Our lives are usually so scheduled that it’s hard to imagine what we will do if we are quarantined to our homes or even just stuck inside for a period of time. People in the North are used to being stuck inside for a few days during a winter snowstorm or short sickness. Actually, we are usually happy to be inside our warm homes once we are done shoveling snow during a normal winter storm. But what is there to do if we get quarantined and have to stay in our homes for a few weeks or a month at a time!?! I’m going to give you a few ways you can change your family’s worries of Coronavirus Quarantine into fun, new, family memories of quality time spent together. I also give some tips on what we do as video homeschoolers in between subjects to help my kids burn off energy, so they can focus better for those of you whose kids may have to do online schooling for the next few weeks. I also included a fun recipe for an easy, allergy-friendly snack mix to make with the kids at the very end.
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As I said previously, we are usually happy to be inside once we are done shoveling snow during a normal winter storm. Being able to drink hot cocoa after shoveling and watching a Hallmark movie or catching up on a Netflix series is usually a welcome reprieve from our normal school or workday. I usually give my husband this Keto Hot cocoa when he’s done shoveling. However, things change a little when we are talking about a long term quarantine or period of sickness. 1 or 2 days for a snowstorm is quite a bit different than 1-2 weeks of a possible forced quarantine for an illness like the Coronavirus, so how can you be prepared to stay sane and entertain your kids or yourself for that long!?! We like to do a variety of things to stay busy and have fun together. From reading to baking new and educational recipes, playing games, and listening to books on Audible, or downloading a new book on Kindle! My kids love getting new toys or games. During this Coronavirus quarantine, while my kids are healthy, I want them to keep their minds and bodies active to help them stay healthy! I will give you a few, fun new ideas on how to keep kids active and healthy during a possible quarantine.
One of my suggestions is to sign up for a free trial of Audible on Amazon if you haven’t already. With Audible you can download books to listen to while you are on the move on both Apple and Android devices, or while you are doing other things like folding laundry. Your kids can even listen to books while they are doing things like playing with Legos. We like to listen to books while we are riding in the car. We loved listening to Hardy Boys mysteries or one of the Classic Nancy Drew Mysteries, or these new Nancy Drew Diaries as a family. I really feel like this helped to instill a love for reading in my kids. Sometimes they asked us to go around the block a few times, so we could finish a chapter before we got home! 😂 Of course, it’s good to actually read a physical book sometimes too, but it is really fun to listen to a book together as a family. Other books my kids love are Diary of a Wimpy Kid and Magic Treehouse. You can read about Diary of a Wimpy Kid Wrecking Ball here.
Audible has tons of books for adults too. If you are like me and are too busy to sit down and read a whole book, listening to books may be a great way to still be able to “read” a book while you are busy doing other things you need to get done. I haven’t listened to any of these yet, but Audible has the books that the Aurora Teagarden Mysteries on Hallmark are based off of. It might be fun to listen to one of the Aurora Teagarden Mystery books that hasn’t been made into a Hallmark movie yet, or another book by the author, Charlaine Harris. Audible also has a lot of Self-help and informational books as well. I just love that they offer certain books for free every month!
If you are more of the reading only from a book type, there is always the local library if you are not sick or under a total quarantine. My kids love to go to the library to pick out books, and we love to read books on things or people they have been studying in school. My boys love to read “Who Was” Books or Where Was Books. With Where Was books at least your child can travel someplace far from home by reading the book and learning about a new place! You can also order these on Amazon here. Their favorite Who Was Book is the one about Walt Disney, but they have a good variety of Who Was Books about Famous People. If you are stuck inside and not able to go to the library, downloading a book for yourself or your kids from Kindle is a great way to have access to unlimited books. Our family uses this, and I absolutely love it! If I need something to distract my youngest, I will download a book for him to read on his iPad. There is no shortage of books in our home, but sometimes it’s nice to read something new!Kindle Unlimited Membership Plans
We love to play board games at our house, and we try to do it a few times a month. The newest ones my kids love are Watch Ya’ Mouth, and Totally Gross. Here’s a video of my family playing Watch Ya’ Mouth for the first time. My youngest is also a big fan of Pop The Pig. While those are mostly fun games, there are some really cool learning games as well to help reinforce subjects taught in school. When my kids get bored writing out spelling words, sometimes we physically spell them out with Banana Grams. You could also use Scrabble Tiles. To reinforce the Math concepts of addition and subtraction, we love Sum Swamp! Clumsy Thief is another fun Math Money game that teaches kids how to add up to $100.
Settlers of Catan is a great board game for families and people who have kids in Grade school or older. It’s a great way to have kids learn about saving, spending, and strategy. There are so many versions and expansions of Settlers of Catan, it can never get old. These games are great for a regular Family Game Night, or for when you have a lot of time on your hands. We loved to play games as a family on New Year’s Eve, or we would play by candlelight during Wisconsin winter snowstorms when the power went out. Some of my best memories are eating snacks and playing Board Games during a power outage during childhood. Board games are so versatile. I love that you can order these games via Amazon Prime and usually get them with a free 2-day delivery, without even leaving your house! Right now you can get a free 30-day trial of Amazon Prime! I love to buy my kids new board games for their birthdays or Christmas, but a new board game for Coronavirus Quarantine time can be a great way to take away the stress and worry and create new family memories!
