Learn a New Language!

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Stuck at home? Whether you are isolating alone or with your family, this could be a good time to learn a new language.

Duolingo is a free ap that has a variety of languages and is appropriate for all ages. You can do this on your phone or your computer. You and your family can learn together and practice over meals. I have used this ap before traveling abroad and it was very helpful.

Here is an article from PCmag.com that lists the best free language learning aps.

Clear Your Head with Meditation

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From our friends at The Monday Campaigns:

This Monday, take a moment to destress with a one-minute meditation. Just one minute can help you calm your mind and clear your head!

Try one of our downloadable meditations today and start feeling more relaxed.

Puzzled Over What to Do? Try a Puzzle!

2a0050e764adfd5d07ed6bc0d7779a36_free-crossword-cliparts-cliparts-download-free-clip-art-free-_731-738Crossword puzzles are not only fun, but educational. Try doing one yourself or make it a family activity.

Here are some free puzzles that I found:

  • USA Today has a free online crossword puzzle. You can even select regular or expert. Keep doing these and soon you will be an expert! There are also links on the page for other games and puzzles.
  • JigsawPuzzles.com has a variety of free online jigsaw puzzles, as well as an activity for making your own puzzle. You do have to sign up to access this feature.
  • Care for a game of Mahjong? Crazy Games has it, along with a variety of other puzzles and games.
  • Google free puzzles and you will find a plethora of sites available.

Other Ideas:

  • Bust out the Scrabble game and play with the family. No scrabble at  home? Make your giant version using index cards or other paper you have around the house. You can even take this outside and draw the game board on the driveway with chalk. Use something heavier for the letter tiles so they won’t blow away.
  • Consider signing up for the PBS KIDS Dailynewsletter for ideas and activities.

Continue smiling and stay safe!

Reusing Plastic Water Bottles

There are many ways to reuse  plastic bottles. We can start our own seedling green house! We’ll start by cutting the bottles in half, filling them with soil, and adding a couple seeds just barely covered by the soil. Make sure the soil is nice and moist, but not soaked. Put the top back on the bottle and place it under some sunlight. You’ll notice condensation forming in the bottle. That is your own miniature green house!

Activities for the Family

I know some of us may be dreading staying at home, but its important for the over all health of the community. Here are some activities to keep the fun rolling, and the kids entertained.

Coloring Books – They are not just for kids!

Feeling stressful from listening to the news? Try coloring for stress relief.

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Don’t have a coloring book? Here are some links to free coloring pages:

  • Art is Fun
  • For free printable pages and the option to color online visit Super Coloring  Good for those who don’t have access to a printer at home
  • The Spruce Crafts has some relaxing designs. why not color a mandala.
  • The Crayola website has a section for adults with some fun designs.

NO crayons or colored pencils in the house? Be creative – try using grayscale – you will just need a pencil. Or use your pens and a pencil and be creative.

 

Staying Active at Home: Yoga

Decatur Active Living will be sharing ways for you and your family to keep busy and active during this time. Enjoy!

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With gym and yoga studios closing, you may wonder how you are going to stay active in your home. Luckily there are many Youtube videos to keep you moving.

I really like Yoga with Adriene. She has a variety of classes and explains the asanas (poses) so you can understand. Some of my fellow yoga instructors suggested videos by Fiji McAlpine   and Tracey Noseworthy.

Here is a relaxing Yin Yoga video by Kassandra that doesn’t need any props. A nice practice for stretching and stress release.

Do you have some favorite online videos? If so, please share in the comments.

 

 

What to do at Home to Keep the Family Busy

Some ideas we found at The Dallas Morning News:

Explore your backyard

Sure, you’re in a de facto state of staycationing already, but make it special. Weather permitting, treat a pool day like a beach day, if it’s warm enough. Set up a tent and camp in the backyard. Have the space for a garden? Create one, or at least an area for potted plants. Buy some outdoor games, such as ladderball, cornhole or KanJam.

