Sorry for the rant, but we know you’re bored. However, stores aren’t entertainment – a place to roam because you or your kids are bored and want something to do.
If you own a home, teach your kids to paint and do yard work. If they’re too young to mow a lawn, let them hold your hand as you push the mower. If you use a riding mower, buy a push mower to do this. When they’re old enough, they’ll know how to. Remove the grass-catchers then let them rake the yard after. Teach them to trim.
Teach them to build birdhouses, then get a smartphone app that identifies birds, or go online. Create a list of birds you see each day. Learn about the birds. Do they migrate or remain? What do their nests and eggs look like? What sounds do they make? What plants can you grow to attract more, or what birdseed do they enjoy?
Get an app that identifies plants, and wander the yard learning what those “weeds” are. If you can – and can follow Social-Distancing guidelines doing so – wander local parks and local woods learning what plants exist there. Again, record what you found and look them up online. Some plants may be edible. Think of ideas how to include them in meals.
Teach your kids how to cook. If there isn’t fire danger where you live, and it’s legal, light a fire in a fire pit outside. Teach your kids to cook over it, or learn together. Teach them how to pop popcorn with no microwave available – do YOU know how? Sing around the fire. Camp next to it for a night and boil water for tea or cocoa in the morning.
Plan a garden and – when frost danger is over for where you live – teach your kids how to garden and grow their own food. This may be most important this year, as produce dwindles. Don’t have a yard? Try potted vegetables on your balcony. If your apartment has a yard, ask your landlord if you can have a “Victory Garden” of potted veggies. When we lived in an apartment, we were allowed to plant a small garden in the back, near the foundation.
Many modern televisions have ports for plugging a computer video output into. Plug yours in and make research a family affair. Learn recipes online. Learn gardening tips online. Explore Google Maps. Show your children where you live, where their grandparents live (or lived). Click on a random country and learn about it together. Learn the stars, make a planisphere and try finding stars and constellations at night.
And, please! Don’t forget reading! Too young? Bull. My father read to me every night since I can remember, and I came away with a voracious appetite for reading – and writing. You may not know how to teach English, Math, or other courses at home, but when they return to school, you’ll help many teachers by putting the love of reading in their head.
Speaking of education, try finding educational services online. If you don’t know English, Math or Social Studies, learn it with them. Do quizzes together – let them test you! Learn the history of your town, your state or province and your country!
If you’re spiritual, spend time reading your religious texts and research the meanings online. If you are clergy, reach out to others of your faith online, whether video or blog. If you’re doing video, include your family. Sing your hymns together. Show your love of faith and family.
Yes, you’ll need to shop for many things. Send your spouse. If you need to decide on a paint color, one of you go get a handful of swatches, then discuss ideas at home. If online ordering is available, use it and have your choices delivered, or use curbside-pickup at the store. Use that TV with your computer connected and let the family virtual-shop with you. If you must go to a store, one of you go, get what you need then go home.
Stores may be reducing the number of customers allowed inside at a time, but stores also lack many workers due to sickness, using time off, or who quit. This increases the workload on the workers remaining, who have to face those in the store with you AND those waiting outside to enter next. Some stores have had to close due to a large loss of employees, only opening again after receiving volunteers from other stores of their chain. Some stores may close for long periods of time – or forever.
Workers are stressing. You may be in fine physical shape and will survive the virus, but some workers aren’t and worry about getting ill, but continue working because they need the pay and fear using personal-time-off needed should they get ill.
You want to thank Essentials, heed what I’ve said here.
I love you all. Stay safe and stay home. Don’t touch your face until you’ve washed your hands.