Looking for things to do while bored at home during quarantine? Here are 10 creative things to do with your kids.
I never imagined I would have to constantly come up with creative things to do while bored at home because we are stuck in the house for a week.
‘I’m bored’, ‘what can we do now’, ‘go outside with me’! Can you imagine being stuck inside the house on cold, rainy day for a whole week? And with two kids! Wait, you probably have, maybe even since this whole Coronavirus thing began. I’m sure that you have learned the virtual school routine and ways to keep the kids from yelling ‘I’m bored’. And I bet you even have a handle on keeping the house picked up and smelling clean.
This has recently been a whole new beginning for me because as a Family Nurse Practitioner, I don’t have many moments like these.
I remember when the country went on lock down and how envious I was of my friends. They were allowed to sleep late if their kids allowed, take showers every few days if wanted to, and go on walks with friends while separated 6 feet. Wine time could be any time of the day and they got to watch all of the Netflix series that have been on their to-do list for months.
Me, on the other hand, life only got crazier. I not only worked at keeping my clinic doors open, I worked at trying to survive the madness that was going on with so many sick, the uncertainty of this beast, questioning if I treat symptoms the same as I always would or do something that the President is saying to do. I worked long hours and many mornings would have to get up at 5am just to stay on top of medication refills and patient charts. And to be honest, it has been like this ever since.
Thankful to still have a job and for those that put their trust in me for their care? Absolutely! But you can call me a liar if you think I never wondered ‘what if I had to be quarantined’ or ‘what if I got covid’? Yes, I’m actually shocked that I have not gotten Covid during all of this and hopefully will not since I’ve had the vaccine.
Well, the time finally arrived when I did get quarantined due to a long exposure of a positive friend that is in and out of my house constantly. I don’t wear my PPE at home and to be honest, home is the only place we have to feel like we still have a normal life. Gosh, often times you may come to my house and I tell you not to be offended because I have no desire in even putting my bra back on. I’m in my comfy attire and have no care in the world.
And on a side note, in case you didn’t know, most nurses are the least modest of all. This is because after seeing what we see, it’s no big deal to us. So, the bra ain’t coming back on.
Finding things to do while bored at home can be as simple as enjoying a fire.
If it wasn’t bad enough to be quarantined for a week, the weather also decided to be cold and rainy the whole week. Initially, it was kind of nice and cozy. My son, Campbell, would make us a fire everyday, I drank eight cups of coffee, enjoyed quality time with the kids, and actually got to watch TV. But when day 4 arrived, I realized I was about to lose my marbles.
Not because the kids were fighting, actually they were perfect. But I felt like I was captive. I’m not use to being told I can’t go anywhere or do something for others. I wasn’t sick, yet had to basically act like I was. No one wanted to be around us, which I understand and enforce as well, but I never really knew what that would feel like.
In my situation, I had to wait 5 days from exposure until I could take another Covid test. During this time, I knew that I felt fine and so far was negative. But the thought crossed my mind daily that I could still become positive. Because I couldn’t go anywhere, I felt like my choices were taken away. You begin to have this unrealistic view in the scare of having Covid and even knowing how to reconnect with yourself.
As a healthcare provider, the advantage of this experience allowed me a better understanding of what my family, friends, and patients may experience from a mental aspect. It also led me into writing this blog for many reasons in hopes of giving ideas should you be in this situation. And sure, there are many blogs and Pinterest posts already on things to do when bored during quarantine. But if you know my family, we are often times not the norm.
10 THINGS TO DO WHILE BORED AT HOME DURING QUARANTINE
Meditation has huge benefits to the mind, body, and soul. It helps to reduce anxiety, control stress, enhance self-awareness, and improve focus. It is a learned skill and becoming prescribed my medical professionals along with various exercises. I love how Richard Davidson, founder of the Center for Healthy Minds at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, describes meditation on BrainFacts.org. He says “think of it as a form of personal mental hygiene — almost like tooth brushing”. Just like we did not learn to brush our teeth in one day, we have to treat our brain the same by learning a practice and sticking to it.
