At first, we were all kind of in on the “fun” together (if you can call a hiding from a virus “fun.”) But for the most part, we tried to stay positive. Some of the ways we worked together to raise one another’s spirits was by sharing pics of creative quarantine baked goods and funny family TikToks.
But after a month, for some folks, finding distractions from sheltering-in-place started getting a lot harder. That’s probably why retailers like Amazon and Walmart are seeing spikes in sales for products that will help you survive Covid-19 quarantine. Items like board games and jigsaw puzzles are flying off shelves. So are home-office and self-care products.
Here are a bunch of games, books and other types of distractions that people are using to survive their Covid-19 quarantine without going stir crazy.
Board game publisher, Hasbro, is doing exceptionally well right now. The company’s CEO reported that their stock is up and said demand in their products is exceptional right now. These are some games people are buying in droves to pass the time.
Jenga is the game where you and challengers stack wood blocks as high as you can until the tower topples. Unlike a lot of games, you don’t need to have an opponent to play Jenga. You can spend an afternoon sharpening your skills on your own. There’s the original Jenga, and then different designs. If you have some outdoor real estate, consider getting a life-size Jenga giant (Professor Puzzle Giant Topping Tower, $39) that goes up to five feet. There’s a version that comes with neon colored blocks (Jenga Neon, $20) and an upscale design by GoSports (Toppling Tower by GoSports, $56) that comes with a scoreboard, carrying case, and a new rule that adds a little bit more excitement to the game.
Risk: the Game of Strategic Conquest
This strategy board game will take your mind off of quarantine because you’ll be busy devising ways to build an army, battle enemies, and conquer new territories around the world. As you move your troops around the board, you can ally up with other armies, betray your enemies and launch sneak attacks.
This game is for anyone who’s been craving golf—or miniature golf. You can even play it inside or out. PutterBall comes with a portable turf board with 12 holes, two game putters and two golf balls. The goal is to get your ball in a hole. And once you do, cover the cup to remove it from play and then aim for the next hole. The first person to get a ball in all the holes is the winner.
Moms and dads are having a particularly rough time right now. It’s not unusual for kids to act out when they’re stuck inside all day and can only see their friends on video chats. Keeping kids busy and out of trouble is literally driving some moms and dads out of their minds. Here are some ways to keep their little minds occupied and out of your hair for five minutes.
The Play-Doh Poop Troop Set is for kids who love to gross themselves—and you—out. It comes with 12 cans of the mouldable Doh, including four cans in puce, of course. And an array of plug-in silly face parts, like eyes, arms, mouths and caps. For kids a little more on the artsy side, there’s a Play-Doh Play ‘n Store Table, $30. This kit comes with cans of pastel-hued Doh and decorating tools and molds in a variety of shapes. When game time is over, kids can stash the Doh and molds in built-in compartments in the toy carrying case.
Nintendo Switch & Switch Lite
Now’s really not the time to wean the kids off of video games—say everyone quarantining with kids. Video games are great for keeping peace in crowded households. Consider the Nintendo Switch, which was a Best Tech Gift of 2019. Since it’s a handheld device, kids can easily take it to their room and later in the day, grownups can hook it up to the TV so the entire family can play together. The Nintendo Switch Lite, $199.99, doesn’t connect with the TV, but it costs a less.
Easy Baking in a Real Oven
If Instagram is any indication, families are not pulling punches in the kitchen. There have been some amazon creations in the cake, bread and cupcake departments. Not only does baking help pass the time, but the payoff tastes pretty good too.
Farberware Bakeware Set
At this moment, #StressBaking on Instagram has nearly 40,000 posts. From sourdough poppy leek bialys to skillet-sized pastel M&M’s cookies, folks are taking this hashtag seriously. All you need to bake your own buns, breads or baked Alaskas is a basic bakeware set, like the eight-piece nonstick steel bakeware set by Farberware. It comes with two round cake pans, pans for baking brownies, muffins, pies, breads and pizza. All this for under $40.
The Complete Baking Book for Young Chefs
What good is a bakeware set if you don’t know what to bake? This New York Times bestselling, kid-tested recipe book will help. The Complete Baking Book for Young Chef was designed for every skill level. The nearly 250-page tome includes step-by-step photos and tons of tips for making breads, pizzas, baked goods, breakfast foods, and so much more. There’s also a Kindle version, if you prefer an ebook.
Have you ever considered learning how to bake from a professional? There are so many tips and tricks that only someone with experience in the kitchen can dish out. Instagram and YouTube are great places to look for free tutorials by baking influencers, like MinimalistBaker. You can subscribe to channels and check back for new content. Or take a legit online baking class. Udemy offers several a la cart video on-demand classes, including a 90 minute baking basics course that covers six classic recipes. By the end of this family-friendly course, you’ll know how to bake a classic sponge cake, carrot cake, brownies, ice butter biscuits and French meringues.
It won’t surprise anyone to hear that since corona, sales in masks and hand soap have skyrocketed. For the near future, at least, these are just two of the most important items every household should have. Here are some ways to personalize your stash and inject some cheer into an otherwise serious situation.
Soap was one of the first items to clear store shelves early on in the pandemic. Unless you already buy fancy hand soaps, you probably don’t put much thought into these purchases. But it did bring us around to the idea that making our own premium hand soap sounds like a fun way to lift spirits around the house. And it’s easy enough to do with Bramble Berry Celestial Soap Kit. The box comes with enough ingredients to make nine bars of soap. There’s also a reusable mold, which comes in handy when you’re ready to make another batch. Next time, you only need to buy soap-making ingredients, like SFIC Shea Melt and Pour Soap Base, $4.25 to $40 at Bramble Berry.
It looks like we’ll all be wearing face masks for the foreseeable future. Experts suggest washing masks each day, which means you’ll want to have a few extra on hand. Check out the washable, handcrafted fabric face coverings by Etsy artisan, Puttsow. There are about three dozen different fabrics to choose from.
Make Your Own Mask
A lot of people have been designing their own face coverings. And if this is something you can do, then frontline workers need your help. Joann, the art supply store, has launched a mission to donate 100 million handmade masks to medical workers. If you already have fabric and tools at home, you’re ready to go. First, just watch a few mask-making tutorials online and download a pattern. Joann also sells premium cotton fabrics (Keepsake Calico Cotton Fabric, $6.29y/d), fabric ties, interfacing (Pellon Flex Foam Interfacing Stabilizer, $11/yd) and basic sewing kits.
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