No Stockpiling: Don’t Waste Your Money On These Items During Quarantine

When the coronavirus quarantine began, many people rushed to the supermarkets buying whatever they thought they needed out of panic. Although this response is understandable, it also wastes money and robs others of much-needed resources.

With so many articles detailing what you need for COVID-19, here’s one explaining what you don’t need. You may be surprised–government officials don’t recommend many supplies that others are stockpiling, including face masks and latex gloves. Save your money and your time by learning what you don’t need to buy for quarantine.

You Don’t Need That Much Toilet Paper

A customer buys toilet paper packages at a supermarket.
Matthias Hangst/Getty Images
Matthias Hangst/Getty Images

Toilet paper does nothing to prevent the virus, so why are people stockpiling it? According to Steven Taylor, author of The Psychology of Pandemics, people resort to extremes during a panic. With a lack of clear direction from officials, people copy what they see others doing–which is buying lots of toilet paper.

If you do catch the virus, you’ll be quarantined for around two weeks. That doesn’t require seven packages of toilet paper (unless you have a severe medical condition). “People become anxious ahead of the actual infection,” Taylor says. “They haven’t thought about the bigger picture, like what are the consequences of stockpiling toilet paper.”

Don’t Buy Foods That You Don’t Eat

A long grocery store receipt lies on top of packaged food.
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stevepb/Pixabay

Pandemic planner and crisis management expert Regina Phelps says that she sees many people buying food they don’t need. While shopping for earthquake supplies, people buy things like canned beef stew and frozen meals they’ve never tried–“just in case,” Phelps says. These are a potential waste of money.

Stock up on foods that you enjoy and eat often. The U.S. Department of Homeland Security recommends a two-week supply of food, so plan a meal schedule with items that you will definitely eat. A bit of forward-thinking will save you money.

N95 Medical Masks

A woman wears a face mask.
EZEQUIEL BECERRA/AFP via Getty Images
EZEQUIEL BECERRA/AFP via Getty Images

N95 surgical masks are in short supply–despite the CDC not recommending them for use by the public. These masks must be prioritized for medical professionals on the front line, working in daily contact with those hospitalized with COVID-19.

Recently, the CDC began recommending the use of cloth masks to be worn outside by everyone. These masks possibly help slow the spread by further restricting how far the virus can travel from one person to the next.

Skip Alcohol-Free Hand Sanitizer

A graphic shows hand sanitizer squirting onto a hand.
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Ri_Ya/Pixabay

Yes, hand sanitizer can help, but not just any hand sanitizer. Alcohol-free sanitizers, which are usually more expensive, do not remove COVID-19. The CDC advises against alcohol-free options; hand sanitizers need an alcohol content between 60% and 90% to be effective.

While hand sanitizers may sound more effective than hand washing, the opposite is true. “Viruses are most effectively killed and removed from hands with soap and water,” says Neha Nanda, a medical director of infection prevention. That said, hand sanitizers can be useful while on-the-go.

Tylenol Isn’t Better Than Ibuprofen

Tylenol and Ibuprofen sit on a shelf in a pharmacy.
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Justin Sullivan/Getty Images

In early March, the French minister of health, Olivier Véran, advised people with COVID-19 to replace Ibuprofen with Tylenol. According to one study, Ibuprofen makes coronavirus worse, but other health professionals contest this. Dr. Jeffrey Klausner, professor of medicine at UCLA, says that “we know very little” about Ibuprofen and coronavirus.

There is not enough evidence to associate Ibuprofen, COVID-19, and kidney problems, as the original study suggested. With so many cases, it’s impossible to tell whether kidney complications are the result of Ibuprofen alone. Until the World Health Organization looks into it further, doctors are still fine with patients taking Ibuprofen.

Don’t ONLY Buy Non-Perishable Foods

A customer buys fresh oranges with other food at a supermarket.
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Robert Nickelsberg/Getty Images

A two-week grocery haul may pressure people only to buy non-perishable foods. However, the World Health Organization says the opposite: prioritize fresh produce. According to a study in Nutrients, we need a variety of nutrients to strengthen our immune systems, most of which come from fresh food.

TODAY recommends buying perishable foods that last a long while. Examples include oranges, cheese, garlic, onions, apples, bread, potatoes, eggs, and bananas. You don’t have to live on just canned soup and pasta.

Gloves Don’t Protect You, Either

A disposable latex glove lies on the ground.
Beata Zawrzel/NurPhoto via Getty Images
Beata Zawrzel/NurPhoto via Getty Images

As with face masks, leave gloves to the professionals. They won’t help you during quarantine. A senior scholar at the Johns Hopkins Center for Health Security, Amesh Adalja, says that latex gloves are not meant for everyday living. They will rip, even when worn by physicians.

