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  • Writer's pictureTeresa Thomas

50 Fun Things for When You are Cooped Up at Home

Updated: Mar 25, 2020

50 Fun Things participants smiling in living room
Photo by Jim Nihart, 50 Fun Things Workshop at Fox Auer Hollow B&B

In our current state of physical distancing, I've been trying out ways to foster social connection, idea-sharing, joy and hope online. This community-created list was compiled from the ideas generated in the Facebook Live I facilitated on March 18, 2020. We generated way more than 50 fantastic ideas. Pick our your favorite 50 ideas and try them out. You may click here to download, format and use this customized chart to keep track of your favorite ideas. I kept the names of the people who contributed the ideas to give them credit. I also kept the wording how they shared it on the Facebook Live to provide a feel for what it was like to be in the Facebook Live session. Lisa Legge

Don’t know about you but I have a million greeting cards — time to start sending them out to fav folks — even ones nearby!

Declutter your files - it feels good to me

Online book club

I'm giving away a free page to color every day on my Laughter Doodles Facebook page! Lisa Metwaly Laughter yoga! Jennifer Gilbertson Radke Sarah Routman with Laugh Healthy is doing great laughter yoga videos on Facebook and has a free Monday call. CJ Tuttle Higginbotham Reach out to friends/family/business associates who have kids home from school and offer to do a 30 minute session with their kids over zoom - for example, I'm a graphic artist and I have friends who have kids in high school graphic arts programs, and I can give them a 30 minute lesson or even a small project to work on. Lisa Metwaly Write a 7 line poem. The last word of the first sentence becomes the first word of the second line and so on. Do it in less than 2 minutes. Do this with friends. Lisa Sinclair Participate in a Zoom dance class! Sheri Bennefeld Pull all the stuff out of your cupboards that never get used and force your self to get really creative with your cooking. There is a reason you bought in the first place. Polly Meyer [Read uplifting ideas, like the ones here.] I Love love love this! 50 Fun Things to Do When Cooped Up at Home Susan Murphy Take walks and let nature heal you. Lisa Metwaly Volunteer at a horse ranch - Majestic Hills in Elko, MN always needs people. Sheri Bennefeld Virtual Happy Hours - with friends and new friends. We could have a virtual cocktail party! Lisa Metwaly Put silk flowers in pots outside before flowers start to bloom. And here is a non-planned commercial break that happened during the Live: Barbara Moss Abramson [Teresa could write her] next book - 50 MORE Fun Things!

Kris Langworthy where do we get those!! [Thanks for asking! Click here to order.] CJ Higginbotham It's AMAZING! Jeannette Grace It's true! Those books make the perfect gifts!

Tara Gallagher It’s darling! I love mine. Lisa Legge Watch Jeopardy! on TV with your friends on the phone, Facebook messaging or texting and see who gets the answers first

Barbara Hill Osgood Go online and take the test to see if you can get on Jeopardy! Lisa Metwaly Find and plan for a retreat. [October 4-10, 50 Fun Things® will be back in Tuscany for the Radiant Jane Loving Kindness Retreat! Learn more here.] Jennifer Gilbertson Radke There is an idea: Blog. I don't usually spend time there. Lisa Sinclair [Practice being imperfect.] No perfection needed! Kris Langworthy Write a TED talk (Teresa: TED talk about the power of 50 fun things!) I can connect to you a TED talk coach!

Thank you for doing this!! YES TED Talk!

Tara Gallagher Also check out HATCH. We have it in Montana. It's kind of like a TEDtalk in cross-pollinating ideas to hatch a better world.

