31 Ways To Make the Best Of It

Ideas to break up the monotony while staying at home with the family.

BY Melissa Sutton-Seng

Help create a bear hunt by putting a stuffed teddy bear in a window of your home and then kids can look for them on their walks. Photo by Allison Potter
Help create a bear hunt by putting a stuffed teddy bear in a window of your home and then kids can look for them on their walks. Photo by Allison Potter

No matter what you had planned for this spring, it certainly didn’t include social distancing, quarantine, or anything else that comes along with a global pandemic. By this point, you’ve been mostly confined to home for weeks. You’re tired and probably bored. So here are 31 ideas — one for every day in May — to break up the monotony and inject a bit of fun into a stuck-at-home routine.

1. Have a welcome party for the month of May. Bake your favorite treat (or order carry-out). Make some homemade decorations. Invite friends and family to virtually attend via Zoom or FaceTime and ask everyone to dress up.

2. Write thank-you notes for people who’ve been working on the front lines of the pandemic crises. 

3. Everyone has a skill to share. Teach yours to someone else. Offer to teach an informal class via video. 

4. Grab a favorite children’s book and host an online storytime to give other parents a short break. Or join New Hanover County on Facebook for a live streaming storytime.

5. Buy a big box of sidewalk chalk and leave a few pieces on each neighbor’s porch. Ask everyone to decorate the sidewalk or the end of their driveway.

6. Grow something. Pick up some seed packets on your next grocery run or put in an order for a kitchen window herb garden.

7. Host a front porch sing-along. Message your neighbors and invite everyone to come outside and sing fun songs together.

8. Make time for silence. The constant influx of information and entertainment is overwhelming. Set aside tech-free time to recalibrate.

9. Organize your pantry. Then see what you can cook with the random ingredients you discover hidden there. 

10. Happy Mother’s Day! Remember your mother, grandmothers and mothers-in-law on their day with a card, encouraging note and a phone call.

11. Write down your memories of these weeks, one day you’ll look back on them in awe.

12. Gather your craft supplies and see what you can make. Give yourself full creative freedom. 

13. Weed a neighbor’s flower beds.

14. Send someone a surprise food delivery from your favorite local spot or delivery service.

15. Create a visual-only scavenger hunt around the neighborhood and share it with your neighbors.

16. Rearrange your furniture. If you have kids, let them decide where things should go.

17. Contact a local charity or church and see how you can help them meet community needs.

18. Make a list of people you know who are home alone and send them animated ecards.

19. Help create a bear hunt: place a stuffed teddy bear in a window of your home and then the kids can look for them on their walks. 

20. Mail notes and homemade artwork to out-of-town relatives and friends.

21. Go for a bike ride and stop to take pictures of flowers.

22. Have a neighborhood physical-distancing picnic. Invite everyone to spread a blanket on their own front lawn at dinner time. 

23. Purge your closets. This is a great time to clean, and many people will need donated items in the coming months. Be sure to donate only items in good condition and recycle the rest.

24. Host a cooking contest, either in person with your household or a virtual one with friends. Gourmet grilled cheese anyone?

25. To honor those who died while serving in the U.S. Armed Forces, celebrate Memorial Day like never before. Go all out with flags and buntings.

26. Learn a new skill. From crafts to languages to cooking, dozens of sites are offering free and discounted courses during this crisis.

27. Have a DIY spa day. If you’re quarantining with kids, let them create a service list, set up a salon, and “charge” the adults for things like manicures and foot soaks.

28. If you can, pay a bill for someone else. If not, donate some time to a nonprofit.

29. Create a maze or labyrinth in your yard. Use leaves or sticks for a temporary path, rocks or bricks for a more permanent one. 

30. Put a thank you for all you do card of appreciation in your mailbox for your mail deliverer, you can even include a gift card.

31. Plan a neighborhood party to celebrate the end of this crisis!

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