With week one completed of the COVID-19 lockdown, I thought it might be good to share some ideas of how to keep the kids (and yourself) entertained during this difficult period. Firstly, hope you’re all keeping safe. It may be stressful trying to balance work, life and homeschooling, or you may have unfortunately lost your job or have loved ones impacted by COVID-19. Please look out and support each other and try to enjoy the extra time with the family!

There’s currently plenty of articles with tips and ideas of keeping entertained. Here are 10 things you can do during the COVID-19 lockdown that has been tried and tested by Cara last week.

1. Exercise

Splattered all over the newspapers, it’s hard to get away from The Body Coach, P.E. With Joe Wicks. Saying that, he is very energetic and keeps the kids engaged with some decent workouts in the morning to get the blood flowing. Great for the entire family. Hopefully his broken hand heals! In addition to this, we’ve been taking Cara out on her daily bike and scooter rides around the block. Always good to get some fresh air, especially when the sun’s out. Just remember to keep your 2m distancing!

2. Stretch it out

Keeping with the active theme, Cara has also been enjoying Cosmic Yoga. Who doesn’t like doing yoga with Poppy the Troll whilst re-enacting the entire movie through yoga positions? 

3. Learn to draw

One of my favourites to date, Cara and I have started learning how to draw. With the help of Art for Kids Hub and Draw So Cute YouTube channels, we’ve been creating some cute characters to stick on our window each day to hopefully bring a smile to the passersby. 

ABC Dad Drawing

4. Do a little bit of school-related work…

With schools closed to non-key workers, we have been trying to educate Cara. We found the mornings (prior to lunchtime) works best for the main subjects like English and Maths. After lunch we tend to focus on more active exercises or arts and crafts activities. Besides the homework provided by the school, we’ve been using resources from Twinkl. There is a code you can use to access it for free during the school closure, so feel free to email me for details.

5. Make your own playground

Cara loves her slides, climbing frames and swings. Unfortunately we’re not located near a park that has playground equipment, and given current conditions, it’s unlikely we’d use them. To improvise, we set up her spare bed mattress on the stairs and she’s been loving climbing up and sliding back down it. *Please ensure there’s parental supervision*

ABC Dad COVID-19 Lockdown Cara slide

6. Cook and bake

One of the benefits of the lockdown is that Cara has been levelling up in life skills, including cooking and baking with Mum. So far, we’ve tried to bake pretzels (fail) and cookies (so-so). Cara has also helped prep dinner each evening and enjoyed role-playing restaurant by taking our orders and setting up the table.

ABC Dad COVID-19 Lockdown Cara baking ABC Dad Cara baking 2 ABC Dad Cara cooking

7. Do some housework

We’ve noticed that a lot of the bins in the neighbourhood are a lot fuller with folks spring cleaning whilst in the COVID-19 lockdown. We’re no different, the house has never been cleaner. Cara got in on the action by cleaning her kitchen without being asked! Not sure if that’s because she saw us cleaning or if she was just bored.

ABC Dad COVID-19 Lockdown Cara cleaning

8. Keep in touch

The kids have been missing each other since regular school finished. Cara wouldn’t normally chat to them, but given the lockdown, they’ve been talking a lot more regularly. With apps like Zoom and WhatsApp, it’s a lot easier now to interact with each other. Although having more than 4 kids in a Zoom meeting is chaotic, but fun to watch! Probably just a productive as a regular work meeting…

ABC Dad COVID-19 Lockdown Cara zooming

9. Build a reading den

We have tried to maintain a structure and routine for Cara (not sure how long that will last). Part of the daily routine is reading time. To make it a bit more inviting for her, we create a reading den each day where she can build a fort, tent, bear cave to allow her quiet time to read a book. 

10. Have some fun!

Yes, being cooped up under the same roof can be very stressful. We’ve been trying to keep things light, entertaining and fun as possible. There’s the usual fun with Playmobil, Barbie, and IQ Builder. Mixing the above with screen time like movies and mobile games, with activities in the garden or walks around the block. One of Cara’s favourites has been playing ‘the floor is lava’. In these difficult times, we need to ensure our minds remain healthy and positive. Hopefully the impact is relatively short in the grand scheme of things. 

What else?

If we find more things to occupy the COVID-19 lockdown time with, then we’ll create another post. Till then, feel free to share your ideas and tips in the comments section below. As mentioned above, please stay safe and look after each other!