Lisa Metwaly Draw on rocks “Kindness Rocks. You rock!”. Barbara Hill Osgood Design fabric to get made on Spoonflower Kris Langworthy 50 ways to do your makeup

Michael Braudy I man played Shakuhachi flute on a park bench today in Brooklyn and gave me a private concert at 6 feet of separation. Lisa Metwaly Learn something new on YouTube. Like where to hang a bat-house to keep mosquitoes away. Ruth Tongen Who have I met that I want to get to know? Send them an email. Michael Braudy I saw someone draw on a Zoom white board, something we could try Kris Langworthy [Create a list of] 50 people I want to reconnect with Lisa Metwaly Volunteer to pick up medicine, groceries or other stuff for people that are quarantined. Jeannette Grace 50 Fun Things from 50 Fun People - invite who you choose to highlight people who are fun and offer services others will use. Jennifer Gilbertson Radke Journal about this experience. Our families may find them interesting in the future Lisa Metwaly Write free flow ideas daily on how to spark joy and stay in gratitude. Lisa Sinclair What kinds of games could be played without a board on Zoom or the like? Kris Langworthy 50 fun things to nurture!!! Ann Spiczka Aubitz I would love to learn how to do my own podcast. Jennifer Gilbertson Radke That would be a great webinar topic for NISM to put out. Great idea. I have a couple of contacts if you ever want an introduction. Jeannette Grace 50 Fun Things to do to stay sane! Lisa Metwaly Create a flower bouquet and ask people to nominate someone to give it to. Ask for nominations in your city. Michael Braudy I just found out that Zoom has a Webinar mode that I think is unlimited, you can't see the participants there as in a meeting.. : - ) Jennifer Gilbertson Radke You may also want to look at belive to interview others through Facebook Live Ruth Tongen Play the compass game and go for a drive--draw a number 1-12 out of a hat and drive whatever that direction is on a clock. Can draw another number out for the number of miles. Make it a scavenger hunt with a list of things you have to find along the way. Ann Spiczka Aubitz I have had the time to do a couple of blogs for my new business, Kirkhouse Publishers. Barbara Hill Osgood ok.... need any QuickBooks help? maybe I need to do one of these [Facebook Lives to teach QB] Lisa Metwaly Make a video of yourself reading Kindness Travels Presents Penny Power. Then, send it to me to post and share with teachers across the country. Jeannette Grace Research and pan your next vacation. Kris Langworthy I love providing insights into your behavior and driving forces so that you better understand yourself and others....leading to more fun!!! Mary Laeger-Hagemeister Research another culture - - take time to learn about how other people live!! Another way to travel. Jeannette Grace The alumni association from my undergrad college is doing a "Pet Parade" on FB. Jennifer Gilbertson Radke USA Today put this list out a couple of days ago. Lisa Metwaly Learn a new recipe and ask others to join you to compare notes. Mary Laeger-Hagemeister Get outside and WALK!!!!! OR go for a drive - - change of scenery. Lisa Metwaly Check in with friends and ask how they’re doing and what they’re doing to spark joy. Michael Braudy Play violin for your friend's 6th year old daughter on Facetime - she loved it! Tara Gallagher Lots of free virtual tours of museums, zoos other public spaces Mary Laeger-Hagemeister Write thank you notes to first responders!!! Lisa Metwaly Make a video of you reading a book to share with friends who have kids. Lisa Metwaly Write random kind notes to people in the service industry. Elda Dorothy LOVE this idea!! They could really use this now!! Kris Langworthy Write thank you notes to healthcare providers Lisa Metwaly Visit a virtual museum with others. Martha Hill Hanley Re-pot plants, start seedlings indoors Jennifer Gilbertson Radke My 15 year old took that initiative himself yesterday and planted seedlings. Kris Langworthy Take a personality profile CJ Tuttle Higginbotham As you clean through your photos, send ones with friends and families in texts to share the love and a quick note Jeannette Grace We are doing a virtual happy hour with friends tonight via Google Hangout Tara Gallagher FaceTime or text/call old friends you haven’t talked to in awhile Elda Dorothy Read a book for fun. Too many times we have a huge pile of books to read and don't make time for it. NOW is the time! Jennifer Gilbertson Radke Write those overdue recommendations on LinkedIn or leave book/product reviews online Tara Gallagher Learn Tarot and practice readings Kris Langworthy Send jokes CJ Tuttle Higginbotham Clear out photos from your phone that are no longer necessary and mark any old ones that still make your smile or spark joy so they are favorites as reminders of good times Elda Dorothy Draw...just for the fun of it. Kris Langworthy

