By: Liz Merrill, LCSW

With camps canceled, vacations rescheduled, and neighborhood pools closed for the summer, the weeks ahead may seem interminably long, but there are plenty of creative ways to keep life interesting and have some fun while stuck at home.

Online board, card games, escape rooms:

If you’re a fan of hosting game nights with family and friends, here are some sites that allow you to continue that tradition. Most sites listed below have “private room” options that allow you to invite and play with people you know. Make it more engaging by connecting with fellow players via Zoom so you can feel like you’re in each other’s company. You can make it a weekly event – poker night Fridays, Saturday afternoon Uno playdates, or Sunday evening Bridge Tournaments.

1. Unofreak (free online uno with friends or random players)

2. (free Pictionary-like game with friends or random players)

3. Chess with friends, random players, or against the computer

4. Battleship game with friends or random players 

5. Online Bridge with friends – multiple levels for varying expertise 

6. This site offers numerous card game options (Spades, Hearts, Poker, Rummy, and more) with the computer as your opponent (not with friends or random players) 

7. Check out more online game information and options here

8. If Escape Rooms are your thing, here are some websites that list virtual escape room options:


Free online art and crafts lessons, art journaling, writing activities, and drawing tutorials:

If the extra time on your hands has inspired your creative side, there are tons of free videos on YouTube that guide viewers through the various steps of drawing different characters. Other websites below offer some free art and creative writing projects and paid classes with expert art instructors.

· Drawing tutorials for kids:

o Art for Kids Hub

o Draw So Cute

· Arts and Crafts Tutorials:

o Cassie Stephens – Art Teacherin’ in Tennessee

· Mandala dot painting tutorials

· Free drawing tutorial videos that teach proper proportion, shape, and movement studies of the human figure

(There is also a paid series of figure-drawing classes that include recorded feedback for individuals and live feedback for groups by experts in the field)

· Live art classes for all ages

· Free art journaling activities, and various paid art courses

· Websites that offer journal writing prompts/activities: