Games To Play With Your Kids To Burn Stress While Social Distancing

Wow! These are stressful times, right? 

You pick up your phone for a minute to look at the news or social media, and the pandemic rules the signal. The president wants to sacrifice your grandmother. Hospitals are begging for supplies. There are heart-wrenching tales of suffering and sacrifice all over the world. And the panic! OMG, the panic. 

And when you look up from that madness, the kids have drawn cartoons all over those worksheets you printed because you're homeschooling while trying to do your job without child care. And now they are writing on the walls with crayons, bickering, and asking for grilled cheese sandwiches. 

Maybe put down the phone, forget -- for a minute -- about homeschooling and work and the apocalypse, and remember that if you do nothing but stay home -- something you would have loved to do under calmer circumstances -- you are already doing the very important work that everyone needs you to do. 

Go play in the yard. Hug that peanut-butter-encrusted little guy. Read a story. Open the Cheetos. 

Buy everyone some new toys? 

Here are some that will dial down the fretting and help you enjoy some time together.

  • Make up a game and play with these huge dice.

    Pull out the lawn chairs, get out the cards, and play some card games. If the kids are too young to understand the cards, they can roll the dice -- with these giant Hand Crafted Oak Lawn Dice ($90) that will help them burn off some energy. It will also help them learn to count. 

    See? It's educational. So much better than a worksheet. 

    Now you are staying home and homeschooling. Doing two out of the three or five jobs on your plate is not bad. 

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  • Turn the hallway into a bowling alley.

    If you are in one of the cold areas of the country or have no yard to play in, those kids are probably bouncing off the walls by now.

    How about setting up a bowling alley somewhere in the house and letting them play a round with this Personalized Bowling Set ($32). This is your chance to teach them to keep score. 

    Also? It will probably be super cute. That will be good for you.

  • Get everyone to focus so you can focus.

    That video meeting is rolling up on you real fast. And the chaos in your hastily set-up home school is raging.

    What you need is something you can roll out in these moments that will get everyone's attention on it instead of on ... creating more chaos.

    Save this 5-meter coloring roll with car tracks ($28.08) for this moment. And then roll it out, get out the cars and crayons, and let them at it.

  • A game that kept Vikings happy could work now.

    This Six-Pack-O-Kubb ($120.21) lawn game is a bit of a mystery. Was it invented by the Vikings? Was it designed by an Ikea designer? Who knows?

    What matters is that it's easy to play, involves throwing things, is friendly toward the concept of drinking, and is fun.

    It's exactly what you need right now. (And when everyone is playing, the carrier fits a six-pack of beer so you can run back in and get more brews while the kids are occupied.)

    If ever there was a time for day drinking and playing lawn games with the kids, this is it.

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