Although we’ve been tasked with staying home during this time, rest assured there are still an array of activities you can do to be productive, while also spending quality time with your family. To help make the most of this time, here are some ideas that do much more than just pass the time. From family-fun activities to super-charging your fitness routine, there are a multitude of ways to make the most of your time at home as we patiently wait to return to our normal lifestyle.
Create more family time with movie time.
While it may seem obvious, watching a movie together as a family is popular for several reasons. First, you can all be together, although it’s still important to maintain proper physical distancing. While maintaining the recommended 6 ft distance from one another may seem challenging, with proper seating space and the fact many households have larger flatscreen TVs, several family members can still be together for viewing either recent blockbuster movie releases or re-visiting some of the classics. And you don’t necessarily need to use a paid subscription to pricey cable channels either. In fact, just recently, Amazon announced it is offering more than 40 free children's TV shows through Prime Video for free to anyone with a Prime account, including "Mr. Roger's Neighborhood," "Arthur," and "Reading Rainbow." In addition, IMDb TV, which Amazon owns, just added several family movies that can be viewed for free, including "Shrek Forever After" and "The Muppets Take Manhattan." Other free or deeply discounted streaming services have announced similar promotions and can be found quickly by searching online. It’s also worth a call to your cable TV provider to check if special movie package rates are available. Often times there are promotions that are deeply discounted or free of charge. For the increased activity in your TV room, now is a perfect time to consider an entertainment center to enhance your viewing experience. Tailored Living specializes in designing functional yet stylish space-saving shelving and cabinets that provide seamless, intuitive organization. From cabinets that conceal cable boxes and DVD players to shelving for DVDs and books, we provide a customized approach to maximize your existing space - beautifully.
Celebrate the fun and benefits of reading.
In recent years, significant progress has been made to encourage reading, especially among children. That’s because the benefits of good reading habits include improved comprehension, which can lead to enhanced academic performance. Throughout this stay at home period, daily family reading, whether individually or as a group, can be extremely rewarding and fun. Classics, such as Mark Twain’s Huckleberry Finn or Robert Louis Stevenson’s Treasure Island can entertain readers of all ages, while providing an opportunity to connect with your children. It’s likely you have several books at home that can also provide excellent educational benefits. Books or magazines on our environment and nature are a great way to inform and inspire. National Geographic magazine is just one example and can be accessed online or through many public libraries via their local website. For those on a budget, Apple Books has a collection of free books in nearly every genre and for all ages, plus a "first in a series" promotion that lets readers get the first book in a different series for free. And don’t forget the classic bedtime stories for your little ones. From Grimm’s Fairy Tales, to Dr. Seuss, children love hearing bedtime stories, and parents will appreciate this special together time as well.
Re-Discover the fun of board and card games.
Looking for even more interactive ideas with family members? Then consider playing board or card games as a way to bring family together. Children of all ages want and need to spend time with each other and with parents, so why not use this time in an activity that offers loads of fun while exercising your brain, which is a muscle after all – playing games. Chances are, you probably have at least a few challenging and fun board games in a closet, so while using your at-home time to reorganize closets or game rooms, set aside a few of your favorites, then make some time after dinner to launch into a game of Risk, Scrabble, or Trivial Pursuit. Younger kids may enjoy the popular Chutes and Ladders game. In addition to the family fun interaction aspects of board games, there are also a host of health benefits. According to Health Fitness Revolution, a Houston-based organization that provides education and guidance on how to live a healthier lifestyle, researchers have found that encouraging your kids to play a board game helps them practice essential cognitive skills, such as problem-solving. Our brain’s hippocampus and prefrontal cortex are responsible for complex thought and memory formation, and playing board games helps stimulate these areas. Playing board games can help grandma and grandpa, too. Researchers continue to believe that playing a variety of “brain training games” can help keep the mind sharp. They may not prevent a brain from normal aging, but they can help keep a brain healthy, alert and finely tuned. This additional stay at home period is also a great opportunity to reorganize your game or family room. Tailored Living can provide customized shelving and storage solutions to optimize your existing space, and in the latest finishes, colors, and styles.
Plant a vegetable garden…it’s the perfect time of year.
Following the stay at home guidelines doesn’t mean you have to stay indoors, especially with our pleasant springtime weather approaching. If you’re keeping your physical distancing from others, you can spend quality time outdoors. For many, this may be the perfect time to plant your own vegetable garden. One of the many benefits to home-grown vegetables is the taste. It’s often said, for good reason, there is no comparison between the taste of a garden-fresh tomato and one bought from a grocery store that's devoid of flavor. Though growing your own vegetables may seem complex or time consuming to some, it’s actually quite simple. Even if you don’t have a yard, a patio garden or even an indoor herb garden on a windowsill is a great option. You’ll be surprised at how many tomatoes or peppers you can grow out of one pot! Aside from the great taste and money you’ll save from growing your own vegetable and herbs, you’ll likely realize some added health benefits too. That’s because consuming more fresh fruits and vegetables is one of the most beneficial things you can do to stay healthy. Freshly picked vegetables from your garden offer enhanced vitamin content, and also help reduce the risk of eating vegetables that might contain harmful chemicals. And let’s not forget that planting your own garden is a great way to get children involved in the gardening process, making it more likely they will try eating those veggies that you’ve been encouraging.
Use the added home time to “feed” your body and soul.
Whether or not you have your own fitness or workout room at home, you can still find inexpensive ways to stay fit, while nurturing your mind. One of the easiest ways to relax while adding a dose of fitness to your day is through yoga. And yoga is a great activity for you and a spouse or partner, since you can offer tips and help each other during your session. YouTube offers several free beginner and intermediate yoga classes that allow you to participate at your own level at times that work for you and your schedule. You can also try an array of other fitness exercises that are conducive to staying home. These include push-ups, bent knee push-ups, bent knee sit-ups, and front and side planks, just to name a few. If you find you are short on space for a workout room, now is the perfect time to think about extending your living space by reorganizing your garage. You’ll be amazed at the added space that comes from sorting through what you need and don’t need. Tailored Living can design a variety of garage shelving, overhead storage, wall storage, and cabinets that can transform your garage into a multi-functional space. They can also add garage flooring as a solution for a variety of workout routines.
Stay connected with homemade greeting cards.
Throughout these challenging days ahead it’s important we stay connected to family and loved ones. Making and sending hand-crafted greeting cards is a fun and inexpensive way to brighten someone’s day with a thoughtful card that expresses your appreciation and encouragement, while putting a smile on their face. Creating handmade greeting cards is also a unique way for you and your family to re-connect and do something creative. All you need are scissors, some construction paper, glue, and a pen. Add in some extra imagination, glitter and some stickers and you’ll impress them with your new, emerging card talent.
As you can see, there are a myriad of ways you can make your time at home fun and special while things get back to normal. At Tailored Living, we are here to help - from space-saving cabinets and custom closet design, to garage storage solutions and flooring. Remember, we’re all in this together, and we’ll get through this together - emerging stronger than ever.