Pillow fight Jeannette Grace Send Teresa Thomas love, notes, flowers, etc. [Aw, thank you!] Connie Ungrue Do zoom chats with friends ...use WhatsApp video chat instead of just calling for face contact Ruth Tongen Take yourself on artist walks where you look at the art in nature. Find the most amazing natural wonder that you might walk by or drive by every day. Jennifer Gilbertson Radke Try and new recipe (with things you already have at home) Ann Spiczka Aubitz Making more calls to connect with people (friends, family, clients) Connie Ungrue Helping people learn about a home based business that I do to create a side income Jeannette Grace "Would you rather" questions. Barbara Moss Abramson Zoom call with friends! Jennifer Gilbertson Radke My son planted vegetable garden seeds Kris Langworthy Do group phone calls with girlfriends Tara Gallagher Set up a still life and draw or paint Elda Dorothy Get creative in the kitchen making things to eat with what we have (since the grocery store had limited supplies on our favorites) Lisa Sinclair Cook! Barbara Hill Osgood Learning how to play Layla on the piano - just the piano part Jeannette Grace Order the "If ..." book online and engage in conversation. Lisa Legge Actually call your fave relatives Michael Braudy Listen to Indian classical music or other meditative music... I may give my workshop online during this period Robyn Beth Priestley I started a facebook group for artist friends to share their work and resources - it's been really fun Tara Gallagher Take YouTube music lessons and learn your instrument better Sandy Hill Mayrand Having picnics Jennifer Vickerman Become a video chat reading buddy with one of the kids in your life (niece, nephew, God Children, close friends). Have them read you a book once each day or every other day. Connie Shank Hertz Get outside, bundle up & take a walk! Lots of nature happening out there! I wrote my blog about this to be released on my site this Saturday. Finding Joy In This Upside Down world! Nancy Johnson Zoom to connect with friends and be uplifted together Lisa Zufall Online happy hour Lisa Sinclair Finish old craft projects Elda Dorothy Watch a funny movie that we haven't taken time to watch because we were too busy. Ann Spiczka Aubitz We are going to go through our closets today and put fun outfits together. Michael Braudy If you do an exercise like T'ai Chi/ QiGung practice a few minutes a day Lisa Sinclair Meet friends in the park and sit on picnic benches 6 feet apart Maxine Fagerland Lots of messagìng loved ones Tara Gallagher Play string with your cat or ball with your dog Jeannette Grace Planet Fitness is doing 20 minute "work ins" at 6 PM each day via FB CJ Tuttle Higginbotham Learn dog massage and connect more fully with your four-legged family members Kris Langworthy Cincinnati zoo visits online daily at 3 pm Ann Spiczka Aubitz Katlyn and I are writing another children's book. Lisa Legge We can still take hikes and play frisbee in the park with our families Elda Dorothy Create vision boards on Pinterest Lisa Sinclair Clean parts of basement untouched for 45 years Michael Braudy NPR has a list of concerts and other performances that are being made accessible online Kris Langworthy Call a girlfriend Ruth Tongen Passing on my biggest laugh of the day. Jeannette Grace Clean out a closet - it will be fun when you are done Kris Langworthy Read books Ann Spiczka Aubitz I have been making and sending cards to my mother who is in an assisted living facility. She is not allowed any visitors. Robyn Beth Priestley Nature journaling - take the kids outside and have them watch for spring, and make a little book Nancy Johnson Looking at family photos that make me smile Jennifer Gilbertson Radke Video call with grandparents Lisa Legge Long hot baths DAILY Jennifer Gilbertson Radke Craft or art project to brighten your home. Elda Dorothy Write snail mail letters for friends and loved ones! Jeannette Grace Send postcards to people Kris Langworthy Food fight with marshmallows Jennifer Vickerman Put together a playlist of your favorite dance tunes and take a dance break once per hour!

CJ Tuttle Higginbotham Thanks for sharing this gift with all of us! It added a layer of joy to my day I didn't even know was there until you showed up in my feed!

Michael Braudy Thank you, Teresa. This was generous and generated ideas and connection itself. Smliing back at you.

Jeannette Grace Thank you Teresa for this. It made my face and heart smile.

Lisa Metwaly Thank you Teresa for your generous gift of time.

Connie Shank Hertz [Participate in online communities!] Teresa, thank you for putting this together! Very inspiring! Love & blessings to all of you! A list sent in by Sharole Hawkens:

  • Pajama Day!

