We have all been in quarantine for some weeks now. Running out of ideas what to do at home? Remind yourself that there is always something you can do. Instead of just wasting your time, you can also do something productive. In this article, you can find 60 things to do at home. I am sure you will like some or all of them.
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Things to do at home: Eating and drinking
1. Cook some nice food
Try to cook something new, for example, a cuisine from another country like Chinese hot pot or Japanese sushi. You can also try something that you normally don’t cook due to the long cooking hours.
There are a lot of cooking videos on Youtube if you want to search for some ideas. If you have a cookbook at home already, try to make a different dish from the cookbook every day.
2. Have a BBQ
It is great to have a BBQ outside when the weather is nice. Set up your grill in your garden or balcony, and enjoy the nice food with your family together.
3. Bake something
Since you can spend a lot of time in the kitchen now, why don’t you try to bake something? It can be cookies, cakes, etc. If you have kids, they would probably love to help as well!
4. Make some cocktails
If you are into cocktails and miss going out to bars, these good cocktail recipes are for you. You can now make your own cocktails from home, and enjoy them with your friends on video apps if you want.
5. Have a picnic
If you have a garden, you can have a picnic there when the weather is nice. Even simply eating outside in your garden or balcony will make you feel good.
Don’t worry if you don’t have a garden. You can still have an indoor picnic! Just put a big blanket in your living room and enjoy picnic food like sandwiches and snacks together with your family. The good thing about an indoor picnic is that you don’t have to care about the weather. This is a fun activity for everyone and will add some variety in your family life.
Read also: 13 Tips for Working From Home with a Toddler
Things to do at home: Playing something
6. Put a puzzle together
Puzzles can be a fun activity not only for kids but also for adults. You can find puzzles that are suitable for all ages. You can also practice teamwork and spend quality time with your family by putting a complex puzzle together.
7. Play with Lego
I used to think that Lego is only for kids until I saw the Lego collection from my colleague at his home. He has a Lego collection of different cities and they look so amazing. Building Lego sculptures can be fun for both adults and kids. It is also a good way to spend time together as a family.
8. Play board games
Playing board games or cards with your family is a good activity for the evening. For example, we love playing Azul and Dominion these days. If you live alone, you can also play board games online on tabletopia.
9. Play game apps
There are enough free games that you can install and play on your phone nowadays. Some of them can be really addictive. If you want to train your brain and play like a German, try to choose games like Sudoku. You can always challenge yourself to finish a puzzle faster than before. And it can get pretty addictive too.
Things to do at home: Reading, listening, and writing
10. Read a book
If you like reading books, it is a perfect time now. Here are the 100 books to read in a lifetime list from Amazon. You will for sure find books that you love to read there.
If you are feeling lazy, you can also try an audiobook. An audiobook is perfect as you can listen to it while you are doing something else like housework or driving. Amazon Audible has a large selection of audiobooks and also podcasts. You can also try out a 30-day membership for free now.
If you prefer to read books together with other people, you can try to read a book aloud. Pick a book that would be interesting for everyone and read it aloud every evening with your family together.
Alternatively, you can also create a virtual book club with your family and friends. Meet your family and friends virtually once a week and share with each other what books you have been reading.
11. Listen to a podcast
A podcast is like a radio show except that you can listen to it anytime and anywhere with your smartphone. You can listen to it while you are cooking, cleaning, or in my case, breastfeeding. There are also endless topics to choose from like comedy, motivational podcasts, and more.
12. Write a diary
Did you write a diary when you were younger? I did, and I loved it. But when I got older, I was always busier and could never find any time to sit down and write my diary again. If you are like me, maybe you can consider starting a diary during this time. Jot down your feeling, your thinking, what you have done, etc. You will find it nice to read again it in the future and see how your thinking has changed over time.
13. Write a letter
When was the last time you wrote a letter? With our technology nowadays, we don’t write letters that often anymore. But writing a letter is really different from typing a message. It is also a totally different feeling for a person to receive a hand-written letter than an email. So, set some time aside and write a letter to your friends or family. I am sure they will appreciate it.