Plus, gloves can pick up germs just as easily as hands. “Protecting” your hands doesn’t matter if you don’t wash your hands frequently, says family doctor William Sawyer. You’ll stay better protected by washing your hands consistently.

Supplements And Vitamins Won’t Fight The Disease

Vitamin and supplement bottles sit on a shelf.
Ben Baligad/Flickr
Ben Baligad/Flickr

Many people are buying vitamins and supplements to “boost” their immune systems, particularly vitamins C and D. But these won’t do any good. “There’s no evidence that they help in fighting disease,” says Harvard microbiologist Michael Starnbach.

The FDA does not support dietary supplements for immune health since many of these pills are unregulated. If they could activate the immune system, that may do more harm than good. Dr. Starnbach says that an “over-boosted” immune system could cause an auto-immune disorder. Save your money; focus on hygiene instead of vitamins.

Skip The DIY Hand Sanitizer Supplies

A YouTuber lays out supplies for a DIY hand sanitizer recipe.
LiveScience/YouTube
LiveScience/YouTube

By the end of February, hand sanitizer sales spiked 313%. That has prompted people to make DIY sanitizers, which professionals don’t approve. If you’re going to make one, the World Health Organization says that the alcohol needs at least 96% ethanol. That’s way more than most store-bought vodkas and whiskeys.

Plus, you’ll have to mix them correctly. If you don’t, these DIY projects could be harmful to your skin and health, says the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine. Leave it to the professionals and buy hand sanitizer.

Don’t Overstock On Fancy Cleaning Supplies

Shelves of cleaning supplies are nearly empty at a Lucky supermarket.
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Smith Collection/Gado/Getty Images

You don’t need to overstock on expensive cleaning items. To keep your home clean, just use regular household supplies, says John Swartzberg, an expert on infectious diseases. “[COVID-19] is easily destroyed by most disinfectants,” he explains. Using twenty different high-quality ingredients won’t make a difference.

What matters is that you use your cleaning supplies correctly. Catherine Roberts, an associate health editor at Consumer Reports, recommends focusing on the high-touch areas. Doorknobs, sink handles, and stair rails are the most likely to carry infectious diseases.

Antibiotics Don’t Kill Viruses

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DawidC/Pixabay

According to Time, antibiotic sales increased by 65% in March alone. But the World Health Organization is very clear that antibiotics won’t kill coronavirus. This medication tackles bacteria, not viruses.

So why are doctors prescribing antibiotics for COVID-19 patients? It’s for people who have developed a secondary bacterial infection as a result of the virus weakening their body. Not only are antibiotics useless, but they also cause side effects, according to Seattle’s Children Hospital. Unless you’re prescribed one by a doctor, don’t waste your money on antibiotics.

Air Filters Don’t Make A Difference

A person removes an air filter to change it.
@cpsenergy/Twitter
@cpsenergy/Twitter

Air filters will not prevent the spread of COVID-19. Dr. Erin Sorrell, an assistant professor of microbiology, says that air filters cannot catch the virus. Coronavirus particles are simply too small, and they pass through most store-bought air filters.

Some air filters advertise that their UVC can suck up the virus, which Dr. Sorrell says is also not true. Even if it worked, it would take at least 15 minutes to contain the microbes, by which time people would already get sick. Save your money; don’t donate to “virus-defeating” air filters on IndieGoGo.

Don’t Go To The Grocery Store Out Of Panic

A woman wearing a mask shops at a grocery store during the COVID-19 outbreak.
Vera ShcherbakovaTASS via Getty Images
Vera ShcherbakovaTASS via Getty Images

No matter how fearful you feel, frequent trips to the grocery store can do more harm than good. “The best practice that I would recommend is to try to avoid going into the store where possible,” says Aaron E. Glatt, a spokesperson for the Infectious Diseases Society. Consistently stocking up on supplies only wastes money and puts you at risk.

Only go to the grocery store when you’re low on everyday items. The director of infection prevention at Mount Sinai Morningside, Lindsey Gottlieb, recommends going when the store is less crowded. Stock up for two weeks’ worth of food at a time.

Water Purifiers Don’t ‘Filter Out’ COVID-19

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Wish/Pinterest

Some water purifiers advertise that they can “filter out” the coronavirus, but don’t listen to them. According to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, there is no scientific evidence that COVID-19 exists in tap water. You don’t have to buy a new, expensive water purifier.

The CDC adds that most conventional water systems, including the ones that filter tap water, are enough to clean any potential traces of COVID-19. If you want a water purifier for better taste, go for it. But there’s no need to stock up on them.

