When families are stuck at home it often means that the weather outside is too bad to enjoy the park or go for a picnic. Over the last 12 months or though, the reason people have been stuck indoors has been because of enforced lockdowns.
In the UK, the third lockdown is starting to come to a close and means that British families have spent not just weeks, but months looking at the same four walls. This has led to lots of school time missed and less social activity than normal.
The US, Europe, and Australia have all had their share of social restrictions and lockdowns too. Although at first, many people were happy to have some extra time away from work, the vast majority would like some normality to come back into their lives. This includes the youngsters also. Children can have short attention spans at the best of times and being cooped up at home is neither physically nor mentally healthy.
If you find yourself indoors with your family either through snow, rain, lack of funds, or the pandemic, then you will want to have some ideas for activities and fun.
Homeschooling is important and will help to keep your children’s progress on track but entertainment is also a necessary part of life. Games, books, activities, puzzles, and the internet can all help keep their minds active and their imaginations going.
Here are some suggestions for your children to enjoy either alone or with you.
Although opting for the television is an easy cop-out, if used sensibly and for a limited amount of time, streaming channels can offer a huge library of entertainment. Although the free trials are getting scarcer, there are still several companies that will let you use them for free for a while too.
This means that you can try out a couple of platforms at no cost to yourself and find which ones have the best children’s and family entertainment.
When looking through your options, check for educational children’s shows, young adult movies where appropriate, and of course shows that are just good old-fashioned fun. Find the best classic kids movies like The Goonies, Babe, and Home Alone on streaming channels. If you don’t want to subscribe to a platform then you can also look for DVD bargains on eBay and Amazon that can be had for pennies.
Just because you can’t get to the park or interact with other groups of people doesn’t mean you can’t have a fun home for kids. If your home is big enough then you can play hide-and-seek just like you would outdoors. Cupboards, under beds, behind curtains, and sofas all make good hiding places and can keep the younger ones entertained.
Set some safety rules first so no one gets hurt, such as areas that are out of bounds and you will find this fun game is a good way to bond, especially with younger children.
Alternatively, try making an indoor camp. Use clothes racks, overturned armchairs, sheets, and anything else you like to build a fortress or den in the living room. Enjoying this kind of activity is good for children’s imagination and is an alternative to computer and TV screens.
Things have come a long way since the earliest board games. Checkers, chess, and backgammon are all some of the earliest board games invented and are still enjoyed today. However, modern board games can often be far more complicated and have many parts to them.
For younger players, try some of the classic games such as Twister, Uno, Ludo, and Snakes n’ Ladders. For older players, there is Trivial Pursuit, Game of Thrones, and other movie or video game tie-ins.
Maybe this is the right time to teach your children the classic game Clue, or Cluedo as it is known in some countries. And for some raucous entertainment, the whole family can enjoy Jenga.
One unique way to have fun, build memories, and educate your children with some practical skills is to cook together. Every child loves getting messy in the kitchen and although eating the leftover cookie mix is one piece of nostalgia that is no longer recommended, there is still plenty of room for some tasty fun.
Choose recipes that a child can take part in. Perhaps they can decorate a cake or mix ingredients. Baking cakes, or making tasty treats together is not only a creative way to spend time but you are also helping to set them up with some real-life skills.
Taking an interest in cooking and learning how meals are made when they are young, will help your children look after themselves and their families when they are older.
For some Michelin starred fun you could try Tom Kerridge’s speedy banana ice cream which is squarely aimed at young cooks with a sweet tooth.
If your child enjoys creating and building then there are several ways you could encourage this and even work together.
The most successful game in the world is Minecraft with over 200 million units sold. What is unusual about this game though is that youngsters, adults, parents, and even teachers like it. It is one of the best kid’s video games and there are survival elements to the game and world-building is the main point to it. Some people make hugely impressive structures and complete worlds such as Middle Earth from Lord of the Rings.
Lego is as popular as ever and another great way to get your children to get involved in a project. Find out what interests them and help them to dream up ideas for what they want to build.
However, if you want to think big then look at the backyard. If you have space, the tools, and some carpentry skills then why not make a treehouse, or Wendy house together?
Whether you build a treehouse or a Wendy house will depend on your garden and your children’s wishes.
Safety will be your main concern when building and all sharp tools, and electrics should be kept away from the younger ones. That being said, there is no reason why you shouldn’t teach your child some carpentry basics. They can help plan the design, sand the wood, bang in some nails, and help paint the finished house.
The only other area you will need to be aware of is planning laws so you don’t get the city trying to tear down your child’s new treehouse.
Although being stuck indoors can drive a parent to the brink and leave a child frustrated, and bored, there are luckily many ways to make some entertainment.
Kids like to be creative and they also like to learn so cooking, building, and making camps are all good ways to get them thinking and involved. Some of these activities such as board games and movies can mean that you have some valuable spare time why they quietly entertain themselves. Others are invaluable ways to teach some new skills and also make lifetime memories together and help you forget lockdowns and anything else bad in the world.