Read a Good Book
Research shows that reading aloud to your children, no matter what age, has many benefits-from increasing vocabulary and attention spans to giving you an opportunity to bond and discuss difficult topics. Charm City Books, an independent bookstore in Baltimore's historic Pigtown, has put together a list of books to read aloud as a family for all ages! They are offering contactless delivery in Baltimore City. Follow them on Facebook and Instagram for more info and streaming storytimes!
Family Game Night
Put away your devices, clear the school work from your table, and dust off your favorite board or card games! Playing games as a family is a great way to create traditions and bond while getting your kids to think creatively and strategically. Our friends at Amuse Toys have rounded up some board game recommendations for all age groups! Whether you want something competitive or cooperative they've got you covered. Located in Fells Point they are offering local delivery through online orders, phone orders (410)-342-5000 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Good news! Playgrounds and sports equipment may be off limits, but you can stay a safe distance from people outdoors and Maryland has many options! Alltrails.com and Hike it Baby are both good resources with reviews, trail maps, and directions to parking areas. Search for "Lightly Trafficked" to find somewhere you won't have to worry too much about maintaining 6ft away from other hikers. If you're on facebook, join the Maryland Outdoor Community group for more recommendations.
Enjoy a Meal Together
A silver lining of no work commutes and after school activities is we might actually have time for regular family dinners! Restaurants are essential businesses and we encourage you to support your favorite places when you can. An updated list of restaurants that are still open and providing curbside pick up or delivery can be found here. Or cook together with our kids by trying some recipes here and here (thanks to Payton for the link recommendation!) Combine the two and order a build your own pizza kit from some neighborhood pizza places like HomeSlyce and Tutti Gusti.
Gyms are closed, sports leagues are canceled, how to stay active as a family? If you usually work out without your kids, as most of us do, now is a great time to model positive wellness and exercise habits! Take a hike or walk together-a bonus is that kids are more likely to open up and talk to you when you're not eye to eye and are active. Download the Couch to 5K app and start training together-it is a slow progression and works for all ages. Find a circuit workout you all can do. On a rainy day use the web-your kids probably use Go Noodle or Cosmic Kids Yoga at school and will be thrilled to show you the moves they use to get active during a regular school day.
Before you get comfortable on the couch use Common Sense Media to find a movie that is appropriate for the whole family. The age guidelines are helpful, but you know your kids best so read the comments to help you decide what they can handle and what might be too much for them. Want to jazz up your popcorn? Find some fun recipes here and here.