It’s another day of isolation because of this coronavirus outbreak, and all my friends are really bored. But I’m not! So today I’ll tell you about my favorite things to do at home that will keep you sane and happy.

We’re in the middle of a pandemic now, and you might be wishing for something new to do. Or maybe your kids spending their time mindlessly staring at their phones or Netflix. Or maybe you are. So here’s a timely board game that you probably haven’t heard of – Pandemic! I feel like the makers of this game predicted the future here. Or maybe my dad did because he bought this for us just this past Christmas. Pandemic is a fun strategy game where you try to remove diseases, stop outbreaks and find cures. It’s cool because you work as a team with the other 2-4 players rather than against each other, so it’s also a good one to play with your friends over a Zoom meeting, Skype or Facetime. I just set up the board on my dining room table and we decide as a team what to do next. And most of these games you can get shipped to you in just a couple days with Amazon Prime. But even without Prime, they’re really pretty quick.

If you’re looking for a game to play with your family while you are in isolation, my favorite card game is Exploding Kittens. Before quarantine I would play it with my friends at Starbucks, but now I play it at home. It’s not like other card games, it’s filled with strategy, kittens, tacos, rainbows, potatoes, goats, and sometimes even laser beams. With the standard pack you can play with 2-5 players and the party pack is 2-10 players. I also love the Imploding Kittens and Streaking Kittens expansion packs.  As card games go, it’s more expensive than a normal stack of cards. But it is so worth it. It’s great for teens and their parents, but also good for younger kids. In fact, we got it for my much younger cousins and it is a hit in their house.

If you already have Exploding Kittens, don’t worry – there are other card games that I love too. One is Superfight and it’s a great one to play at home because you get a little rowdy as you start to get into it. I played it at Starbucks with my friends once and we were definitely getting the side-eye from some people. So we had to switch back to Exploding Kittens. But Superfight is a ton of fun. Another great card game at home that will get you moving too, is On a Scale of One to T-Rex.  This is definitely not something you’d play in a quiet atmosphere. And you need some space to move around and act out things. It’s like charades for people who are bad at charades.

If you want something for your kids to do that will build their brain up while in isolation, you might want to get Snap Circuits which teaches kids about electricity. I got these ones back when I was eight years old. And I actually still use them.

Ditto for my Erector Set – it’s one of those staples that every house should have. I’ve got this big one that comes in carrying case. But there are lots of smaller options out there, too.

If building things is something your kid likes to do, then you absolutely need to get Marbleworks. There are endless possibilities with this. In fact, I’ve added onto my original set so many times I needed to buy a new container for it. It’s kind of like building a rollercoaster for a marble. I can’t get enough of this one. I got it when I was maybe six years old, and I still use it. It’s one of those things that you can build on as you get older, too.

Another great toy that is less active and just kind of satisfying in a weird way is my Magic Penny Kit.  Now one thing I want to point out – and it totally annoys me – someone left a nasty review about this kit on Amazon because the kit doesn’t use American pennies. Well, American pennies are not ferromagnetic. So they use British coins – at least in the one I got. So ignore that review unless you really wanted American pennies for some reason.

The last absolute must-have is an old-school favorite. Perfection. It takes no batteries at all, plus you don’t have to play with anyone else. So it’s a great game to play on your own. And it’s really nerve-wracking.

I’ll post other must-haves as I think of them, so please follow my blog so we can keep in touch.

Stay safe and stay home, everyone!

Exploding Kittens: fun for all ages!

Standard pack:

Party pack:

Imploding Kittens Expander Packs:

Perfection: a retro game that even a teen like me loves!

Snap Circuits: Brainiac fun!

Snap Circuits Light:

Snap Circuits Green:

Erector Set: Well, DUH!

On A Scale of One to T-rex: The card game that gets you moving.

Superfight: A card battle for all ages.

MarbleWorks: Build a rollercoaster!

If you’d like to see some of these games in action, check out my youtube video here:

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