With most of us currently working from home and our kids being off from school during this coronavirus lockdown, it's becoming increasingly harder to tell each day apart from the next as they all start to blend into one. The usual divides between the weekdays and weekends have disappeared, making it difficult for us to separate work time from downtime as both require us to stay at home. However, the weekends can still be special and memorable for everyone, and there are plenty of things to do to keep all the excitement and joys of a weekend alive as we practice social distancing, whilst putting aside that all-important family time.
Make A Plan And Think Ahead
Whereas before we could be a bit more spontaneous with what we all fancied getting up to at the weekend, it's now more important than ever to plan a routine, including what we would like to do at the weekend. Making a calendar with the kids is a great way to get creative whilst giving them something that they can use so they can tell the difference when the weekend comes. Drawing pictures on each day that tells what activity has been planned is a fun way to get the kids excited and looking forward to what is to come when the weekend begins.
Create New Weekend 'Rituals'
To stop the weekdays and weekends from blurring into one, having specific weekend rituals that differ to what you'd normally do on a weekday is a great way to signal when the weekdays' end and the weekend starts. One idea is to make the weekend a time where you eat or drink different things to what you usually would in the week. Finding tasty recipes to try and creating a special menu for the weekend is a brilliant way to build up excitement in the week and get your kids involved in the all the fun and mess of cooking too.
Make Work And Play Separate Things
With schools being closed and schoolwork and learning needing to be done at home, there is a need more than ever to find a way to make work time and playtime separate activities. Not all of us have offices or classroom like environments for our kids to concentrate in, and with communal spaces being taken up by many family members at the same time, it's vital to create a workspace that is different from a play space. This doesn't necessarily have to involve using two different rooms as understandably living space is limited at the moment, but by just making sure that all homework is done in the week and the playtime is left for Saturday and Sunday. Ensure all workbooks are cleared on Friday evening so your kids can tell that this is when the fun begins.
Save The Treats Until Saturday and Sunday
To really build up the excitement and anticipation, why not try saving your kids' favourite treats for when the weekend comes? Not only does it give them something to look forward to, but makes the treat feel extra special when they're finally allowed to have it. Baking a sweet treat in the week and leaving it to enjoy at the weekend is a great idea for getting your kids' creativity flowing whilst being able to spend some quality time together in the weekday evenings after a day of home working. Delaying things like video game playing is also another way to make the weekends feel even more fun, and will also help your kids concentrate on their homework in the week as an added bonus.
Bend The Rules
Although the weekdays are being reserved for the humdrum of working life, the weekends are the time to bend the rules a little and allow your kids to maybe do things that they wouldn't normally be allowed to do in the week. Perhaps treat them to staying up slightly later one night to have a family cinema evening together. To make this even more fun why not make it a themed night? Get the whole family to dress up as their favourite movie characters, and maybe tuck into some of those baked treats you saved for Saturday night.
Do Something Different
During lockdown, a lot of us have begun to use and make the most of this time to do things we wouldn't usually do in our normal day to day lives. Embracing this time as a family to do something different at the weekend is an amazing way to have fun, spend time together and perhaps even learn something new. One idea to break away from activities you're used to doing already is to make a lockdown memory scrapbook together. Going through the family albums and selecting from many favourite memories, as well as snapping new photos to add is a really fun way to get creative and remember the exciting times you had together despite the unsettling nature of the lockdown. Find out more scrapbook making ideas here. Walking to an unexplored park, or playing a new game are all other ways you can mix things up a little and keep entertained during your time off.
Connect With Others
Last but not least, it is important for you and your kids to connect with people who don't live in your household as well as those that do. Even though face to face meetups can't be had at the moment, there are still plenty of ways you can get together with more distant friends and family members with help from the wonders of modern technology. Apps like Zoom, House Party, Skype and FaceTime are all becoming increasingly popular ways to connect with our loved ones through video chats. They're free and easy to use too for the less tech-savvy ones among us, with only a simple download needed to start connecting. Saving some time at the weekend to contact those you haven't spoken to in the week is a lovely, wholesome thing to do as a family and to keep building those all-important bonds with those we hold most dear. You could even make these video calls into more of an event, by adding activities like games (something which House Party already has as a built-in function) or hosting a virtual dinner party with your family friends. Your kids can have an incredible amount of fun too, talking to their school friends they've been separated from with school closures, and getting involved in weekend activities together over video like baking and painting to really make everyone feel even closer during such uncertain times.