We all know that being stuck at home has been a lot more challenging than just having extra free time. We would all like to think that it has meant time off to do what we want when we want. The reality of this work from home time has been long hours, unique working conditions, increased stress from unusual deadlines, and communication breakdowns that we all hoped wouldn’t happen but did anyway. The truth of this all is that we are all resilient, we did things we didn’t think we could do. We got up and went to work anyway even if it was just in the other room instead of going into the office. For those that were laid off, they spent time at home doing their best to make sure they could get back to work as quickly as possible.

We realize there hasn’t been much free time. However, now is the perfect time to avoid saying, “not right now” or “let me finish this first”. Now is the perfect time to say “YES!” or “lets read that book together” or “I’d love to build a puzzle with you”. Now is the perfect time to ignore that list of things you need to get done. Now is the perfect time to spend some quality time with the family. Here are some ways to do that!

1. Build a fort in the living room. Relive your childhood. Grab every blanket and pillow you can find in the house and have fun!

2. Play hide and seek. You just built a fort full of places to hide. Why not use it?

3. Make your own pizza dough! Check out the April blog from our sister restaurant Ultimate California Pizza. https://ultimatecaliforniapizza.com/2020/04/27/make-your-own-pizza-dough/

4. Gather pine cones and create bird feeders. Peanut butter, birdseed, and pinecones are all you need!

5. Play in the rain! We know it rains a lot this time of year. Put on your swimsuits and go play in it! Why not?

6. Fly a kite! A major benefit of springtime is sunny spring days, but with those days comes the right amount of wind to fly a kite!

7. Complete a scavenger hunt!

8. Go fishing. The waterways are an easy place to practice social distancing!

9. Write a family story. But each person only gets to write one sentence before passing along to the next family member. How weird of a story can you come up with? Be sure to share!

10. Create a Google Document listing the movies your family loves to watch and a list of the movies your family wants to watch. Watch those movies.

11. Research your family history. Where does your family come from? How many generations of your family have lived in your current country of residence? How far back can you trace your family tree?

12. Read the Harry Potter series. Amazon Kindle is currently offering them for free and there are enough pages to keep you busy for hours and hours!

13. Learn a new language! There are so many apps and YouTube channels that can help you with this. Now seems like a great time to pick up a second language.

14. Board games, card games video games. We all have them, dust them off, and have some fun.

15. How about improving the family fitness level? Maybe you have been interested in Yoga or Pilates? YouTube to the rescue.

We recognize that being forced to stay home has been very stressful for every member of a family, especially if you have members that aren’t working from home, but the best part about this list is that they are mostly free and you have most of it available to you right away. Either way, from our family to yours, we hope you stay safe and healthy, mentally, and physically and hope this list can help bring you together as a family and provide some stress relief.