3 ideas for adding variety to your new at-home self-quarantine routine


COVID-19 Quarantine Parental Log, Day 5: Streaming overwhelm has commenced. Kids have officially watched and re-watched every episode of “The Mandalorian,” “Stranger Things,” “A Series of Unfortunate Events” and “Anne With an E.” Hubby and I have also finished “Schitt’s Creek,” “Love is Blind” and “Jack Ryan.”

System failure is imminent. I’m not sure our overworked internet provider can handle any more downloads. And Prime, Hulu, Disney+ and Netflix memberships are all due to renew next week!

Snack and soda rations are quickly being depleted. Thankfully pantry staples and toilet paper supply are plentiful.

COVID-19 Cabin Fever has been officially diagnosed. Treatment needed immediately.

Does this scenario sound familiar? Is your, previously spacious home feeling a bit more claustrophobic with your entire family now hunkered down 24/7? Are your children begging for new activity ideas? Are you seeking sanctuary from all the coronavirus news?

Amid all the updates of venue closures, event postponements, images of toilet paper-fueled battles and the lighthearted memes, there has been a blast of refreshing educational and entertainment news and resources ideal for shaking off the COVID-19 Cabin Fever. There are opportunities to creatively learn something new, tours of new destinations to enjoy virtually, and even entertainment replacements for all those calendar cancellations streamed directly to your favorite device.

Education for everyone

It has long been declared, by generations of mothers, that homeschool isn’t for everyone. But, with the closure of schools across the nation, it appears that homeschool is for everyone, if only temporarily. With teachers clamoring to create study packets and launch virtual classrooms to teach remotely, it is now Mom’s and Dad’s responsibility to ensure their school-aged children are sticking to their studies.

Luckily, there is a multitude of resources available to supplement those homework packets, everything from suggested grade-appropriate reading lists and daily course outlines from Scholastic to youth cooking and art classes. While some of these are paid services, many websites are offering significant discounts or free trials, perfect for a 14-day quarantine.

Teachers seeking distance learning ideas can tap into a variety of free lesson plans created by Adobe. Your now-digital K-12 classroom can be even further enhanced by Adobe’s lesson plans, courses for educators, blog posts and on-demand webinars.

Don’t let your children be the only ones in your household reaping the benefits of online learning. There are amazing opportunities to expand your own learning, too.

Add some Ivy League bragging rights to your resume by auditing a Harvard humanities course on Masterpieces of World Literature. Or maybe you’d like to study Financial Markets at Yale. This comprehensive list on FreeCodeCamp.org offers 450 Ivy League courses currently available online for free.

If you’re an artist or even an art historian, there are several online art classes ready for streaming. Artsy.com lists 10 university-level courses on art history like Comics: Art in Relationship from California College of the Arts. And artists wanting to brush up on their skills can enjoy countless YouTube instructional and inspirational videos. Jerry’s Artarama is a great video resource. Doodlers, too, can take a course from “Don’t Let the Pigeon Drive the Bus” children’s author Mo Willems. Children also will love the guided art lessons featured on YouTube from ArtforKidsHub.com.

Armchair adventures

If your Spring Break adventure to Disneyland, San Diego Zoo, New York City or even Italy has officially been quashed, there are still virtual options for exploring new destinations, wandering through iconic museums and even peeking in on your favorite zoo creatures.

Not only will these virtual tours help calm your wanderlust, even if only slightly, these options are also ideal for educational field trips that can all be done from the comfort of your own home.

San Diego Zoo offers a children’s website filled with fun facts, live cams, videos, games, activities and more. NASA nerds will love this YouTube video from the U.S. Space & Rocket Center in Huntsville, Alabama. Discovery Education offers virtual field trips where students can learn more about polar bears, STEM subjects and more.

If your now-canceled holiday centered around the art museums of Europe, you can still bask in the beauty of masterpieces from Van Gogh, Vermeer, Monet, Whistler, Manet and more. This list from Hello Giggles shares virtual tour links to 12 of the world’s most famous museums.

Streamed entertainment

During this time of social distancing we are all ultimately looking to be entertained. And, after repeated viewings of the same classic Disney movies, beloved sitcoms, and the newest comedy shows or movies, it’s time to refresh the viewing and listening queue. Thankfully, there are some new options released specifically to help families cope during the COVID chaos.

Disney+ released “Frozen II” on their streaming network earlier than planned, much to the delight of children and parents. “Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker” is also now available for digital purchase on services like Amazon, Apple TV/iTunes and others. Movies like “Emma,” “The Invisible Man,” “Trolls World Tour,” and The Hunt,” are all making their digital streaming debuts earlier than previously scheduled.

If your family is missing a night at the theater, there are options for bringing those dramas directly to your television. The Metropolitan Opera is offering free virtual productions through March 22.

Broadway lovers can visit FilmedonStage.com to peruse a list of musicals available to live stream via Amazon Prime’s BroadwayHD service. For $8.99 a month, after a free seven-day trial, you can enjoy productions of “Miss Saigon,” “The King & I,” “Kinky Boots,” “An American in Paris: The Musical,” “Newsies,” “Into the Woods,” “Shrek the Musical,” and many more.

Concert cancellations bringing you down? Time to don your favorite band T-shirt and watch streamed concerts from favorites like Coldplay’s Chris Martin, Keith Urban, P!nk, John Legend and others. Martin launched the #togetherathome intimate concert style, and we’re hoping even more performers join the new trend.

As our nation hunkers down over the next couple of weeks for some social distancing, let’s not succumb to the craziness. Instead, seek out alternative ideas for expanding our knowledge, virtually exploring the world around us and uncovering alternative ways to be entertained.

A version of this article was published by The Daily Herald. It has been republished here with permission


About Author

I am the Founder of Stage Marketing and specialize in healthcare marketing. My doctorate is in communication, which means that I draw from the areas of psychology, sociology, and the humanities to understand the emotional and spiritual side of health.

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