Ideas for things to do inside and help rhythm the day because having structure is very important.
Alternate concentrated activities with physical ones. Be sure to get up and move. Having the same order each day is beneficial and helps the time pass. Have both discipline and flexibility. Routine and ritual. For everyone, especially children routine is reassuring. When you’ve lost your old daily routine create a new one.
American in Paris Charlotte Puckette who is a caterer and cooking teacher shares some recipes to make for your family. Here’s a chance to experiment, learn something new and teach cooking skills to the kids.
See our suggestions each week in the Online Book Room. Before ordering online contact your local bookshop, many of them have been working very hard to keep their businesses alive and they are now delivering to your door. Buy local when you can!
Several of our favorite editors are putting games and books online to help entertain the kids.
L’Ecole des Loisirs is publishing new material each day at 9am. They have coloring pages, audio and or video casts of kids books, games like concentration and matching, things to make and draw.
Editions Nathan has posted lots of ideas for activities on their site. A masking tape race track, stretches, a calendar to plan the day…
Make a checker board or Scrabble or a fort out of cardboard. Play Hangman. How about Simon Says? A great game for listening skills, motor skills and laughter. Simon Says: Moo like a cow, Flap like a bird, Do Jumping Jacks, Baa like a sheep, Do windmills, Clap your hands…
Work on your French, English or other skills
Many of the FUSAC language teachers are able to offer language lessons by Skype, video or telephone. They are working and available to help you improve your skills.
Listen to French classics read aloud with a new twist via Les Liseuses. Free!
Try a French Dictée. Listen and write the text. Une Dictée par Jour offers excellent skill building at various levels. https://unedicteeparjour.fr/ 2€ per month or 10€ for the year!
Other online classes are available for exercise, yoga (MyQee offers 2 free weeks trial), photoshop, knitting and other skills and a million other things.
For more professionally oriented classes visit Lynda.com which has now been renamed (and bought out by I imagine) LinkedIn Learning. They offer business courses, website design, software development, photography and more.
When you get out for a walk play the ABC-123 game. Have kids look around and find the “A” on a sign or vehicle (you could play this at home too with book covers or cans of vegetables). Then find “B”. Or note all the names of the streets you pass then look up their origins when you get home – it’s a history lesson and you’ll get to know your neighborhood! Or plan ascavenger hunt before going out. Find a fire hydrant, spot a boulangerie, spot a pigeon, see 4 dogs…
Listen to the birds
Now that we can hear the birds in Paris we can learn to identify them by their sounds, then figure out who they are and what their habits are. This app is a lot of fun and a great way to tune kids in with their surroundings. I find that using the app helps me listen to what is going on out there and this being spring there is a lot of bird song. You wond’t believe the variety and power of the sounds of the European Robin. Enjoy! BirdNET – The easiest way to identify birds by sound.
Teach your cat or dog a new trick!
Yes cats can learn tricks. Check out clicker training. It works! You can use anything for the click sound, your tongue on the roof of your mouth, a clicking ballpoint pen, just be consistent. Before you know it they will come, sit, shake, high 5 and maybe even play dead! Animals like children benefit from a routine. Have a training session at a couple different moments in the day. Your pet will begin to look forward to them. And so will you.
Put on some music – disco is a real mover – and move around. Jump, clap, groove. Nobody’s looking. The kids and you will use up some pent up energy. Play Musical chairs (dance around and when the music stops everybody sits down (or freezes and is silent).
Write a letter
to Grandma, Mom, a friend, a love. Don’t have stamps? Just print them out via or order pretty ones online.
This press release from the Grand Palais offers all kinds of ideas from conferences to games and projects to amuse and cultivate young and old via Art.
Paris Update has posted two articles about cultural offerings available for free online. Heidi has compiled a list of some other museums, operas, comedy shows and audio books.
You may discover that you really do like to cook. Use your time to try all kinds of new activities. All these new things might even become part of your ‘regular’ life – we do have an opportunity here. Or they will just keep you occupied and help pass the time.