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Ten Fun Things to Do While Schools are Closed

Updated: Apr 15, 2020

Today I logged into Instagram and reality TV star Tami Roman posted the funniest video on her @OfficialBonnetChronicle page.

A couple of weeks ago I posted a blog to help adults struggling to deal with the stay at home and safer at home orders issued by local officials. After watching little miss throw her temper tantrum, and rightfully so, I decided to do a follow-up blog for those struggling to keep the kiddies occupied. Let’s call it Q’ Club, with the Q meaning Quarantine.

First, let me say, I am a mommy of three girls, all adults now. I must admit, I did okay. I now have two beautiful grandchildren, so I’m not all that out of touch.

Are you a parent or caregiver pulling out your hair a month into the Coronavirus quarantine? Keep reading for these ten fun things you can do to keep the kids busy and save your sanity.

Why Do You Need a Kid’s Q’ Club?

Unless you’re off social media for a Lent fast (like I’m supposed to be), or you just don’t have time for it, you’ve missed a lot. Adults have been having parties online and jamming out to some great music. It started with popular DJs playing the greatest hits.

Now popular artists are going live and performing one-hour free concerts. If that isn’t enough, channels like TVOne and FoxSoul are hosting old-school performers and conducting great interviews.

Celebrities and everyday folks have been showing off their creativity with fun and engaging TikTok videos to get us through the day. Speaking of TikTok, I might as well start the 10 things here.

1. Create a TikTok Video

If you remember the fun days of doing it for the Vine, you already have the gist of TikTok. It

is a video streaming app that’s been around for about five years but only recently started taking over the internet. People match music to their antics and post to social media.

With TikTok people have reenacted their favorite songs created family dance challenges, and more.

For our Q’ Club activity, I’d like to suggest my two TikTok favorites. Both can be done whether everyone is in the same house or separate locations. Disclaimer: You may need a TikTok tutorial on downloading and installation. Don’t fret, the goal is to keep the kids engaged, right? Learning TikTok can be a new activity.

Multigeneration Challenge

This challenge typically requires a family of four generations. Start with the youngest walking past the camera followed by their parent and then their parent’s parent, and then their parent’s parent, parent. Got it!

You can also do this with siblings going from youngest to oldest and then adding the parents.

Don’t Rush Challenge

A little more intuitive and can span the globe in imagination is the Don’t Rush challenge. I’ve seen doctors going from scrubs to party outfits, make-up artists passing tools to show-off before and after makeovers. High school sports teams have also created their own. Below is an example of the Don’t Rush Family Challenge.

2. Host a Family Bake-off

Who doesn’t love cookies and cupcakes? Q’ Club is a great time to teach kids the basic skills we once learned in home economics. Remember, how to bake, cook, use a measuring cup, read a recipe… Yeah, kids don’t learn that any more.

For homes with multiple children, you can bake cookies and allow the kids to decorate them.

It can be both educational and fun. Use it as a reward for completing school work and keeping their bedrooms in order.

3. Create a Backyard Obstacle Course

Families living in single-family homes may have more success with this one. If you live in a multi-family complex near a park or have access to some open space, it’s still doable.

Create a makeshift obstacle course for the kids to get outside and run around. The health orders are to stay at home and only venture out for essential things. It doesn’t mean you have to stay inside the house 24/7.

Throw some hot dogs on the grill and chill while the kids run around.

Go Old School

Remember when we were kids and didn’t have a care in the world? We could go outside and play for hours on end using our imaginations and a few old-school games. Now is the time to share those activities with the kids.

  • Hopscotch

  • Red Light Green Light

  • Mother May I

  • Hide and Go Seek

  • Jacks & Stones

  • Simon Says

  • Musical Chairs

Oh yes, I can go on. If you aren’t from the greatest generation ever, drop a comment below and I will provide instructions. Google, can also help with these classics.

4. Host a Family Talent Show

This one takes me wayyyy back. When we were growing up, my siblings, me and our cousins would put on talent shows for our parents. They took place in the driveway, backyard, or the family room. Looking back, these productions were the stepping stone for my Tony Award-winning cousin who is now a famed Broadway director.

Create a private group on Facebook. Invite your family members and create a challenge for each family to host a talent night. Live stream the shows in the groups for nights of love and laughter.

Best production is honored at a family barbecue when the CORVID-19 pandemic is over.

5. Buy a 1,000 Piece Jigsaw Puzzle

This was a childhood favorite I loved doing with my mom. Some people glue them to a piece of cardboard and frame them…although I haven’t seen that in decades.

Still, jigsaw puzzles are a thing. My daughter and her husband were working on one a couple of weeks ago. They help pass the time and teach kids patience and critical thinking skills.

6. Campout in the Backyard

Maybe not overnight, but firing up the grill and spending family time outside is essential to getting through this pandemic. Use the time to talk with the kids and answer any questions they may have.

Children are in tune with their surroundings and can feel our anxiety. Some may become withdrawn while others will act out in different ways.

Spend a couple of hours out of the house. Listen to what they have to say. Next share some stories about yourself and growing up way back when. Unfortunately, we don’t always get time to just talk with our children because we are so busy ensuring they have a place to stay and food to eat.

Now we have time to just chill and hear each other.

7. Twist at Home

I love doing Painting with a Twist. Whether you are artistically inclined or not, exploring our creativity is a great stress reliever. Twist at Home is offered in some areas by the paint party leader, Painting With A Twist. Choose your painting, pay online and they will deliver your canvas, paint, and video instructions.

Another, less expensive option is to visit your local Walmart or shop online to find paint supplies or paint-by-number kits to host your paint party with the kids. You might learn you have the next Picasso living under your roof.

8. Have a Family Game Night

Monopoly, Jeopardy, Family Feud, you name it, and it can either be found in a game board or digital version. Nothing screams fun like family game night. It is no different than the game shows we see on television with our favorite celebrities.

Make it a real Q’ Club by using apps like Zoom and bringing your extended family into the fun. Technology has given us so many ways to connect when we’re far apart. Now is the time to put it to use.

9. Start a Garden

I can’t stress enough the importance of going outdoors and getting some natural vitamin D.

Starting a garden can help you teach your kids the art of growing fruits and vegetables.

Plus, you can’t beat the nutritional value that comes with them. Many areas in our country are labeled as food deserts. This means access to healthy foods is not offered in their neighborhoods. This is information you can share with your children to get them engaged.

It’s never too early to teach kids about growing their food or creating a flower garden.

10. Make Homemade Cards and Mail Them

The art of sending cards and writing letters is slowly becoming a thing of the past. Use this time to teach your children about gratitude and telling people how much they mean to you.

Start each day by having the kids write a letter or creating a card to send to a teacher, grandparent, favorite relative, or a friend. If you don’t have stamps or can’t get to the post office, take a picture and send it via email or post to the recipient’s social media. Don’t cheat by simply writing a post or taking a pic of your children. When the stay at home orders are lifted, the original cards or letters can be mailed or hand-delivered.

Stay at Home isn’t Ideal But it Can be Fun

I hope you enjoyed these Q’ Club tips. They are just a few suggestions. Hopefully, while you were reading this article, your creative juices started flowing and you thought of some more ideas.

If so, drop a note in the comments and share your Q’ Club ideas.

Look out for my next blog which will be geared towards the teens. Click here to read my tips for adults on how to cope with being home during this time of uncertainty.

Tracy L. Darity, is the author of He Me Loves Me He Loves Me Not!, Love…Like Snow in Florida On a Hot Summer Day, and The Red Bear Society. Her much-anticipated non-fiction work When Sunday Comes Will I Still Believe God will be released in the spring of 2020.



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