Try Not To Spend All Of Your Emergency Funds

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JESHOOTS-com/Pixabay

Is the pandemic an emergency? Technically, yes–but it’s a long-lasting emergency that could stretch for months. Unless you absolutely need to dig into it, don’t waste your emergency funds on excess toilet paper and Tylenol, especially if your job could be at risk.

Certified financial planner David Carlson recommends keeping an emergency fund with six months’ worth of living expenses. If you don’t have an emergency savings account, now is a good time to start one. Even $500 will help, Carlson says.

Although Cheap Plane Tickets Are Tempting, Hold Off

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Nicolas Economou/NurPhoto via Getty Images
Nicolas Economou/NurPhoto via Getty Images

Both the European Union and the CDC advise against all nonessential travel, both international and domestic. Because of the few flight options, airlines are offering cheap tickets. But these vacations come with a risk. Not only could you be exposed to COVID-19, but you may not be able to return home if the airline cancels return flights.

According to CNN, many travel companies–including Delta, Southwest, Airbnb, and several hotels–are getting more flexible with their reservations. You can get refunds and reschedule trips if you reach out to the companies.

Event Venues Will Be Booked For The Near Future

Newly-weds in Hong Kong post for a photo while wearing face masks for social distancing.
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Anthony Kwan/Getty Images

Since events have to be rescheduled, many people are planning to book an event right after quarantine. But this could be a mistake. Venues–especially wedding venues–are forced to reschedule all booked events between March and April. Since people who have booked with the venues take priority, you’ll have a difficult time booking even a September date.

“We’re trying to guess what is to come,” says wedding planner Sasha Souza. But with the future uncertain, all weekend dates through autumn are sold out in some places. Don’t schedule your events yet, as they will likely be delayed.

You Don’t Just Need ‘Immune-Boosting’ Foods

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@tannedtonedtravelled/Unsplash

Although some health media advertises “immune-boosting” foods, those alone won’t guard against COVID-19. According to Charles Bangham, a professor of immunology, the immune system is comprised of several organs and bodily systems. It’ll take more than a couple of foods to fight off an illness.

Harvard Health Publishing says that a healthy diet, exercise routine, and adequate sleep is all you need to keep your immune system up and running. Of course, you can splurge on healthy foods if you want to, but don’t limit yourself to “immune-boosting” foods.

There Are No ‘Anti-Viral’ Essential Oils

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@christinhumephoto/Unsplash

If someone tells you that essential oils can help coronavirus, it’s a scam. If you need proof, the FDA and Federal Trade Commission recently filed joint letters against seven essential oil companies. Oil treatments, lotions, sprays, aromatherapy–none of these products are supported by science.

“There currently are no vaccines, pills, potions, lotions, lozenges or other prescription or over-the-counter products available to treat or cure [COVID-19],” the FDA claims. These oils are expensive, and your money is better spent elsewhere. When a treatment or vaccine does come out, it’ll be government-endorsed.

Don’t Sell Stocks Out Of Fear

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KAZUHIRO NOGI/AFP via Getty Images
KAZUHIRO NOGI/AFP via Getty Images

By early March, the stock market dipped over 20% lower than it was in February. Stocks are guaranteed to dip during quarantine, but you may not want to sell yours out of fear. Reducing stocks may feel better now, but Ric Edelman of Edelman Financial Engines says that it’ll cost later.

“It will lock in their losses and cause them to incur taxes, as they likely still have profits on their taxable accounts,” Edelman told CNBC. People invest to buy low and sell at a higher price; by selling stocks and retirement holds out of panic, you’re doing the opposite.

A Supply Of Your Own Water

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Even though it’s unlikely that the United State’s water supply would be affected in a situation involving a quarantine, that doesn’t mean it’s unwise to have a supply of your own water.

Although the US Department of Homeland Security suggests a two-week supply, Dr. Manisha Juthami from Yale School of Medicine notes that “We are fortunate to live in a country where most of the tap water is drinkable.” However, those who live in rural areas with limited supplies should definitely store more than enough water.

Copies Of Your Medical Records

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Jeff Greenberg/Universal Images Group via Getty Images

In the event of an emergency that requires residents to remain indoors for some time, it’s recommended that you get copies and electronic versions of your health records from doctors, hospitals, etc.

This is so, in case your health was in danger and you needed medical care, you could provide a physician with all of the information that they might need to help you. Many of those documents contain vital information that could be used if you were unconscious or able to respond to a doctor.

