When we’re grounded and can’t go anywhere, whether it’s due to the weather (rain or snow) or this crazy virus of 2020. When inside and boredom are the new normal, and traveling has screeched to a silent halt, what in the world is there to do while we are social distancing? We pulled our resources to bring you these fun things to do inside including doodling, board games, cooking challenges, virtual tours, and more.
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Fun Things to Do Inside During Bad Weather or Crazy Virus
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Most of you know I grew up on an Iowa farm, at the bottom of a hill (obviously) in the middle of (what I thought) was nowhere. When the snow came a-blowing, drifts would literally prevent us from leaving, until we dug ourselves out. Can anyone say “cabin fever?”
The school bus couldn’t get to us, and my Dad couldn’t get to his “day job” at the cement plant until all hands (6 kids, mom, and dad) on deck picked up a shovel and started digging, starting first with Dad’s tractor. Next up, the long driveway. And we dug with a vengeance. Because once I clearly saw that our rocky country road was clear, cabin fever settled in and stayed — even though the roads still might not be safe.
From virtual field trips, online doodling to family board game challenges, here are some great ideas for fun things to do inside to ease the boredom of social distancing and keep you and your family entertained.
Draw, Doodle and Write
Doodle with Mo Willems, Illustrator/Author of books such as Don’t Let the Pigeon Drive the Bus! And Knuffle Bunny during his FREE online doodle sessions. He will teach young artists to draw, doodle, and write. Be sure to download daily activity pages.
New episodes will be posted each weekday at 1:00 p.m. ET (during the COVID-19 virus pandemic), but also remain online to be streamed afterward. These can be accessed via YouTube or this link through the Kennedy Center.
Doodling doesn’t have to be limited to inside and writing on pieces of paper When it’s not raining or snowing, take the fun outside to the sidewalk (and during pandemics maintain a safe distance).
Lego Building Challenges
Okay, I know this a list of “fun things to do inside,” but whether it’s raining or snowing, virus pandemic or not, take time to enjoy the weather and get outside. But do it safely. If the roads are icy or flooded, stay home. If it’s a virus pandemic, and you can’t get outdoors without maintaining social distancing, stay home.
However, your family can still be healthy and practice social isolation because there’s still lots of space out there in your hometown. Avoid the playground, but hit the trails. Take a hike, walk, or bike and explore your neighborhood. Walk your dog! I live in a western suburb of Denver, and I’ve walked the dog daily early in the morning and rarely see anyone else out and about.
Break out the Board Games
When the going gets bored, the bored open up a board game. Or a card game, or any number of other family time games. We are a board game family and Classic Monopoly lands high on our list. (Monopoly Junior or Monopoly Unicorns & Llamas as a back-up when younger grandchildren want to play). Trust me, it’s every man and child for themselves (in a friendly competitive way) as none of our family members like to lose.
Here are a few of our family favorites and variations:
- Left Right Center – we like the super-size version with the littles.
- Uno Card Game
- Scrabble or Scrabble Junior
- The Game of Life
- Clue Classic Mystery Game
- Kids Against Maturity – fun Family game night
- Catch Phrase – we just played this with ages 5 to 60 (although we had to help the youngest one with reading). Everyone loved it!
- Family Feud (family edition)
- Yahtzee — brings back a lot of Iowa snowed in days memories!
Still bored? Our friends at TravelingMom.com offer over 70+ family board games for every age.
Home Chef Challenge
As a grandparent, I have always shared cooking time with my grandkids just as I did with my daughters. I’ve shared my own recipes for coleslaw, sweet potato pie, deviled eggs, banana bread, cookies, cakes, and more. If you’re stuck inside, take the family to the kitchen, not only will the kids and/or grandkids learn worthwhile skills, but your home will smell tantalizing delicious.
If your family is already up to par in the kitchen, how about a Home Chef Challenge? Make it fun and fair. Divide up into teams. Grandma or Mom can be the helpers, and then both parents or grandparents can share judging responsibilities.
Learn a Foreign Language
Do your future vacations include travel to Mexico, Spain, France, or Italy? If you’re planning a family vacation, romantic getaway, girlfriend travels to distant locations, then take your inside time as the perfect opportunity to learn a foreign language. Years ago, back when CDs and books were the learning tools, I tried Rosetta Stone to refresh my knowledge of Spanish — and LOVED it. Choose one language or several.
Want to save money? Rosetta Stone offers an online version with an unlimited language subscription. Very affordable and fun!.
Start a Book Club – Virtually
If you and your family are truly going stir crazy, start a virtual book club. You could even create one for the kids and another for the adults. Make Start a Facebook group and go live. Other options to invite a group are Zoom. Invite your friends to read a specific book, then set a date for all to join and discuss the book – virtually.
Consider joining Book of the Month Club together. Choose the same book and it will automatically be sent to each of the book club members. Set a date and time to virtually meet and discuss the book.
Virtual Field Trips – Travel the World from Home
Even when you’re stuck indoors, your family can travel the world at home via Virtual Field Trips. Explore and experience, the Great Wall of China, Yellowstone National Park, Amazon Rainforest, even take your living room journey to Mars! Read more about the possibilities at Virtual Field Trips: Explore & Experience the World.
Take Quiet Time for YOU to Maintain Your Sanity
Let’s end with the most important aspect of social distancing and being stuck inside. Maintain your sanity. I’m raising my hand on this one because I seriously get crazy cabin fever even at just the slightest warning of a snow storm. While I don’t have children at home, my daughters do, and I can’t even imagine the stress of online learning…when not prepared to do so. Remember to take care of yourself during this inside time.
If “I’m drained” is your constant mantra when quarantined inside, then take quick moments or longer to simply allow yourself to unwind and relax. It’s okay to social distance yourself from your family for some me-time. Tell the hubby and kids you need 30 minutes (or however much time you need).
Mediate. Pull out your yoga mat. Breathe in and breathe out. Listen to music or a podcast with your headphones or buds. Read a book (sign up for Kindle Unlimited reading/listening). Pour a glass of wine. Take the dog for a walk. Take yourself for a walk. But do take care of yourself.
FREE Resources for Fun Things to do Inside
Even if you’re not homeschooling, these free resources are perfect to order in advance to have your own personal library of fun things to do inside.
- Virtual Field Trips
- Homeschool.com offers FREE Printables & Worksheets
- Free educational materials through the mail
- Another Free homeschool curriculum and resources at OnlyPassionateCuriosity
- Got science & health kid-geeks? Get free government resources broken down by grade levels and categories that include health, food safety, ecology, earth science, astronomy, scientific research, courtesy of HomeEducator.
- During the Covid19 Virus social distancing time period, click here for Education Companies Offering Free Subscriptions due to School Closings.
Tips from Bloggers with More Fun Things to Do Inside
- From reading a book to bingo, 25 fun ideas to keep your kids busy while stuck at home.