These are all things you can do inexpensively (or free) and can engage anyone regardless of age.
One of my favorite things to do when looking for inspiration is to search the phrase “how to” on YouTube, and then sort by the most recently posted videos. I learn about all kinds of interesting new things that way. I’d like to share a few of my favorites with you.
1) How To Solve The Cracker Barrel Peg Game –
I know, you’re not getting to the Cracker Barrel anytime soon. That’s what makes this the perfect time to practice. You can easily make your own version using improvised things from around the house like crayons, toothpicks in a piece of foam, whatever you can think of. With no temptation to be drawn away to the gift shop now is a great time to learn and practice so that you can show off your skills once they re-open.
2) How to Make No Knead Crusty Rolls
It’s been really hard to find bread at the supermarket lately and I don’t own a loaf pan. This was the easiest and best bread-baking video I could find that had the fewest ingredients and most importantly the easiest clean up.. As a former competitive pie baker and cookbook author I don’t usually trust celebrity cooking videos, but this one has worked very well for me and I’ve been making them every other day.
3) How to Tik Tok Dance
I don’t actually have Tik Tok and I don’t really understand what it is. I’ve been avoiding it on purpose because I’m sure I’ll get sucked into it when I should be working on my next album instead. I like dancing (little known fact: I took ballet in high school!) so I’m always a sucker for learning the latest dance crazes. This 3 minute video was the perfect overview and great exercise.
4) How to Paint a Flamingo
This is one of those things where you don’t ask why, you just go with it. Sometimes when I have a lot of half-finished projects sitting around and am overwhelmed with important responsibilities and deadlines I think “I just want to finish something” and look for the most frivolous thing I can find. This is that thing.
5) How to Write Your First Song
Full disclosure: This is my video. I would just go write a song, but you might not know how to get started so I’m sharing the video with you. I’m proud of it. People are always sending me the songs they wrote because they saw this video and that feels great. All you need is a mobile phone, a pen, and a piece of paper to get started. Don’t worry that you can’t sing or play an instrument, just get started.
6) How to Create a Yoga Class Sequence
I’ve been to a yoga class exactly twice in my life. The odds of me going a third time are slim to none, but as an artist I like to know the structure of how all forms of entertainment work. Perhaps people are always telling you that you should have your own yoga class, or you just dream about staring a YouTube channel where you teach a yoga class. Whatever the case may be, I found this video informative and well-structured in learning how to create one.
7) How to Make a Custom Jigsaw Puzzle
This is something I’d been interested in doing for a long time and just never got around to learning. I think it’s great when you visit someone’s house and on the shelf instead of stock games and puzzles they have only ones that they’ve created themselves. This was surprisingly easy and quite rewarding.
8) How to Remove Anything From a Photo in Photoshop
File under “Basic Life Skills” at this point. I’d been going about it wrong (and occasionally asking others for help). The latest versions of Photoshop have made it easier than ever. Probably the most valuable skill on this whole list and you can master it within the next 20 minutes.
9) How to Straighten Nails
A basic household skill which I’ve seen so many people get wrong. I’ve used this countless times when hanging art or building new projects. Since you can’t simply go to the hardware store right now, it’s important to make everything last as long as possible, even if it’s just a nail. Simple but effective video.
10) How to End a Fight in 2 Seconds
Just seems like a good skill to have lately. Will probably never use it. Would probably break my hand if I tried. Still worth investigating.
Sam Pocker is an award-winning author, filmmaker, and musician. Pocker’s songwriting catalog covers over 8 albums worth of material, released by his bands The Pretty Colors, The Pregnant Vegans, and The Agoura Hills PTA. His work has been featured in The Wall Street Journal, NPR, Redbook, Us News & World Report, Publisher’s Weekly, WPIX 11 News, Everyday With Rachael Ray, The New York Daily News, Martha Stewart Radio, and countless other media outlets. His most recent album “Pocker’s Rockers : Sam Pocker’s Greatest Hits” was released to critical acclaim. In April he released a series of limited-edition 7” records were sold exclusively at the WFMU Record Fair 2019 in Brooklyn, New York. In June 2019, his new live show “How To Be A Rock Star” premiered during the Hollywood Fringe Festival in Los Angeles, California.