Mental Health Is Crucial As Well

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Hk Rajashekar/The The India Today Group via Getty Images

Considering that most people don’t like to be cooped up for extended periods of time when you’re in a situation that might require you to stay home for a few days, it’s important to think about your mental health.

While some obvious things to do might include watching television, it’s also suggested that you have other forms of entertainment such as books or board games on hand. If you have children with you, it’s extra-important to keep them preoccupied.

Take Stock Of Your Personal Medical Supplies

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Thierry Thorel/NurPhoto via Getty Images

In a situation when you’re advised not to leave your home, it might be difficult to get your hands on medical items that you might not have thought about before. These include contacts, contact solutions, hearing-aid batteries, and more.

It also wouldn’t hurt to purchase some every day over-the-counter medicines such as pain relievers, stomach relievers, and fluids that contain electrolytes. However, it is advised that you refrain from purchasing face masks, as they are needed for select groups such as medical professionals.

Have A First-Aid Kit

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Tom Lee/Construction Photography/Avalon/Getty Images

While stuck in your house, if someone happens to get injured, but doesn’t need immediate medical attention, it doesn’t hurt to have a first-aid kit on hand. A simple and well-maintained kit can provide a solution to a multitude of health problems ranging from cuts and burns to headaches and allergies.

You can either buy one at the store or stock one up over time with the essentials that you feel would best suit you and your family.

Try And Get A 30-Day Supply Of Your Prescription Medications

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Barry Chin/The Boston Globe via Getty Images

According to Marguerite Neill, an infectious disease expert at Brown University, people should almost always have at least a 30-day supply of their prescription medications.

Furthermore, the United States Department of Homeland Security recommends that people regularly check the number of their prescriptions to make sure they have a constant supply at home. Although many of these prescriptions have quantity limits, it’s possible to ask your doctor for an exception during a time of need.

Have Enough Household Hygenic Products

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NICHOLAS KAMM/AFP via Getty Images
NICHOLAS KAMM/AFP via Getty Images

Although most families may only buy one or two more things of hand and dish soap than they may need, if you’re preparing to stay indoors for some time, you might want to buy a little extra.

On top of hand and dish soap, other products are important such as toilet paper, tissues, feminine care products, and diapers. Nevertheless, it’s important to remember not to hoard items such as these, as other people need them as well.

Take Care Of Your Dog!

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Richard Levine/Corbis via Getty Images

While people need a lot of things when it comes to being stuck inside of their house, a lot of people forget that their dogs have needs too. At the top of the list is food, which we all know they eat a lot of, so make sure that they have more than enough.

On top of that, it might be nice to buy them extra treats and some new toys to help them stay preoccupied. Finally, it’s beneficial to try and get them some exercise by whatever means you deem fit.

Don’t Forget About Baby Products

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RAUL ARBOLEDA/AFP via Getty Images
RAUL ARBOLEDA/AFP via Getty Images

Of course, if you have young children and babies, it’s crucial to have enough of the things that they need. This usually means diapers, baby formula, baby wipes and more.

Although most people already have more than they need because they’re dealing with a baby, just in case you aren’t expecting to leave the house for an extended amount of time, it’s crucial to have far more than you need. Yet, again keep in mind other people need things for their babies too.

Cat Litter Is Necessary Too

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Auscape/Universal Images Group via Getty Images

While cats are typically “hands-off” pets that don’t require all that much attention, if you have an indoor cat, one thing besides food that you don’t want to run out of is cat litter.

If you end up running out, this can create a significant problem in your house that might result in your cat going to the bathroom wherever it wants. Not only is this disgusting, but it can also spread germs around your home, which is the opposite of what you want.

A Thermometer Can Come In Handy

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Illustration by Beata Zawrzel/NurPhoto via Getty Images
Illustration by Beata Zawrzel/NurPhoto via Getty Images

Especially if there is a sickness around, having a thermometer can make all of the difference. Usually, some people might have someone to feel their forehead to see if their “warm,” this is not a credible way to see if someone actually has a fever.

However, a thermometer can give you an accurate reading of someone’s temperature to see if they are sick. So, if there is a sickness, it’s essential to check everyone’s temperature around you regularly.

Laundry Detergent May Be More Helpful Than You Think

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Sergei MalgavkoTASS via Getty Images
Sergei MalgavkoTASS via Getty Images

While sanitation is paramount in a situation when you are staying in your home for a period of time, hand sanitizer and hand soap aren’t the only things you need to keep clean. Having Enough laundry detergent to last is essential as well.

You must wash off the germs that your clothes may have accumulated throughout the day. It’s advised that when purchasing detergent, you buy the concentrated kind, which has proven to last longer.

