You’re stuck at home, keeping your family safe. That means a second malady is infecting the household. We’re talking about cabin fever.
There’s a cure for this fever. People actually survived and thrived in a time before malls, fast food joints, big box stores and chain restaurants. Our forebears somehow got by without the internet, radio or TV, so you should be able to find some family activities during coronavirus.
Maybe now is a good time to take some lessons from the past. Here are seven ideas for keeping your family healthy and constructive.
Maybe the Great Outdoors is limited to your backyard, balcony or immediate neighborhood. But this is an excellent time for you and the family to get some fresh air and enjoy nature.
Your yard or patio is a safe place. With precautions, and following local guidelines, your family can walk, jog and bike around the neighborhood. Sunshine lets you restock on vital vitamin D and gets rid of that winter pallor.
Fresh outdoor air cleanses contaminants from your lungs and boosts your oxygen level. University of Rochester psychology professor Richard Ryan calls an outing in nature “fuel for the soul.” It gives you energy and helps your body resist illness.
1. Put your green thumb to work
This is the perfect time to put out plants. Today’s green living trend focuses on native plants because they’re attuned to the climate and generally need less care. Set out perennials in mulched beds if you have yard space.
If you’re limited to a patio or balcony, go for potted plants or window boxes. Their blooms will shoo away the dreariness of the winter. A few plants indoors will clear the air of contaminants and brighten your mood.
For generations, people grew their own food. Even if your yard space is limited, you’ll be surprised how much you can harvest from a small plot. It also gives the kids an opportunity to play in the dirt.
Potted fruits and vegetables can do well on a patio or balcony. Tomatoes, peppers, squash, lettuce and beans are among the potted favorites. Consider vertical gardening (on trellises) for some varieties of tomatoes, beans and cucumbers.
2. Yard games
Who needs a PlayStation or Xbox when you’ve got yard games? Grab a ball and have fun while getting some exercise. Great outdoor games to consider include:
- Ring toss
3. Set up an outdoor theater
Reclaim the magic of the drive-in movie theater and the open air. You can find an inexpensive projector online as well as a budget-friendly set of speakers. Don’t have a big screen? Just grab a king-sized white sheet. Don’t forget the popcorn!
4. Backyard camping
The kids will actually look forward to bedtime when their bed (or sleeping bag) is inside a tent. Step it up a notch by building a campfire and roasting marshmallows and telling stories before bedtime.
You can’t spend 24/7 outdoors, even if you really want to. For those times when you’ve had enough Vitamin D, it’s pouring down rain or you just want to stay in your PJs all day, there’s plenty to be done indoors, too.
We Americans tend to accumulate a lot of stuff. The trend is toward streamlining or decluttering. Now’s the best time to take stock and get rid of the things you don’t need and will probably never use again.
Clean out the closets, attic and basement. It will give you the chance for some nostalgic moments as you come across old memories. Assess your living area and see if there are furnishings or accessories that do nothing more than take up space. You’ll soon have a more spacious, comfortable environment.
6. Dust off your culinary skills
Meals don’t have to come in a wrapper. Reacquaint yourself with your cooking skills and get the kids involved (this will come in handy later in life). In addition to your favorites, experiment. The internet abounds with recipes. Chances are, you have some of grandma’s specialties tucked away in a box somewhere.
7. Gather round the table
Your kids might be surprised to learn that games existed before the Xbox. Remember the Monopoly board? Scrabble? Trivial Pursuit? These favorites and others are still around and can be delivered to your door in a day or two. They’re perfect for family time in the evenings.
The Addison on Long Bayou offers virtual tours!