Is the physical distancing and hunkering down at home starting to make days feel like Groundhog Day? Yup, here, too. We are trying to add some interest and diversity to our days by finding some news ways to have fun. Here are some new socially-isolated fun activities we’ve enjoyed the past few weeks, even the teens. (Whether or not they admit it is another story.)
Playing games, including a fun new one
Family game night is an old stand by and it’s gotten a lot of attention in the past month. But are you sick of your games? The good folks at Cards Against Humanity released a printable Family Edition that’s got a lot of bathroom humor, a few references to body parts that may make you squirm a bit and a ton of laughs.
Bonus – the instructions include washing your hands for 20 seconds.
Inspired by the ESPN HORSE Tournament, we’ve started playing HORSE in our driveway with our long-neglected basketball hoop. We may not be great, but it’s a good excuse to get outside and move a bit. Even if the weather isn’t great, it’s a pretty quick game so even if just one round mixes things up and effectively fights the monotony. Also, it’s been fun coming with other five-letter words to play. Mix things up, friends. My teen daughter isn’t the sportiest but I was surprised that she listed this one of her favorite fun new things to do. You never know what’s going to fly with teens, do you?
Baking new treats, including the DoubleTree Chocolate Chip Cookie Recipe
If you’ve checked in at a DoubleTree hotel, you know they offer a scrumptious chocolate chip cookie at the front desk. They’ve made their recipe public – you can find it here.
While it’s a good cookie and a welcome delight after a day of traveling, I prefer mine without nuts (please don’t come after me), so the ability to make them to my taste is a big win. The recipe is newly released, so while chocolate chip cookies are the OG treat, you know this is a new to your family version.
Making new friends like Wellington the Penguin
Admittedly, it’s not easy to make new friends when social distancing is the name of the game but the good folks at the Shedd Aquarium have made it easy to meet and fall in love with Wellington, a rockhopper penguin, as he takes field trips around the premises and makes new friends himself.
It’s fun to check in and see what he’s up to on a daily basis via the the aquarium’s Facebook, Twitter and Instagram pages. They’ve even encouraged interactive projects like writing a haiku for him on Haiku Day. Making a new friend at the aquarium may not be the first thing that would come to your teen’s mind as a rock(hopper)ing good time with new peeps, but he’s warmed the hearts of my entire family and been a bright spot the past couple weeks.
(Also, for fun, check out this video on the surprisingly hilarious topic of Benedict Cumberbatch’s pronunciation of the world “penguin.”)
Discover new music
Music can is good for the soul, and a great way to connect with your kids. Make a Spotify family playlist and have everyone contribute favorite tunes. Turn it on during dinner prep and the odds of a dance party breaking out go up dramatically.
Check out one of the scores of online concerts, tune into DJ D-Nice’s Instagram Live events for a fun jam session (or check out his account for playlists, including an 80’s-inspired homeschool playlist that I’m loving and seems to offend my teen a little less with D-Nice’s seal of approval).
Broadway babies – check out the live-streamed Salute to Stephen Sondheim in honor the composer’s birthday featuring a crazy array of stars.
Some Good News
Some Good News – a 15-20 minute bit of awesomeness by John Krasinski – has so far been released on Sunday nights and it’s become must-see YouTube for my family. It never fails to be a wonderful end to the weekend.
It has also inspired other odd challenges around my house, such as timing how long it takes to unload the dishwasher and set new records. Given my family’s competitive nature, we will likely not have as many coffee mugs as we did when quarantine first started.
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