The Coronavirus pandemic has forced us all to make a number of changes to our everyday lives. Daily morning stop at Starbucks? Nope. Power lunch meeting to get deals done? More like a PB&J at home. Date night out with your significant other? Might want to Netflix and chill instead. These days most of our activities are centered around the home. Staying inside with family 24/7 can be a difficult task for even the happiest of families. Turning your house into a home office, school, daycare center, 24-hour cafeteria, movie theater, and gym all at once can certainly be a challenge. After some time, people start to feel cooped up, and this can lead to a chaotic environment. Rather than letting your household get out of control, why not try some indoor bonding activities that will keep everyone occupied on a fun task, rather than the most stressful parts of life? It is also easy to use the technology crutch with iPhones, tablets, laptops, and TV at the ready. But make sure everyone unplugs regularly and read on for some ideas of activities you can do with the whole family indoors.
Arts and crafts may seem like something you do with a young child, but in reality, crafting is something the entire family can work on. Have you seen the proliferation of adult coloring books? While making macaroni paintings may be better for younger children, you could turn to crafts like origami, scrapbooking, making decorative planters or birdhouses, and more for people of all ages. In the last couple of weeks, my kids built squirrel feeders, painted rocks, and planted herbs. My wife built a new shelf and was so proud of herself. I “assembled” an indoor putting green and was equally as pleased with myself. Although you can work separately on projects that interest each of you individually, you would get more mileage out of crafting together on a big family project.
It’s no secret that our family likes to cook together. I have written previously about our collective obsession with cooking shows. As families are unable to go out to eat, cooking as a family is a great way to have a restaurant-quality meal at home. Each person can be responsible for a particular dish, resulting in a several-course meal. Alternatively, you could work together on a single large meal with many components, such as shish kabobs or fondue. My kids have become experts in guacamole and brownie making. Guess that gives you some insights into our pandemic influenced menu these days. Be sure to encourage teamwork to keep the atmosphere light and enjoy the meal together. The act of creating and sharing a meal together and the praise they receive for their creations helps with creativity, bonding, and self-confidence.
Board games have been a staple family activity for decades. From Monopoly to The Game of Life, you likely have played board games at some point in your life. Today, there are hundreds of new games that are just as fun, and we are finding new gems and rediscovering old classics. If you aren’t looking to spend a large amount on a board game, you could instead buy a few decks of cards and learn some new card games to play. Puzzles may also be a good option for a family that is very visually inclined or has young children.
As a family, it is more important now than ever to spend quality time bonding with each other. Everyone’s a little off-kilter these days and maybe a little short on patience. Although some days may seem stressful when you are stuck inside with your family, it doesn’t have to be that way. Try out a few of these activities to take everyone’s mind off of stress and focus on a fun time together. Who knows, you may even rediscover that artistic side of yourself in the process.
Erik Halvorsen is a devoted father, loving husband, and ambitious innovator; he is consistently searching for new technology to help cure diseases, benefit patients’ lives, and change how we experience healthcare. He was named one of the top 30 Chief Innovation Officers in healthcare in the country, and he has been listed as one of the Top 40 Under 40 in Boston. Erik is also a member of the Forbes Technology Council.