Bring On The Board Games

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Felix Kästle/picture alliance via Getty Images

Unless you have a family that religiously plays board games in their free time, the chances are that your closet is full of them, and they have been slowly collecting dust. What better time to bring them out when playing outside is no longer an option?

Surely, there’s one or two out of your collection that everyone can agree upon, and its a great way to bond with one another. Plus, many board games are designed to get your child thinking!

Get Your Body Moving By Having a Dance Party

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Freepik

Considering that all you need is a portable speaker or maybe just a phone, you can have a dance party wherever you are! This is a great way to get little kid’s bodies moving when they restricted to being inside.

Put on some of your child’s favorite tunes and let them tucker themselves out through the art of dance. Not only is it good exercise, but it will help make time feel like it flew by!

Everyone Can Get Involved With A Jigsaw Puzzle

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Freepik

For most people that have children, and even if you don’t, it’s not uncommon for people to have at least one jigsaw puzzle lying around the house.

Jigsaw puzzles are great because everyone can do them on their own time, and all you have to do leave them out on a surface for anyone to try their hand out. Furthermore, your whole family will have a sense of accomplishment when everyone is smiling over the finished product.

Give Each Other Makeovers

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Freepik

If you have any on hand, take out your old makeup, nail polishes, brushes, and whatever else you have on hand. Then, lay out a sheet or create an area to keep the ground and walls clean and let your kids have at it.

Whether they are a boy or a girl, they’ll enjoy being allowed to not only use makeup for once but use it however they want. Whether they want to actually do their own makeup or just go crazy with it, their creativity will shine through.

DIY Lasers

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Pinterest

A lot of kids dream about being able to effortlessly cross through a maze of lasers like in the movies, well now they can!

All that’s required for this activity is some regular painters tape and allow your child to hang it up however they want between two walls, although preferably a hallway. Then, watch as they struggle to make it through without getting caught! Additionally, they get to enjoy themselves by ripping it all down afterward!

Reading Out Loud

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Freepik

Although some children grow out of this past a certain age, if they’re young enough, don’t forget to read to them out loud! Few children dislike having a good book read to them, and it’s great for their brain’s development.

However, if your child is a bit older and has moved onto more advanced books, there’s always the option of listening to an audiobook or an appropriate podcast. This can also be done while they’re preoccupied doing something else.

Bring The Outdoors Inside

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Patrick Pleul/picture alliance via Getty Images
Patrick Pleul/picture alliance via Getty Images

Something a lot of kids like to do, even if it’s just in the yard, is camping. It’s a positive way for children to enjoy something out of the usual while also using their imagination. So, if you’re in a situation when you’re stuck inside, bring the feeling of camping indoors.

You can do this by either setting up a real tent, making one of your own, just whatever feels best. You can also make traditional camping food inside to really feel like you’re out in the wilderness!

Sardines In The Dark

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Freepik

This game works best in the dark, but you can play it at any time if you want. Try to get your house as dark as possible by turning off all of the lights. Then, one person is chosen as the “hider” and goes and hides somewhere within the house.

Then, everyone else goes and looks for the hider. However, when someone finds the hider they continue to hide with them. The last person searching is the loser.

Make Your Own Origami

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Freepik

Although a lot of origami may seem to complex with small children, there are actually several projects that anyone can do, especially with the help of a parent. All you need is some construction paper, different colors if you want to spice things up, and then hop on the Internet.

There, you can find countless different projects for you and your child to try, that can then be used as decorations throughout the house. It’s a project you can keep forever!

Make Your Own Individual Pizzas

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Freepik

If you already have the ingredients or can make a quick trip to the store, making your own individual pizzas is always a great way to make lunch or dinner fun and interesting. All you need is some dough, sauces, and toppings, and let your kids get creative with it.

Another major benefit is that your kids are less likely to be picky about what they’re eating for dinner. Because what kid doesn’t like pizza?

Fingerprint Art Is Always A Hit

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Freepik

One extremely popular arts and crafts to do inside is known as fingerprint art. How it’s done is that children dip their fingers in paint and place it on a piece of paper. They can then draw on and around their fingerprint to create whatever they feel like.

Furthermore, there are also books dedicated to teaching children how to make a variety of fingerprint art in the form of animals that could be fun to learn as well!

There’s Nothing Wrong With A Little Screentime

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Although it’s not the best idea to spend all of their time staring at a television or a smart device, there’s also nothing wrong with snuggling up to a good movie every now and then.

However, if you’re going to chose to put on movies, make sure that they’re as educational and fulfilling as possible. Of course, it can be hard to avoid using screens as a way to entertain your child, so you might as well make it worth it.

