So you’re set on traveling during a lockdown. My advice: Don’t.
World in a Lockdown
As I write this a good portion of the world’s population is in lockdown. The COVID 19 virus pandemic has changed our minds about enjoying travel. Already I have canceled a major cross country trip and am doing my part to stay safe and remain socially isolated.
I love to travel. My patience is already wearing thin for having to restrict movement in public for the time being. However, like many of you, I just want this to pass and for everyone to remain as healthy as possible.
In the meantime, what can we do? If you have children here are some of my thoughts on enjoying the journey—the homebound journey. That’s right, stay home rather than traveling during a lockdown.
First of all, just get used to the mess. Being homebound with children will help you remember that kids trying to have fun will not be focused on neatness. You can manage the chaos by enjoying the day and saving most of the clean-up until the hour prior to bedtime.
It is also helpful to encourage their creativity without too much control. As long as they are safe, children will enjoy things if they believe they are in control. Or, at least, believe that the chosen activities and details are more their idea than yours. Give them ideas and encourage them to take charge and lead. Their imaginations can be much more creative than you might think.
Get them away from their screens and help them find joy in creative home activities. One solution that has worked for us has been our “boredom basket.” We took a basket and a large stack of papers cut into small squares. The papers were divided up among all family members. Each person then wrote on each piece of paper one activity that everyone can do. For instance, play a specific game, complete a puzzle, make cookies together, write letters to grandparents, draw pictures on the driveway with sidewalk chalk, etc. All the papers are then put into the basket.
When anyone says “I’m bored,” they are required to pick an activity from the basket. The only rule is that each family member must do the activity before another can be chosen.
Also, to keep a bit of apprehension in the mix, we slip some family household chores into the basket. That way everyone gets involved in simple chores like cleaning the bathroom, unloading the dishwasher, or dusting the blinds. This tends to add another incentive for avoiding the “I’m bored” complaint. After all, if every paper contained only fun activities, the basket would be empty within a day or two. Right?
Anything creative will always be more fun. When it is mealtime how about a picnic in the back yard? Or if the weather does not permit, a picnic on the family room floor? You could set up a restaurant with menus, waitresses/waiters, cooks and have a “dine-out” experience right at home with each family member playing a role.
Instead of traveling during a lockdown and added to your anxiety and the anxiety of others, use this time to enjoy the togetherness journey. In the normal hustle of our world there certainly is not enough togetherness. Take it all in now. It is a priceless gift presented to each of us in this time of world craziness.