April 6, 2020

Coronavirus: Fun Things to Do While Social Distancing

Written by Natalie Dreier, Cox Media Group National Content Desk

As COVID-19 social distancing and self quarantining continue, some of us may be going stir crazy not able to go and do the things we’re used to.

Now is the time to relax, but when you’ve been cooped up for weeks, and still can’t hit the malls or movie theaters, how can you spend your time?

There are a lot of options out there.

Pick up a new instrument

Fender announced three free months of lessons on Fender Play, People magazine reported.

The company will teach you how to play acoustic guitar, electric guitar, bass or ukulele. All you have to do is sign up and find an instrument.

At the same time, Gibson is teaming with Amped Guitars to offer free months of online guitar lessons, NME reported.

Those companies are using the Amped Guitar Learning app that is currently only available on the Apple App store to learn how to play.

Make masks

The White House and other government officials continue to debate whether to advise people to wear masks to protect themselves and others from coronavirus.

Recently, President Donald Trump said his administration would have regulations when it came to the general population and the wearing of masks, but that the measures would be voluntary. Some opportunities for wearing masks while in public would be when going to pharmacies and grocery stores, The New York Times reported.

All you need is some fabric, elastic and time. Click here for different designs.

Have a campfire in the backyard

If you’re legally able to do so, either make or buy a fire pit and sit around the fire. Share family stories or ghost stories. Then make s’mores or toasted marshmallows.

You can even keep the gas grill off and cook over an open fire making foil pack meals or mountain pies (camping versions of Hot Pockets).

Have a backyard “drive-in”

Find a sheet, get a projector and let the movie light up the night after the sun goes down.

Click here for setup ideas that run the gamut from low tech to over the top when it comes to gear.

Camp in the backyard

If the weather cooperates, and you have the gear, string up a hammock, put up a tent and “rough it" from the safety of your own backyard. Click here for some ideas.

Connect with friends virtually

We use virtual meeting apps for work all the time, but why not use platforms like Zoom and Skype to hold a virtual party or a virtual happy hour?

Learn to draw

Mo Willems, the author of the Pigeon and Elephant and Piggy children’s books hosts a daily lunch doodle. While you may not be able to take the time at 1 p.m. every weekday, catch up on the weekends. The classes are all on YouTube.

Disney animator Michael Woodside is also hosting a daily drawing class where he teaches kids and grownups how to draw Disney characters. Find out early in the day who he plans to draw by visiting his Twitter site, then log into YouTube for the live class.

Participate in a heart, bear or rainbow scavenger hunt

People are putting a heart, bear or a rainbow in a window to allow kids to go on a hunt.

The bears were, according to KSAT, a book and song called “We’re Going on a Bear Hunt.”

You can not only put the requested item in a window if you’re allowed to leave the confines of your home, but you can also try to see if anyone in your neighborhood is participating, as long as you are doing it by practicing social distancing.

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Learn a new craft, hobby

Got one of those high tech paper crafting machines collecting dust on the shelf, then learn how to use the Silhouette or Cricut. You can use them not only scrapbooking (even though it would be a great time to go through all those photos both in boxes and on your phone) but also to make shirts, jewelry and wall art.

Try knitting. You just need some yarn, not even needles are required if you finger-knit, according to Martha Stewart.

Or you can try painting. There are a lot of options, Stewart says.

HGTV has a quiz to help you find the right craft or hobby for you.

Build a Lego

If you have kids, and they have a bin of Legos, dump them out and build. See what you can come up with by free-building. But there are some kits that are more adult-friendly than kid-friendly.

One thing you can do with some Legos and other things laying around the house is to make a Rube Goldberg Machine, WKBW suggested. Basically make a complicated machine to do something simple.

Play board, card games

Turn off the Switch, XBox, PS4, iPads and dig out one of the board games that are stashed in the hall closet. See if you can beat your family at Trivial Pursuit, or how about an epic game of Monopoly or Risk. There’s no need to play the short versions since we all have hours to kill.

Play some poker or Uno too.

Binge-watch a series

Want to find out why everyone’s talking about Baby Yoda, but you haven’t sat down to watch “The Mandalorian?" Now is your chance.

There’s a bunch of shows that are perfect for binge-watching while you’re still home.

Maybe you’ll want to start new shows like “Picard” or catch up on those classic “Seinfeld” episodes.

Get some culture

The Metropolitan Opera is streaming nightly. Click here for the schedule.

The Kennedy Center is uploading new shows to YouTube every day. You can see Sara Bareilles, Gladys Knight and Queen Latifah from the comfort of your couch.

Broadway HD also has about 300 classic musicals, plays and shows, according to Cosmopolitan. BroadwayWorld is also posting clips of stars singing songs from popular shows.

The National Theatre is streaming a production a week each Thursday. You can see what’s showing here.

You can also visit a museum without leaving the comfort of your home. Click here for a list.

Read a book

Psychology Today suggests reading five books you have always wanted to read but never had the time.

Write, journal

The COVID-19 pandemic has a lot of people saying we’re living in an unprecedented time. Write about it. Or if you always wanted to write a book, start writing, Psychology Today suggested.

Listen to podcasts

Find your favorite topic and listen to a podcast on it, The New York Times suggested.

Go for a walk, get outside

You can leave your homes in most cases, just practice social distancing. if you’re not under curfew or shelter-in-place orders. Doctors say fresh air and exercise are good for not only your physical health but also mental health, USA Today reported. You can walk around your neighborhood if you live in the suburbs, go to a park, go hiking or go jogging. Just make sure you know where and when you can go when it comes to the state laws and COVID-19 restrictions.

One place you should avoid is a playground. If you do end up on a playground, make sure you wash your hands and don’t touch your face, USA Today reported.

Cook

See what you have in your pantry and whip up a new meal, Psychology Today recommends.

Or make it competition the likes of “Chopped” or “Iron Chef America.” SuperCook is one app that can help. Auguste Escoffier School of Culinary Arts has a list of others.

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