Cabin Fever Reliever - Activities to Beat the Boredom
Spend a minute on social media and you will see multiple posts joking about the failures of this new homeschooling situation most parents, and some grandparents, are finding themselves in (and the actual homeschooled families laughing at us all). My favorite is: "3 hours into home schooling and 1 is suspended for skipping class and the other one has already been expelled."
We laugh because we need to, otherwise the seriousness of our current situation will drive us all crazy!
Schools had little to no notice when they sent their students out the door for an uncertain amount of time. Will it be three weeks, or is the school year over? Some pulled together packets of work, some are offering distance learning opportunities for students with access to computers or tablets at home. I have heard many parents say that their students who had packets sent home have already completed them!
So what now? What do we do with our children when the work has been completed, when the internet connection isn’t strong, or there is not a device available to complete distance learning? The internet is full of people posting resources. I found an excellent one, shared in the link section below, but it is 15 pages long! Some people will take the time and go through these resources, or pick just one or two to explore, but some of us don’t have that much time or find ourselves overwhelmed at so many options! Let’s not panic with our new homeschool teacher responsibilities! There are learning and recreational opportunities all around you that take little to no effort!
Colerain Township is here to help you beat the boredom. Each day, we will post 1-2 resources or activities to help you fend off cabin fever. We will do our best to hit a variety of activities for a variety of ages - including the grown-ups!
Has your family tried any of these activities? If so, post pictures or share stories on social media with
My April Fools Day started out by serving my children their favorite cereal - which I had prepared last night, complete with the spoon in the bowl and stuck it in the freezer for a fun surprise this morning! To get me back, my son made me a tumbler of flavored water for the morning, complete with every type of water flavoring I had in the cabinet. Needless to say, it was terrible and I almost spit it across the room, which got me to thinking about old comedies like the Three Stooges, and my personal favorite, Carol Burnett.
- Binge watch classic TV and movies from a wide range of decades. Talk about how life has changed, and what remains the same. They will soak up history lessons without ever knowing it! Watch old musicals, or anything Elvis, and music class, maybe even gym class if they try to dance along with Gene Kelly or John Travolta, are covered! Watch Will Roger’s silent movies – cover film history, technological advancements, life in the wild west, learn some seriously cool rope tricks, and then do research on the great philosopher Will Rogers was. Throw in some classic Carol Burnett (my 11 and 8 year old’s favorite, not just mine), Three Stooges or Marx Brothers for laughter so hard that it counts as cardio!
- The last day of March. When this month started, did you ever expect life to change this much in such a short time? If you or your child are having any fear or anxiety, please know you are not alone. Colerain native and McAuley alumni Julie (Jarnot) Nguyen, life coach, creator of Guided Towards Greatness coaching program for teens, and freelance dance teacher and choreographer who is now based out of Boulder, Colorado, has recorded a series of short videos with her daughter that addresses calming and relaxation techniques to help process the new, and sometimes scary feelings many of us are experiencing. Here is a link to her first video with her daughter, but you can find several more they have recorded together on her YouTube channel: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NDKVotUZoos
- Neighborhood scavenger hunt! I saw this cute list posted on Facebook and it gets us outside, but adds a little fun to a walk around the neighborhood: https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=10163400766285486&set=a.110960480485&type=3&theater
- I am sure you have probably seen this suggestion floating around the news and internet - display a heart in one of your front windows to show your support for essential workers like nurses, first responders, grocery workers, etc. You don’t need to have fancy colored paper. Use the empty cereal box you just emptied, a colorful piece of junk mail or some other recycled item! Do you have a neighbor that is a first responder, nurse, or the like? Leave them a heart on their front door saying thanks! It is the little things that mean a lot.
- The weather is beautiful. Go outside! Enjoy a walk at a park. Visit a park you have never been to. How many have visited Coleraine Heritage Memorial in front of the Administration building at 4200 Springdale Road? Go and read the historical information, read the monuments. Learn something about your Township!
- I’m stealing this idea from my children: build a fort! I don’t understand the ’challenges’ my kids and their friends always want to participate in with each other (thank you, YouTube). Today’s is kind of a fun twist - build a fort and have a virtual challenge while connecting on FaceTime to see who can last the longest inside their fort. How is this educational, you ask? Well, the fort has to stay standing so there is some very basic engineering and design involved, it encourages creativity, it fosters spatial awareness, they have to plan what supplies they will need over a span of time, and they are connecting to friends. Social connections are vital, and they are really missing that! Here are two resources for other ways to make fort building educational:
We want to see your forts! Share with us on social media at #ColerainCares
Opening day (insert sad sigh). I found a funny baseball meme I was going to steal, but I didn’t want to offend any Astros fans that might live in the Township. Today should be Opening Day. The weather would have been perfect. The parade, the fans and Opening Day itself will unfortunately have to wait. But, we can still enjoy what would have been, and what will hopefully eventually be! Major League Baseball is encouraging fans to post photos wearing clothing supporting their favorite team with #OpeningDayAtHome. How else can we celebrate the day, because you know, Cincinnati always goes way over the top compared to the rest of the MLB cities?
