody guaranteed to get the whole family involved!
5. Obstacle Course – Have fun and exercise at the same time! Melissa Taylor, author at ImaginationSoup.com, provides great course ideas with items you probably already have at home. (imaginationsoup.net/a-backyard-obstacle-course-for-your-kids/)
6. Cookie Decorating – While baking is not always nutritious, it does support math skills, is entertaining and delicious. Let your kids measure, mix and cut shapes, letters and characters out of the dough. Bake, then decorate with icing and sprinkles galore!
7. Yoga – Too much time sitting around indoors can make even the nimblest bodies stiff. Loosen up with a family yoga session. A family favorite is Cosmic Kids Yoga, find frozen, mine craft and more on YouTube or cosmickids.com.
8. Virtual Tours – Craving a trip to the zoo or a museum? Bring these exciting adventures home by taking advantage of one of their virtual programs. Search programs at findachildrensmuseum.org/at-home/, or visit the zoo or aquarium from the comfort of your home at zoo.sandiegozoo.org/live cams or montereybayaquarium.org/animals/live-cams.
9. The Floor is Lava – This game was a family classic long before it became a Netflix Original. Use pillows, blankets and construction paper to create safe spots to land within the lava. The goal can be completing the course, or turn up the heat by making it a race.
10. Camp Out – Temps are low, but an indoor family campout will get family morale high. Set up tents in a common area. Begin the evening outside around a bonfire (or indoor fireplace), roast marshmallows and tell stories. Next, break out the flashlights for flashlight tag – this can be played indoors with lights off or outside. Wind down before bed by putting on shadow puppet shows with your hands.