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Creative Family Ideas in the Pacific Northwest

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Our Coronavirus Chronicles & Fun Stuff to Do at Home

This spring has certainly been an interesting experience for our family because of COVID-19. Through March and April, we’ve been staying home and social distancing based on the state of Idaho’s regulations. We’ve also enjoyed lots of fun activities and gone on some outdoor family adventures. You can follow our adventures in our Coronavirus Chronicles videos below!

Social Distancing Week 1

During week 1 of our Coronavirus Chronicles, things were just beginning to happen in the United States. Our week was pretty normal. The kids help me plant some seed starts for our garden. My girls also had a baking competition to see who could make the best cupcakes. Finally, we made cute little caterpillars using recycled egg cartons!

Outdoor Kids Activities

When we’re home all the time, some simple outdoor activities can make all the difference for our attitudes and perspectives. Our kids enjoyed going out in the yard, and helping me plant some seed starts. We used a really cool soil blocking tool to make perfect soil squares, which reminded me of the dirt from Minecraft.

Planting seed starts soil blocking tool

Growing seed starts for a vegetable garden is a great way to get your hands dirty in March and April.

Planting seed starts vegetable garden

Creative Kids Projects

Even on a normal week, I homeschool our kids and I try to maintain a daily schedule for our family. Alongside schoolwork, we did some simple creative kids projects this week. My kids designed these colorful egg carton caterpillars. We cut the egg cartons apart, painted the egg carton segments different colors and added googly eyes and pipe cleaner antennas!

Crafty Egg carton caterpillars kids painting activity

Making homemade playdough is another great kids activity, especially while our family is social distancing. My kids love sculpting and molding this soft salt dough. Playdough is very easy to make using water, flour, cream of tarter, oil and food coloring. Try our best homemade playdough recipe!

Social Distancing Week 2

A surprise snow day, outdoor family hike and some family board games were highlights of our Coronavirus Chronicles week 2. We also took one last family trip to Costco and Walmart to stock up on enough food for 3 weeks.

Regular Morning Routine

Our family settled into more of a normal routine during week 2 of our social distancing efforts. For us, “social distancing” mostly means not going on errands, not getting together with friends, and not going to church or the gym. I’m already at home with our kids a lot, so I just kept our mornings regular and fun!

My kids have really been enjoying kids art video tutorials and learning how to draw their favorite characters. The step-by-step Art for Kids Hub videos show kids how to draw Elsa, Anna, The Mandalorian, baby Yoda and more!

Learning to draw with kids art step by step instructional videos

Muddy Family Hike

This week our family also went on a very muddy family adventure to our local trails at English Point near Coeur d’alene, Idaho. We hiked more than 3 miles through the beautiful forest and really enjoyed the fresh air. The trail was muddier than usual because of our recent snowfall. The kids had a blast! I think it’s such a blessing to live close to places where we can casually enjoy the great outdoors.

English Point trail near Coeur d'alene, Idaho family hike

Empty Store Shelves

Finally, during our Coronavirus Chronicles week 2 we took the kids on a last trip to Costco and Walmart. We made a list of meals and supplies to last our family for 3 weeks. Costco still had a decent supply of mostly everything on hand, although sparse upper storage shelves indicated low stocks. At Walmart, we found empty shelves in the cleaning aisle, canned food section and medicine department. Of course, everywhere was out of toilet paper.

Empty store shelves at Costco

Social Distancing Week 3

Week 3 changed our lives a bit in several ways. We are no longer taking the kids out on errands. More people around town are wearing masks. A week ago the governor of Idaho issued an official stay-at-home order. We are stocked up on food, which is a change because we used to go to the store several times a week. We are just living our simple daily routine at home.

Kids Art Projects

After my kids finished their regular schoolwork, we did a bunch of fun art projects this week. We painted with acrylic paint on art canvases. My kids made water cycle bags to demonstrate evaporation and condensation, as a fun science project. We also played with sensory bins, water beads and made smoothies. I did a few sewing projects for my girls. Finally, we made pinecone bird feeders. Doing our regular morning routine along with some creative kids activities made the week pass fairly quickly.

Pinecone bird feeders creative kids activity

Afternoon Outdoor Play

After lunch, my kids really like playing outside. We have a sandbox, swing set and trampoline which my kids can play on individually or together. I’m so thankful my kids have each other and I’m seeing them grow a lot in their friendships and communication habits during this time.

Limited Screen Time

Once we’ve painted, played, and gotten some exercise, my kids usually enjoy some screen time. They usually play with their Amazon fire kids tablets for an hour, one day a week. On other days, my kids watch a movie on Disney + or Netflix. They also love playing Mario Party 8 or Super Smash Bros on our old Wii.

What are some of the things your family is doing during your weeks of social distancing?

It can be a challenge to work together, learn together, and play together all the time. However, this experience has also been a great opportunity for our family to problem solve and make unique memories.


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