As the coronavirus pandemic spreads, self-isolation or quarantine is one of the key strategies in “flattening the curve” of the infection rates. These 14-day isolation periods involve individuals or families staying within their homes, and not having physical contact with those outside.
With the prospect of school and daycare closures, as well as workplaces shutting down or moving to remote working, many more families around the world face the likelihood of long days inside the house.
So to help you through this difficult time, here are just a few ideas to help your little ones (and you) from going insane. I understand it’s going to be hard for us all, but if we try our best to keep calm, ignore the kids mess (as much as we can) and just try our best to enjoy the time together with our household families, we will get through this! It’s just temporary!
1. Get baking! This could be anything from bread rolls for dinner and a yummy cake for dessert. If you’re feeling adventurous, why not try making some pasta!
2. Write a letter to a neighbour or a friend. A friendly letter to someone can be a big help in worrying times, brighten their day with a colourful picture.
3. Make binoculars. With all that extra toilet roll people have, why not make the most of it and make a pair of binoculars and bird watch in the garden.
4. Have a snuggly day. Make a snuggly place to watch a film, eat snacks and feel cosy.
5. Paint a portrait. Whilst everyone’s together, what better time to get the paints out – why not paint your families portrait.
6. Throw a fake birthday party! Play party games, make party food, dance and sing, enjoy yourselves!
7. Bug hunt. Go for a bug hunt in the garden, make a “find me” list and enjoy some fresh air.
8. Play board games. Get the Kerplunk out, Snakes and Ladders, Monopoly or maybe even Boggle if you’re looking at throwing a sneaky bit of learning in there too. Relax and have fun! …. or even design your own board game!
9. Paint rocks. Paint friendly messages on rocks, have a walk around your local neighbourhood and leave them for others to find. Share some hope and smiles.
10. Get building. Get the building blocks/bricks out, try make the biggest tower you possibly can. Build a box fort. Build a house of cards. Build a raceway for little cars.
11. Build a reading den. Grab the cushions, a bedsheet and make a relaxing hideaway den, perfect for quiet time with a good book.
12. Make an obstacle course in the garden or around the house. Find items to go around, climb over, crawl under. Use a timer, make a race, hand out treats.
13. Stargaze. Stay up a little later, make a fire pit, wrap up warm, drink hot chocolate, toast marshmallows and look for the stars. One of my absolute favourite things to do with my kids.
14. Build a bird house / feeder. There are lots of simple bird feeder ideas you can find on the internet. Hang in your garden and wait for the birds, you might even spot a squirrel.
15. Write a story. Clip some paper together to make a book and have the kids create their very own story book with pictures.
16. Play outdoor games. Learn jump rope games, play hula hoops, outdoor dominoes, freeze tag, hide and seek.
17. FaceTime, Skype. Keep in touch with friends and family with mobile technology. A quick phone call can go a long way. Call as many people as you can. Share some love.
18. Learn a new skill. Knitting, felting, crochet, magic tricks, origami, dancing, musical instruments, juggling… the list is endless.
19. Gardening. Create a mini garden, grow your own vegetables, plant some flowers, seeds, a mini bug home. Enjoy a bit of fresh air.
20. Have a picnic. Whether it’s in your living room or in your garden. Make picnic sandwiches and nibbles, throw down a blanket and relax.
21. Print off puzzles. There are lots of free printable on the internet for brain teasers, worksheets, sudoku and puzzles for all ages.
22. Make a time capsule. Gather mementos and seal them in a vault. Bury them somewhere around your house or garden to find in years to come.
23. Make a bouquet. Collect flowers or create paper flowers and make a bouquet to send to someone special.
24. Play dress up. Pull out the fancy dress box and play dress up. Hold a photo shoot. Walk the catwalk and strut your stuff! – my girls love this!
25. Play balloon volleyball. One of my indoor faves as a kid. Blow up a balloon, hit it to each other and don’t let it touch the floor! Fun for hours, I love the simple things.
26. Brighten up the pavement. Colour in the pavements with chalk, leave messages of hope and peace for others.
27. Make friendship bracelets. You could even post these to your friends to let them know you’re thinking of them.
28. Make your own ice cream Sundae’s. Set the dinner table up with ice cream, toppings, fruits and sprinkles and go nuts! Pile them high and enjoy the splurge!
29. Create a scrap book. Take photos of all the things you’ve done this week and stick them in your very own homemade scrap book. Making the most of a bad situation.
30. Enjoy your time. Have a bbq, play some music, dance, read, relax, whatever makes your soul happy, just do that! We can’t change what’s going on outside our homes but we can make sure that we look after ourselves and our mental health in these uncertain circumstances.
When all else fails and you crack on the screentime rules, don’t forget Frozen 2 is now streaming on Disney+.
For more information on how to best support children in isolation, check out the government’s Children in Isolation info sheet on coronavirus.
nay nay x