As another week has passed, the sun is still shining, and some of us may have forgotten what day it is. But let’s not forget it’s that time again for your weekly list of fun activities to keep the family engaged!
Family Gratitude Jar: With everything going on in the world right now, it’s a good reminder to be grateful for the little things and what we have. Even once life resumes to some kind of normalcy, that doesn’t mean we should forget the feeling of gratitude. While we’re still home and spending time with loved ones, why not create a family gratitude jar? All you need is a jar (or any type of vessel) and pieces of paper to write down something that makes you feel grateful. Make it a daily ritual with the family either at breakfast, lunch, maybe after dinner, or even right before bedtime! Gather the family and ask each person what they are grateful for, as you add it to the jar. It doesn’t matter how big, small, or silly, you can be grateful for whatever you want. Having a family gratitude jar stresses the importance of practicing gratitude and serves as a reminder to always be thankful. This might just help your family find the light during these most difficult and darkest of times. It doesn’t have to be a daily family activity, you could leave the jar out in the open for anyone in the family to add a statement of something they’re grateful for whenever they’d like. This way, when someone passes it, they might just be reminded of how thankful they are today!
Geocaching: First things first; you may be thinking what exactly is geocaching? It is an outdoor recreational activity where participants use the app on a device to hide and seek geocaches (containers) at certain locations marked by coordinates all over the world! I see it as a scavenger hunt where the entire world is your playground because you can play anywhere, anytime. The best part is that San Francisco has a plethora of geocaches hidden in every neighborhood, park, and street corner. To start, simply download thegeocaching app on your mobile device. Take the kids on a walk and open up the app. You’ll find all kinds of geocaches hidden about, each with a hint to help navigate you to its destination. It is a great activity to do with the family because not only are you getting outside, moving around, and exploring, but you have extra sets of eyes to help you find the geocache! They can be found in all different size containers, and the app specifies the size you are looking for when you click on the coordinates to navigate that particular geocache. It is important to bring both a pen and gloves, as you might be touching various objects and containers on your hunt. Once you find the geocache, sign and date the logbook with your pen, and place it back where you found it! Some caches’ have other trinkets inside. Usually, you would take something and replace it with another little trinket, but given the circumstances, I would advise to not take anything else during this time. Once you have put it back, you can also log your experience in the app online by stating whether or not you found it! Hint: TFTC means ‘thanks for the cache’. If you’re struggling to find a cache, try scrolling down in the comments as people who have found it might offer hints! Now you’re set to start your family geocaching adventure with a little lingo to help. This can be done anywhere during and after quarantine (if finally lifted). For more information, visit the geocachingwebsite. Happy caching!
Arts & Crafts: Once again, it is that time for an arts and crafts project that you can be done with items you have on hand in the house. This week it is a Sock Bubble Maker. With the weather in full spring (get it?), outdoor activities are always a go-to! Are the kids interested in making bubbles but you don’t have any wands or bubbles? No problem! This is the perfect project and it is made of all recycled materials. Here are the materials you’ll need: an old sock, empty plastic bottle, dish soap, and water! Seems simple enough, right? First, cut the bottle in half. Next, place an old sock around the open end of the bottle. To top it off, simply dip the sock bottle into a shallow dish filled with dish soap and water. Now you have yourself a sock bubble maker! To use it, have the kids blow on the mouth part of the bottle and watch a bubble snake come out the other end! If you want to add some color to your bubbles, put a few drops of food coloring on the end of the sock. This is great entertainment for the kids outside on a beautiful day, making bubbles galore!
Listening Walk: There are many ways to spruce up those daily family walks by adding different elements to them. In the past, I have mentioned taking a dice and shape walk, but this week I will talk about a listening walk. It’s as simple as it sounds. As you embark on your walk, challenge the kids to see how many different things they hear while on the walk. Whether you’re enjoying the peace and quiet or hustle and bustle of your neighborhood, there are many different sounds to enjoy and hear while out on a walk. There are a few ways you can do this. One, where the goal is to see just how many different things you hear. Two, emphasize the peace and quiet and take in the surrounding sounds; the only time someone talks is when they want to share what they hear. Lastly, create a listening scavenger hunt list that you bring along with you and the mission is to try and check off as many sounds as you hear! Need some sound inspiration? Some things you can listen for on your walk are: a dog barking, cars driving, an airplane flying overhead, people talking, the wind, and birds to name a few. If you don’t feel like creating your own list, feel free to print off onehere. Have some fun with this and if it becomes a family favorite, switch up what they should be listening for each time!
Spell Out “LOVE” with Household Items: We all need a little extra love during these unprecedented times, so why not show some to others by spreading the love! Have the kids spell out the word “LOVE” using all kinds of household items. To personalize it, have them use things that they love to create the word. Some items you might use are your favorite book, food, toy, etc. Afterwards, take a picture and if you so choose, share it on social media with the hashtag #LoveFearlessly. Don’t have social media or feel like posting it? No problem! Take a picture anyways and send it to us to share! Spreading joy and love is a great reminder that we are all in this together. For an example, mine is pictured below.
California Academy of Sciences: With summer coming, the kids may have been looking forward to camps or field trips to the California Academy of Sciences. Although the academy is currently closed, they are still offering an array of tools to bring the natural sciences into your home! Through educational games, videos, interactive content, and DIY projects, the museum has an offering to help your children stay learning and engaged. What’s more, they even have live streams of their Planetarium programs that you can enjoy from your couch! Each week, the museum highlights a different subject to keep you engaged and connected. Is your child not really interested in science? No problem! At theAcademy @ Home, you can also check in on your favorite creatures that live there!