Since we are video homeschoolers, and I have 2 active boys, I have to figure out a good, safe way to help them get their energy out, before and in between classes so they can focus on their school work. We found this Waliki Hopper Ball this Fall for my 8-year-old son. We bought the Large Hopper Ball, and it held up great to all of his bouncing. He bounced like a Kangaroo all over our yard! His 11 yr old brother tried it a few times too, and it didn’t break. I would highly recommend it if your little ones have a lot of energy. One word of caution, don’t leave it outside if it’s going to be windy. It may blow away. Don’t ask me how I know…but we are ordering my son a new one now that the snow has melted. 🤪 If you are unable to go outside, then this Indoor Trampoline is a great idea. I love that they can hang onto the bar if they need to, and it really helps my kids burn off some energy when we are stuck inside. It’s safe for up to 220 lbs, so, usually, everyone in the family can use it! We use this in creative ways in between classes, such as having my grade-schooler count by fives or tens while he’s jumping. Sometimes he claps in between each jump too. If they are really coordinated they can jump as they turn around. Jumping on a trampoline is a great way to help detox the lymphatic system. I love this article by Dr. Axe that lists the benefits of jumping on a Trampoline.
Sometimes we like to start off our day with a kid’s Yoga video like this Frozen Yoga by A Cosmic Kids Yoga Adventure from Youtube. My son loves the different kid-friendly themes she has. We have done the Dumbo Yoga and the Frozen Yoga. I did it with my youngest son one morning. It was really cute, and it did get my heart rate up by the end of it! It’s a great way to stretch the kids’ muscles if they have been sitting for a while or are going to be sitting for a time.[youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xlg052EKMtk]
Baking with kids is another great way to have some fun. We like to make our own fun themed Chex Mix, with Cinnamon and Chocolate Chex (which are gluten-free) with allergy-safe cookies, crackers, pretzels, etc that we have in our cupboards for a quick snack. You can add some holiday colored marshmallows or M&Ms to go with a specific theme. I’ll post our S’Mores Chex Mix Recipe below. It’s free of dairy, wheat, egg, and gluten. So, it’s a great allergy-friendly snack. Sometimes my kids eat this while watching family movies, or you can do it while watching an educational movie on Prime Video.
For a fun Easter Treat, we love to make these Resurrection Rolls that help kids understand more of the First Easter Story. Just click on the highlighted link above to read more about how we make Resurrection Rolls and get the recipe! I even included a Gluten-Free version of Resurrection Rolls. If you want to make something with the kids that is a tradition in a different country try these Brazilian Chocolate Truffles called Brigadeiros. Brazilians make these for birthday parties and most celebrations. My son made them when he was studying about Brazil. You can find the recipe and read about them in this post.
S’Mores Chex Mix (Allergy-friendly)
- 2 Cups Cinnamon Chex
- 2 Cups Chocolate Chex
- 1/2 Cup Artisan Kettle or Enjoy Life Chocolate Chips
- 1/2 Cup Mini Marshmallows
- Measure out and add each ingredient to a big bowl and stir together. Store in a container with a lid until gone. *If you don't have specific food allergies you can add 1/2 cup of M&Ms, and small cookies and crackers as desired. I would only add 1/2 cup of each additional ingredient.
One last thing I would highly recommend if you are quarantined in the house for a while is a diffuser and some essential oils. I personally use essential oils from Young Living. I trust their Seed to Seal policy. I love the way that essential oils such as Thieves or Lavender, Lemon, and Peppermint keep us healthy. My favorite ones to help us all feel calm and set a nice tone in our home are Peace and Calming or Stress Away. Adding a few drops of these calming oil blends to a diffuser with a little distilled water, helps me feel like I’m on a tropical vacation while the smell helps us all destress and stay calm. I even put a few drops of EO on my son’s fidget Spinner that he uses while he’s watching his online schooling.
Our family started cleaning with Thieves Cleaner about six years ago. It’s a non-toxic cleaner, and the smell won’t burn your lungs. We use Thieves Cleaner to clean just about everything in our home and RV. You can find out more about Young Living Products and Thieves Cleaner through this link here, or feel free to email me to ask me any questions. There is a starter kit that includes most of our Thieves products, and our normal Premium Starter Kit includes a sample of Thieves cleaner as well as a Diffuser. It’s a great time to invest in your health with some of these non-toxic products. You can read more about our Starter Kits, Thieves, and all of our oils here. If you are looking for the Thieves Kit or one of our new CBD oil kits, just click Other Starter Kits tab once you get to the website.
Well, I hope you have found something helpful in this post to help you get through any quarantine, online homeschooling, Spring Break, or even a short illness at home. I believe the most important thing we can do is have a positive attitude. Our children are watching our reactions. They are watching how we treat our neighbors and people in the community who need help. As Americans, I hope we all will band together and help each other out. Distraction is a great tool when things seem uncertain, so reading new books or playing new games with the family or neighbors if they are healthy, can be such a great tool to help us overcome this little hurdle in our lives. I hope you and your family will stay healthy, and very soon we will be able to enjoy Summer.