Saturday, 04 April 2020 14:06

Family Time Activities During Quarantine

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Many of us in the United States and around the world have been given a unique opportunity to spend a great deal of time with our immediate families in the midst of this Coronavirus quarantine. Some may find this a burden, especially if forced family time is not something your family is accustomed to. In reality, this truly needs to be seen as a special blessing from God to be able to bring families closer together during this time of darkness and uncertainty. There was a post going around social media when the virus began spreading in the United States that pointed out that Satan is the one who is spreading the fear, anxiety, uncertainty and  panic, not God. God wants us to take advantage of this opportunity, as unfortunate as it is, to bring back the importance of the family unit. God may be using this “forced family time” as a way to bring back the family dinner and teach us to truly rely on Him for everything. 

For many of us, our first inclination is to use our phone screens, the television, computer or tablet, to distract and entertain children (especially small children) who are at home. Screens can certainly be wonderful tools, and should be used as just that - tools. I encourage you to step away from the distracting Disney+ app and dig into the messy work of tilling the soil of the little hearts you have at home with you. 

Spending quality time together as a family creates security and makes your children feel important and wanted.  It can also build confidence and self esteem in your children, and create happiness. Your children want to spend time with you; they are happy to be home with you!

Here is a list of just a few activities you could enjoy as a family:

Indoor Activities

  • Board games
  • Reading aloud - pick a chapter book that you can read a couple of chapters each night or a picture books for smaller children and read each day
  • Arts and crafts - kids don’t need a lot to be creative. Set out some paper, scissors, glue, crayons, and a box of random materials and create a work of art with your kids! Or a more organized craft such as a bracelet making kit. Or even just simple crayons and paper for drawing.
  • Dance party - kids love music, dancing and singing. Turn on a CD player or a music streaming service and get dancing. This is a great way to burn off some extra energy as well. 
  • Cooking lessons - I encourage you to have your children help you cook meals. It is messy, but they learn so much and they love to help. 
  • Blanket forts - take all the cushions off the couch and gather all your blankets and build a fort

Outdoor Activities 

  • Sidewalk chalk
  • Water play - sprinkler or swimming pool
  • Take a walk or bike ride - getting outside and exercising is so important
  • Camping in the backyard. S’mores anyone? 
  • Plant and tend to a garden 
  • Scavenger hunt

Spiritual Activities 

  • Pray together at planned times throughout the day - Morning prayer, or a family rosary, or the Divine Mercy chaplet
  • Watch a live streamed Holy Mass together and actively participate just as you would if you were physically present at that Mass
  • Offer family sacrifices for a certain intention
  • Pray the stations of the cross - print stations of the cross color sheets for smaller children and have them follow along
  • Create a prayer board and list intentions of your friends and family and make it a point to pray for those intentions throughout the day
  • Sing spiritual songs together 

These are just a few of the many activities you could do together to promote family bonding during this time. I encourage you to have meals together, pray together and just BE together. God has given us this opportunity to grow closer to the things that truly matter in this world. We must grow closer to our families and to Him. 

St. Pope John Paul II said “As the family goes, so goes the nation and so goes the whole world in which we live.

Sarah HopkinsSarah is a wife and mother in Georgia. She and her husband Michael are both lay members of the Home of the Mother. Sarah graduated from Auburn University with a degree in Human Development and Family Studies. It was at Auburn that she fell in love with her husband and the Catholic Church. She converted to the faith in 2014. When she is not busy running after her two toddlers, she enjoys grocery shopping alone, cooking, drinking good coffee, and being outdoors.

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