Sunday, March 22, 2020

My 12 Favorite Things: Pandemic + Quarantine Edition

It can be hard to find things to love during a pandemic while we're in a social distancing/quarantine phase. Since our family is so used to a get up and go lifestyle, I've found that keeping us busy at home is key to getting through this time.  We've found plenty from fun websites that the kids wouldn't normally be allowed to visit, to movies that we've watched, shows, and activities we've done. These are some things we discovered this week that we love that we want to share with you, so you can love them to.

1.) New movie releases at home are the (is that a thing to say anymore??)! As someone who doesn't get to the theaters unless it's a kid flick, I was pumped to watch The Invisible Man from the comfort of my own bed. ** be sure to watch with the lights off for maximum effect.

2.) The kids have enjoyed the National Park cams while at home. Their favorite was a virtual tour of Yosemite National Park. This has cured some of the spring break blues as we were to be hiking in Badlands National Park right now instead of quarantined.

3.) My children have also become slightly obsessed with zoo live feeds. The San Diego Zoo live cams have been the most popular so far.

4.) I signed up for a free week of Broadway HD. Definitely not the same as sitting in a theatre and taking it in live, but they got to see classics like Cats and Oklahoma!, while I enjoyed 42nd Street. There's so much content on it that I will likely keep the subscription for the month that school is out.

5.) Many learning websites have become free in the last week so kids can use them while they're at home. ABC Mouse and Scholastic are a couple that we have checked out, in addition to the sites the mini's teachers gave them access to while we homeschool.

6.) For Christmas, the minis got rock painting kits. As I usually do, I set these back for later use. Now I'm sooo happy I have that practice. During spring break, the minis and daycare kids painted "positivity rocks" and coming up soon, we'll take a walk and leave them along the bike trail for people to find. Hopefully they'll bring a smile to someone's face.

7.) I'm taking advantage of the sudden downtime we've found ourselves and writing more, journaling, and watching shows. I'm currently binging Pandemic (very insightful into the medical side of things if you're interested) and Parks and Recreation (both on Netflix).

Writing, binging, and a mocha smoothie from Grounds.

8.) Supporting local businesses has always been important to us, but right now it's necessary. If we get take out or coffee to go, we make sure it's from one of our many fine local establishments while we can. Grounds For Celebration, Jethro's BBQ, and Tasty Taco's have gotten our support so far.

9.) I have come across many homeschooling sites in the past week, but I love the printouts from 123 Homeschool 4 Me. World maps and learning here we come!

10.) All of the Facebook memes keep me going. I feel very little guilt for all of my time spent online these days as it's about the only way to stay connected. The funny lines and memes give me a laugh when I need it.

11.) We've always loved hiking and our time spent outdoors, but it seems everyone is in on this now. Our favorite hiking places in Central Iowa include: Jester Park, Brown's Woods, Ledges, Lake Ahquabi, High Trestle Trail Bridge, and Chichaqua Bottoms Greenbelt. All great places to get outdoors, in the sun, and distance ourselves from others.

Getting outdoors is so important right now. Not only is it just all around good for us, but it really helps boost spirits too.

12.) I've never been one to love puzzles, but it's been a great way to keep us all engaged, our minds going, and our family bonded over who dropped the last puzzle piece on the floor. It's been real.