14. Start a blog
If you like writing and like to share your thought, blogging can be for you. Starting a blog is easier than you think. For example, it costs less than 4 Euros monthly when you purchase your hosting through Bluehost. You can then start your website within 20 minutes afterward. The best thing about blogging is that you can create a form of passive income from it too. Check out also my article with 20 ideas to make money from home.
Things to do at home: Doing something online
15. Watch a movie or TV series
Who doesn’t like watching movies? It is fun to watch alone or with your family together. Now is also a good time to binge watch a TV series. If you do not have Amazon Prime yet, you should sign up for the 30-day free trial now. I am sure you will not stop this after 30 days as it is so worth it.
You can also check here for other good streaming platforms to use in Germany.
16. Do online shopping
Since we should avoid going out, we have not been to shopping malls for a long time. Fortunately, we can do almost any shopping online nowadays. It is actually even easier to compare different products online. Besides big shopping sites like Amazon or eBay, a lot of shops also have their own website now so that you can order online.
Note that some websites may show you a higher price if they see that you are from a wealthier country. Don’t let them overcharge you! Save money when doing online shopping in Germany by using a VPN.
17. Watch northern lights
Do you know you can now watch northern lights live at home? Thanks to this live cam set in Canada, you can now watch northern light easily at home on your sofa. There is even a snapshot button so that you can take a picture immediately when you see this natural wonder.
18. Watch live-streaming gigs
Do you miss going to concerts? The good thing is that you can do almost anything online now. For example, you can watch shows online including orchestra, concert, opera, etc. You can check out all the live streams and virtual concerts you can watch during the Coronavirus crisis here.
19. Go virtual traveling
Have you ever heard of virtual traveling? Well, I know it is a new concept and it is not the same as traveling physically. However, since we are probably not going to travel far in the foreseeable future, it doesn’t hurt to give virtual traveling a try.
Thanks to the internet, you can now basically “travel” anywhere in front of your computer. For example, you can watch wild animals in their natural habitat including pandas and fishes. (I like those cute pandas especially) If you are into museums, you can also go for a virtual museum and art gallery tour for free now.
Things to do at home: Doing something with your family
20. Do sports
If you used to go to the gym every day, it can be a hard time for you now that the gyms are closed. However, that doesn’t mean that you should stop working out. Many gyms actually offer online classes now. You should check with your gym to see if they have such offers. Otherwise, you can also watch fitness videos on Youtube or use a fitness app at home. Exercising together with your family can be fun as well.
21. Dance at home
If you have some space in your living room, why don’t you put on your favorite music and have a dance with your family? Put on some party lights and have a fun evening with your loved ones.
22. Look through old photos
Looking through old photos together with your family is a good activity to remind you guys of the good old times. You can also look at your photo albums on a big TV screen so that everyone can watch together. This can bring back happy memories and let you guys have a conversation on the fun stories in the past.
23. Watch stars
If you live outside the city and have a garden, try to sit outside at night with your family and look at the stars together. You will be amazed at how relaxing it is just to look at the stars. Enjoy the time with a glass of wine.
Read also: Water in Germany – Dealing with hard water
24. Post something to your loved ones
You can make your family members feel special by posting them a self-made greeting card with a personalized message. You can also post the card with a small gift together like a book or a beautiful soap. With the help of websites like Canva, you can now make your card with your personalized image easily online.
25. Review with your partner
Do you have a performance review with your employer regularly? Why don’t you do it as well with your partner? It is good to have a review regularly with your partner to talk about what you like about each other and what needs to be improved. This can help you to understand each other better and keep a happy relationship.
Things to do at home: Working on your house
26. Tidy up your house
Cleaning up your house does not really sound like a fun activity. However, I can guarantee you that it will be very satisfying once everything in your house is clean and organized.