  • Practice a new hair style.

  • Donate or throw something away every day.

  • Practice yoga or qigong.

  • Feed the birds or squirrels.

  • Rearrange your furniture.

  • Turn off the TV!

  • Take an online class that challenges you to learn something new.

  • Decorate with holiday lights.

  • Cook things that make your home smell good.

  • Epsom salts bath to end each day.

  • Write love letters or emails to family and friends. Tell them why they are wonderful.

A list sent in by Mary Laeger-Hagemeister:

  • Catch up digital photo books

  • write letters to my kids/grandson about my life story - - I'm terminal -- - While I may be physicallyl isolated - - technology is keeping me in touch

  • Play piano - - sing as though no one is listening - - because they aren't there!!!!

  • transplant some plants

  • watch a movie you've been wanting to see

  • do some deep cleaning or projects around home

I will paste a list I started. Some of the ideas are similar to what is above:

  1. Enjoy fragrances. When you get ready for the day, take time to notice how each of the toiletries smells.

  2. Light a candle and observe its warm glow. Imagine your tension melting like the wax.

  3. Wear and use the things your kids have made for you.

  4. Test out different outfit options when you are committed to being somewhere else and see how they feel

  5. For kids: Listen to your parents. This in itself might not sound fun but trust me each day will be a whole lot more fun if you listen to what they want you to hear.

  6. Listen fully to your kids stories, their performances for you. Notice how they play together. Laugh at their goofy jokes things and listen to what they want to talk about

  7. Look for the good qualities of others in your household and let them know what you appreciate about them (e.g. life is too short to get upset by annoyances such as how they load the dishwasher...hey, they are contributing!)

  8. Sew/mend

  9. Virtual tour of museums and national parks

  10. Start practicing Tai Chi

  11. Learn online and practice yoga at home

  12. Online concerts (Thanks Jeannette Grace for the idea)

  13. Read that stack of books

  14. Join the 50 Fun Things Club (once it gets formed...a next step!)

  15. Use the appliances and kitchen tools you forgot about (juicer, pasta maker)

  16. Try new recipes

  17. Experiment with new flavor combos (vanilla yogurt with almond butter: thanks for the idea Karen - delicious!)

  18. Learn a new craft. Use up your craft supplies.

  19. Hammock when the weather cooperates

  20. Make a cozy nook for reading or journaling

  21. Blanket fort

  22. Play and pretend like you are a kid again

  23. Online gaming together

  24. Take out and play the games of your youth

  25. Reminisce and go through old photos and videos.

  26. Listen to music from your younger days. Play your albums and “mixed tapes”

  27. Rearrange a room

  28. Plan how you want your garden to look this year

  29. Try a bold new look (e.g. grow a beard, shape brows differently, brighter shade of lipstick). When you see everyone again the change won’t feel so dramatic!

  30. Putz around in the yard.

  31. Go for a penny walk. Flip a penny at the corner. Heads go right, tails go left. See where your penny takes you. It might be in circles!

  32. Go for a walk and leave hidden biodegradable uplifting notes for people to find later in the spring

  33. Dream about what would feel like a perfect vacation. Give your sense of taste of what it would be like by making a regional food from that area

  34. Online singing group

  35. Online Nia dance (Nia with Beth Giles)

  36. Online prosperity support group (The Numbers Whisper, Nicole Fende)

  37. Support through the chaos (Performance Partners, Barb Zuleger)

  38. Netflix chatroom to watch movies with friends and comment

Ways you can help support 50 Fun Things for connecting people to joy and each other to help us through these trying times:

My heart deeply greatly appreciates everyone who has encouraged me to ask for support in this mission of fostering connection to joy and fulfillment. If you would like to see the original Facebook Live, click here. Very soon, I'll be posting and compiling the ideas generated from another Live, 50 Fun Things to Keep Our Bodies Happy in These Times. Next Tuesday, I'll facilitate 50 Fun Things to Make Your Home a Haven. If you'd like to participate, pop onto the Facebook page for 50 Fun Things at 1pm CST on Tuesday, March 31st. Thank you, be well and enjoy the small things in life, Teresa Thomas

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