Thursday, May 14, 2020

Quarantine Family Challenges

At the end of March, when quarantine was just beginning, I was chatting with my youngest brother and sister about the coming weeks. We knew that without social events, the children would need activities to stay busy. We wanted ways to connect as a family, even if we couldn't get together. We decided to face these challenging times with some intentional challenges.

And so began our Quarantine Family Challenges, now on their seventh week.

Each weekend, myself or one of my siblings, set several challenges and messaged them to the rest of the family.

 Frying fresh-caught trout

Sometimes the goal of a challenge was to spend more time outdoors.
Identify five wild flowers or plants.
See how many different birds you can identify this week.
Plant a tree or bush in memory of COVID-19
Camp overnight in your backyard
Find something in the wild and eat it
Find the North Star.
Remember the Lord's faithfulness while watching a sunrise

Running a 5k

Some challenges encouraged us to get more exercise.
Take a walk and smell a flower
Run or walk 5 km in place of the Red Bud Trail Run and post your time
Bike 5 miles
Play a family game of kickball or croquet

Some challenges prompted family laughter
Act out a Bible story.
Take a family picture in a tree.
Record and share a family vlog about life under quarantine

A few of the challenges led us to learn or try new things.
Learn about a country that you previously knew nothing about.
Upcycle any object.
Make something you've never made before
Learn a new song on an instrument (if you play one)
Log your first Geocache find
Memorize a new Scripture verse

Planting a new bush

Some challenges encouraged us to reach out to others.
Call an older person
Share food with your neighbor
Send a letter/card to an elderly person
Some challenges were challenging (at least for a few of us).
Whistle a tune with somebody in harmony.
The whole family do a day without Internet or data
Write a line of poetry
Try a day with no arguing among siblings.

The Quarantines Family Challenges have met all their goals. It has pushed us to do and try new things, gave us a connection with family even from a distance, and provided a needed focus to unscheduled days.

Many of us find that we are stronger together. This is true all the time, not just during a quarantine. If you have a goal that you want to pursue, find a way to be accountable.

Here are some examples, all of which can be done while not meeting face-to-face:

  • When I wanted to get to bed earlier a few months ago, I texted a friend each night when I turned out the light. 
  • A few years ago, a friend and I had one day a week that we read nothing but our Bible - no books, no magazines, no internet. I couldn't have done it alone, but I could with a friend.
  • One of my friends has a daily writing goal. Each evening she texts a friend to tell her if she met her goal.
  • Another friend who wanted to be more consistent in Bible reading, texted a friend every day with the reference that she read.
  • Last month, my sister bought identical copies of four books and sent them to my daughter and a friend. After they read the book, the three has a discussion about the book by email.

Whether you goal is to more reading, exercise, weight loss, decluttering, or practice an instrument - if you tell a friend about your goal and set a way to regularly check in, you are much more likely to make your goal.

Have you made any quarantine goals? What ways did you find to connect with family and friends?


  1. These are all such wonderful ideas! You have a great support system and your children are benefiting from it. We use face-time and messenger to contact family. Our children all live far from us and we're used to using it.

  2. Our youth group enjoyed the challenge of reading through the New Testament during the month of April. It was an inspiring workout. Even though we were quarantined, we were drawn together in spirit as we read and studied the same passages. Our congregation also devoted a certain day of each week for prayer and fasting. Even though we couldn’t gather together for prayer meeting, we met at the mercy seat. These challenges helped hold our hearts together during quarantine.

  3. Looking in the mirror, it appears that my goal was to see how much food I could shove into my "pie-hole"!!!

  4. Your posts are always so inspiring, Gina. Thank you for this post. I am going to print it off to give our family some ideas!

    Thank you for sharing your family's adventures with us!

  5. I love this idea for summer time. I'm going to borrow it!

  6. This is such a good idea! I can think of several things I can do this with. Writing, reading more, regular devotions....thanks for the inspiration.

  7. This is a beautiful and inspiring blog. Each time I visit I come away with greater faith and hope.

  8. Hi Gina,I follow your story since 2014.Well I find you are a wonderful woman,so inspiring and strong-willed.
    ILove your family and wish you well. Ciao da Marisa


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