We’re just entering week 3 of our lockdown and for some, tensions are starting to boil. Everyday trying to find ways to keep the children entertained during lockdown can seem an impossible task. For some, week 3 feels like week 30. And for others, the days are enjoyable.
One thing I found during week 1 was that the school Mum chat was a constant source of agitation. Quite often the conversations between the Mums seemed to turn into who could come up with the best and most creative activities for their children. Many of the Mums in these chats are working on the frontline and don’t have time to spend hours planning elaborate games and fun-filled activities for their children each and every day. So as a rule, I steer clear of the “Mum chats” for inspiration.
I too have to work from home during this difficult time. My husband is in the extremely vulnerable category and so the whole family have to limit our time spent outdoors. My children have only left the home twice in the past three weeks. So our days are spent in the home.
Now, not all kids are the same. What works to keep my children entertained during lockdown might not work for yours. Nevertheless I wanted to share with you all some of the things we’ve been doing to keep our children entertained during this horrible lockdown period.
Not a popular choice for all, but we’ve found crafts have kept us sane and provided hours of play. With Easter just around the corner and Spring making an appearance, we’ve been able to focus on some seasonal crafts.
Mrs Mactivity offer some amazing craft activities. And during lockdown, some of these activities are available free of charge!
An all-time favourite of mine is salt dough. When we’re stuck for something to do, salt dough is a cheap and easy activity that always seems to engage my 6-year-old.
Salt Dough Ingredients:
1 cup of plain flour
Half a cup of salt
Half a cup of water
Mix the ingredients together in a mixing bowl. Then roll out the mixture as you would pastry. It’s really easy to mould and make some fantastic shapes with. We used salt dough to make some Easter eggs!
You can then paint your salt dough creations. I find that acrylic paints work the best. However children’s washable paints also work fine too!
Exercising in the Garden
As noted above, because my husband is in a high risk category, exercise beyond the home isn’t really an option for us.
My 6-year-old and I have been making extensive use of our garden. We do have a rather small garden and the lawn is a mess. However, we do have patio flags. There isn’t much space.
We have invented a game we now play daily. We start out from opposite sides of the patio, and when we meet, we high five. We’ve turned this into our daily challenge. I set the stopwatch on my Fitbit and we see how many high fives we can do in 10 minutes. This is such a simple game which requires very little space but means we are both getting some much-needed exercise and some playtime too! And if the weather turns, well move the game indoors!
Start a Project
Aurelia didn’t really have much choice – at some point, she’d be made to do a history project of some sort. She has taken an interest in the Tudors, so last week we started our Tudors project. Now she is only 6 so I’ve made some very simple activities for her. We’ve created a timeline and she has coloured in some pictures.
I found all these resources online and they were all free! Check out my post Sites Offering Free Resources for Children for some great links!
Day 2 of lockdown, I realised, to my utter disappointment that I didn’t have a full pack of playing cards in the house! However, all was not lost! There are some excellent apps which offer card games. In fact, solitaire was pre-installed on my laptop and tablet. I’ve used this time to explore some of these card games with Aurelia and have taught her how to play Solitaire – she will never be bored again!
If you do have a pack of playing cards, why not play some simple card games like snap or ‘go fish’ with the children.
Keep a Diary
We started a ‘lockdown’ diary earlier this week. I have told Aurelia that she can write anything she likes in this diary. I really want her to use her imagination here. She has drawn some adorable pictures in her diary and kept a daily account of the activities we have done so far this week. I can’t wait to read this with her in years to come!
Simple Science Experiments
Aurelia loves her science lessons at school and she has told me repeatedly that she really misses this aspect of her school day. We decided to conduct some really simple science experiments. Here is her favourite:
Add a little water to two small bowls of water.
Take a piece of kitchen roll and shape it into a rainbow (we folded rather than cutting).
Take a number of different coloured felt tip pens. Colour a rainbow upto 2cm on both sides of the kitchen roll.
Attach a paper clip to the arch of your rainbow so you can hold it.
Place the rainbow into the water and watch the colours rise.
To take the experiment further, we used differ net volumes of water to see how the results differed.
The ultimate go-to activity in my house for children when they moan they are bored has always been baking! We’re currently struggling to find eggs in our local shops so our usual cake baking is a no go. We’ve enjoyed some delicious rice krispie cakes instead. Using rice krispies and melted chocolate, Aurelia has created some tasty treats!
Do you have any tips for keeping the children entertained during lockdown? Please share them in the comments below.