Make A Sensory Bin

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All it takes is some rice, a few toys, and some other treasures, and you have a sensory bin that will entertain your little ones for ages. Simply mix the toys are to hide them in the rice and let the kids used their hands to find the toys you hid for them.

To make it even more fun, use toys that they haven’t seen before but are still small enough to be hidden in the rice. Nevertheless, you’ll probably have to vacuum after.

Mad Libs And Other Word Games Are Always Fun

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Considering that Mad Libs have been around since the 1950s, it’s a proven method used to preoccupy not just children but adults too. It’s also a great way for children to work on learning their grammar terms.

There are other creative word games you can play such as the story game, in which one person writes the first sentence of a story and the next player adds on the second sentence, and so forth. The final story (which usually makes no sense) is then read out loud.

Make Your Own Clothes!

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Pinterest

Although this doesn’t mean you have to fashion your own clothes from pieces of scrap cloth (unless you want to), there’s plenty of things you can do to enhance your regular clothes.

While you might want to use an inexpensive white t-shirt, there’s so much you can do to it. You can use tie-dye, use spin-art, or fabric markers to create your own unique clothes. All of the other students will be jealous that their parents weren’t as experimental as you!

Have An Indoor Scavenger Hunt

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If you are having a scavenger hunt, whether it’s inside or outside, you and your young ones are sure to have fun. All you have to do as a parent is select items around your house and write them down as a list on a piece of paper.

Then, set your little ones loose to run around the house to see who can collect all of the items first. Don’t forget to award the players with a special prize once they have acquired all of the items.

Bake Something Delicious

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A lot of kids enjoy the prospect of baking. Not only is the process fun, but they know that there’s usually a tasty treat waiting for them at the end.

Baking is also the perfect way to introduce youngsters to the kitchen and to teach them about different ingredients, measurements, and techniques. Plus, there’s no limit to the things that you can bake! While your goods are baking, it’s also the perfect time for another quick activity.

Put On A Play Or A Show

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To see how creative your kids really are, ask for them to put on a play or some type of show for you. To make it even more interesting, allow them to raid the adult’s closets so they can wear some unique costumes.

If you really want to have your children think, sit down with them and help them write a script to memorize or something like a choreographed dance. Then, sit back and enjoy the show!

Write A Heartfelt Letter

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There are few things that grandparents or other relatives and close friends appreciate from small children more than a handwritten letter. Unfortunately, these days, a lot of children are doing this less and less.

So, if you’re stuck inside, there’s no better time to take the opportunity to write letters to your loved ones. Your children can also decorate them however they want to show their personality. Besides, it’s also an excellent way for your child to practice their handwriting.

Have A LEGO-Building Contest

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If you have or have had young children, it’s more than likely that you have a stash of LEGOS somewhere around the house. These are the perfect toys to break out on a day stuck inside the house.

You can follow the instructions to build something incredible or just use your imagination to see who can construct the coolest creation. The opportunities are endless, so they’re definitely worth the investment! Just watch out when you’re walking barefoot because you do not want to step on one!

Stay On Top Of Your Chores

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@sweetpagesco/Unsplash
@sweetpagesco/Unsplash

Any physical activity can extend your lifespan. In 2017, research in The Lancet concluded that people who do more chores have healthier hearts. Doing the laundry, washing the dishes, scrubbing in the bath– all can burn up to 200 calories if you do them for a while.

However, chores don’t replace a full exercise session. Irish scientists noted that relying on chores for exercise makes people heavier. Although housework isn’t as sufficient as going to the gym, it can still increase your physical activity and mood.

If You Can, Stand While Working

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Smith Collection/Gado/Getty Images
Smith Collection/Gado/Getty Images

Standing up more during your workday could do wonders for your health. In the Journal of Physical Activity and Health, a study discovered that employees with standing desks burned more calories. If you don’t have a standing desk, getting up for five to ten minutes per hour may make a difference.

“A little change like standing instead of sitting can go a long way,” says personal trainer Rich Gaspari. Because standing places strain on your legs, it burns 50% more calories than sitting, he explains. Time to stand up!

Master At-Home Workouts

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@ToughMudder/Twitter
@ToughMudder/Twitter

Can you manage a good workout at home? Yes, says Kevin Steele, an exercise physiologist and vice president of 24 Hour Fitness. With a yoga mat or some dumbbells, you can transfer your gym training to your house. “The key thing is that you do something, somewhere, sometime,” Steele told WebMD.

Exercise physiologist Richard Weil recommends following this format: warm-up, aerobic work, strength-building, stretching, and then cool down. But a quick walk and some strength training can also keep you fit without the gym.

