The unknown is scary, and there are a lot of unknowns in our current situation.
While it’s unsettling to live with so much uncertainty, our family has been trying to focus on the positives. We’re appreciating how much down time we have. Like many families, we would normally be in the middle of chaos – school, practices, events and sports. The down time has allowed us to spend more quality time together. With no place to go, we have been more present in each other’s lives and that’s been a blessing for us.
That’s not to say that it hasn’t been difficult. We miss our family. Our only glimpses of Grandma and Papa have been drive-by wavings. The kids miss their former social lives, school and friends. As hard as it all is, we know that it’s important to do our part to help slow the spread of COVID-19 so that we don’t overwhelm our hospitals.
So we continue to stay home and practice social distancing. We are by no means experts at this, but I thought it might be helpful to share the types of things that we’ve been doing to keep busy at our house. I would love to hear what your family has been doing in the comments below. Let’s trade ideas and try to help each other stay busy (and sane!).
The Caito Family’s Ideas for Keeping Busy
1. Make homemade play-doh
My daughter’s preschool sent home the following recipe. Cook all of the below ingredients in a saucepan. Heat slowly, stirring until dough is in a ball and no raw areas show. Let cool. Knead. Feel free to add food coloring!
– 1 c of warm water
– 1 c of flour
– ½ c of salt
– 1 tbsp cream of tartar
– 1 tbsp cooking oil
We’ve been leaving notes for our neighbors and they’ve been doing the same for us. Anna loves to draw Disney characters and has been leaving some amazing creations for the people walking by to admire.
3. Go to a park to walk
Most recently we’ve gone to Fernbank park to walk along the river. We kept our distance from others, but enjoyed the fresh air.
4. Take a bubble bath in bathing suits
Swimsuits and bubbles make our youngest happy. I don’t know why, but this is easy and fun. Added bonus – bath time is done!
5. Try new recipes
My oldest daughter, Anna, has been trying to perfect a macaroon recipe. So far we’ve had one good batch! And we have been totally okay with eating the batches that weren’t so good, too!
6. Play old games
They’ve been playing their old Wii, and reminiscing about how much fun they used to have playing it when they were “little.”
7. Do art
Anna has been conducting art class for our younger two, Sam and Wyatt. They’ve painted canvases and sketched in their sketchbooks. Anna has been taking pictures of her guinea pig and experimenting with editing in Photoshop. We have been sharing our artwork with friends and family on Facebook too.
8. Virtually ride rides at Disney World
Thanks to the magic of YouTube, we were able to virtually visit all of our favorite places at Disney World!
Editor’s note: The Caito Family became Cincinnati Children’s Champions in 2015. Anna, who is now 14, had orbital cellulitis that formed an abscess on her brow bone near her brain. It required life-saving emergency surgery and a week-long hospital stay. Anna is also on the patient advisory council.