Monday, April 13, 2020

Things for Kids to Do While Under Quarantine

This Monday, we could all use a little magic.  Thus, the time has come for my latest series of posts to make their online debut.  I've been working on these posts for a few weeks now, and I'm proud to present: Things to Do While Under Quarantine.  It's still completely insane to me that this has even become a topic of discussion... but here we are.  I've seen so many posts online of how bored everyone has been these past few weeks.  Unfortunately, I think we might be in "social distancing" mode for the long haul.

When I started to realize how long this isolation could potentially last, I started to make a list of things to do in order to keep myself busy and and my mind occupied.  Then, like most of my lists, it continued to grow and blossom into something all on it's own.  I quickly came to the conclusion that this was something I could give to the world in these uncertain times.  It's not much, but I'm sharing these ideas with hope that it gives you an idea you might not have thought of.  If it even helps one person, it was worth all of my time compiling, researching and posting this series.  This is the first of what will be seven different posts on Things to Do While Under Quarantine.

Text Edit by Me- Original Photo Source
I came up with so many ideas that I had to separate them into categories.  There were too many things to fit into one post and some required a bit of an explanation.  I also made a list of Obvious Choices for All Ages.  I've included it in this post as it's the first in my series and because the kids list is the shortest.  Without further ado, let's do this!

Obvious Choices For All Ages

Watch Disney Movies or Television Series on Disney+ or Netflix- With the addition of Disney+, this is the most obvious choice for anyone.  There are so many movies and television shows to pick from... you're bound to find something that interests you.  I've been wanting to go back and watch some of my childhood favorite Disney Afternoon shows on Disney+.  Eliot and I are currently watching the Once Upon a Time series on Netflix.  Binge-watching anything seems like the most logical way to pass the time.

Read Disney Books- Of course, if watching television all day/everyday isn't something that appeals to you, there are always books.  There are so many Disney books for kids, but also some great ones for adults too!  (More on that in a few days!)

Play Disney Board Games- This is one of the first things I thought of when I found out that we'd be stuck at home.  I've wanted to play with some of our Disney board games for-ev-er and now is the perfect time to take them out and have a game night!

Play Disney Phone Games- If board games aren't your thing, there are also plenty of Disney phone games you can play!  Eliot's and my personal favorite is Disney Emoji Blitz.  I play this game daily- quarantine or no quarantine and I've been playing since it came out almost three years ago.  Another favorite is Where's My Water.  I've also been interested in Disney Magic Kingdoms... maybe now is a good time to start it!

These all seemed pretty obvious to me, but I figured that I'd include them in my post anyways.  Now that we've gotten that over with, it's time to begin to dive into each of the categories that I created.  First up, my list of activities specifically for kids!

Things for Kids to Do While Under Quarantine

Paper Dolls by Cory- This is one of my favorite things that I've ever stumbled upon.  I had been planning to do an entire Fun Find Friday post on these, but this is a more important time to be sharing Cory's talents.  Paper Dolls by Cory is a Facebook page where you can save and print all sorts of hand drawn paper dolls.  When I was a kid, I used to love playing with paper dolls.  Cory has designed and shared so many paper dolls through the years.  He's got a ton of Disney designs to choose from.  He's also been working on making new coloring paper dolls of some of our favorite Disney characters!  Now, kids can color their paper doll characters and their outfits and accessories as well.  This is a great way for kids to have some fun while stuck inside!!!

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Coloring Books or Pages- Of course, you can also get your creative juices flowing with coloring books.  Eliot and I have a huge collection that we've bought through the years.  Coloring is one of my favorite activities as a child and it's carried over into adulthood.  If you can't get out to buy some coloring books, there are a ton of free pages you can download online.  Just search for "Disney coloring pages" and you'll get a ton of results!  You can also find a selection of free Disney coloring pages from Disney here, from Crayola here, and from Coloring 4 Kids here.  Fire up the printer!

