200+ Things to Do When You're Social Distancing | Kids Out and About Hartford

200+ Things to Do When You're Social Distancing

-by Carol White Llewellyn

 

As communities, businesses, arts organizations, sports organizations, festivals and other organizations close in conscientious concern for their patrons, many people are faced with empty calendars, temporary business closings, social distancing or even self-quarantining. These unprecedented periods of "down time" may prove more than a little challenging for people who normally have active social lives. Just because you're sequestered doesn't mean you have to be bored! Below, we list more than 200 activities to entertain, distract,  engage and assist you in passing the time.

 

Games, Crafts and More

  1. Did you know Wikipedia lists 90 different Solitaire games? Pull out the cards and learn a new one, or play it online or on a phone app.
  2. Print out photos from your computer or phone, and start a scrapbooking project 
  3. Create beautiful holiday crafts (any holiday!) with materials found around the house
  4. Download and play Words with Friends and invite friends to play online.
  5. Crossword puzzles are always fun for “words people,” and they can now be done in print or online
  6. Take up Dungeons & Dragons online
  7. Take up calligraphy or hand lettering
  8. Take up embroideryneedle pointred work or other crafts that use needle and thread
  9. If you love numbers, Sudoku is available in print, on a phone app or online
  10. Create your own new jewelry
  11. Pull out those beautiful coloring books for adults that you recieved and never got to
  12. Create a family vacation memory book by choosing photos from your phone or computer and uploading them to an online site
  13. Take up crocheting or knitting. There are lots of great online videos that will teach you how
  14. Take up wood whittling. (You’ll find kits on Amazon and videos on youtube)
  15. Create a henna design on your hand or arm
  16. Use no kiln clay to make a piece of pottery
  17. Discover the fine art of Origami, by folding small squares of paper to create ornaments, jewelry decorations or even multi-piece centerpieces.
  18. Repot youe plants
  19. Make photo gifts for upcoming birthdays. Upload favorite photos from your phone or computer and have mugs, t-shirts or bags created as gifts for friends and family.
  20. Do decoupage or make a mosaic
  21. Make a Zen garden
  22. Make a fairy garden
  23. Make a terrarium
  24. Put your fabric skills to work for others. There are tons of programs (https://www.knotsoflove.org/nicu-blanket-patterns or http://www.mooncatcher.org/ )
  25. Plan a wall full of family photographs with a scale-model drawing, and go ahead and order prints and frames to do later
  26. Do a jigsaw puzzle
  27. Make a card house
  28. Learn about astrology, chakras and healing stones
  29. Solve a Rubik’s Cube (yes, they do still make these fascinating puzzles, invented around 1980!)
  30. Play a game of checkers or chess with a family member.
  31. Pull out some old board games you haven't played in a while, and have a game night.
  32. Make an arm-knitted scarf
  33. Make a bird feeder or paint a birdhouse.
  34. Make a $10 Compost Bin and use it in your garden later.
  35. Sew a new outfit or an outfit for your little ones' dolls
  36. Design and print out your own stationery
  37. Make a work of art or craft and submit it to the #Antisocialartshow
  38. Make a work that is 6" x 6" and submit it to RoCo's 6x6 Art Show
  39. Hand paint a t-shirt, shoes or a bag with fabric paint
  40. Make a dream catcher
  41. Make an arm-knitted scarf

 

Plan Your Travel Adventures

  1. Plan your next vacation. 
  2. Get a travel map and mark all the destinations to which you’ve been! You can use a regular map and markers or find scratch off or pin maps on Amazon. These make interesting conversation pieces when mounted.
  3. Plan a day trip or staycation for when attractions are open again.  They will need your support!  (101 Day Trips from Rochester is a great resource for this!)
  4. Look up and make a list of the dates of events and festivals you’d like to attend once events start running again.
  5. Investigate State Parks and wilderness regions you've never visited and plan your getaway.
  6. Research museums to visit once they reopen.
  7. Plan a camping trip.

 

Write Away

  1. Write a film review of a movie you’ve watched, and share it on social media or with friends
  2. Review a restaurant or attraction - Post it to Yelp
  3. Handwrite and send notes or cards to friends (You’ll give a lift to your day and theirs!)
  4. Start a coronavirus journal, or simply journal about favorite people and memories
  5. Think about something you’d like to get off your chest and submit an editorial to a newspaper, magazine or blog.
  6. Share your expertise - Write a ‘how to’ article about something you know well and submit it to an online site.
  7. Practice armchair activism: sign petitions or write to politicians about issues you care about
  8. Write your memoir. No one has to see it, unless you care to share it with them, but remembering your favorite adventures of the past can be joyful.
  9. Write an email or note to a friend you haven't seen in a while.
  10. Look up old friends on socical media and send a catch up note.
  11. Start a blog. Write about anything your heart desires. Start it for free at wordpress.com or blogger.com
  12. Write that great American novel you've had on the back burner
  13. Write a poem and submit it to a poetry journal
  14. Try your hand at writing a song

