Man, you would think that people have plenty to do while sharing the same walls with flesh and blood for a few weeks. Judging by the messages I’ve received and conversations revolving around my last post (10 Productive Things you Can Do While On Coronincarceration), folks don’t know each other like they thought. I had intended to make this list next week, but it looks like I need to get this out now. I guess this is what happens when folks have a house full of TVs, phones and video games.
Look people, when our global situation improves, you may find yourself wishing you had taken advantage of this time together. Trust me, as your family grows, it gets harder and harder to create “family time”. You’ve got it now. Let’s make the most of it!
Let’s get to it, shall we? Here are…
10 Activities To Enjoy With Your Family While On Coronincarceration.
1. Watch A Movie. TOGETHER – In my previous post, I suggested that you get in a few (or many) movies and TV shows. However, this doesn’t mean to isolate yourself from the rest of the household. Look, things were much different when I was a child/teen. Most homes had 1, 2 televisions at most. Before Cable TV, there was only Network TV and the main channels were NBC, CBS and ABC. If something big came on television, everyone was home to watch it, together. There weren’t any multiple viewings, so you had to catch it the first time around. Thus, everyone watched, together.
So get everybody into one room and collectively select a movie. It can be a family favorite or something new to everyone. Turn off your phones (they are way too distracting and I hate having to tell people what happened because they were texting) and enjoy a movie like you all did when they were little. Pop some popcorn, break out the blankets, turn off the lights and relive the family movie experience. But don’t stop there. When it’s over, talk about it. Share your favorite scenes, worst scenes, funniest scenes. Discuss how it affected you. Laugh about the plot holes or bad acting. Talk about it.
2. Family Chat – Since we’re talkin’ bout talkin’, do just that. Sit down and talk about what’s going on in each other’s lives. Share your work issues, listen to their school experiences. This works even better when you create a “Dark Hour”. That’s a time you dedicate to activity without electricity; no TV, phones, music… …nothing. Time, just to talk in a quiet and cozy room. You can even take it to the next level and turn off the lights and converse by candlelight. Trust me, it’s beautiful.
This is also an incredibly opportune time for family prayer. Nothing brings a family closer than God.
For an example of how the Dark Hour, prayer and family time benefited my family, I highly recommend you check this story out – “Africa To America (Pt. 4 of 5): FAMILY”. I promise, you won’t regret it.
3. Humble Beginnings – Teach your kids about their family’s history, on both sides of the family. Don’t think that they don’t take interest in stories about your blunders when you were their age. My boys have made social media posts about my childhood blunders. Share tales about the generations before. They want to know what grandma and grandpa were like, raising you. They want to know some of the fascinating adventures of people they never met, who you learned about from your own grandparents. They may not say it, but they do appreciate it and even more when they have their own.
I’d give anything. Anything, for just one more talk with my father and my grandmother. I swear, I’d ask them the world.
4. Make A Movie – We didn’t have the advances in technology that children enjoy today. Yet and still, whenever there was a chance to use a video camera, we did it. Somewhere around the mid-90s, camcorders became the thing and were quite affordable. People recorded enough craziness to make America’s Funniest Videos a hit show, with submissions to last for years. Now, you have the smartphone, fully equipped to record hours of fun. Even the software is user-friendly, allowing for folks to make and edit their own movies.
5. Game Time! – Believe it or not, your kids actually have a SECOND game controller for that game system. Maybe even a third or fourth. Grab one of them because you’re about to become player TWO! Duke it out in a one-on-one contest on Mortal Kombat (Warning: When that game says “Finish Him”, the Fatality can be quite graphic and a little much for weaker stomachs). Go on a fantasy adventure or pull up one of those online trivia games.
If video isn’t your thing, grab a board game and park a seat at the kitchen table or living room floor. Be careful which games you pick though. As innocent as they are, games like Monopoly, Spades and Uno tend to bring out the absolute WORST in people.
If all else fails, I suggest a game of Twister, but I don’t think some of you want to be under “Big Daddy” when his back goes out. Besides, mom may not want to be reminded of how your incorrigible little brother was conceived.
6. Kids In The Kitchen – In my last blog I talked about the joys of learning new dishes. Well, take it to the next level. Involve the family! I still remember the first time I set my four young’uns up along the kitchen island in an assembly line.
Each had a station: Spongecake, Strawberries, Glaze and finally Whip Cream. They passed their items along and added their portions to make Strawberry Shortcakes for the family. It only took a few minutes, but the smiles lasted for hours. The memories? A lifetime.
They also remember the first time we all made Crock Pot Beef Stew together. We all sat at the table, cutting carrots, onions, green peppers, celery and prepped other items before adding our items to the slow cooker. Maybe it was because it was their first all-natural stew, or maybe it was the fact that we did it together, but they still talk about it being the greatest stew they ever had.
7. Clean Up – This one is self-explanatory. But you can maximize your efforts if several (or all) of you work on a room together, depending on the size and need. Rearrange furniture, shampoo the rugs, paint, hang pictures. What ever it takes. Just remind them that doing it now will yield much satisfaction when the smoke clears and you’re ready for visitors to see your “new” home.
8. Sing, Sing, Sing – Karaoke time.
No, not everybody can carry a tune. But who cares? It’s family! It’s love…
Party Up! – Of course I saved the best for last. If you read my blog post “The Jukebox Room“, you know exactly how much I love a good party with family and friends. Some of my greatest memories are of my family (including aunts, uncles and cousins) gathering for some good old-fashioned laughter and love as we danced our way through the Soul Train Line to 70s soul music.
And that’s it! Do what you enjoy and enjoy what you do. Just make sure you do it with family. Cause when this is over and the prison gates open, folks are gonna go runnin’ out in all different directions. And you may never get this opportunity again.
What are some things you enjoy? Share some suggestions in the Comments section below. And don’t forget to sign up at the bottom for email notification of future posts.
And you definitely want to be here in April because that’s MY month – April Fool’s Month. Gonna be nothing be jokes, stories and pranks, all month long. If you know me, I mean TRULY know me, you know I’ll make good on that promise…