Stuck inside and going nuts? We’re with you.

Winter is hard enough as it is, but with COVID-19 restrictions in the mix, it can be hard to come up with new ways to enjoy time cooped-up. Fortunately, interior designer Alice D’Andrea has some ideas for items for the home that will entertain as well as bring the whole family together.

EXTRA REFRIGERATOR FOR BEVERAGES. A freestanding refrigerator is a great addition to any office or recreation room.Consider a mini-fridge for a more compact model.

PLANTERS. If you want the satisfaction of taking care of something without the time commitment of a dog or cat, consider becoming a plant parent.

Not only are plants beautiful and interesting, they also offer many benefits for the home.

“I’m a strong believer that every room in the house should have its own green element,” D’Andrea said. “Besides absorbing carbon dioxide and releasing oxygen, plants are essential decor items for our spaces. They add personality, warmth and color to every room. If you want to create a small green corner you can be more creative and play with shapes and different stand heights.

RECIPE BOOK. After almost a year into the pandemic you’ve probably run through your favorite at-home recipes. D’Andrea said she’s found purchasing a new cookbook to be a rewarding investment during long winter months.

“As a parent, I enjoy letting my daughter pick recipes and stimulating her mind with the tactile experience as much as possible,” D’Andrea said. “I know we can find a lot of recipes online nowadays, but don’t you think we spend too much time on our devices already?”


COLORING BOOKS OR STICKER BOOKS. Always a good idea, D’Andrea said she finds kids love these because they feel part of the story by adding small pieces and details to each page. And, for smaller kids, these activity books help develop hand-eye coordination and fine motor skills.

TOYS THAT DON’T MAKE A LOT OF NOISE. D’Andrea said that building blocks made of wood or plastic are the perfect solution to keep your kids busy stimulating them with colors, shapes and learning about balance and gravity.

“Unleash the little architect in them,” D’Andrea said. “Let’s help them to develop creativity.”

KID’S TENTS. Easy to set up and store once the game is over, D’Andrea said tents have the power to keep kids busy for hours. They can impersonate any character and, imagine any landscape, and parents easily participate in their game from a distance while working.

WHITEBOARD WALL. Imagine a big portion of your kid’s bedroom, your kitchen or your recreation room where your kids can write, color and draw anything their imagination suggests to them while you’re working from home.

“It’s a great way to entertain them with something that is different everyday, D’Andrea said. “You can set up activities on the board, assign themes and chores, or simply let them free to express themselves. You can personalize the wall a bit by adding little shelves for them to store colors, erasers and drawing rulers.”

WATERING CAN TOY. For a quiet and productive distraction, get your kids involved in the care and keeping of your plants. A small watering can that requires multiple trips to be filled up will keep them busy for a while.

“It’s never too early to grow a green thumb on your little ones,” D’Andrea said. “Teach them how to take care of indoor and outdoor plants, choose names together and assign your kids a simple daily chore.”

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