How long have you not cleaned your windows? How about your kitchen? Do you have expired food in your cupboard or fridge? Do you have clothes in your wardrobe that you never wear? How often do you wash your bed sheet and vacuum clean your car?
Besides, have a look also in your basement. Do you still need everything there? Maybe you can give away some old toys? You can also consider selling your old books and DVD on platforms like rebuy or momox.
27. Decorate your home
Rearrange your furniture will give you a fresh feeling at home. You can also decorate your home by displaying some flowers or greenery inside. If you still don’t have anything on your wall, think about printing photos, frame them, and display them at your home. Another great idea is to hang a family tree on your wall where you also show photos of your family members.
28. Do some house projects
It is a perfect time to work on your house when you get stuck at home. Maybe you have some house projects that are always in your to-do list, but you have never started them?
For us, we moved to our new house in Germany for two years now. And we finally have time now to paint the wall and create some shelves in our basement. We have also built our own wardrobe! We are so happy that we have so many things done during this time.
29. Plant something
A positive side-effect of the quarantine for us is that we have finally started working on our garden. Starting a garden is a lot of work, but it is also very rewarding. You can plant your own food or just some beautiful flowers. Spending time outside also makes you feel better and it can be a good quality time with your family.
Don’t worry if you don’t have a garden. You can also plant on your balcony or terrace. Even some houseplants can be very nice decorations at home.
Things to do at home: Making some art
30. Create a family scrapbook
Nowadays it is so easy to take pictures. You can take as many pictures as you want just with your smartphone. On my phone, I have thousands of pictures taken in the last years. And how often do I look back at those pictures? Honestly, it is way too many pictures to look back. It is also hard if I want to search for a specific picture in the past.
So, what we do is that we make a family scrapbook every year. The scrapbooks include the highlight of each year like vacations, birthday, festivals, etc. We write down the date and some comments in the scrapbook so that we do not forget our stories.
This is really a great thing to do as it makes looking back on our old pictures so much easier. If we want to search for a specific picture in the past, we can easily find it in the scrapbook of that year.
31. Try a new craft
For example, my sister is into making felt animals at the moment. You can make a felt animal yourself with a felting needle and some wool. You can get a tutorial kit from Amazon at a low cost and it is really easy to learn. After some practice, you can even make one based on your own pet! I find these felting animals super cute.
32. Coloring or drawing
If you are an artistic person, you can pick up drawing again these days. Don’t have the supplies? Don’t worry, there are free adult coloring books like Colorfy available now online. You can start coloring immediately for free and get creative.
Read also: 9 ways to earn money in Germany as a student
Things to do at home: Doing something fun
33. Make a film
Nowadays, it is very easy to make a video. Anyone can make a film just with their smartphones. How about creating a family documentary?
Here are some ideas:
- Make a film about something that happens in your family
- Make a film where you and your partner talk about why you fell in love with each other
- Ask your kids to make a film where they interview each family member
Making a film will not only help your family members to gain confidence, but they will also learn to speak in public. You can also send the film to other family members and they will for sure love it.
To edit your videos, you can use free video editing software online. If you want to make high-quality videos, you may want to consider getting a video camera.
34. Sing karaoke
I am from Hong Kong where singing karaoke is a very popular activity. Actually, I miss singing karaoke a lot since I moved to Germany. I always go to karaoke with my friends whenever I visit Hong Kong. Singing karaoke is not only fun for kids, but for adults.
If you have never been to karaoke before, you should definitely try it. You can now also use free karaoke software so that you can do it at home. Get a karaoke microphone and connect to your laptop. You can then have a fun evening together with your family.
35. Project wild animals at home
Do you know you can now project a life-size wild animal at home? It is super easy using the free Google’s augmented-reality animals tool! All you have to do is to search for a particular animal on google like “tiger” on your phone. Scroll a little bit down and click on “View in 3D”. Then, click on “View in your space” and follow the instruction there. The tiger will now appear at your home! Your kids can even take a picture together with the tiger. We actually had a lot of fun playing with this tool.
