Updated: Mar 21
I wish I could share with you a Top 10 List of super exciting events to check out this weekend, but we all know the drill right now.
I'd love to share a Top 10 List of activities instead, but the truth is, like many of you, my plate is full. I'm working full time. I'm trying to prepare my home office. I'm trying to stock my cupboards. I'm trying to figure out how to celebrate my son's third birthday party without our family or friends. It's all a bit overwhelming, but I'm trying to make the best of it, because there are worse things right now than being stuck at home.
While I may not have a big list of ideas this week, I did want to share a few activities that we've been up to in my house, as well as some remote or virtual events worth checking out, in case you need a little inspiration in the days to come.
If you aren't familiar with geocaching, it's a really fun way to go on an adventure and hunt for "treasure." Basically, a geocache is a container that someone hides, marking the location of the cache by it's coordinates. Check out geocaching.com (which has an app), and you can quickly see that there are so many hidden in our area, just waiting to be discovered.
Using a GPS or mobile device and following any clues provided, your task is to find the hidden geocache. Once you do, you can take something from the container, and leave something behind. I've uncovered many containers from rotted tree trunks or under rocks, but you never know where you might find one. Most are camouflaged really well, so you'll find yourself at the coordinates but still searching high and low for the hidden location. Geocaching turns any hike into a great adventure. Usually, they are hidden a bit off the beaten path, so you likely won't need to worry about running into people. That said, you should still take the recommended social distancing precautions, keep your hands clean, etc.. Also, ticks are out, so dress appropriately, and check yourself and clothes for any hitchhikers.
2) Rock Artwork
I don't think this idea would have ever occurred to me before having a child, but on Sunday, I spent hours of my day walking and biking around the neighborhood, inspecting and collecting rocks, rinsing them, selecting our chosen paint colors, and decorating. So suffice to say, you could easily make a day of it. Just ask your little one to assign rocks as a gift to your loved ones, and they'll be invested in decorating for everyone.
On Monday, my son was inspecting his artwork with great pride, and asking to paint again. It's such a simple project, but a definite winner. If you don't have a little one, create some pebble art. This is a growing trend, and you can see a cute DIY example here, as inspiration.
3) Make A Favorite Recipe
I know, this is a "duh" idea, but baking and cooking can be a great stress reliever, and my son loves to help. This is a good time to slow down, and to add a little extra love into whatever you're making. My son and I make muffins every weekend, and with the added time at home, we decided to throw caution to the wind this past weekend and make bacon and cheddar scones, too (and oh, it was worth it).
I always feel a bit nostalgic thinking back to when I was little, and my mom would let me help stir the brownie batter. I hope that one day, my son looks back to our muffin mornings with a similar fondness.
4) Paper Mâché
When I was trying to think of something unique to do for my son's birthday, I thought about his love of vehicles, hiding, and Dr. Seuss, and decided I wanted to make him a Lorax-inspired vehicle out of cardboard boxes. We always have some boxes lying around the house, but I had limited supplies. I rounded up what tape, glue and paint I could find and tried to piece together multiple pieces of cardboard. The tape wasn't really holding, and I ran out of glue fast. Then I remembered those paper mâché art projects in grade school and decided that was it! I searched for a simple recipe (you just need flour and water), took a very old book that was no longer getting any use, ripped out the pages, dipped, applied, dried, and voila! It took quite a bit of time, I won't lie. But that's the good news, because we have plenty of time. So, think of a cool project you might want to create, mix up some flour and water, and a lot of imagination, and have some fun.
I don't know where on earth I'm going to store this Dr.Seuss-mobile. But I'm still pretty happy with the final message.
5) Chalk It Up
Thankfully, it's getting warmer, so grab your chalk (if you have some), and add some color to your driveway or sidewalks. You can even draw up some hopscotch lines and burn some energy. Make it more of an activity by searching for your "lucky" around the neighborhood or house first (it could be as simple as a stone or a coin). We opted to teach hopscotch another day (my son is only turning 3), and instead, we drew stars and a BIG rainbow, with him choosing each color along the way. It's the little things in life, right?
Some Other Ideas:
Cincinnati Zoo & Botanical Garden is offering Home Safari Facebook Live seven days a week, with "fun and educational content to people who are stuck at home." To watch, just visit the Zoo's Facebook page at 3pm each day. They will also post on their website, and YouTube.
Paint & Sip VT announced that they will be offering virtual paint and sip classes, so follow them to hear details.
Take an online yoga class. Just do it. We all need it right now. Check out Evolution PT + Yoga.
Participate in Lunch Doodles with Mo Willems. Grab your paper, pencils, crayons or other supplies and join him remotely to draw and doodle each weekday at 1PM.
I'm sure there are many other companies offering some great virtual experiences, or on the cusp of doing so, and I'll share more as I find them.
One last note. With all this extra time at home, it makes perfect sense to do some spring cleaning. In the process, take stock of the various materials you have around your house, like markers, papers, boxes, tape, fabric or other. You can get all kinds of crafty once you know what you have to work with. I once used old fabric to sew new covers for my throw pillows, by hand. It gave me something to do, and it spruced up my couch in the process.
These are unprecedented times. I'm thinking of you all out there! Remember to be patient and kind to one another, and get some sleep.
Bri // Busy Btown