We can’t pretend the current world crisis with COVID-19 is not happening. It is and it is life changing for us all. We may have a ‘new normal’ for months ahead. We need to tap into our inner strength, and our creativity, to help us face new and unexpected challenges.

With many people changing to work-at-home, some not able to work due to restrictions and some having children at home, belaboring the fact that they are constantly bored, daily life becomes even more stressful and challenging.

Let’s take a look at some ideas to help you and your family not only get over the boredom hump, but also have fun learning and exploring.

In today’s world there is so much you can tap into online. Here are some tutorials that are either free or low cost.

The Will Kemp Art School (www.willkempartschool.com/ offers hours of free tutorials for aspiring artists. You can learn how to do landscapes, still life, townscapes, color mixing and more.

Udemy (www.udemy.com) has over 100,000 videos and a wide range of courses you can chose from. This is a low cost option with courses starting at just $10.99. I have taken several courses on Udemy and have been very satisfied with the content.

Many people already know that YouTube (www.youtube.com) has a wealth of videos that show you how to make, fix, cook and create different things. Do a search for ‘5-minute crafts’. This is a fun channel that shows you how to do creative crafts in just 5 minutes.

Michael’s (www.michaels.com) has free online tutorials and something called “100 fun projects”. Go to their website and click on their Facebook page where they have a live-link every Wednesday at 1pm where you can join them for a fun family activity.

For those that miss attending worship services, there are now online options where you can still attend church, without having to worry about exposure and social distancing. The Sebring Chamber of Commerce (https://sebring.org/worship-updates) has links on their site for many churches where you can click to connect.

Want to get some fresh air and get out just for a little while? Why not walk around your neighborhood, remembering to keep your distance if anyone else is around, and do a nature walk with your children. Take photos of interesting plants, flowers, trees, etc.

How about teaching your kids some skills they don’t learn in school? Do they know how to balance a checkbook? Do they think cooking is making a sandwich? Do they know basic first aid? You can make learning fun while teaching them important life skills.

Board games can teach a lot of skills and are a nice change from iPads. Remember the fun you had (and still can have) playing Monopoly (finance and property management), Clue (deductive skills) and Scrabble (vocabulary building)?

Younger kids like to sing, dance and dress up. Why not do karaoke? Sing along with them, dance around, dress up and just have a good time. You could have a family music night and even video the event to share with other family members.

Now is a good time to read that book or books that are on your list for ‘when you have time’. Take the time to enjoy a good read or kick back and listen to an audio book. You can download a number of free books on your iPad or reader.

Did you know that you can check out e-books and audio books through the library website? Go to (www.myhlc.org) and click on “Ebooks & Audiobooks”.

Don’t underestimate the fun of curling up on the sofa, or under a blanket, with your kids to watch a Disney movie. Have a movie night with buttered popcorn and snuggle up together. Your kids will remember these times the most.

If you play a keyboard, piano or organ, here are a few websites that offer free online tutorials that you can listen to at your leisure. Allen’s Music Centre is in England (www.allensmusiccentre.co.uk). Key’s to Fun is in Rhode Island (www.keystofunmusic.com).

Last, but not least, there is a plethora of cooking websites and online videos that have recipes and demonstrations. Why not have an International night of cooking? For German night, you could make potato pancakes with apple sauce. For Oriental night, you could have fried rice with chicken. Both are inexpensive meals that can be fun for everyone.

If you need fresh produce for one of your dishes, McCracken Farms is doing delivery. You can place your order by calling 863-381-6147.

In these trying times, we need to pull together as a family, especially when children are involved. There are many things that you can do to alleviate the boredom while having fun, at little to no cost. You just need to use your imagination.