Our lives have been turned upside down in recent weeks and it’s particularly challenging now that schools, businesses, restaurants, and entertainment venues are closed for the indefinite future. While we can’t gather together and we are sheltering in the confines of our homes, we know in our hearts that what will keep us sane in these trying times are creativity and laughter. With that in mind, the participants in the newly formed Malvern Arts (www.malvernarts.org) have compiled this list of simple suggestions to enrich the coming days for you and your family.
Choose a favorite movie and make it an event. Put out a snack like popcorn or chips. Let the kids make tickets to get in the room. Dim the lights, relax and enjoy.
Find a book that the whole family can enjoy and read a chapter a night or take turns reading to one another.
Learn a new skill like origami, making paper airplanes, knitting, macrame, bird watching, hair braiding, yoga, cats cradle, art from recycled objects (known as upcycling), teaching tricks to your dog—the possibilities are endless. Practice it daily.
Set the stage: pull out the LED fairy lights and put them up in a cozy room. Get out all the extra blankets, sheets and throws and let the kids build a “fort” where they can escape to read, dream, draw, or just veg out during this enforced togetherness.
Plan a family games night. Try something like Charades or Pictionary that involve some physical activity.
Put on some upbeat music or whatever gets your toes tapping and your body moving. Sing along and dance like no one is watching.
Learn and teach your kids a new dance every day. Go back to The Charleston, Jitterbug, the Twist, Line Dances, and have them teach you Hip Hop and others that are new to you.
Pull out the old Halloween costumes and anything in the closet that could be potential costume material and let the kids put on a play. Give them a space to brainstorm, rehearse, and then attend the performance.
Start a diary or write a story. If you don’t have an appropriate blank book handy, fold some notebook paper to make one and let the kids start by designing their cover.
Give every family member a sheet of blank paper and a subject to draw. After a minute, pass it to the person on your right who will keep drawing. After a minute, the same again. After a set time or when every drawing is deemed finished, you share the resulting artwork.
Stories work well the same way, Each person starts writing a story. After a set time, like 2 min., you pass it to the person next to you to continue writing. After perhaps 10 min. each person has to write an ending to the story they have in front of them and then you read them all aloud.
If you have little ones at home who can’t write, let them tell you a story. Write a sentence on each page and then let them illustrate each page.
Make music on any instruments you have in the house or improvise. What would make a good box drum? Any bells handy or try playing spoons. Go online to see homemade instruments.
Pull out the art supplies and make sure they are handy when someone feels inspired. If you have crayons, demonstrate scratch art or start dying those Easter eggs if you have the food coloring handy. Google other means of decorating eggs.
Go outside after dark, sit in chairs and look up while your eyes adjust to the dark. Count stars or airplanes or watch the moon rise and look for the planet Venus overhead in the West.
Explore your yard for signs of Spring. Make a list and illustrate one or more of them.
Write a real, snail mail letter to someone you miss and send it to them. Better yet, make a card to send to them and then write the letter and enclose it.
Keep in touch with loved ones you can’t visit, especially the elderly. Send them a video of your family doing some of these activities. Facetime them frequently and if you are playing a game like “20 Questions”, they can even play along on Facetime.
Cook or bake together. Make a “little somethin’ somethin’” together that you usually don’t have time to do.
Plan a family joke night and look up some “Dad Jokes” or “Some “Knock Knock Jokes” to share. Google Jokes for Kids and take it from there.
While you are googling, how about looking up some simple magic tricks or card tricks for kids to learn and then practice like crazy.
Design a family coat of arms or banner. Look at examples on-line and then incorporate what makes your family special.
Read some fun poems for kids. Introduce them to Limericks or Haiku and let them try writing some on their own. Google Poems for Kids and you will find lots of material.
Get out the puzzles and make puzzle games (like escape rooms). Check on-line for ideas.
Have a music exchange – sharing your favorite song with one another – or even sharing an album for older kids.
Check out the links for virtual museum tours, zoos, or national parks being circulated on Facebook.
Make magazine mosaics – cut up old periodicals to make artistic pictures/birthday cards/etc. Write your own line of greeting cards – make them funny.
Try an impromptu public speaking jar. Place subject ideas in a jar and pick a topic to talk about for one minute, or to talk together about for however long you want (include “get to know you” topics).
Write your own Mad Libs.
Plan a scavenger or treasure hunts (use the yard and the house).
Create a round-the-world letter. Write to someone you know in another place, have them add to it and email it to someone else to see how far it can go. How many stops will it take to go all the way around the world and back to you? Use Email to track where it was sent and mark its route on a map.
Safety and fun should be the ultimate outcome of this list. Take good care of one another and please take all precautions even when you are at home. For much of what is referenced above, you can find more information online by searching the key words. Make memories, have fun, be safe, be well and when all of this is over, come to Malvern Arts, where we can share creative activities together!
If you know someone who might be interested in Malvern Arts’ programs, please invite them to sign up for these emailed updates on the website. Thank you!
Note: We are still trying to reconstruct our email subscriber list, so if you didn’t respond to our last email, please go to the NEW website to sign up again. There are 4 steps:
Look at the address line in your browser. If it says mmsarts.com, you are on the old site. Please type in www.malvernarts.org and go to the new site; your browser should now read: www.malvernarts.org.
Type your email address in the box on the Welcome page and hit the black button marked “sign up for our blog.” When you do this, MA will send you a confirmation email right away. If you don’t see it, check your junk/spam folder. YOU MUST CONFIRM YOUR SUBSCRIPTION or the sign up will not be complete.
Add malvernarts.org to your “safe senders” list, so you don’t miss any emails about what’s going on/coming up.
Finally, bookmark this new page (and eliminate any bookmark you might have made for the old one).