The past 18 months have certainly been the most uncertain I have ever experienced. I’ll bet you feel the same. We are an active family and we needed to break the boredom with more than just work. We were stuck in the house day after day. We needed some fun stuff to do to help lessen the anxiety and stay connected to each other.
Now, things still might feel uncertain because regulations keep changing (sometimes daily). Places are open then closed then open again, and some locations have permanently closed.
With outside entertainment often limited, and sometimes fully restricted, people still feel stuck. And if there is one thing that many people can relate to, it’s the feeling of being bored with nothing else to do.
But, with a little creativity and cooperation, there are options for you to break the family boredom at home. Here are a few suggestions to get you started.
Make a bowling alley out of water bottles in the hallway. Build a mini-golf course out of empty tin cans in the backyard. Create bean bag bullseyes, have a water balloon toss, create an obstacle course. There are lots of mini-games that you can establish right in your own backyard. Get your family off the couch and outside!
If the weather isn’t cooperating for you outside, you have a small space to work with, or you just want to relax, don’t just stick a movie on and zone out. Face it, everyone will probably just stare at their phones while the movie is on anyway.
Get creative with movie nights. Introduce them to old favorites. They’ll get a kick out of watching what was cool in the 80s or 90s. There are a lot of family-friendly action movies from the 70s and 80s (think Indiana Jones or Back to the Future).
Pick a genre that you haven’t watched before, or at least not in a long time. Give the old black and white movies of the 30s a try, or maybe a musical. Expand all of your horizons by trying something new. If nobody likes it, just turn it off and try again.
This might work especially well with little kids. Let them take turns picking a theme for a day. It could be a color, a time period, or just about anything. Do a little research and build the whole day around it.
Use pirates for example. Maybe you can plan ahead so that everyone dresses like a pirate. Schools often have spirit days like this, so it might be easy to pull some things together. Find words that the family can use to talk like a pirate. Find recipes for easy dishes that have a Caribbean flavor. And, of course, tie in your entertainment by watching pirate-themed movies.
Learning can be fun, and in the digital age, there are so many opportunities to explore new interests and visit places you might never get to in real life.
Google Earth has virtual tours of 31 national parks. Jamestown, VA (one of the first settlements in America) offers virtual field trips, as do several other historical monuments and locations around the world. If you just want to lose yourself for a while, several world-class museums (such as the Louvre in Paris) have their collections online that you can browse through at leisure.
Hook your laptop up to your family television, screen share your phone, or access the web on your smart tv for access to these options.
Before television and radio, families used to gather around the fireplace and read chapters out of classic literature for their evening entertainment. Now, the classics may not be for everybody, but there are several family-friendly books that would work for this activity. Don’t ignore the classics, though, because there is some good stuff to be found there.
If reading out loud feels too much like school for everyone, find audiobooks that the family can listen to together. There are several narrators that bring books to life as they read. Bonus: if you use an app, you can continue to listen on a long car trip as well!
Make meals a family thing from the planning to the cooking. Find recipes that the kids can help with and give them tasks to complete in the process of preparing the meal. Pick new foods to try, explore other flavors and learn about other cultures; make mealtime a bigger deal than just eating.
If your family likes to go out to dinner, but you’re finding restaurants difficult to navigate, pick a favorite restaurant and order through a delivery service. Or, better yet, create your own meal that is similar, have people get dressed up, and make a fun night of “eating out at home.”
The main point of all of these is for the family to continue to build bonds by doing things that everyone can participate in, no matter what the ages are. In a world of uncertainty, kids need to know that their family unit is strong, but they also need to learn how to be grateful for what they do have – because there are many people out there who don’t have half as much.
Regardless of what you choose to do to break the family boredom at home, continue to strengthen family relationships and cherish your time together.
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