What to do when you’re stuck at home.

Unless you live on another planet, you know about the coronavirus. It has basically halted all public activities, events, and business for at least the next month. But just because it has stopped everything temporarily doesn’t mean we can’t go on living.

So now that your family is home indefinitely, what do you do? Well, luckily, there are PLENTY of things that you can do to be productive. To help guide you through this difficult time, I’ve compiled a list of activities, goals, and tasks to complete during quarantine.

When You Need To Stay Inside…

ORGANIZE

If you’re stuck inside and have a free moment, get some decluttering and organizing done! Separate out household items that have served their purpose and research local charities and donation opportunities. While there is no comprehensive online list of donation centers, many organizations such as the Epilepsy Foundation and Big Brothers Big Sisters will allow you to leave curb-side donations for pick-up.

Not sure where to start? Check out this list of 25 Things You Can Purge Right Now to help in your decision making:

Already taken care of those things? Then visit my blog for other ideas on what and how to organize different aspects of your home.

If you’re having trouble, The Chaos Boss can help you through virtual coaching: request information here about a virtual organizing session today!

INDOOR PLAY

If you have the kids home from school during quarantine, then your play options (and sanity) might get worn out. But when the weather isn’t cooperating, you can still have fun inside!

Traditional family-centered activities such as reading, talking, and telling stories are wonderful, but if you have to work remotely from home, then independent or self-directed activities are critical. There are MANY websites offering “independent play” ideas, but the basic gist of self-direction is just that: supply resources and let your child chart their own course.

The self-directed play continuum contains a wide variety of outcomes: some activities allow for more child-led discovery than others. But it doesn’t matter: Play is play is play.

Three versatile sites to get you brainstorming ideas are Busy Toddler, the Imperfect Homemaker, and We Are Teachers. Some resources / activities you can try at home with little to no set-up are:

  • building/construction (cardboard, sponges, pots & pans, foam, stuffed animals, towels, you name it…)
  • homemade playdough (make your own here!)
  • artmaking (found object art, construction paper collage, puff painting, etc.)
  • puppetmaking / puppeting
  • file-folder games
  • water bin with toys
  • sensory bins
  • music-making/singing or listening to music that encourages movement (“Baby Shark”, “Cotton-Eyed Joe”, “Hokey-Pokey”, “Shake Your Sillies Out”, “Button Factory”, etc.)
  • dot art
  • journaling
  • dress-up / pretend play
  • tetris-inspired felt board

CLEANING & HOUSEHOLD TASKS

Our homes tend to suffer the most when we are busy with other aspects of our lives. So since you’re stuck there anyway, make the most of it!

Better Homes and Gardens has an extensive list of what to clean and when, so you’ll be sure not to miss anything. And this is the PERFECT time to get all those DIY projects done!

PRACTICE SELF CARE

Don’t forget to take care of yourself! Being stuck at home is taxing, but we will all survive this. See above for some great ideas and visuals from Sacha Chua, and feel free to visit her flickr account for more inspo.

When You Can Go Outside

HIKING / WALKING

As long as you’re practicing safe social-distancing and conducting tick-checks, this is a very doable and healthy option. There are a number of resources online to find places for outdoor walking and hiking. Alltrails.com is a fantastic resource for locating new and exciting outdoor adventures. The Hiking Project and backroads.com are two more excellent resources for finding trails and connecting with nature.

If you’re like my family and looking for ways to entertain the kids while practicing outdoor safety (ie. tick checks) and social distancing, then check out these 50 free nature walk printables.

While it’s nice to encourage the abstract concept of “observing” nature, these resources are helpful for those of us with very young children or kiddos who would benefit from a bit more direction and visual prompting.

Either way, be safe and go have an adventure! 🌿🍂🐿

OUTDOOR PLAY

Play-based learning is the best way for children to experience their world, and outdoor play allows them access to understanding their natural surroundings. Some ideas of things you can do outside are:

  • dirt play
  • mud kitchens
  • ride bicycles
  • collecting rocks
  • chalk drawing
  • sporting activities (teeball, soccer, basketball, etc.)
  • chalk obstacle course
  • I-spy
  • scavenger hunt
  • for more ideas, check out this Pinterest Board featuring outdoor play-based activities

SHOW YOUR YARD SOME LOVE

Spring is pretty much here in New England, which means it’s time for yard preparation for warmer weather! Here are some spring clean-up ideas of what you can accomplish outside around your house to get it ready for outdoor celebrations.

Organizing isn’t just for inside your house. And since you have some extra time on your hands, it’s the perfect time to get all those outdoor projects started and/or finished.

I’ll keep adding to this as time goes on, but if you have ideas for keeping things interesting and productive, please share below!

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