While everyone’s freaking out about having to stay home for an indeterminate amount of time, I’m chillin’ in my element. I was raised as an only child, I work from home, my husband travels for work, and we live out in the country, so I am often left to my own devices. For all of these reasons, I am uniquely qualified as a subject matter expert on ways to entertain yourself. Scroll forth for relatively inexpensive ways to spend your time that do not include Netflix.
There’s something so serene about putting a puzzle together. These 1,000-piece jigsaw puzzles will provide hours of entertainment:
Dog Lovers 1000 Piece Jigsaw Puzzle
Breakfast of Champions 1000 Piece Puzzle
Play dominoes, or learn a new card game like Acey-Deucey or Guts.
There are a whole bunch of fun board games out there for two or more players. Build train routes across the US in Ticket to Ride, a board game for 2-5 players, suitable for ages 8 and up.
Pandemic is a little on the nose at the moment. Share knowledge, treat diseases, and fly all over the world to prevent outbreaks and slow down the epidemic in this cooperative game for 2-4 players, ages 8 and up. Pandemic Contagion flips the original game on its head. Players become the disease, trying to infect as many people as possible. This one is for 2-5 players, suitable for ages 13 and up.
Suitable for anyone over the age of 11, Stupid Deaths celebrates the dumbest ways people have died over centuries. Two to six players race around the game board before the Grim Reaper catches them.
Rummikub is quite similar to the classic card game of Rummy, but uses tiles instead of cards. This game can be played with 2-4 people, ages 8 and up.
Try to name three of something, like shows with the word “family” in the title, in five seconds or less in the 5 Second Rule Board Game. It’s harder than you think. The original is for three or more players ages 10 and up, while its more mature sister 5 Second Rule Uncensored is for adults only.
Arts & Crafts
Get in touch with your crafty side and use this time at home to be creative. Try working with textiles, such as cross-stitch, sewing, knitting, or crochet.
Perhaps you’d prefer to delve into some visual art. De-stress with adult coloring books and some colored pencils, markers, or crayons. We like Colour Me Calm, Mindfulness Coloring Book, and this interactive coloring journal for Anxiety featuring mythical illustrations from Walmart.
Even if you’re no artiste, anyone can do paint-by-numbers! Try your hand at watercolor with this paint set, which comes with a set of four brushes. Just remember to order paper, too, like this 9×12 watercolor art pad.
All you need to try hand lettering is some dual brush pens and some practice pages.
Decoupage is another fun craft you can do with things around the house and some Mod Podge craft glue. It’s basically a collage, but you glue it onto an object as opposed to a flat surface. Grab some scissors, a stack of magazines, and something to decorate, like a small box. Cut out whatever you fancy, then use the Mod Podge and a paintbrush to glue it onto your chosen object, being careful to smooth the paper out. Let it dry, then put on a topcoat of Mod Podge to set.
Closet Clean Out
No one said all of these activities would be fun! Go through your closet and make a pile of things you didn’t wear at all in the past season. Make it fun by trying them on and having your own little fashion show to make sure you really don’t want them before tossing them in the donate box.
Take this time to deep clean parts of your house that never get the attention they deserve. Wash your windows, clean the carpets, dust your ceiling fans, wash the curtains, clean out your coffee pot, etc. Do ALL the laundry—including all the pieces that have to be washed separately. Better Homes & Gardens has a great checklist as well as a how-to for deep cleaning your house.
Clean out your fridge and pantry. Toss expired items and donate anything you don’t want to your local food bank.
Go through your beauty products in the bathroom and toss out anything you don’t use.
Tackle your piles.
Organize your paper files as well as your files on your computer and in the cloud. This is also a good time to get that inbox down to zero. While you’re at it, make sure all of your photos are backed up, and organize those as well if you’d like. It sounds like a chore, but going through old memories is the most fun part of going Marie Kondo on your stuff.
Read All the Books
Chances are you have a few books waiting in line to be read. There’s no time like the present!
No new books? No problem. If you have a library card, you can borrow e-books for free on apps like OverDrive and Hoopla. There are also a ton of free titles available for Amazon Prime members on Prime Reading.
There are plenty of workouts you can do at home, even if you don’t have a home gym. Walking, yoga, and Tai Chi don’t require any equipment—just your body. Look for bodyweight workout videos on YouTube. If cardio is more your thing, The Fitness Marshall has some really fun dance workouts. Wind down and calm your mind and body with meditation.
Cooking and baking are creative ways to spend your time with the added bonus of tasty results. Challenge yourself with a new recipe, bake bread from scratch, or whip up some treats to share. This is also a good time to meal prep slow cooker recipes and stock your freezer for the future.
Tackle Your To-Do List
This is the perfect time to take care of neglected items that are rotting away on your to do list. Your taxes and filling out the census are a couple of timely ones we can think of…
Learn Something New
Be productive with unoccupied time by developing a new skill. Learn a few words or phrases in another language, even if you’re probably not leaving the country any time soon. Rosetta Stone software, the Duolingo app, and Babbel.com are all great foreign language resources.
Is there an instrument you’ve always wanted to learn how to play? Target sells a Learn To Play Ukulele Kit, which comes complete with a ukulele.
Have a spa day and take a long bath, deep condition your hair, put on a face mask, and do your nails.
Take a Tour
Tour museums like the MoMA and the Met from the comfort of your couch with virtual tours from Google Art Project.
Stay in Touch From Far Away
Just because you’re stuck at home doesn’t mean you can’t be social. Call your family to check-in and Facetime friends for virtual happy hour.