Deskercise

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Cyrus McCrimmon/The Denver Post via Getty Images
Cyrus McCrimmon/The Denver Post via Getty Images

There are dozens of exercises that you can perform while sitting at your desk. Personal trainer Badrul Islam suggests doing push-ups using your desk, or trying “knee tucks.” Sit on the edge of your chair, touch your ankles together, and lift your knees to your chest.

You can also buy tools that are built for desk exercise (or deskercise). For instance, you can buy elliptical, bike pedal, or left swing tools that sit underneath your desk. When you’re feeling fidgety, try some exercises.

Schedule Your Workout Time (And Write It Down!)

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@glamorousplanning/Unsplash
@glamorousplanning/Unsplash

Decide when you want to work out, and write down your plan. Although many people consider a time and place, few write it down. In 2018, researchers concluded that people who record their goals are 1.4 times more likely to succeed at them.

While planning your exercise routine, pinpoint when you’ll work out, where you’ll do it, what you’ll do, and how long it’ll take. After you write all this down, you’ll be far more likely to pull through because you’ll remember it better.

Always Choose The Stairs

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Free-Photos/Pixabay
Free-Photos/Pixabay

Walking more can make all the difference to your physical health. According to research in Applied Physiology, Nutrition, and Metabolism, climbing stairs to get a snack improved participants’ fitness. Further research by Harvard concluded that people who choose the stairs have longer lifespans.

“Walking more does have added value, especially when you walk briskly for a longer duration, up hills, or use your arms for more than just a comfortable gait and swing them with your body,” says fitness expert Debra Gray. When you have to choose between the stairs and the elevator, pick the stairs!

Pair Workouts With The TV

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Steve Russell/Toronto Star via Getty Images
Steve Russell/Toronto Star via Getty Images

If you listen to a podcast or watch TV while exercising, don’t stop. In 2018, a study in the journal Appetite concluded that people who work out while watching TV have a more positive experience. They were more likely to exercise longer and more frequently with some entertainment.

Researchers from Columbia University suggest that TV watching could be the worst type of sitting. Those who watched TV for four hours a day are 50% more likely to get a heart attack or stroke. Lower your odds by exercising while watching.

Dress The Part

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@andrewdinh/Unsplash
@andrewdinh/Unsplash

What you wear influences how you think. In 2012, researchers at Rice University discovered that clothes could change our mindset. For instance, participants who worked in lab coats paid more attention during meetings, while those in a painter’s coat did not.

The same applies to exercise. If you dress up in workout clothes, you’ll feel more empowered to get active. But if you wear pajamas, you won’t. “It’s all about the symbolic meaning that you associate with a particular item of clothing,” said lead researcher Hajo Adam.

Sit On An Exercise Ball, But Not For The Whole Day

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CLAUDIA CMAC/Pinterest
CLAUDIA CMAC/Pinterest

If you don’t have a standing desk, you can sit on a workout ball for a certain amount of time every day. “Sitting on it forces you to stabilize your abs,” personal trainer Amanda Russell told Everyday Health. It “kickstarts” your abs and can lend you a brief workout.

However, don’t plan to sit on that ball all day. In 2006, Canadian researchers at Waterloo University noted that exercise balls did strain the abs. They noted that working the full day sitting on a ball may be too tiring. You can start off with ten to 20 minutes of sitting on the ball per day.

Take Walking Meetings

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@HollyBranson/Twitter
@HollyBranson/Twitter

Do you take phone calls or Facetime meetings? If so, talk while moving around. A daily brief walk can enhance your health and lower your risk of chronic diseases, according to a study by the University of Miami. “Walking meetings” can give you some much-needed physical activity.

Dr. Alberto Caban-Martinez, co-author of a pilot study on walking meetings, says that they have many benefits. Not only do they advance heart health, but they also boost your mood. A brief walk-and-talk can also increase your productivity levels.

Exercise While Cooking Dinner

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Zameisie 0101/Pinterest
Zameisie 0101/Pinterest

You’re already up and moving while cooking a meal; why not take it further? You can perform lunges or wall sits while waiting for the water to boil. In between stirring, you can do five squats. Lift your knees to your chest whenever you have to roam around the kitchen.

Not only will you get in more exercise, but you’ll also eat a healthier meal. During a 2020 study by the University of Washington, people who cooked at home had healthier diets than those who didn’t. They also saved $60 a month!

Force Yourself To Take Breaks

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jp26jp/Pixabay
jp26jp/Pixabay

If you get so absorbed in your work that you forget to move, schedule breaks. Monica Thakrar, CEO of the business MTI, recommends getting up every 90 minutes. Set alarms every 90 minutes to walk around, use the restroom, do the dishes, or perform some other physical activity.

