With beaches closed and so many of us stuck at home (maybe with some restless kids) sheltering in place may be starting to feel not quite so cozy. So how about having a beach party right in your family room or back yard? How to do that? I have some thoughts!
First of all Decorate
You have to set the scene, after all. Harness your younger ones' energy by sending them into the yard to find some rocks they can wash and scatter around for that beachy feel. If you're into painting rocks, decorating some with fish can also be fun. If you don't have craft supplies they're available on line. A plain candle can be dressed up by some glued on shells, (Which can also be ordered on line. I just bought some and they're great!) Younger children can draw beach-themed pictures which you can hang in the window or string on your back patio.
You have to dress for the beach, right? Have everyone in the family pick the beach clothes for each other from someone else's closet. Mom's bikini top for Dad, perhaps? Dad's old Hawaiian shirt for little Junior? You'll want to be sure to take some selfies to post! Also, if you have crafters in the family, you can buy charms on line for a reasonable price and make some jewelry to wear to the party.
You can't have a beach party without food. If you've got teens who like to cook put them to work making some good, old-fashioned potato salad and deviled eggs. If you don't have a grill for hot dogs it's okay to cook them on the stove top.
For dessert, how about an ice cream octopus? Fun and easy for the younger ones to make. I've got the instructions on the recipe page here at Sheila's Place. (And you know you want to check out that page, too, right?)
Any number of activities will keep different age groups happy. Younger ones will enjoy playing Hide the Shell. You can do this with a real shell or a small picture of a shell. It's like the old Hide the Button game. Send everyone from the room (or the back yard, if you're out there) and hide the object. Bring the gang back out and let them search, letting them know if they're getting warm, hot or cold as they get closer or farther away from the object. Whoever finds it is the next one to hide it.
Surfing doesn't have to involve water. If you've got an old plank sitting around from some previous project you're in business. The gang can air surf. Have two muscled members of the family hold each end of the plank a couple feet above ground level, then put your surfer on it and jiggle the plank. Have a contest to see who stays on the longest.
How about a game of Beach Bingo? Make your own Bingo Boards. (Several websites offer free templates.) Replace the word BINGO with BEACH. You can use Skittles, M & M's or chocolate chips for your markers. Whoever wins gets out of a household chore for the week, gets a double allowance, or ... whatever prize you think your family will enjoy.
You can play backyard beach volleyball even if you don't have a net. Simply make a line with rope and let the ball fly where it will.
End your party with a story. Let someone start the story with a beach-themed beginning, such as Once Upon a Time There was a Giant Squid. That person can stop the story wherever he or she wants, leaving the next member of the family to continue the story. That person, too, can stop anywhere in the story. Last in line has to finish the tale.
JUST LIKE OUR GRANDPARENTS AND GREAT GRANDPARENTS DID, we can manage to make the most of life in difficult times. Hopefully, if your family can't go to the beach this will bring the beach to you!
I know many of us are starting to get a little buggy with this sheltering in place and quarantining. I'm currently at our California digs. We got here just before the shelter in place orders so here we are in our condo, sheltering. A much different picture than I'd envisioned. I'd planned on making new friends, throwing parties, going line dancing, playing tennis, doing all kinds of stuff with our kids. At the moment I'm...
not doing any of that. But I am getting a lot of writing done. As Melody Jones, one of my favorite characters in my Moonlight Harbor series would say, "Every storm has a rainbow." Right now I'm concentrating on rainbows. Here are some of the positives I'm finding:
I'm saving a lot of money. Other than groceries and books we're not buying much. Sure saving a ton on gas!
I can binge on House Hunters International guilt free.
I've got a bug but it's not COVID-19
I can Zoom!
I can get creative with the goods we've stocked up on.
I can get creative. Period. This is turning out to be a very productive time for me.
I have toilet paper!
I'm at home, not in a hospital on a respirator.
I am seeing firsthand what a blessing good health is. It's something I hope never to take for granted again.
How about you? I hope you're finding some rainbows in the storm. Stay well everyone and let's remember to pray for those who are dealing with this and the ones who are working so hard to get them well.
I keep thinking of that song from the musical Annie. It seems dark right now but sunrise is coming.
YES, this is the new shopping apparel. A strange new world and many of us are now home bound. Except for essential workers.
... And those of us who are bored and just want to get out. And the just want to get outers are becoming quite a controversy. With everyone so scared of getting COVID-19, seeing someone at the local Walmart or grocery store just browsing can be like a red flag. People have told me that when they try to plead for staying put they're often told to mind their own business.
And that makes me wonder. When is someone else's business my business?
I remember an old saying: My right to swing my arm ends at your nose. Yes, we live in a free country. We all have rights. But when our rights start messing up someone else's life maybe that's when we need to rethink how we exercise them.
I haven't wanted to bug my kids to go out and do stuff for me so Gerhardt and I have been running to the grocery store and post office... in our masks. After all we're not that old!
But, much as I hate to admit it, we're not that young either, and every time I go out I'm gambling on whether I'll pick up a germ or dodge one. What if I get sick? Then I'll be even more of a pain in the neck to my kids. I sure don't want that. Of what if I pick up a germ and wind up sharing it with my husband? We are now stocked up so I think it's time to stop swinging my arm and completely self-quarantine. (Besides, my one time wear mask I've had forever is probably long worn out and I'm down to one pair of disposable gloves!)
How about you? Maybe you're not at an age where you need to be hiding at home, but do you need to be out when, well, you don't need to be out? (We're not talking about getting essentials, we're talking about dealing with cabin fever in a not so good way.) Are you out there swinging, figuring it's nobody's business? Maybe it's time to think about whose nose you could end up punching. Maybe it really is a good idea to stay put.