Headspace is a source I often times recommend to my patients whom battle anxiety, depression, and stress. It is an app and website, that provides meditation benefits and practices that are available anytime, anywhere.
Meditation allows one to rest, reflect, and re-connect.
Why meditation is a great tool when bored at home? It allows us as parents to set aside time to re-focus and make time for ourselves. It helps to relieve tension that may be building up or staying connected in this moment of uncertaintity.
Two of my co-workers are always telling me that I need to learn to meditate. My life is crazy and constantly on the run. I never know how to stop and take the time to focus on me. I know the benefits and I did try while bored at home during quarantine. However, I have no idea if I did it the right way. I even had help from Campbell, which I had no idea he even knew what meditation was. But, that is the awesome thing about meditation. There is no right or wrong way. It is about what you learn, practice, and discover works best for you.
2. CLOSET CLEAN-OUT
There is no better feeling than the feeling of de-clutter. It is self-rewarding knowing that you are getting rid of things from the past and donating to others in need. I wish I could say I love cleaning out my closet. Actually, I’m the WORST! I hold on to things that brings back a memory or I think I may need it one day for a theme day at work. I have to squeeze and push things just to be able to hang up one more shirt. It’s ridiculous!
However, I did take the plunge while bored at home and will admit it felt good. My closet became clean and organized, which most likely won’t last long. I had my children help with mine, which then encouraged them to work on their own. It is important for them to learn how they can make a difference to someone else by donating as well.
In our situation, though, this ended up going to a whole new level. We have a big storage building where my husband keeps everything due to having rental property. There are things we had before marriage, things inherited form my mother in law, and just random collections from all the ‘junkin’ trips we like to take.
Once we were given the freedom to escape from quarantine, we went to work cleaning and organizing the storage building. We became obsessed to the point of then opening up a booth at a local flea market all in one day. No surprise to those that know us. We are those that fly by the seat of their pants.
I’m not saying for you to take cleaning out your closet to a whole new level like we did. But I will say that purging is so good for the soul! If you are one doesn’t know where to begin with your closet cleanout, check out The Ultimate Guide To Cleaning Out Your Closet.
Have you ever looked up do it yourself projects on youtube? I had no idea there were so many options and clever ideas. I caught myself saying, ‘why didn’t I think of that’ so many times.
This can be a fun things to do while bored at home with your kids. For us, we have an obsession with American Girl. If you have daughters of your own, you know what I am talking about. It’s an obsession and mighty expensive one at that.
Carlyle discovered a YouTube channel that teaches how to make your own American Girl outfits. To say how amazed and proud of her I was is an understatement. This allowed her to use her creativity and think outside of the box. This is one activity that I hope she continues to enjoy. And you never know, it may be the beginning of a future design career so she can take good care of her mommy! Ha!
There are so many fun games to enjoy as a family while bored at home, while getting a little education out of it too. We played a lot of Dog-opoly in front of the fire place during the week. Campbell learned to wheel and deal and Carlyle learned to smooch her way out of losing what was at stake. We also did a little math while playing by practicing pay-outs and giving change back. This also taught a little lesson of old-school math with carrying the one while adding up the total!
Another idea is playing hide -and-seek, but not like the one you are most likely use to. We played by hiding toys all over the house and someone going to seek them. It was fun and something different, but of course there is always an ulterior motive. I had been working on the kids to clean out their toys since before Christmas. They understand the concept of donating to another kid so that he or she can enjoy. But, the thought of getting rid of certain ones does not even cross their mind. Especially Campbell, I believe he has become a toy hoarder.
And so, while playing this toy hide and seek game, I made sure to pick certain toys that must disappear. These would be those that are no longer played with and I hid them in very hard to find places. The trick worked too. Those toys are out of the house and no one has even noticed.
