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Fun Things to do at Home

It is no doubt that the last few months have been unexpected, offbeat and challenging for millions of people worldwide. We’ve all had to adapt to a new type of lifestyle and practice social distancing staying at home in order to avoid getting and spreading COVID-19 and help to end this pandemic.

Although social distancing has been proven to be the most effective method of controlling the virus, it isn’t necessarily an easy thing to do. Whether you are stuck at home by yourself, with family, or with a loved one, the novelty of social distancing can soon become mundane and you may find yourself searching for fun activities to do. That is why, our team at Garza Blanca Preserve & Spa in Puerto Vallarta has put together a list of their suggestions of things you can have a great time doing at home.

Activities for kids

Social distancing and spending a number of consecutive days at home with your child(ren) can be challenging. Children love to be entertained, to explore and be creative. They have boundless energy, often leaving parents exhausted and questioning what game to play next. Although tiring, social distancing at home with your family is a wonderful time for bonding and spending quality time with your little ones!

One helpful tip to ensure that your day runs as smoothly as possible is to plan activities for your children in advance. Creating a simple daily schedule can be beneficial. You can designate time slots focused on different activities such as reading, playing, meal times, and TV time. A schedule offers for a more structured day and helps keep the household in routine.

Our Activities Manager, Alejandro Cuevas, shared with us some fun activities that you can try at home with your children:

1. Rock Painting

Rock painting is a fantastic recreational activity for children that develops fine motor skills, kindness, and creativity! You can decorate your rocks to look like cartoon characters, animals and people or decorate them in a dainty, intricate pattern. Rock painting provides hours of fun and you can display the finished masterpieces on shelves or in the garden.

Materials:
– Smooth flat rocks
– Paintbrushes 
– Non-toxic, child-friendly paint
– Paint sealer
– A small tub for water to clean the brushes
– Plastic or old sheet to cover the surface
– Plastic jars for the paint

Steps:

1. Wash the rocks in soapy water before decorating them to remove any dirt, and then leave them to dry.

2. Cover your surface with plastic or an old sheet.

3. Put different colors of paint into each plastic jar and then place them in the work area, along with the small tub of water and the paintbrushes.

4. Prime the rocks with white paint so that the colors appear more vivid.

5. Begin painting your rocks with the desired design. Use several coats of paint to achieve a nice vibrant color and finish.

6. Once the paint has dried, you can start decorating your rocks. Here are a few decoration tips: use oil-based paint pens or Sharpie’s to write on your rocks. You can use toothpicks or stencils to make dots and patterns.

2. Make a picture frame

Teach your children how to make a picture frame from popsicle sticks! This engaging activity will loosen their creativity and teach them the 3 R’s in learning: Relationships, Repetition, and Routines. You can decorate the picture frame with patterns, flowers or writing, such as ‘I Love My Family’ or ‘Be Strong’. You can also use materials such as beads, pipe cleaners, and artificial colorful feathers. A picture frame makes a lovely gift for a family member or friend!

Materials:
– Silicone liquid glue
– Decorations such as gemstones, beads, glitter.
– Non-toxic paint
– Paintbrushes 
– 4 popsicle sticks

Steps:

1. Choose the design of your picture frame.

2. Paint the 4 popsicle sticks the color that you desire.

3. Place 2 popsicle sticks down vertically. Place a drop of glue onto the top and bottom of each stick. Then lay 2 sticks across horizontally and glue them to the ends of the vertical sticks to form a square.

4. Once all popsicle sticks are glued together, leave to dry before decorating with gemstones, glitter, beads and more!

5. Trace your frame onto your selected photo using a marker. Cut the photo out just a little bit inside the lines you drew.

6. Glue your photo to the back of the frame.

3. Decorate cookies

Children can put their creativity to work by decorating cookies in their own unique style! You can decorate cookies in the style of a flower, or a cartoon character or the sun! You can also write nice things on the cookies and give them to your family members, such as “Smile” or “Be Happy”.

Materials:
– 12 round and flat Cookies.
– Different colors of whipped cream
– Assorted colors of Royal Icing
– One butter knife
– Different edible sparkles
– Aprons
– Plates

Steps:

1. Put the Royal Icing into separate icing bags depending on color.

2. The tip of the icing bag is the part in which the icing will squeeze out for decoration. Snip a small cut at the tip. It’s always best to start the cut small and make bigger if need be.

3. Start decorating your cookies. Begin with delicately outlining your design and then fill in with the rest of the icing. Once the icing is a little sticky, start adding your decorations, such as sprinkles or glitter!

4. You can leave your cookies to dry or eat them right away (it is very tempting!). After 18-24 hours, you can bag or stack your cookies without risk of them sticking together.

4. Mask making

Masks are great fun to make at any time of the year! This recreational activity allows for the expression of creativity and imagination! You can make funny masks, theatrical masks, or animal masks using all assorted colors and type of decorations.

Materials:
– Foamy material or card (the color depends on the design of your mask)
– Colorful decorations
– Glue stick
– Silicone liquid glue
– Scissors
– Pencil
– String or lace

Steps:

1. Begin by drawing the outline of your mask on the foamy material or card with a pencil

2. Use the scissors to cut out the shape of your mask

3. Decorate your mask using all your colorful materials! Stick the decorations on using the glue stick or silicone liquid glue.

4. Once dried, cut a hole on each side of your mask. The hole must be large enough to fit the string or lace through. You can use scissors to do this.

5. Measure how much string or lace you need to enable the mask to fit snuggly around your head.

6. Thread each end of the string or lace through each hole on the mask and tie firmly in a double knot. Voila! Your mask is ready!

