By Bonita Van Otterloo, Marketing Director
Social distancing. Who ever thought that term would become such an important part of our lives?
School has been out for weeks due to the COVID-19 pandemic, and it will be out even longer due to new social distancing guidelines. Let me just pause right here and say THANK YOU to all of our Iowa educators for everything you do for our kids!!!
As a mom, I know there is only so much homework and free play kids can do during the day before boredom sets in. I mean the kind of boredom that makes my kids ask me; no, beg me for ideas on what to do next.
There are plenty of boredom buster lists out there, but I will share my favorites and hope they help you during this time. Some are probably things you and your family are already doing, but I hope some are new ideas.
1. Random Acts of Kindness
How can you brighten someone else’s day? Do you know someone who needs groceries or needs help picking up their prescriptions? If you’re healthy and follow the social distancing guidelines, you can offer to pick up these items for others.
2. Sew Masks
Many area hospitals are in need of masks. Check your local hospital’s social media channels or website to see if there’s a need. If so, follow the instructions on how to make them and how to safely get them to the hospital. Let’s pause again to say THANK YOU, THANK YOU, THANK YOU to all our healthcare providers and personnel. Thank you for your selflessness and compassion in caring for our communities and saving lives!
3. Support Local
This is important every day, but especially now. Have a take-out night and make it a point to get meals from a local restaurant. Many restaurants are offering take out, delivery, drive-thru, or curbside pick-up options. Buy gift cards from local stores or, if they have a website, buy online. Some local businesses are even offering delivery and are getting creative in the ways you can support them through this time. Check with your favorite local business to see what they are doing.
Read Scripture or start a new book or devotional.
There are many types of puzzles. Some could include jigsaw, crossword, or Sudoku. Studies have shown that puzzles can help with skills like problem solving and math.
Our health and well-being physically, mentally, emotionally, and spiritually are so important. Take care of yourself and get some exercise. Some local gyms are offering virtual workouts. If you go outside, please practice safe social distancing should you meet anyone on the sidewalk or trail.
Listen to music and don’t be afraid to SING! Music can be such a good stress reliever! So is dancing—have a family dance party to your favorite songs.
8. Sidewalk Chalk
We have seen this around our communities with people decorating and writing encouraging messages on their driveways and sidewalks.
9. Stay Connected
Check in with your family and friends and see how they are doing. It’s so important to stay connected.
This period of time will no doubt be in the history books, and we are living it. Journal about this time, how it’s making you feel, and what you’re doing. You’ll be able to look back on it and say, “Remember when…?”
11. Arts & Crafts
This one can go so many different ways. Pinterest is always a good resource for new ideas.
12. Pictures & Cards
Color a picture or make a card and send it to someone who could be especially lonely during this time. You could color/create many of them and send them to residents at your local nursing home.
13. Bake or Cook
We need to eat, right? There’s no time like the present to try a new recipe.
14. Decorate your Windows
There are Facebook groups dedicated to rainbow and teddy bear hunts. Join the fun of decorating your front windows with rainbows and teddy bears.
Bring out the board games and card games. If it’s nice outside, play some yard games.
16. Family Movie Night
Have a family movie night complete with popcorn and other snacks.
17. House Scavenger Hunt
Come up with a list of things to find in and around the house. Here are some ideas to get you started:
- Find a coin or dollar bill.
- Find something that begins with the letter “a”.
- Find something blue.
- Find something round.
- Find something with wheels.
- Find something soft.
- Find something you can wear.
- Find something you can eat.
- Find a rubber band.
- Find a paper clip.
- Find a post-it.
- Find a battery.
- Find a magazine.
18. Build a Fort
Build a fort and “go camping” indoors.
19. Spa Day
Do facials, manicures, pedicures, scrubs and makeovers at home.
20. Escape Room
Escape rooms are so fun and definitely help exercise your brain. A couple of ideas for this one would be to create a fun themed escape room in your house or do a virtual escape room. If you’re a Harry Potter fan, this is a fun Harry Potter themed virtual escape room created by a librarian in McMurray, PA.
21. Spirit Week
While the kids are home, have a “homeschool spirit week” with each day being a different dress up theme.
22. Virtual Field Trips
There are ways to take virtual field trips from home. Click here to view “20 Virtual Field Trips to Take with Your Kids” from Adventures in Familyhood. This includes places like museums, zoos, aquariums and other famous sites.
23. Spring Cleaning
I know. I just went there. Make three piles: dump, donate/sell, and keep. Dump the stuff that is garbage. Donate or sell what you can. Keep what you need.
24. Rearrange the Furniture
While you’re spring cleaning, spruce up a room by simply rearranging it. If you're feeling super motivated, you could even repaint a room.
25. Miniature Golf
Make a miniature golf course throughout the house. Get creative. Maybe you have to golf through cans of soup or under some books that are set up in a tent position. The winner could receive hand sanitizer or hand soap to remind them to wash their hands.
How is your family passing the time at home? I hope you got some ideas to help beat the boredom that may arise during this time.
Peoples Bank's values of Family and Community remain as strong as ever, and we are here to continue to meet all of your financial needs. Bank lobby traffic has been restricted, but necessary face-to-face interactions can still happen by appointment. Our bank drive-up lanes and Jasper walk-up window remain open, and don't forget you can bank from home using our many digital banking services. View our Coronavirus response by clicking here.
We are in this together! Stay safe and be well!