Disney Store's Fun with Disney Website- Disney must have known this post was coming because this morning they launched their Fun with Disney page on their shop Disney website.  The page has links to Disney's dress-up clothing and accessories, Legos, pajamas, books, and plush.  It also has links for family activities like games, puzzles and baking accessories.  But, it's not all links to purchase things.  They have also included some downloadable printable activities: an Easter Egg Hunt, Easter Coloring Sheet, and Onward Activity Book.  I'm assuming that the downloads will change each season, so keep checking to see what's available!

Disney Family Website- The Disney Family website is one of my favorites.  There are so many things on there!  They have ideas for crafts, recipes, parties, movie nights, seasonal activities and so much more!  I did a quick peek, and there are already a few ideas that I want to do for me and Eliot... like Forky inspired bark?!?!?  So much yes!!!

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Put on a Play or Skit- My cousins and I used to do this at each family gathering when we were younger.  We started out small, and then they just grew.  We did a few original plays, as well as reenactments of our favorite movies.  (Aladdin was a personal favorite and I can remember three different times we performed it!)  If you want to keep your kids busy for a few hours, have them watch a movie on Disney+ and then perform their version of it later in the day.  Bonus points if you record it to put online to share their theatrical debut with your family and friends!

Perform Your Favorite Disney Song for Your Family- If a skit is too much, you can always perform a single song from your favorite Disney movie or theme park attraction.

Learn to Play Instrument- Ok, this one might be a little far-fetched if you have really little ones or if you don't like noise.  However, if you have older kids, this might be the perfect time for them to learn an instrument.  I'd recommend a recorder.  I learned how to play the recorder in third grade and I loved it.  It was a requirement for all of us at my elementary school, but not every one learns to play an instrument.  (Neither of my parents can play one and neither can Eliot.)  If you search for "Disney recorder" on Amazon, you'll see a few sets that include the recorder and the song book.  They're really easy to learn- between the book and a few Youtube videos, your child should be able to play it!  Parents, you can also join in on the fun if you want!

Play Dress Up in Costumes- This is the perfect time to get out all of those Disney costumes for hours of make believe fun.  If you don't have many costumes, your kids can always dress up in their Disney parks outfits and pretend that they're going on all of their favorite rides!  The costumes would also come in handy for a play, skit or song performance!  You can also dress up as a family for a themed movie night!

Play with Play Doh- Growing up, this was another one of my favorite activities.  In fact, I loved it so much that I bought Play Doh as a "party favor" for my yearbook staff while in college.  (Apparently, I wasn't alone in my nostalgia because we all ended up opening our cans and playing with it long after our meeting was over.)  If you search "Disney Play Doh" on Amazon, you can get a bunch of cute Disney sets but there are also plenty of color packs.  Your imagination is the limit so this provides hours of fun!

Journaling Each Day- We're living in an unprecedented time which will someday be a historic moment found in history books.  What better way to document our thoughts and feelings than by writing a journal about it?  If you're looking for something easy for kids to fill out, search for "kids quarantine journal" and you'll see a few templates you can download.  You can also use them as inspiration to create your own!

Quarantine Time Capsule- If your kids are really into the journaling thing, you can also take it one step further and create a COVID-19 Time Capsule.  If you search "quarantine time capsule" you'll see a bunch of templates for that as well.  This is a great way for kids to remember what they were feeling and what they did to stay safe and keep busy.  You can also include letters they write to themselves, interviews with family members, letters from teachers, parents and other loved ones, and anything else you'd like to put in your time capsule box.  Years from now, they can open them up and remember their part in history.  Plus, parents and siblings can get in on the fun too!

Make Your Own Disney Slime- If you have kids, I'm sure you're aware of the slime craze.  I haven't personally gotten into the craze, but it looks like fun.  I enjoyed playing with slime as a kid, and I'm sure I would have loved making it even more!  You can find slime recipes all over the internet, but if you want to make it a little more interesting, you can add fun scents and other embellishments to give it a theme.  There are tons of Etsy shops that sell beads, glitter, sprinkles, and small toys to give your homemade slime some extra fun.  Or, if you don't want the mess of making your own slime, you can always order some Disney themed slimes from Etsy. 