Things to do at home: Socializing virtually
36. Host a digital Netflix party
Have you heard of a digital Netflix party? This is a really cool function in Netflix which allows you to watch movies with your friends remotely.
Everyone can play or stop the video. You can also discuss the movie with each other using a chat window while the movie is playing.
37. Call someone
One good thing about staying at home is that I am doing video calls with my parents and friends much more often. With video technology nowadays, you can even have a group chat virtually.
For example, you can use the Houseparty app to see your friends on split-screen and have a beer with them. You can also play some games with them together on the app.
You can find some other different free video call apps here.
38. Join a virtual choir
If you like singing, maybe you can join a virtual choir. The Sofa Singers is a free and weekly online singing event that brings hundreds of people together from all over the world. Just join their zoom call and sing a song together.
Things to do at home: Doing something with your kids
39. Create an art corner
If you have kids, you probably have a lot of “artwork” created by your kids. Why don’t you create an art corner and hang all the masterpieces from your kids there? It doesn’t matter if they are paintings, craft, or even just some writing from your kids. You can create an art corner in your kid’s room or in his play area. Have fun decorating this corner with your kid together.
40. Play hide and seek
Another activity we like to do is to play hide and seek with our kid. Our daughter loves it and she is always running around and laughing really loud when we get her. I find it a really fun activity to do at home, especially if you have small kids.
41. Build a fort
You can use anything to build a fort, e.g. cushions, dolls, toys, furniture, blanket, etc. Our daughter loves building a fort in our living room and we all have a lot of fun making it.
42. Camp at home
Kids love camping. Why don’t you set up a tent and camp in your garden? Don’t worry if you do not have a garden. We actually set up a small tent in one of our bedrooms so that our daughter can “camp” there. We have a very simple tent that we use when we go to the beach. Since we cannot go to the beach now, we are using it to “camp” in our bedroom.
43. Blow bubbles
If you have a balcony or garden, you can blow some bubbles there. This is especially fun with kids.
44. Have a Scavenger Hunt
A scavenger hunt is a game where participants get a list and they need to collect miscellaneous objects listed there. These objects can be anything, like a red flower, a traffic light, a bee, etc. Once they find the objects, they can check the box accordingly on the list.
There are many different varieties of the game. For example, sometimes the participants are required to collect the objects, while sometimes they just need to take a picture of them.
You can also have a scavenger hunt at home. Just make a list of things that need to be found. You can hide them inside or outside. Set a time limit and have a small prize for the winner.
Things to do at home: Learning something
45. Play musical instruments
How long have you not touched your piano or guitar at home? For me, it has been years! Recently, I start playing my piano again and I am feeling great. It is a great time now to practice again if you have a musical instrument at home.
If you have always wanted to learn a musical instrument, it is also a good time now. There are many online courses that you can learn and practice at your own pace. Start now and don’t give yourself any excuse anymore.
46. Learn something new
When you have time now, why don’t you invest in yourself and learn something new? I have just started courses in Linkedin Learning and I really love them. I have unlimited access to professional training classes with a wide range of topics like business, software, management skills, etc. Some classes also have quizzes and include some working files.
Learning new skills can prepare me for the next challenge in my career and it is great that I have time to invest in myself now.
47. Learn a new language
If your German is insufficient, it is the best time to work on it now. You can use free apps like Duolingo, or find your tandem partner from Facebook groups to practice your German virtually.
Even though the language schools are closed at the moment, you can still find online language tutors on platforms like Preply. If you already speak perfect German, learn a third language like Chinese will definitely give you some competitive advantages.
Read also: How to learn German – My 10 fun ways
Things to do at home: Planning something
48. Plan your meals
It is a bit risky to go to closed areas like supermarkets these days due to the Coronavirus. Therefore, we try to minimize the frequency of our supermarket trips by purchasing a lot at once. To do this, we are planning our meals a week in advance.