There are so many ideas on pinterest for delicious recipes for kids. American Girl also has a kids cookbook with great recipes and easy for kids. There are various themes such as baking, breakfast, meals, and holiday recipes. Santa brought Carlyle the cookbook with delicious snacks, meals, and more and she has cooked some fabulous dinners.
However, cooking becomes real fun when it is so good, but so bad too. We have a family tradition of making my mom’s homemade cookie dough. The idea is to end up with baked chocolate chip cookies, which is an easy baking recipe for kids. However, the raw cookie dough is usually consumed before we even get to putting it in the oven.
When I was growing up, my mom made this every Saturday morning for me and my girlfriends. Or if she knew one of my best friends was having a bad day, she would surprise them. My kids have now made it so much that even Campbell can make it without the recipe.
While quarantined and bored at home, we made two batches and ate it all with no regret. It’s funny how satisfying that a guilty pleasure can be so rewarding sometimes.
Should you be interested in an easy baking recipe for kids, you can use the recipe below or watch on YouTube.
Dinah’s Chocolate Chip Cookies
- 1 cup of white sugar
- 1 cup of brown sugar packed tightly
- 1 block of crisco
- 2 eggs
- 2 cups of flour
- 1 tsp baking soda
- 1 tsp salt
- Enjoy the cookie dough!!
- 1-2 cups chocolate chips and blend
- Bake 375 degrees 10-12 minutes
What did we do before facetime was an option? I remember as a child watching the cartoon, The Jetson’s, and thinking it was amazing how they would call people and be able to see them on the tv. At that time, I never imagined this would become normal for us. Now to see if we eventually drive vehicles in the sky too.
While bored at home during quarantine, you can have a lot of fun with facetime. You can visit with your family and friends that you haven’t talked to in a long time. Or when it’s wine time, you can facetime with your girlfriends to visit and share a glass of wine. It may even lead to playing drinking games later as well.
During quarantine, we hopped on a facetime call with our neighbors and family friends to watch the marriage of Axel and Piper. It was a beautiful ceremony with Christmas lights along the hallway and at the alter where Axel stood waiting for his bride. Oh, and I must not forget to mention that these are Doberman dogs, not humans. Their bond had to become united in marriage so that they can breed the next time Piper is in heat, according to our friend Leighton.
7. CLEANING CONTESTS
Now, I realize that the thought of a cleaning spree does not sound fun, even when bored. But when your house is a mess and feels like dirty germs are everywhere, you make it fun. And just think of how good it makes you feel when your house smells amazing!
Our family has recently begun using a line of products containing clean ingredients and 5 luxurious scents that last forever. The company is Topanga Scents, originating in Arkansas, and the product line includes laundry detergent, fabric spray, lotions, soap, and multi-purpose cleaner. We love everything about it, even my kids. They ask to spray the fabric spray on their masks every morning before school and at night get in arguments over who is going to do the laundry, just so they can pick out the scent.
And if you haven’t tried Topanga Scents before, I highly encourage you to.
To make cleaning fun while bored at home, I made it a competition. My kids love a contest and even more to make money. And a clean house means a happy mommy. We made an experiment of diluting the laundry detergent with water and spraying on our cabinets. I was amazed at how clean they became and I’ve tried so many things to get them sparkling white.
Carlyle got slime in my antique carpet, which I hate. However, she experimented with pouring laundry detergent on it to clean and was able to get the slime up perfectly.
We washed the dog with the goat’s milk soap just to make him smell good. Afterwards, we were amazed at how soft his fur was and of course he smelled amazing.
In terms of competition, whichever kid did the most cleaning won the $5 allowance. There are a lot of other ways you can make cleaning fun with your kids shared on The Well Planned Kitchen Blog.
8. CONQUER A LONG AWAITED GOAL
For the longest, I have saved to-do lists in case I were ever to be quarantined. The pantry needed to be organized, as well as sorting books and watching recorded tv shows. Yet, since the time has now passed, those tasks still await.