Recipes for home cooking

Now is the perfect time to scrub up on your kitchen skills, unleash your creativity and learn how to cook and create new tasteful dishes! Although it’s easy to order a takeaway meal, there are many more perks to cooking at home: You are aware of exactly what is going into your body, you control the taste and ingredients, and it saves money. It also brings the family together, especially if you incorporate it into your daily household schedule. There is something wonderfully pleasing about discovering new recipes and cooking with the help of your family and then sharing the food together at the table.

Jonathan Diaz, our Food and Beverage Manager, shared some healthy recipes that you can try at home

1. Acai Bowl

Ingredients:

  • 0.5 oz Strawberries 
  • 2 oz Raspberries  
  • 2 oz Blueberries  
  • 2 oz Blackberries
  • 2 oz Honey
  • 3 oz Granola
  • 2 oz Ice  
  • 1 edible flower

1. Place all the ingredients inside the blender

2. Add ice and liquefy until the texture is similar to that of a smoothie

3. Pour the mixture into a martini glass until it is 3/4 full

4. Finally, decorate with edible seasonal flowers.

2. Buckwheat Granola

Ingredients:

  • 1.5 oz Granola
  • 3 oz Buckwheat groats
  • 1 oz Berries           
  • 2 oz Honey 
  • 1 oz Walnuts        
  • 1 oz Dried blueberries

Steps:

1. Place the honey in a frying pan and heat.

2. Add walnut, granola, blueberries, and wheat, and stir until mixture begins to form a sticky texture. When this happens, remove from the pan and cool on a surface.

3.  When preparing and placing into the mold, we suggest wetting your hands so that the mixture doesn’t stick.

4.  When the mold is ready, decorate using blackberry sauce and red fruits.

DIY spa, beauty and relaxation techniques

On the surface, DIY spa and beauty treatments may not be as relaxing and glamorous as going to the salon and being pampered, however, doing beauty treatments at home can be a lot of fun, especially if you put some music on and get your family or loved one involved! The current world situation can be stressful and it’s important to nurture yourself and remain relaxed. Spa treatments (whether at the salon or at home) are an ideal way to help relieve stress and unwind. They rejuvenate your appearance and your mind.

Gema Yerena, the talented Spa Coordinator at Hotel Mousai in Puerto Vallarta, put together some tips, ideas, and suggestions of treatments and wellbeing methods for you to try at home:

(1) Prepare your own healthy food! A good diet contributes to strengthening your immune system. Make fruits, vegetables, grains, dairy, and protein foods part of your daily meals and snacks. Also, limit added sugars, saturated fat, and sodium.

(2) Prepare your own face mask.

Steps:

1. Clean your face using a homemade face scrub that consists of brown sugar, yogurt and honey. These elements together will clear your pores and remove any dirt, act as a toner and leave your face feeling incredibly soft and nourished.

2. Prepare your facemask. For oily skin, blend one ripe tomato, a spoonful of coffee granules and a spoonful of bicarbonate. For dry skin, blend one avocado blend with the leaf of an Aloe Vera plant.

3. Leave facemask on for 10 to 15 min.

4. Wash your face with warm water until all of the facemask has been removed

5. Hydrate with your day cream.

(3) Exfoliate your body with natural ingredients such as brown sugar and honey, which will keep your skin radiant.

(4) Meditate! Calm your mind, practice relaxation techniques, discard negative thoughts, and you will attract positive energy. You can find many meditation podcasts online and apps that you can download onto your phone.

(5) Declutter and spring-clean your house! According to Feng Shui, removing items that you no longer need creates a more harmonized house. Clean out your closet, reorganize your living room. An organized house equals an organized mind.

(6) Make reading positive books or materials a daily habit. Studies have shown that reading decreases levels of stress and contributes towards mental stimulation, tranquility, vocabulary expansion, and memory improvement!

Make your own cocktails!

Why not liven the aura and recreate the vacation atmosphere by making a cocktail? Cocktail making offers a good time and is an opportunity to be creative.

You can make a cocktail by mixing the drinks in a large glass, but you can also invest in a proper cocktail shaker, which will help you mix up your ‘shaken-not-stirred’ delights without any extra hassle! Here are some of our favorite and easy-to-make cocktail recipes:

1. Piña Colada

If you haven’t tried a homemade Piña Colada before, you’re in for a sweet, tropical treat!

Ingredients:

  • 200ml of pineapple juice.
  • 50ml of white rum
  • 25ml of single cream
  • 25ml of coconut cream

Steps:

1. Mix together all the ingredients
2. Serve over ice

2. Mojito

The Mojito cocktail is a Mexican favorite! The strong and sweet flavors combined create a mouthwatering and tropical taste!

Ingredients:

  • 50ml golden rum
  • Half a lime (cut into 4 pieces)
  • One Tablespoon of sugar
  • Soda water
  • One handful of strawberries or raspberries
  • 5 fresh mint leaves

Steps:

1. Put the lime, mint leaves and sugar into a glass and mash them together with strawberries or raspberries.

2. Add the rum and soda water and stir. Your mojito is now ready!

3. Tequila Sunrise

Refreshing, zingy and attractive – Tequila Sunrise makes a great and flavorful cocktail!

Ingredients:

  • 175ml of orange juice
  • 50ml of tequila
  • 25ml of grenadine

Steps:

1. Mix the tequila and orange juice together and pour into the glass.

2. Slowly pour in the grenadine, allowing it to settle at the bottom of the glass.

We hope you have found our suggestions helpful. Please feel free to let us know if you do any of these activities at home. Post a photo on social media and tag Garza Blanca Preserve @garzablancapvr. Happy creating!