10 Activities for Kids in Lockdown
The summer months are upon us and time usually spent out at parks and beaches or planning that all important summer getaway has now been taken up by working from home, homeschooling our kids and trying to juggle what can seem like an endless list of tasks for a parent!
The situation is a very odd one, one that was sprung on most parents as a shock leaving very little time to plan our days and mentally prepare for the time that is currently upon us. It can all be a little overwhelming when as parents we constantly want the best for our children and are faced with a plethora of choices on how to handle the current situation. Well, I thought I would share a few tips and ideas on what we can do to keep the little ones happy and entertained (without losing our own sanity!)
Explaining Covid-19 to Kids
The first thing to remember is that children are just as frustrated, confused and out of their comfort zone as adults at this time - children want to be free, they want to see their friends and play in parks, ride their bikes and very young children at this time simply won’t understand why they are being made to stay at home, not see family members and not go out and play. Explaining these concepts to them is the first step in making things easier for them and for yourself - there are some great resources and info-graphics out there that explain the virus in very simple terms and emphasise the importance of staying at home, washing hands and staying safe. Use these as best you can to explain to your children what they need to do at this time, don’t brush off their questions about the current situation, when they feel involved they are more likely to cooperate. We as adults may struggle mentally to cope with working from home, not being able to go out and free our minds and feeling stuck - children aren’t any different, they have the same feelings and emotions and the same need to release their energy, so let’s not forget to look after the little versions of ourselves while dealing with our own mental health too.
Added Tip* Create some structure to the day, allocate time for their education and homeschooling but also for games, breaks, TV time or whatever else you want to add in (write this out and stick it up on the fridge!)
Added Tip 2* It's okay if sometimes the schedule doesn't go to plan - if they spend a little extra time in front of the TV because you need that added tea break, the world is not about to crumble around you! Times are hard and sometimes it's tough, get back on track whenever you can and remind yourself and your kids too that you are all doing the best in this situation and are doing a great job at it!
So let’s get to it - here’s my list of 10 Activities for Children in Lockdown
1. Set Lockdown Rules!
This situation isn’t ideal for anyone in the household and sometimes things will get a little too much! So why not start off with some lockdown rules - grab some large sheets of paper and some felts and colouring pencils and ask your children to write down some lockdown rules. Come up with the rules together; set some rules and agreed consequences for not following them, ask them what they want also and agree to do some things with them (this could be a promise to play a favourite game or allow them to eat a particular treat on a certain day of the week) a great way to make them feel somewhat in control! You can even let them decorate the sheets and have them stuck up somewhere for everyone to see.
2. Family Face Time
Children most likely will miss their uncles, aunties, grandparents, cousins and other members of the family who they regularly see. So why not make it a habit to video call or skype them every so often? Getting a few family members together over skype to have a chat, play games or even read stories at bedtime could be something they look forward to and will also keep them occupied for a while if you need to get on with something yourself.
Gardening is a great way to bond with your child, it can be a task that also gets your mind off your own stresses and worries and it’s so easy for children to get involved. Let them help you with tasks outdoors or help them plant their own seeds which they need to look after and nurture - this teaches them some form of responsibility and gives them a mini project to focus on during this period when they are stuck at home.
4. Egg Cress Heads
These are great - so much fun to make and allow your children to be creative! Simply grab some egg shells, cress seeds and cotton wool and away you go! Get creative and make a range of characters.
Cookies, brownies, cake, biscuits and so much more! It's all so much fun to make with little ones, it keeps them occupied, teaches them key skills and you can all enjoy the treats at the end - everyone wins!
If you don't want to bake, you can also simply buy some plain cupcakes and some decorative items and have a little cake decorating session!
6. Yoga for Kids
Need some time to wind down? Your kids will need it too! Why not try a calming yoga session after a high energy activity. Take a look at some sessions here
This is great to keep them occupied if you have some other tasks to do, or if you just want some peaceful time yourself.
7. Build a Den
Build a little area for your kids with cardboard boxes, drapes, cloth, cushions and anything else you have to hand. You can also keep this little area up throughout the lockdown and your kids can use it to read stories, play with their toys or even do some school work if they have any. I also love the idea of cosy cushions and some fairy lights to add some excitement.
8. Go Camping in the Garden
We can't take any trips away but why not create some excitement with a trip out in the garden on a nice warm evening. Take out a tent, sleeping bags and some cooking stoves and use these to cook a meal or toast some marshmallows. If you don't have any actual camping equipment it doesn't matter, any blankets, picnic mats and cushions will do! Get a disposable BBQ or make a fire with some wood and enjoy a great camp out for the evening or night!
9. Exercise Circuits
Kids have a lot of energy which they would normally be able to use up during their school days or by having a run around and playing with friends in the playground or park. So what do we do with all that energy now? A great way to get them active is to create a mini exercise circuit for them to do. You could set up some stations each with a different activity such as skipping, jumping, hopping, star jumps, jog on the spot and whatever else you can think of! Set a timer and get them to spend a certain about of time at each station. Or you could give them a certain number of tasks to complete at each station and time how long they take to complete them all - get them to try again and beat their previous times! This will definitely have them tired out and while they take their much needed nap in their make shift den, you can enjoy a good cup of tea with your favourite book or Netflix show!
You can also set the same thing up as an obstacle course in the garden with ropes, ladders, hopscotch squares and more!
10. Outdoor Water Painting and Chalk
This is a great activity for a warm and dry day! Simply get a pot of water, some paints and a paint brush and let them paint outside, they can make as much mess on the concrete as they like and you can simply hose this away later (it's great to save yourself having to wash your carpets and walls indoors!)
This can also be done using different coloured chalks, it can keep your child occupied for hours doing something other than staring at a screen and it also allows them to explore some creativity.
If you are feeling up to it, you can turn this into some lessons of science or maths and use the paints and chalks to draw examples for them. Fun all round!