While we navigate life at home, here are some ideas for having fun with the kids—inspired by the world around us.
There are no two ways about it: we are in the midst of a challenging time. Nearly everyone is working from home, kids are out of school, and yet spring is still right around the corner. Little ones (and big ones) will be wanting to get outside—but given the current state of things, time outside will be limited to our backyards and balconies.
If you're in need of a little inspiration when it comes to planning fun activities for your kids, we look to the rest of the world, and what we learn from traveling, for some ideas.
Is there anything more uplifting than colorful flowers? As spring approaches and you head out to begin gardening again, bring your little ones with you and take this opportunity to teach them about flowers, plants, and soil. Before getting your hands dirty, you can look at photos of different parts of the world (roses in Paris, tulips and poppies in the Netherlands, peonies in Japan), pick out their favorites, then order the seeds online. The results won't be immediate, of course, but they'll have a bountiful garden to look forward to (and flower arranging!) in the summer months, and they get to play in the dirt. Who doesn't love that?
Grab a globe or an atlas and have a chat with your kiddos about the far-flung destinations around the world where they'd most like to travel. Then, order a few coloring books that feature images aligned with those destinations—or you can even print them off online (like here, at Crayola) and make your own books! Alternatively, you can gather crafting supplies and build your own globe from paper mache, or create a giant map and put red pins on the places you and your kids have traveled—and blue pins on the places you'd like to go.
If your little ones or teens love to cook (and eat!), turn on an episode of a cooking show and get some inspiration from chefs who cook all across the globe.
Even if it's only for 15 minutes a day, user-friendly apps like DuoLingo and Stories by Gus on the Go make it fun and easy for children to practice a new language. Make it even better by planning a full dinner based on the language they're practicing.
Grab your most colorful sheets and blankets and construct a big fort in the living room. Alternatively, you could pitch a tent and pretend that you're camping (or glamping, if you'd like to incorporate a DIY spa portion). Pro tip: for the camping option, make some granola to feast on inside the tent!
Either way, you can get all sorts of creative with building a fort or pretend-camping, and then get cozy and set up a computer or television inside, hunker down, and watch your favorite travel-themed or camping movie (a few ideas: The Polar Express, Up, Madagascar, The Parent Trap, and Homeward Bound).
This article originally appeared on Departures.com.