- Have your own ’social distancing-family only’ parade – enjoy the beautiful weather, wear Cincinnati Reds clothing, and decorate your bike, stroller, wagon, or dog in red or Reds paraphernalia when you go outside with your family and enjoy this amazing day. MLB wants you to share - use #OpeningDayAtHome to show your Reds activities!!
- Color one of these coloring pages and share it! http://www.mlb.com/documents/2/3/8/259158238/15_Reds_FanClubs_ColoringSheets_MLBAM.pdf
- Research Opening Day history in Cincinnati. Here is a link for parade history: www.findlaymarketparade.com
- Are you a player and miss the game? Here are links to some great videos with tips you can do while your season is on hold.
- Eat ballpark food! We’ve all blown our diets anyway, what is another day of hot dogs, peanuts, popcorn, nachos, ice cream? Maybe not for breakfast, but dig in later in the day (Colerain Township is not responsible for any tummy aches this may lead to)!
- The Cincinnati Reds has a wonderful Hall of Fame Museum. Back in the good old days of the beginning of this month, my family and I enjoyed a day at the museum. One of the new interactive displays that I could not peel my daughter away from let you record your own broadcast highlighting a winning game. Watch an old game, record your kids doing the play calling or highlighting a game. You could even have them come up with their own “…and this one belongs to the Reds” ending to a game! It will be fun to look back on, and maybe it can lead to planning a field trip to the museum once it reopens!
- The sun is shining - get outside! Imago Rangers is posting a new activity each day that families can do together in their own backyard. Visit: https://imagoearth.org/imago-rangers/ and get outside!
- I don’t know how many times I have seen friends post that we need to bring back home economics to schools. Guess what? NOW is the perfect time to do that! Have your kids prepare a meal. Food is full of opportunities! Measurement, fractions, conversion of weights, budgeting, chemistry, and so much more depending on the age of your children. And not to mention, they gain a very important life skill! And don’t forget, washing the dishes and cleaning up after cooking is an essential part of Home Ec!
- Don’t forget about shop class! Have your kids help you fix something on your “To-Do” list around the house, check the oil level in the vehicles, fill the air in tires of the car or bicycles, do yard work, or, just give them a scrap of wood, a nail and hammer and have them practice driving a nail and removing it (if age appropriate).
- My favorite meme from this weekend read, "If you see my kids outside today, mind your business. We’re having a fire drill!" It was a little lighthearted humor to cope with our current situation, but it does bring up a great topic - fire safety! Bennett-Watkins Fire has amazing resources for fire safety for younger kids. Find educational videos, activities, coloring pages, home fire escape planning tools and more here: https://bennettwatkinsfire.colorado.gov/kids-corner
- Practice letter writing – whether it is to a stranger at a local nursing home, grandma & grandpa, or the next door neighbor, the recipient will love to receive it! For added bonus, write a letter to your teacher. This is hard on them, too. They miss your child. They were not prepared to watch them walk out of their classroom that last day.
- Keeping in the same tone as letter writing, send a message to your Colerain Police Officers and Firefighters thanking them for their service to our community. Last night, an officer from Springdale lost her life doing her job. This is a reality they face every time they put on their uniform, but it really hits home when something like this happens so close to home, and it wasn’t that long since we lost our own Officer Dale Woods. Their job isn’t easy, especially right now. But they still come in for their shift so the rest of us are safe. Show appreciation. Write a letter, send an email, draw a picture on paper to mail in or draw a picture on the sidewalk and take a picture, post it on social media and tag them! It is a nice reminder of what makes their job so important!
- Sidewalk chalk messages – draw a picture or write an inspirational message on a sidewalk in front of your home or in a local park. Anyone can do this! Additional ideas - draw a hop scotch, or write out a full "challenge" of silly things for people to do like hop like a bunny 6 time, roar and stomp to the next sidewalk block! Don’t have chalk? Here is a recipe for DIY chalk paint you can make with ingredients around the house: https://www.makeandtakes.com/sidewalk-chalk-paint
1. Scavenger Hunt: send your kids outside for a scavenger hunt. No time to find a list, write a list, or no access to print a list? Send them outside and have them complete an ABC scavenger hunt – find an object representing each letter of the alphabet. They will be gone for a while, breathing in fresh air, active, and creativity will abound. Are your kids older? Send them outside with their phone to take pictures of things in nature or around the neighborhood that look like the letters in their name, your last name, or their school mascot. If you prefer a cute printed list, you can find one in the links below.
2. Experiments: https://ulxplorlabs.org/ is an educational platform designed to encourage students to “solve through science.” It is especially focused on engaging middle-school students during a time in their educational lives when interest in science is shown to decrease dramatically. Through interactive videos, instructional experiences, hands-on classroom activities and creative classroom challenges, this free, STEM-focused experience:
• Builds scientific knowledge, passion, and commitment among students
• Teaches key concepts related to the Next Generation Science Standards disciplinary core ideas, and crosscutting and connecting concepts
• Makes it simple to implement hands-on exercises in the classroom
• Shows students that by using scientific inquiry to ask why a phenomenon happens, that they can solve real problems and help create innovative solutions for a safer world.
- Hamilton County Parks@Home
- On-line educational resources
- Scavenger Hunt
- Science Experiments for Middle School Students: ulxplorlabs.org
- Virtual Field Trips: https://adventuresinfamilyhood.com/20-virtual-field-trips-to-take-with-your-kids.html