However, there are other goals I have had on this journey called life, and it is blogging. I took a class last summer and then the world did a 180 in healthcare. Needless to say, this was put on the back burner.
Since I had the time now, there was a lot of brainstorming and zoom meetings with a blogging coach and of which, led me to It’s a Berry Good Life.
My point is, if you have goals (or chores), take advantage of this time to get them conquered. Some helpful hints at conquering your goals at home include making a list, rank the list in order of importance, be specific, set a deadline, keep the projects short, and reward yourself when the task is complete.
Need I say more? For someone that never gets to sit very long to even complete a show, I took full advantage of this time.
There are many Netflix series that my friends have mentioned, but the one that caught my attention most was Schitt’s Creek. Oh my gosh, if you have not watched this Netflix series, start tonight. It is hilarious! I stayed up past midnight every night as it is so addicting. I am even guilty of letting Carlyle watch some of it as she was wanting to snuggle and I couldn’t leave the couch. Luckily, she has already heard her mommy say a bad word or two so that was nothing new. Oops.
Schitt’s Creek is a Netflix series written by David and Eugene Levy, which aired between 2015 to 2020. They are both characters whom play father and son. Eugene’s daughter, Sarah Levy, plays the Cafe Tropical’s waitress.
Catherine O’Hara plays the wife and former soap opera actress. I have always loved her ever since Beetlejuice, and of course who can’t forget Eugene Levy in American Pie. All of the characters did a fantastic job and the script could not be any more perfect.
There are so many great Netflix series right now. If you have already seen Schitt’s Creek, Collider.com lists The 75 Best Netflix Shows and Original Series to Watch Right Now.
10. GET OUTSIDE
Even though you are secluded from society and treated as if you have the plaque, I encourage you to still get outside as much as you can. The few days that it was cold and rainy, I will admit we did not go outside. We may not have even showered. This eventually led us to being moody, lazy, and unproductive.
Being outdoors also has an impact on mental health, such as relieving anxiety, depression, and stress. Plus, everyone needs some exercise to feel better and stay healthy.
The fresh air also enhances oxygen flow through your blood which allows your lungs to function at full capacity.
While we were home bored during quarantine, Campbell begged me to jump on the trampoline every single day. Of course, I did not want to get away from Schitt’s Creek or my hair dryer, which I will share in another blog. It was cold and gross outside. But I also knew that wasn’t fair to him.
You should have seen me. I was bundled up as if I was going down the Canadian slopes. It was great exercise too.
So, I highly encourage you to get outside. Go for a walk or bike ride, plant a garden, make a scavenger hunt, play hopscotch, or just go outside to talk to your neighbor across two driveways. There are so many things you can do outside while bored at home during quarantine.
LEARNING FROM THINGS TO DO WHILE BORED AT HOME DURING QUARANTINE.
Sometimes, things just happen that we have no control of. I will admit, I did enjoy the mental break from work even though I was still answering calls and sending in med refills. And more than anything, I appreciated the time with my kids and not having a schedule. We were able to stay up until 1 am and sleep until 10 if we wanted to.
But I also realized how grateful I am for our health, my career, and my friends. There are many people that have been ill or lost their loved ones, struggling to find work, and have no one to help. Fortunately, we live in a town where friends still call to see what you need from the grocery store or neighbors drop off their dinner leftovers at the front door.
COVID 19 has definitely changed our lives and basically the whole world. And things will never change unless we all do our part. I encourage you to pray, wear your mask, distance yourselves, wash your hands, get your vaccine, and if you are feeling ill to please stay at home.
I would love to hear more stories and ideas on what your family did during quarantine! Or if you just want to share your two cents on the whole mess to begin with, feel free to comment or send me a message. We can always support and learn from one another during this time!
Jessica Berry, APRN