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Inexpensive ways to keep your family entertained

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Alyssa Davies

August 5, 2020
Travel and lifestyle
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There’s no getting around the fact that for many, the past few months have been very difficult. Wide-spread job losses brought on by the COVID-19 outbreak, and the need to maintain physical distancing to prevent further spread continues to leave people feeling isolated and concerned for their future.

In recent weeks, hopeful signs have emerged that efforts to contain the virus have had a positive impact. But even as restrictions are loosened, it’s still far too early to declare victory and we must continue to follow the recommendations of health officials. This includes the need to continue to practice proper hand washing and maintaining social distancing. So, with the need to continue to be vigilant and stay home as much as possible, here are several things you can do to help break up the routine, without breaking the bank.
 

1. Get outside and explore

It may seem obvious, but outdoor activities can be especially rewarding and there are enjoyable things all around us we often overlook. As municipalities start to open parks and allow activities such as camping and picnics in public areas, remember that you must continue to maintain a 2-meter separation from others. With warmer weather here, this is a great time to experience local walking trails while getting some much-needed fresh air and exercise.
 

2. Virtual movie nights with friends

Instead of a movie night out, host a movie night indoors. You can invite friends and family members not living with you by making it a “virtual” movie night. There are apps and browser extensions available including the popular Netflix Party that allow multiple people to watch the same show at the same time. You can even use the chat feature with Netflix Party so you can text back and forth with other viewers during the show!
 

3. Get crafty in the kitchen

A great way to save money (and have fun) is to make a meal out of the existing items in your fridge or pantry. A quick online search with the ingredients you have on hand is all it takes. You might be surprised how relaxing cooking can be when you give yourself a cooking challenge and have the time to experiment with new recipes and techniques.
 

4. Downsize or sell old items

Whether to clear out old things you don’t need anymore, or simply to get rid of some of the items you’ve accumulated over the years that are no longer needed, decluttering can be very therapeutic. You can use online platforms such as Kijiji or VarageSale to list these items but be sure to follow these safety tips.. Be sure also to make all transactions “contactless” by maintaining the required 2-meter safety zone when meeting with prospective buyers.
 

5. Take an online course

Looking to learn something new or just need to brush up a bit on your skills? Online courses may be right for you and never has instructional information been so readily accessible as it is today.

Websites like Coursera and Udemy offer online instruction including many free courses covering almost any topic you can imagine. So, whether you want to learn more about cloud-based technologies or just want to pick up a few common phrases in Japanese, you can find an online resource to help you get started.

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Alyssa Davies - Author bio

Alyssa is an award-winning personal finance blogger, author of The 100 Day Financial Goal Journal, and founder of MixedUpMoney.com. She writes about being a mom, overcoming personal debts, and how to get away with affording your ridiculously expensive latte habit.