This is a collaborative post.
It has been almost a year since Great Britain’s first lockdown was imposed. The vaccination has already begun, but we still have to stay at home most of the time. If you and your children are sick and tired of coronavirus restrictions, maybe it’s time to try something new? Okay, I suppose you’ve already tried lots of indoor activities over this challenging year. However I hope you’ll find this list of 12 fun things to do as a family useful: From a personal perspective, I think the more ideas we can come up with, the better!
How about growing some greens on your window sill or balcony? Cress, pea shoots, basil, parsley, and mint are just a few options. They are not just packed with vitamins — the whole process of planting seeds and watching them grow is enthralling for little children. If you don’t want to bother with seeds and soil mixes, put an onion into a glass of water and watch it sprout new green shoots.
Want to do something creative? Make your own calendar with family pictures. Look through your photo collections and choose the most inspiring and heartwarming pics (for instance, from your travels, family gatherings, or photoshoots). Unleash your inner designer: change layouts and fonts, make photo jumbles, add birthday reminders — whatever you like. If you are pressed for time, try predesigned templates and fill them with your pics. Don’t forget to print your calendar: it will make a great gift or a wonderful home decoration.
Offline Collage Making
All of us get tired of computer screens sometimes. Making an offline collage using old magazines, scissors, and glue is a creative and relaxing activity for the whole family. Choose any topic to your liking: the perfect vacation (immaculate white beaches, posh villas, azure sea), the house of your dreams (all chalet and hygge), the current mood, etc. You can make separate collages or join your efforts making a large one.
Drawing Your Family Tree
Perhaps the lockdown time is a great chance to tell your children more about their roots. This may take some research on your side, but the result will be worth it. Prepare old photographs and short life stories, describe how your grandparents and great-grandparents used to live in the old times, and let your kids feel the connection between them and their ancestors.
Having Fun with Masking Tape
Do your children miss hopscotch? Use a roll of narrow masking tape to draw the hopscotch grid right on the floor. Later you will be able to remove it easily without any sticky residue. Actually, you can make whatever you want: letters, numbers, sophisticated mazes, balance lines, roadways for toy cars, and much more. You are limited only by your imagination.
Holding a Game Tournament
Since we all are experienced lockdowners, I believe you have quite a lot of board games at home. How about arranging a tournament? Pick your favorite tabletop games and play them all in a row. Don’t forget to fill the score table: the average result will define the winner. If you don’t have any games yet, I’d recommend Qwirkle, Articulate, Clue, Dixit, and Catan. Or you can opt for golden classics: chess, checkers, Monopoly, Dominoes, and Scrabble.
Making Scientific Experiments
In your home lab, you can either use special “experiment kits” or use what is available at your home. You only need salt, water, and a glass jar to grow beautiful crystals. Another simple experiment is a volcano eruption made with a lemon, some baking soda, and dish soap. And if you have some vinegar, show the kids how it dissolves an eggshell, making the egg soft to the touch. Such experiments are a delightful activity for both children and parents.
Organising a Treasure Hunt
As the name implies, children need to find treasure somewhere in your house or garden. How can they do it? You prepare the clues in advance and hide them so that they form a route to the main prize. Adjust the complexity of your clues to the kids’ age and abilities: if they are too little to read, maybe just pictures will be enough.
Organising a Home Theatre
If your kids enjoy acting, a home theatre is a great lockdown activity. Parents can help with costumes and scenery, while children choose the story and play the lead roles. If you don’t want to bother with costumes, arrange a shadow show or a toy theatre. I strongly recommend you to film the performance and send the video to your friends and relatives.
Helping About the House
Child psychologists claim that helping parents about the house is very beneficial for kids. Let your little ones help you with vacuuming, washing dishes, setting the table, and cutting soft vegetables (with kid-safe knives, of course). Older kids can learn to cook simple food on their own — like boiled potatoes, spaghetti with cheese, scrambled eggs, etc.
Keeping Active Together
Being stuck at home often means less movement: instead of walking to school and back home, playing sports games, and just running in a playground, children spend a lot of time at their computers (tablets, smartphones, game consoles… underline as appropriate). Check online classes on your favourite activity and do it together. It may be yoga, dancing, stretching, or anything else that all of you enjoy.
Mastering Artistic Skills
Speaking of online classes, currently there are lots of drawing and painting courses for any taste and budget (and free ones on YouTube, by the way). How about trying your hand at watercolor painting, calligraphy, or comic drawing? Order the necessary materials online and plunge into the fascinating world of visual arts.
We hope that this list will help you have fun during what is a pretty stressful period this lockdown. Stay safe and take care of each other.