With times as are uncertain as they are, and as we all adjust to the new normal we’re facing, it’s a good time to continue both structure and enjoyment in our children’s lives. No matter their age, as parents or guardians we need to make sure our kids feel safe, secure and calm. Here are a few fun, yet productive ways that we can keep our kids occupied, while staying safely distanced from others:
Write a letter I’m sure we all have family members who are a bit lonely or going stir crazy, what better way to brighten their day with a good old-fashioned letter or drawing from the kids.
Conduct a Spring Cleaning Everyone can benefit from a little decluttering distraction. Box or bag up all of your unwanted clothing for donation at the local thrift store.
Watch a Ted Talk With school being cancelled across Pennsylvania, keep your kids motivated with an inspiring Ted Talk .
Move and Stretch What better time to try out some new apps? The Peloton website  offers a free trial for 30 days. You can hit up yoga, meditation, biking and much more without the commitment of monthly dues.
Support Small Businesses Businesses all around us are temporarily shutting their doors in an effort to do their part with curbing this pandemic. Let’s support them, as they protect us, with buying what we can locally. Buy a gift card to a place you would usually visit: your hair salon, your favorite coffee shop, or even a gym. These folks are going to be hit the hardest, and while it’s easiest to hit “buy now” on amazon, these are the people in our community we can invest in as they struggle to pay employees or their bills.
Get Outside There’s plenty of space outside for everyone, and we’re fortunate the weather is getting warmer! Go for a family hike, rotate taking the dog for a walk or hop on your bikes together at one of Pittsburgh’s many local trails.
Learn a New Skill Duolingo  – headquartered right here in Pittsburgh – offers free new language learning. Take a chunk of time as a family to learn a language together.
Practice Mindfulness Stress can be high during times like these, fill your normal commute time with a new daily mindfulness practice. It’s easy to learn and easier to practice! Headspace  offers a free trial.
Refresh the House Have you been putting off a home upgrade? Everyone can pitch in and help. You can use recycled materials around the house or stored paint and refresh an old piece of furniture, or upgrade a room.
Doodle with a Pro The Kennedy Center is hosting Lunch Doodles  with acclaimed children’s book author Mo Willems every day at 1 p.m. Eastern time.
Take a Scenic Drive It’s isolating to be stuck inside for hours. If you can’t get out for a walk, run or hike, get some good car snacks set up and go for a scenic drive. If you have young children, drive a bit south and look for farm animals. If you have older kids, challenge them to a no-technology ride where you drive by different areas of town that have significant meanings to your family.
FaceTime Make sure to make the time for your loved ones not with you with a quick and simple FaceTime call. They’ll certainly appreciate it from everyone in the family.
I’m sure there are many others, if you have fresh ideas please feel free to share them on our Facebook  page to keep the community inspired and engaged. Though it may not be under the brightest of circumstances that a lot of us are stuck at home, or isolated, we should take this time and soak it up as a family. And stay safe everyone, we have each other even if we can’t be with one another.