My son said, “I don’t feel stir crazy” as we finished our first of the activities below today. That’s a great testimonial for the value of doing these activities with your family! So get started.

10. LEARN TO SEW

You may have thought about taking your kids to a sewing class or taking one yourself, but these can cost lots of money and might not be offered when you want to take them. Instead, take the opportunity now to teach your kids how to sew (if you already know how) or learn to sew with your kids (if you don’t already know). You will be amazed at how chatty kids can get when they start sewing. There are some good super easy tutorials online whether you like text with pictures or video tutorials. To start for younger kids you can practice on styrofoam or paper plates. If you don’t think you have fabric handy, think again! Look in your closets for those clothes you don’t like or that don’t fit you anymore and remake those into new creations. You can find tons of easy projects online like these key chains and bookmarks or sock puppets, stuffed animals, and bags. You will be teaching/learning a practical skill that can help you recycle, reuse, reduce in the future!

9. ENJOY SOME YOGA TIME

Stretching can help both the mind and body especially when we inevitably spend too much time in our homes looking at our screens. Spend some time doing yoga indoors (or outside whenever possible) with the young ones to get their bodies moving! You can start with simple yoga poses like Downward Dog, Tree, Plank, Cat-Cow and Child’s Pose or explore the great variety of yoga poses there are to choose from. There are plenty of free yoga videos online and apps for your phone. Some are even meant just for kids so adults can get some work done. KidsYogaStories.com and Childhood101.com offer free printable kid friendly yoga pose posters. Many sites offer entire yoga routines including specific child friendly ones like fromabcstoacts.com with their animal themed yoga poses in alphabetical order!

8. FIND A PENPAL

As a child I had a penpal. The fond memory lasted much longer than the short-lived penpal relationship. Nonetheless, I loved the idea then and now because more than ever people are excited when they see anything other than junk mail in their mailboxes. Except for the occasional card, ‘snailmail’ correspondences are essentially a thing of the past. Now is a great time to rekindle this pastime and BTW you are never to old to be a penpal! I recommend proceeding in three stages. First, brainstorm who should be the lucky recipient of the letter. Focus on who will most appreciate it AND be most likely to write back. Second, find the perfect stationary. Ordinary copy or loose-leaf paper will do but make sure to add stickers, drawings, or cut it into a fun shape. I once found perforated stationary sheets that could be separated after the letter was written to be a nine piece jigsaw puzzle for the receiver. So be creative! Third, write the letter. Believe it or not, this is the hard part because neither kids or adults are used to writing in this nostalgically intimate way anymore. To get some ideas on what to write, check out these 50 topics and these 75 questions. For someone entirely new to the penpal experience use these sites to explore the letter writing format and the history of penpals.

7. LOOK THROUGH OLD PHOTOS

Somewhere you may have an old photo album in hard copy from the days when people used to print photos. Take it out if you do and show your family. If you don’t have a hard copy album, then use wherever it is that you do store your pictures. In a pinch, Facebook has your entire history in images since you joined. After you’ve gathered your family around and while you go through your photos, go ahead and tell some stories…just not too many or they will start to zone out. The storytelling is the important part. Tell them the stories that you used to tell so often that your friends and family got bored of listening to you. Your kids haven’t heard these yet! It will be like the ending of Lady and the Tramp when Trusty says “I don’t recollect if I’ve ever mentioned Ol’ Reliable before?” You might forget some of the details, but the kids will love hearing what you do remember just the same. Even ten years ago seems like an eternity away to them so while you are at it explain what it was like during those days and indulge in keeping up the oral tradition.

6. CHECK OUT ONE-A-DAY SITES

If your family, like most, is spending too much time on screens, set some ground rules! Agree that everyone check out 1-5 of these One-A-Day sites each day. The quick tidbits you’ll pick up make for great mealtime conversation as everyone exchanges notes about what they’ve learned.

  • Daily Infographic “We scour the internet for data visualizations with the best content and design to bring easily consumed facts and figures to our users.”
  • A.Word.A.Day. “Wordsmith is a worldwide online community of people who share a love for words, wordplay, language, and literature. “
  • Fact of the Day “Launched in July, 2013, it has shown its facts over 200 million times, and was selected among the Top 100 websites of 2013 by the prestigious PC Magazine, and as one of the 99 Sites That Every Professional Should Know About by Business Insider”
  • Photo of the Day These beautiful images brought to you daily by National Geographic. The sites requires email sign up with the perk that these will then come directly to your inbox!
  • Today in History “HistoryNet.com is brought to you by Historynet LLC, the world’s largest publisher of history magazines.”

5-1. FUN ACTIVITIES

For more great activities check out the five ideas we posted yesterday! Read the full post here.

WE LOVE YOUR FEEDBACK AND IDEAS!

Let us know what you’ve tried, and share some stories with us!