 

Catch up on reading

  1. Pick up a book and catch up on your reading
  2. Search through old recipe books and mark new recipes to prepare.
  3. Re-read your favorite children’s books…to yourself, or to the little ones in your life. 
  4. Discover a new detective novel series to read
  5. Catch up on your magazine reading
  6. Subscribe to a new and fascinating online newsletter
  7. Subscribe to Audible and catch on some of the books you've missed, while you're also doing something else
  8. Read a book on financial planning 
  9. Read comic books or graphic novels 
  10. Read a book of poetry and memorize a poem

 

Organize, Fix or Plan It!

  1. Pull out a drawer, your jewelry, your sock drawer, your fishing tackle or some other contained space and enjoy the satisfaction of putting things in order.
  2. Clean out your junk drawer (who doesn’t have at least one?)
  3. Finish your taxes
  4. Who doesn’t have a pile of clothes that need mending, buttons or a stitch or two?
  5. Plan your garden – You can use magazines or online sites to plan your spring garden
  6. Attack the junk mail pile that looks like the leaning tower of Pisa, and shred mail that needs it (or am I the only one who has one of those?)
  7. Share recipes – Got a couple of favorite recipes people would love to have? Write them out on paper or digitally and share them with friends and family members.
  8. Birthday cards – If you stock up on birthday cards in advance, use your social distancing time to add cute, personal messages to them (but make sure you put them someplace you’ll find them when the birthday comes around!)
  9. Clean out/update your address book or the contact list on your phone
  10. Unsubscribe from annoying email lists
  11. Research an issue you care about or some big-ticket item (washer, dryer or new car) that you'll need to buy soon
  12. Polish your shoes
  13. Clean and polish your silver jewelry
  14. With help from Google or a manual, figure out what all the buttons on your remote control
  15. Update your resume. It’s always good to keep it up-to-date, even if you don’t need it!
  16. Gather those things you want to throw out or donate 
  17. Cut apart old worn-out sheets or towels to use as rags, or to donate to an animal shelter where they’re always in need.
  18. Plan your spring garden.
  19. Plan that remodel of a room that needs updating
  20. Go through your bookshelves and collect books to donate to your library.
  21. Go through your closets and collect clothing and shoes to donate.
  22. Tighten knobs, kitchen chair legs and loose door handles
  23. Straigten and organize your desk
  24. Organize your workbench, tool cabinet or craft room
  25. Clean out the basement
  26. Tackle the 'honey do' list
  27. Rearrange furniture and decor to create a new look and feel in your home
  28. Go through your spice rack, pantry and medicine closet to eliminate products with expired dates
  29. Plan a birthday party or family gathering for when the virus is gone
  30. Organize your tackle box and get your rods and reels ready for fishing season
  31. Clean all the brushes in your house
  32. Clean out your makeup drawer
  33. Find household stuff you no longer need and give it away on your local Freecycle
  34. Clean out, vacuum, and disinfect your car
  35. Install smoke detectors or Change your smoke detector batteries
  36. Make or update a bucket list
  37. Do a new or revised budget

 

The Great Outdoors

  1. Go for a hike
  2. Pump up the tires, and go for a bike ride
  3. Build a treehouse for the little ones in your life (there are lots of instructions online!)
  4. Do outdoor photography 
  5. Go birding
  6. Make a rock garden
  7. Go fly a kite
  8. Escape to a cabin in the woods
  9. Go running
  10. Walk the dog in a new location where there are not a lot of people
  11. Walk along the beach, shore or on the boardwalk (staying a distance from people)
  12. Take a car ride into an area you haven't explored before
  13. Do a plein air painting
  14. Play horseshoes
  15. Invite neighbors in to play badminton (you'll be a net's length apart!)
  16. Play tennis with a friend at the community court (you've got the net in between)
  17. Create a chalk mural on the driveway or sidewalk
  18. Make your own mini fitness trail in your backyard
  19. Find a family member to help you practice your pitching or batting to get ready for softball or baseball season
  20. Make a $10 DIY compost bin and use the compost later in your garden
  21. Star Gaze
  22. Learn and find new constellations
  23. Make luminarias and light up your driveway
  24. Skip stones at the water's edge
  25. Collect rocks or sea shells
  26. Fishing
  27. Canoeing, kayaking or boating
  28. Watch a virtual performance

 