If these activities seem too little to make a difference, remember that the World Health Organization recommends taking short breaks every day. Play with kids or pets, lift the laundry basket, or sweep your porch. It’ll make an impact.

Take A Virtual Class

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Health Host/Pinterest
Health Host/Pinterest

You don’t have to go to the gym for a class. Some gyms, such as Planet Fitness, stream classes that you can watch online. If nothing else, you can search for tutorials on YouTube that will guide you through any workout, from yoga to weightlifting to core strength.

Although many of these programs are free, paying for one could keep you accountable. In 2017, research in Circulation showed that paying for a class motivates people to attend it for longer. Try a virtual class and see what works for you.

Blast Music

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DAVID MARIUZ/AFP via Getty Images
DAVID MARIUZ/AFP via Getty Images

Certain songs can motivate you to move. In 2006, research in Psychology of Sport and Exercise found that fast-paced music made participants run faster without feeling more tired. Because people enjoy matching their pace to the music, they don’t feel as fatigued, scientists explain.

Listening to music after your workout session can speed up your recovery, according to the Indian Journal of Physiology and Pharmacology. Songs release serotonin and dopamine, which make you feel happier. And a joyful workout is more likely to be repeated.

Log Your Time Sitting VS Standing

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@hannaholinger/Unsplash
@hannaholinger/Unsplash

How often do you get up and walk around? If you don’t know, write down your schedule. Recording your daily habits will tell you how often you sit, and with this knowledge, you can plan to get up more. In 2014, research in Psychological Science noted that writing down notes (preferably on paper) helps you learn and remember more.

Once you know how often you get up, you can plan to stand up more or less. According to the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, writing a to-do list makes you more likely to pull through with it.

Adopt A Dog

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Andrew Matthews/PA Images via Getty Images
Andrew Matthews/PA Images via Getty Images

Scientists assert that dog owners get more exercise. According to research in BMC Public Health, dog owners walk 22 minutes longer than those who don’t have a pet. And they didn’t just walk longer; they also increased their pace and grew stronger.

In another study in Nature, dog owners were far more likely to achieve the recommended 150 minutes of exercise per week. Less than half of Americans meet this goal. If you need more motivation, consider adopting a new friend.

Keep Exercise Equipment Nearby

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Jens Büttner/picture alliance via Getty Images
Jens Büttner/picture alliance via Getty Images

The phrase “out of sight, out of mind” is true for exercise. James Clear, the author of Atomic Habits, recommends making your goals visible to do them more. For instance, if you leave a bowl of apples on the counter, you’re more likely to eat them. Likewise, if you keep workout equipment nearby, you’ll be more likely to do it.

Joanne Markow, chief of staff at GreenMason, recommends leaving out yoga mats, weights, or push-up bars. When your exercise equipment is “in your way,” you’ll remember to do some reps during your break.

Leave Snacks In The Kitchen

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Jennifer Yang/Toronto Star via Getty Images
Jennifer Yang/Toronto Star via Getty Images

Don’t leave food at your desk. When you leave food in the kitchen, you’ll stand up to prepare meals or snacks, which will force you to walk more. Brian M Harman, the owner of Business Management Hallmark, uses this simple technique to be “less lazy.”

Although it sounds too easy, walking in and out of the kitchen makes a difference. The American Heart Association recommends standing up and sitting down at least ten times a day. If you have to get up to refill your water, you’ll hit that goal easily.

Find Someone To Keep You Accountable

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Polly Thomas/Getty Images
Polly Thomas/Getty Images

If you’re struggling to work out, team up with someone to keep you accountable. According to research by the American Society of Training and Development, if you commit a goal to someone, you’ll be 65% more likely to achieve it.

You don’t have to exercise with someone to keep yourself accountable. You can text someone after you’ve worked out. If you find someone with the same goal, you can both work toward it together. You can also download a habit-tracking app, such as Habitica or Goalify, to log your exercise sessions.

Get a Fitbit, Pedometer, Or Apple Watch

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Rachel Murray/Getty Images for Fitbit Local
Rachel Murray/Getty Images for Fitbit Local

Devices that log your steps, such as a Fitbit or Apple Watch, can motivate you to move more. A small study performed by User Testing showed that Fitbit owners felt more motivated to exercise. Simply buying the device encouraged participants to change their life habits.

These devices can also remind you to move more. According to a 2012 study, receiving reminders pushes people to exercise more. That said, Berkeley scientists noted that the Fitbit’s calorie counter isn’t very accurate. But it can still motivate you.