Elf on a Shelf- This is another toss up- I have friends who love and friends who hate the Elf on a Shelf.  We don't have kids, but this is something that I'm looking forward to when and if we do have kids someday.  The Elf is usually reserved for the holiday season, but we can take a leaf from the Elf's playbook and have a little fun during quarantine time.  Instead of using your elf, why not designate another toy (or multiple toys) to set up each day.  Your child can have fun finding them and seeing what mischief they've gotten themselves into.  I saw an idea one Mom had to do this prior to her Disney trip.  Her daughter's Minnie Mouse plush got into all sorts of fun while she helped countdown her trip to Disney.  While none of us know how long this will last, it could be a fun activity that your child looks forward to each day.  Plus, if you have older kids, you can have them help and get in on the fun to entertain the littles.

Celebrity Storytime- There are so many celebrities trying to do anything they can to help out.  As a child, I never imagined listening to a celebrity read me a bedtime story, but now it's a nightly ritual for many children across the world.  Josh Gad started the trend by reading a story each night and posting it on his Twitter feed.  Disney created Disney Magic Moments which has so many fun videos and activities.  They are also using that platform to showcase many of the actors from their movies to read bedtime stories.  You can find all of the Disney Magic Moments storytime videos here.

Stained Glass Windows- I've seen many of my friends posting their own version of at home faux stained glass windows for the Easter holiday.  I think this is a really great idea!  Not only does it provide an activity for your kids, but it spreads cheer to everyone else in the neighborhood.  Plus, it's a fun way for kids to display their art!  My class painted the windows for Christmas at a local supermarket when I was a kid and I was so excited to take my parents there to show them what I painted!  You can paint Disney characters, scenes, seasonal or holiday designs or anything really!  There are many tutorials online, but most seem to involve painters tape, watered down acrylic paints and a drop of Dawn dish soap.  Just make sure to test your concoction to make sure that it is washable and will come off your windows eventually!

Draw with Sidewalk Chalk- This is another great idea that I've seen all over my newsfeed.  I loved playing with sidewalk chalk and Eliot and I even have some that I purchased a few years ago.  This is a great way to get kids to spend some time outside and to spread some joy and cheer to others.  I've seen lots of inspirational quotes and Disney character drawings.  The "Chalk Your Walk" movement has gained a lot of traction over the past few weeks.  Why not join in on the all of the fun?

Teddy Bear Walks or Finding Hidden Mickeys- Finally, my last idea is also inspired by a social media craze.  A Teddy Bear Walk is basically when you go out for a walk (or a drive) and search for plush teddy bears (or other stuffed animals) in the windows of houses.  The bears are placed on display to create a scavenger hunt for kids (and for adults).  I've seen so many heartwarming posts about neighborhoods and communities getting in on the fun.  I think it's a great way to get out with your family.  Plus, as an avid Hidden Mickey hunter, I'm all for it.  If you have a way to communicate with your neighborhood, you could organize a Hidden Mickey hunt with Mickey plush or with three objects that form a Hidden Mickey.  Or, parents can make a Hidden Mickey hunt within your own house to entertain kids.  You can do it all at once, or each day you can add a new one for kids to find.  Then, by the time the Disney theme parks open back up, you'll be a professional Hidden Mickey finder!

I really hope you enjoyed the first post of my Things to Do While Under Quarantine series!  This list of ideas for kids is a pretty general one, but I had a few creative gems in there.  The paper dolls are my personal favorite but I also loved the Elf on a Shelf and Finding Hidden Mickey ideas!  Tomorrow, I'll be expanding on this list with ideas of activities that families can do all together!  °o°

Disclaimer: Obviously, use your own discretion with this list of ideas.  Eliot and I don't have kids and don't have personal experience parenting children day in and day out.  These were just fun ideas that I came up with in general so please use your own discretion on if it's age appropriate for your child.

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