2 minutes reading time (446 words)

Feeling Cooped Up? Try These Family-Friendly Survival Strategies


By Hugh Anthony Wallace, Preventionist

Several months into our new "normal," things have become quasi-organized and some sort of school and work structures have been put in place in the home. Every square inch of the home has been sanitized and cleaned – in fact I'm pretty sure you can eat off the floors now, providing you use a plate.

But now the itch of going outside is coming as the weather is breaking. What do you do? All that bottled up sunshine and warm weather is ready to explode in your living room. If you are a parent/guardian like myself, you are probably familiar with the term "transference of energy." Well, I urge you to consider this term instead: "transition of energy." Take my family, for example. We are very much "outdoor" people. We go camping, exploring, hiking – you get the point. But in these times, there are limits and what seems like very real, invisible boundaries to those outdoor escapes we once had. Here are some ideas that help this outdoorsy family, and hopefully can help your family as well.

No park? A yard will do. In fact, having a yard holds plenty of potential, like tossing around a football or Frisbee, or maybe even gardening. My son's science project got me to thinking, "Let's take this bean sprout outside and watch it grow." Keep in mind some of these things can be done with simple household items you may have laying around; you don't need to go out and buy things. And in case you think you do, you can always order them online. BE SAFE.

Seek advice on what to plant and keep it simple. Start with simple herbs like basil, mint and cilantro. We have also decided to grow some tomatoes and peppers as well. We used simple things to start our seeds like soda bottles cut in half and old Tupperware containers. If you are creative and artsy, like my daughter Kiara, you could use old pencil holder buckets for your strawberry seed starters. Remember to drill holes for drainage in whatever you decide to use.

We are learning a lot, not only about gardening, but each other. And rooting from this is an interesting discussion on recipes using what we have grown in our new garden. I see jalapeno pepper poppers in the near future!
Bike rides and walks are also a great way to get some fresh air and exercise in. We just moved to a new area, so this has proved to be quite the adventurous fix we needed, exploring and learning about our new community, and can be a great use of our outdoor time.

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