Redecorate

Does your kid want a fun, colorful room that reflects his or her interests? Is your young teen ready to grow out of those bright pink or baby blue walls? Make it happen. Redo some walls, swap out some furniture or shop for a rug or lighting. Plus, can you come up with a more fun excuse to have them completely clean their rooms? It could even be time to reorganize the playroom and set up a system for containing all those toys.

Binge watch

This isn’t a novel suggestion, but there’s simply too much content out there to have possibly watched everything you and your kids want to see. Take a day or two to turn into such a couch potato that your brain gets mashed. Maybe use this as a good excuse to try Disney+ if you haven’t already, or any of the numerous streaming services available.

Create a craft

Head to a Michaels, Hobby Lobby, JoAnn or a big-box store and go nuts buying art supplies. It could be time to make those bird boxes you were thinking about, or try some painting. There are thousands of crafts you could create from just a few affordable supplies, using your imagination (and maybe Pinterest).

Break out the board games

You can get a lot of mileage out of a few smart board games, even if your family members claim they’re not competitive. Break out the classics, such as Life or Monopoly, or buy some new ones — it’s hard to go wrong. Or you can see if your kids want to design their own games. If your family wants something on the more calming side, there are always puzzles.

Reintroduce reading

If your kid complains about how boring reading is, clearly you need to introduce them to some good literature. If you aren’t planning to visit a public library or bookstore, don’t forget about the digital books available on most tablet apps.

Act out

Do you have some budding thespians in your home? If so, put their acting skills and imagination to use by breaking out some old Halloween costumes. Your kids can write their own scripts and act out their parts while in costume.

Keep school skills fresh

Help younger kids keep their learning skills fresh with grade-appropriate activities. Look for fun math problem books, science experiment kits and writing prompts for kids, available online.

City of Decatur’s COVID-19 Updated March 13

From The Decatur Minute:

The health, safety, and well-being of our community are our top priorities.  The City’s Emergency Management team is coordinating with and following the guidance of the Georgia Department of Public Health (DPH), DeKalb Emergency Management Agency (DEMA), and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).  While essential public services such as Police, Fire, and Public Works are continuing normal operations, certain community events, meetings, and programs are being cancelled and/or rescheduled in order to prevent the spread of COVID-19. The City’s after-school programs have been cancelled pending the status of City Schools of Decatur, and Active Living programs at Decatur Recreation Center and Ebster Gym have been suspended until future notice.  Decatur Recreation Center, Ebster Recreation Center, Glenlake Tennis Center and the Oakhurst indoor pool are closed. Updates can be found at decaturga.com as they become available.

Update: The tennis courts at Oakhurst Park and Scott Park are open.

For a comprehensive list of community events cancellations, visit the City’s calendar of events at https://www.decaturga.com/calendar.

Other actions that we are taking to protect the ongoing health and well-being of all our community members include:

  • Twice daily cleanings of all city facilities and equipment. Soap and sanitizing gel are available for public use at offices and facilities.
  • Reinforcing CDC disease prevention guidelines and best hygiene practices in all city facilities. Anyone with recent international travel to target areas or with symptoms of illness is encouraged to remain at home.
  • Closely monitoring guidance from the CDC and state health officials and adjusting our plans as needed.
  • Updating continuity procedures for all areas of city service and preparing to implement these procedures should regular operations be disrupted.

As additional information and guidance become available, we will keep you informed as to any changes affecting city services.

Thank you for your continued support and know we are focused on maintaining normal operations with a keen focus on the health and safety of all, while ensuring that we deliver great city services.

Touch a Truck is March 21! CANCELLED

UPDATE: Touch a Truck has cancelled. We will look to reschedule in the future.

Children of all ages love Touch a Truck – and so do their parents!

This year’s Touch a Truck event will be held on Saturday, March 21 from 10 am  – 1 pm in the East Lake MARTA station north lot.

Vehicles of all types will be available to touch, climb into and explore. Thanks to the  City of Decatur, MARTA and  DeKalb County for making this event possible.

  • Parking is very limited –  please ride the MARTA train, walk or bike to the event.
  • Bring a nonperishable food item to donate for our canned food drive.
  • Decatur Police will be doing Bike Registration.

For more information contact cheryl.burnette@decaturga.com.