With so much panic around a Coronavirus lockdown circulating, naturally our worries are starting to spread.
Panic buying has seen empty supermarket shelves and families scrabbling around for nappies, baby formula or medication. Parents are also beginning to panic that the government will close schools for weeks (or months) as part of a Coronavirus lockdown.
Baby and toddler groups and special events are being postponed, and the usual places to take the kids are having to close their doors. Therefore, our lives as parents and carers may soon be unrecognisable.
For this reason, there has been a lot of chatter on social media asking how we will be able to keep the children entertained if we go into a Coronavirus lockdown due to the pandemic.
Can we take the kids out of the house during Coronavirus lockdown?
The Coronavirus situation is changing daily, so keep checking the latest Coronavirus updates.
Also keep an eye on the NHS website for medical advice, how to spot Coronavirus symptoms and the latest recommended guidelines.
It is likely that the UK may go into a Coronavirus lockdown at some point, and therefore only essential trips will be advised. Currently, however, there is no suggestion that you can’t go out with children.
The main point is to try to minimise contact with the ‘at risk’ group (over 60’s, people who are ill, those showing symptoms etc).
In general, the advice is to stay at home for 7 days if you have coronavirus symptoms:
- a high temperature – you feel hot to touch on your chest or back
- a new, continuous cough – this means you’ve started coughing repeatedly
Do not go to a GP surgery, pharmacy or hospital.
Also, please remember that the elderly and vulnerable are also in need. Therefore, please do check in on anyone who you think might be at risk during this difficult time.
So how are we going to survive the lockdown with kids in the house?
Aside from educational packs that are expected to be provided from schools, here are over 70 ideas to help keep your little ones busy whilst stuck indoors.
Ideas to keep the kids entertained during the Coronavirus outbreak
70+ ways to entertain the kids in a Coronavirus lockdown
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Old school ‘free’ ideas
- Read books – go through the shelves, organise books and read one a day that you’ve not looked at for a while
- Learn to draw animals from shapes – look on YouTube for ‘how to’ videos
- Play in the mud/ jump in puddles
- Sort toys by category, type or colour
- Play hide a seek indoors
- Play charades
- Draw a picture and frame it
- Go on a garden search – look for worms, stones, shells etc.
- Have colour treasure hunts – hunt around the house for items of a colour and sort them into displays
- Paint rocks to hide in the garden
- Write letters – particularly to older relatives, friends or neighbours who may be feeling isolated
- Make a den or put a tent up indoors
- Look through boxes of old photos and organise them
- Have movie days – make a cosy bed on the floor and have a movie
- Learn new jokes
- Use washing up liquid or bubble mixture to make bubble snakes
- Have water play outside or in the bathroom
- Write a story and illustrate it
- Share housework and give kids simple tasks such as dusting
- Wash the car together
- Weed the garden
- Think of a topic and do a project on it – use the internet to research it and make a workbook or display
- Play shops with tins from the cupboards, plastic bags and receipts
Free but needs a printer / basic craft supplies
- Turn a rock / potato into a character and make it a house
- Make a collage with different textures or pictures from magazines
- Do colouring – print colouring sheets from CBeebies, Milkshake or Pinterest, or buy a colouring book
- Download activity sheets to practise writing letters, maths, puzzles etc. – look for blogs with free worksheets
- Draw with chalk – on the patio or pavement
- Make your own Top Trumps – look or make up facts
- Do painting – paper, canvas or body painting (if using safe paints)
- Make play dough – find a simple DIY play dough recipe online
- Sew something – use string or wool, a needle and cardboard if you don’t have any specific equipment
- Make a card for someone
- Cut up pictures from a magazine to make your own jigsaws
- Plant seeds or bulbs in the garden
- Play or download flash cards
- Make a melted crayon picture – look on Pinterest
- Make a robot from an old box
- Listen to podcasts – 500 Words, Science Adventure Stories for Kids, Rebel Girls, Bedtime Explorers, David Walliams’ Marvellous Musical podcast (look on Spotify, BBC Sounds, your phone’s podcast app)
- Write emails to friends if you can’t go out to post
- Download Cbeebies apps – Playtime Island, Go Explore, Storytime, Peter Rabbit, Numberblocks etc.
- Ask Alexa for games – look on the skills app for ideas of story-telling apps and quizzes
- Download educational apps – phonics, letter formation, numbers, reading etc.
- Make funny videos using Instagram or Snapchat filters
- Start a YouTube channel – record toy videos, cookery or acting out stories
- Create a time-lapse video of what happens in a day
- Facetime, Skype or video call friends and relatives who you may not being to see
- Watch educational videos together – Baby Einstein, school resources on YouTube etc.
- Go on journeys with Google Earth – look at places you go, your house, and places all around the world
Buy some activity packs
- Find books for rainy days / crafty project books – from Amazon, The Works, Hobbycraft etc.
- Subscribe to educational boxes (at least for the 1st free trials and cancel before you are charged) e.g. Toucan Box, Mister Maker Box etc.Buy cheap activity sets – B&M, The Range, Home Bargains, Hobbycraft, Poundland or PoundToy.com
- Buy some comics or kids craft magazines that contain puzzles or creative ideas
Play with toys already in the house
- Have a teddy or dolly picnic
- Make Lego, Duplo, Sticklebricks builds (and allow them to be left out)
- Make Hama Beads creations (loads of ideas on Pinterest for patterns)
- Play boardgames Set up a scene with figurines, Barbies or superheroes
- Play with sand
- Pack rucksacks with toys and play holidays in different places indoors
- Create a school and role play children and teachers
Cook with the kids / Food
- Bake – look online for healthy snacks that your children can bake
- Get the kids involved in preparing meals e.g. making their own toast or cereal, sandwiches, supervised chopping etc.
- Ask the kids to create a menu and design their own restaurant or cafe
- Play with food colouring to experiment with colour mixing
Performing arts / Exercise
- Learn to sing new songs
- Make music – use any instruments you have, or make your own from everyday items at home
- Learn dance moves from videos
- Learn to do a cartwheel or handstand
- Do yoga together – check out kids yoga on YouTube
- Do kids workouts – look at The Body Coach for his kids routines
- Make an obstacle course
- Make targets and use balls to try to hit them
- Act out your own version of a movie