Social distancing, it’s a foreign term, a phenomena that we’ve never had the opportunity to navigate. Schools are canceled until further notice, the babies are home, you want to be intentional about the time you get with them over the next couple of weeks. What does that look like? How do we fill that time with meaningful, intentional, family time with our children?
Here are some of the things my husband and I have come up with….
- Quiet time-start the the morning with quiet time as a family. We LOVE the “Jesus Storybook Bible.” It’s been our favorite for 14 years. Take some time and begin your day with reading God’s word and praying together as a family.
- Read-together in the same room for a certain amount of time. Set a timer (for us it will be 1 hour). Share what you have read.
- Write a note, letter of encouragement-have each child choose a recipient of an encouraging, hand written note. Help them write it if necessary and send it. Yes, snail mail. Who doesn’t enjoy a sweet, little surprise in their mailbox?
- Bake-have each child Pinterest a recipe they’d like to try (grocery store pick up is where it’s at).
- Make dinner together-allow the children to create your dinner menu and cook it together. Make it big and fancy, dinner plates, place settings, napkins. Sit down and eat as a family. Pray, have intentional conversations. Talk about their fears with regards to the world around them right now. We are no longer a slave to an extra curricular schedule, take advantage of this.
- Get outside- walk, run, ride bikes, go in the woods and explore (my kids like to build forts in the woods behind our home, find “fossils”, bugs, worms, all the squirmy, slimy things), we plan to plant some seeds and watch them grow over the coming weeks as well.
- Play board games-each day assign a child to choose a board game they’d like to play with the family.
- Write-a short story, here are writing prompts for young children, middle schoolers, high schoolers.
- Paint, draw, color-the key is to be in the same room, together as a family, you don’t have to be doing the same thing. My kids enjoy different media (4 kids, 4 different personalities and interests) It’s presence that matters.
- Put a puzzle together (a BIG one)-I remember back in the day, my grandmother would always have a large puzzle with tons of pieces in progress in the living room on a card table. We would love to visit and help her create her little masterpiece.
- Dance party-when you just need to get jiggy with it, break it down!
- Chores-put them to work! They want to help. It makes them feel like they’ve accomplished things.
- All things Disney (+-Sorry), the Disney lover in me had to! I am pretty sure there are some classics that we could revisit as a family. Choose one a night. Alternating which family member gets to choose. I find that creating a calendar (I do all things in birth order) alleviates arguments in advance! I printed this one.
- Journal-at the end of the day, sit down as a family and journal. What was special about the day? What did they enjoy most? How did they extend love and kindness today? Who showed them kindness? What is one thing they’d like to do tomorrow?
In all the uncertainty, God has quieted our schedules. That’s a blessing in and of itself. I challenge you, mama, if you can and if you have the ability, make this time count. We have an opportunity to take this time to be super intentional, get back to basics, and enjoy the simple, yet precious things.
Stay well, friend!