The spread of COVID-19 throughout Canada and other parts of the world has affected day-to-day life tremendously. In an instant, normal routines have been turned upside down. Now, to do your part to slow the spread, you and your family are being asked to stay in your home as much as possible.

Of course, this huge change is not without its own challenges. Parents must now work from home while watching over their children. They must also act as their children’s teachers. Children, for their part, are suddenly without their classmates and instructors. Structure, in general, has gone out the window.

To help your family adjust a little more smoothly during this trying time, we’ve gathered 10 unique and fun games to play while in isolation. Whether it’s you alone, you with your family, or you and your spouse or roommate, these games can hopefully bring some light and learning to your days in isolation.

10 Ideas for Activities and Games at Home

1. Put together a jigsaw puzzle

Jigsaw puzzles are an excellent activity for individuals, couples, and families. They’re truly ideal during lockdown as well because you can simply leave them out on a table at all times and only work on them when you feel like it. There’s no need to have time restraints on this “game” because it’s simply always a work in progress until it’s finished!

2. Bake a cake

Whether it’s for someone’s birthday or just for fun, baking together is a super-fun activity that also results in a delicious treat!

3. Play hide and seek

If you have young children, they’ll love this game. Hide and seek is a classic and one that can be played for hours on end with any combination of kids and adults.

Playing it at home allows your house to be used as a “playground.” Of course, if it’s nice out, spend some time outdoors to play this game! It’s certainly a great option for rainy, cold days when it’s not possible to go outside as well.

4. Have an impromptu dance party

Put on your favorite jams, and dance till your hearts are content!

5. Plant a vegetable garden

Planting a garden is an excellent idea for the whole family during isolation. Everyone should know how to plant basic things like herbs, baby lettuce leaves, or tomatoes. Planting seeds can be done together, and this activity can even be combined with a science lesson.

In the end, you’ll also reap the benefits of fresh vegetables if you do your planting right! The best things to plant — especially for beginners — include herbs like basil, cilantro, parsley, oregano, and thyme or basic vegetable plants like tomatoes or green peppers.

6. Play “who can be the quietest”

If you’re a parent and you’re having a day where you just can’t seem to take the noise level anymore, play the classic game, “who can be the quietest?” All it takes to win this game is being quiet as a mouse. If it lasts long enough, you’ll finally get that little bit of respite you need to get you through the rest of the day — you might even be able to do some of your own hobbies.

7. Cook dinner together

Like baking, cooking is the perfect activity for teaching basic lessons and getting to have something tasty — dinner! If you like, you can even turn your recipe into a math lesson (“how many potatoes would you have if I took 5 of your 12 away?”).

8. Have reading time

While home for the duration of your days, it’s good to implement some sort of schedule. This keeps everyone in the house on track and keeps the days from running into each other.

Reading time is a great period to implement within your schedule. It can be after dinner on weekdays or during afternoon snack time — whenever it fits. During this time, everyone reads a book, magazine, or comic.

9. Word Games: Try your hand at a crossword puzzle, or play scrabble

Crossword puzzles are a fantastic activity to keep your brain alert and active. This is an especially great activity for elderly individuals who may not get a lot of social time with friends, relatives, or neighbours during the isolation period. Keeping your mind sharp with word games should be a priority, and crossword puzzles are the perfect option.

If you are with family members during isolation, you can also play Scrabble — another great way to keep your verbal mind working and active. Just like jigsaw puzzles, Scrabble can be a game that’s left out and played at short intervals whenever you have time. Those who have access to the Internet and a smart phone or tablet can also play Scrabble online by way of Words With Friends.

10. Learn a language

When will you get a better time to learn a new skill? For many people, language-learning is at the top of the list when it comes to things to learn. With your family, you can learn together by practicing dialogues with each other. Or, on your own, you can learn with personal study or by using apps like Duolingo.

Together, We Are Stronger

There’s no doubt that life after the coronavirus epidemic of 2020 will be different. Right now, we are in the most challenging period of this crisis. Worry, stress, and anxiety are just the tip of the iceberg for most of us. Fortunately, all it takes to do your part is staying home whenever possible, washing your hands, social distancing, and wearing gloves and face masks where appropriate.

We hope these games and activities bring some light to your lives during this difficult time. And remember — we’re all in this together!

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