You can spend some time thinking about your meal plan in the coming days and make a grocery list accordingly. It will take some time but you can relax once you have everything planned for the coming days.
49. Plan your holiday
Many people’s Easter holiday plan this year was screwed up due to the Coronavirus crisis. When we are at home now, maybe we can start planning our next vacation. Since we are not sure if we can still have our summer vacation, start planning something for the end of this year can be more realistic. Think about where you would like to go next and have a rough idea of how you would like to spend your holiday there.
50. Make a list of goals
Maybe it is time to think about what you want in your life. Are you happy with your job? What do you want to achieve and how can you make it happen? You can make a list of your short, medium, and long term goals and make some plans to achieve them.
Things to do at home: Working on your finance
51. File your tax
If you have time now, maybe you want to start working on your tax return. It is always good to not wait until the last minute to search for all your paperwork. For more tips, you can refer to Tax return in Germany – Guide for expats. You can also use an online platform like Steuergo so that you can complete your tax return in Germany fully in English at a very low price.
52. Plan your finance
Finance is not a fun topic but it is important. When you have time now, why don’t you have a look at your existing budget? Make a forecast of your income and expense for the coming years. Then, formulate an investment strategy or a saving goal accordingly.
If you prefer to get professional advice, I can highly recommend our financial adviser to you. Our financial adviser helped us to look at our overall financial situation and suggested ways to achieve our financial goals. You can just write or call him and mention my blog “My Life In Germany” to get a free consultation.
He can advise you on what kind of insurances or investments are suitable for you based on your individual situation. He does not work for a specific insurance company, so you can be sure that he can give you independent advice. And he speaks excellent English, which is perfect for expats like me.
If you want to make some extra cash right now, check out my 20 ideas to make money from home.
Things to do at home: Organizing your digital life
53. Organize files and apps on your devices
You may have a lot of unused apps on your laptop or phones. It is good to uninstall them if you don’t need them anymore as they take up space on your devices.
Have a look also at your photo albums on your phone. Delete those bad pictures or videos that you do not need anymore.
54. Organize your social media
How many “friends” do you have on Facebook? If you can’t even remember who that person is, it is time to clean up those Facebook “friends”.
Check your privacy settings to make sure it is suitable for you. You may not want to share too much information with everyone.
The same goes for other social media like Instagram or Twitter. You may want to unfollow some accounts if you are following too many that you are not interested in anymore.
55. Organize your email inbox
How many junk emails do you have in your inbox? Delete them and unsubscribe to newsletters that you do not read anymore. Organize your emails by setting up folders with different categories. This can help you in the future to find the emails you need.
Things to do at home: Doing something relaxing
56. Paint your nails
Do you miss your favorite shop to do your nail art? You can also paint your nails at home now. I actually don’t find it that difficult to learn if you have the right kit. Painting nails is a relaxing experience and it is also satisfying to look at your nice nails afterward.
57. Do a face mask
Relax by doing a face mask during your bath. You can buy a face mask online, or you can also make one yourself.
I like to make my own face mask with matcha and honey. It is super easy to do. Just mix them together and put on your face. I can feel that my skin gets so much softer afterward.
58. Take a bath
Have a relaxing evening having a bubble bath with some nice bath bombs. You can also set up some candles and music to make it a spa experience.
Meditation is a good way to forget your worries and find your inner peace. This is especially important during this unusual time now. Just find a quiet place at your home and practice meditation. You can find some good meditation apps here.
60. Relax and do nothing
I guess there were no times in my life like now that I haven’t physically socialized with people for weeks. While it can be boring, it also allows me to dedicate time only to myself, which is not necessarily bad. I don’t need to do makeup or worry about what clothes I should wear. Sometimes it is not bad to do nothing. Just relax and give yourself a break!
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Have you tried any of these ideas at home? What else do you do at home during quarantine? Leave a comment below and let me know!
Moving to Germany or new in Germany? Check out our Support Page for all the resources you need!