It’s All Online

  1. Set up a Spotify account (if you don’t have one already). Create a play list of your favorite tunes to enjoy while recovering.
  2. Download photos – Create a backup of the photos on your phone
  3. There are lots of online videos to watch where you can learn a new skill or craft by watching youtube.
  4. Check out phone apps to solve problems – If you have a challenge you’d like to address (other than cloning, money magnet, or the magic wand app), there’s probably an app that will address it!
  5. Download and listen to an audio book or podcast (if you’re not sure where to start, try Stitcher or Libby)
  6. Do research online for a room remodeling project.
  7. Edit your photos. If some of your photos would be great, if only the color were adjusted or they were cropped, check out some of the fun, free editing software (picmonkey or Gimp are two)
  8. Watch TED Talks. You’ll find entertain, informational and inspirational talks on almost any topic. 
  9. Explore online recipes, and investigate new food websites. Research interesting recipes for yourself, or for friends and family members with food allergies or restrictions.
  10. Skype, facetime or do a google hangout with friends and family you can't visit.
  11. Use the Cornell Lab or Ornithology's app to discover the birds in your community or identify them by their sounds and songs.
  12. Take a virtual tour of the works in more than a dozen museums
  13. Sign up for an onliine class for something you'd like to learn.
  14. Start learning a new language
  15. Learn the basics of American Sign Language for free through Gallaudet
  16. Check out the newest fashion, hair or makeup styles
  17. Create and post some social media memes
  18. Create an online video about a subject that interests you (or your pets, or your hobby, or....)
  19. Create a coronavirus reality show and videotape an episode
  20. Investigate a social media vehicle you've been curious about (TikTok anyone?)
  21. Add images to your Pinterest or Instagram account
  22. Search for a friend from high school or your old neighborhood on Facebook
  23. Catch up on 15 Broadway Plays and Musicals you can watch onliine
  24. Learn coding for Free through MIT
  25. Check out the live webcams on some national parks
  26. Check out animal cams from a variety of zoos, including the San Diego Zoo, the National Zoo, the Houston Zoo, and more

 

Cooking

  1. Get ready for the next holiday by researching some new recipes
  2. Make off-season Christmas cookies in spring colors
  3. Do a wine, beer, coffee or tea tasting with your family
  4. Pull out an old family recipe and make it
  5. Look up international recipes and plan an international menu or week of dinners
  6. Look up the recipe of a dish you've always wanted to make and give it a whirl. (Watch Julie and Julla for inspiration)
  7. Can jams, jellies or preserves
  8. Make applesauce and freeze it for future use
  9. Investigate and start wine making or beer brewing
  10. Look up two different recipes for the same dish, make both and serve them, to see which your family likes more.
  11. Research and learn what types of wines go with what foods.
  12. Make bread
  13. Take a free online cooking class (check out Instructables or America's Test Kitchen, offered free for 14 Days) 
  14. Experiment with cake decorating
  15. Put togeether a family cook book
  16. Make your own granola mix

 

Miscellaneous

  1. Explore activities you can undertake to reduce your carbon footprint and help save the planet
  2. Discover a new television series and binge watch it from the beginning
  3. Use your phone to record interesting stories from your childhood or earlier years or to create one out of the blue to share with your family. 
  4. Plant a window herb garden 
  5. Practice an old (or learn a new) musical instrument
  6. Do a short, daily (or weekly) video recording on your phone and text or email it to friends
  7. Google the lyrics to a song you love but only know words for the chorus
  8. Investigate the world of Aromatherapy 
  9. Investigate new restaurants to patronize once everthing is open (they also will need your business!)
  10. Check in on and help out a neighbor who is elderly or has compromised health
  11. Watch some of your favorite "old" movies
  12. Check out a documentary or two (Here's a list of the 25 best documentaries on Netflix)
  13. Put on your favorite music or show tunes and sing along at the top of your lungs
  14. Investigate a new diet
  15. Research Your Family Tree

 

Pampering

  1. Groom or cuddle your pet, or teach it a new trick (if you don't have symptoms)
  2. Do stretching exercises, take up yogo, or do tai chi using old videos or online sites
  3. Take up, or do meditation 
  4.  Listen to the rain on a stormy day. 
  5. Check out the many free phone and online apps that will help you do self-hypnosis
  6. Paint your nails; Give yourself a manicure or pedicure
  7. Call a friend or a relative you haven't seen for a while and catch up! 
  8. Take an extra-long bath with epsom salts
  9. Give yourself a facial
  10. Do a Cleanse
  11. Do partner massages (unless either person showis symptoms)
  12. Start a new exercise regime at home
  13. Try zumba using an onlline video

 

As we face these uncertain and disturbing times, we wish for the health and safety of you and those you love.

 

With thanks to KidsOutAndAbout.com's June, Katie, Helena, and several readers for their collaboration and suggestions on this article.


Carol White Llewellyn is Editor of BeyondTheNest.com and the host and producer of Conversations with Creatives, a cable and online TV program that explores the arts and celebrates artists and their work.

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