The COVID-19 pandemic continues to compel millions of Americans to shelter in place and work from home for the foreseeable future. Social distancing requirements may be viewed as an opportunity to reconnect as a family.
If you are self-quarantining or sheltering in place, we have seven activities you can do as a family to help pass the time:
- Train Your Dog: Does Lassie beg at the table? Pull on the leash? Ignore your commands “sit”, “lie down” and “heel”? If so, now might the time for some hands on training. The American Kennel Club has a number of basic training videos you can use, so does the Best Friends Animal Society. You could even try YouTube for lessons from professional trainers. For successful training, make sure all family members are on board and participate. Professional trainers suggest that you will need to be consistent in how you interact with your dog if you want the lessons to stick for the long run.
- Learn a New Language or Instrument: Not knowing when the restrictions from the pandemic being lifted, it’s a good time to pick up a new skill. That could mean learning a new instrument, perfecting a new language or even trying a new art form, like painting, dancing or singing. You can learn these new skills as a family. To learn a new language, you can try tools like Duolingo, Babbel or Rosetta Stone. Trying a new instrument, you might want to try Fender Play for guitar or Flowkey for piano.
- Check Your Home Safety Equipment: Having your home equipped with properly functioning safety devices is always important. You can use time to check your fire extinguishers and replace your smoke alarm batteries.
- Give Your Kids Real-Life Lessons: With schools starting the year with e-learning, why not use this quarantine time to teach some much-needed and age-appropriate life skills to your kids? You may want to show them how to:
- Care for their pets – teach them to feed or bathe the dog, clean the hamster cage or fishbowl, or even brush their pets. This is a great lesson if you are one of the families bringing home pets to foster during this time.
- Maintain their bikes – if the garage is full of bikes, scooters and other ride-on toys, give your kids a lesson on caring for these items. How to add air to a flat tire, what to do if the chains get tangled or if their seat gets crooked? Take a ride around the neighborhood as a reward.
- Sew a button – have your own home economics class by showing your kids how to replace a button on a sweater, sew up a rip, or fix a torn ear on their teddy bear. These are lessons that will come in handy later in life.
- Garden – if the weather is nice, head out to the garden and show the kids how to plant, weed, mulch and fertilize. If you have sprinkler system, show them how to use that as well.
- Do laundry – the task of doing laundry can be a valuable lesson to learn. Showing your kids how to separate colors and explain how to choose the right water temperature. Have them load the washer, push the buttons, move loads to the dryer, fold the clothes and anything else you think they can handle. Asking your kids to help with the laundry could also help free up some of your time while you are working from home.
- Take care of the yard – they know how to care for the garden, now move on to the lawn. Show them how to trim the trees, mow the grass and edge the yard. You can also have them help rake the leaves or clear the grass clipping from the sidewalk.
- Invent a new game: Are you trying to avoid too much screen time on device or the TV? Invent a new board game as one of your family activities. All you need is a piece of paper or cardboard, some markers and a little creativity. You could even have each family member create their own game and then come together as a group for a pizza and game night.
- Exercise together and make it fun: Staying active is important, but it doesn’t mean grueling hours on the treadmill or stationary bike. To keep it fun, try some family activities that double as exercise. You might want to set up an obstacle course in the backyard, have a field day, or head to a local track to race each other. You could even start a game of tag. You can ride bikes and walk the dog too.
- Inspect your home: Since we are all spending the majority of your time in the house these days, it is important to ensure your home is safe, in good working order and hazard-free. Take the time now to do a visual inspection of any exposed plumbing, check the state of your gutters and downspouts and assess your appliance hoses and exterior water fixtures for any damage. Educate your children on the basics of these home maintenance tasks to give them a foundational understanding to build on as they get older. Now is the time to fix these smaller issues and it can help prevent bigger and costlier ones later on.
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R.C. Keller & Company has been serving the Schaumburg community since 1910, we are your one-stop shop for your home insurance, auto insurance, life insurance and business insurance needs. The COVID-19 pandemic has brought a temporary adjustment to our lives, but R.C. Keller & Company will always be here for our clients when they need us the most. If there is anything we can do for you, please do not hesitate to contact us.