Government efforts to stop the spread of the new coronavirus have shuttered nearly all the schools in America, leaving millions of kids unexpectedly stuck at home all day. In lieu of packing lunches and waving good-bye as their children climb on the school bus, moms are scrambling to come up with isolation activities to pass the time. Here are a few quality movies to check out with the kids after they have done their home school work and washed their hands while singing “Happy Birthday” twice.
The Lion King
No, not the one from our childhood – a new computer-animated remake was released last summer. It features realistic animals and settings instead of cartoon characters. The plot remains the same, but the new visuals amp up the storyline. This version is at least as good as the original, and this is coming from a die-hard Lion King fan. Check it out on Disney+ tonight.
Yep, I’m talking about the original movie from 1993. What better time to introduce the younger generation to a classic American movie that embodies timeless themes like baseball, neighborhoods, dirt, and aggressive canines? I only hope the kids love watching it for the first time as much as we liked watching it the first 30 times.
This Disney movie is a fairly recent hit, but there are two reasons it merits making this shortlist: 1) The Rock. He’s just the coolest. 2) It’s set on a tropical island, so we can imagine the inhabitants are far away from COVID-19 and its massive associated mess. We are bombarded with bad news right now, and The Rock sailing a homemade raft toward a lava monster is just the escape we need.
If you’d prefer to read (or read while your kids watch TV), there are several great options to virtually connect with other book worms. Several online book clubs have popped up in response to the government’s increased directives for citizens to stay home from work and school. QuartineBookClub.com is one online resource that uses video chat to connect authors and fans.
Readers can purchase tickets to join the virtual chat sessions, which are facilitated by appointments with the video meeting platform Zoom. Tickets are $5 each, but participants can enter a code to join for free if the price is a deterrent. Currently listed authors include sports journalists, essayists, feminists, novelists, and more. If you’re a published author who would like to participate from that side of the desk, the organization welcomes your inquiry.
Social isolation has cut us off from beneficial activities like going to the gym or public library. On the flip side, it is the perfect time to sharpen our minds and expand our horizons, since we have nothing else to do anyway. It’s all too easy to fall into a cycle of worry since we all still have bills to pay and kids to educate. Reading a good book – or listening to a discussion about a book we might like to read one day – is a great way to break the cycle and reduce alleviate some of our worries, at least until we finish the last page.
Because this pandemic will end eventually. And when that day comes, we can resume our daily lives just a bit more educated and well-read if we take advantage of downtime now.