Beating the Coronavirus Boredom and Stress
If the state of other countries is anything to go on, then it is just a matter of time before schools and nurseries are closed in a bid to contain as much of this corona pandemic as possible. And let’s face it, there are probably not many of us parents who are excited by the prospect of having the kids at home for goodness knows how many weeks, with no idea how to entertain them, educate them and generally survive.
Whether you’re the parent who maintains some sort of school routine, the parent who wings it or the parent who sets up countless activities and theme days, it is not going to be easy, and we will all be stretched financially and in terms of resources, not to mention the stress of it all, so I decided to try and collate some quarantine activities below that should be relatively easy, cheap and fun. Now initially, my idea was to create some sort of ‘Top Ten’ list of activities, but there have been so many people who have contributed amazing ideas that I thought I would just list them all, and you can take from it what works or inspires you and your kids! Thank you to everybody who suggested ideas – they really have been amazingly inspirational!
Good luck and lets all hope that these aren’t needed. This stupid virus can do one as far as I’m concerned – it has caused enough damage to enough people and I am so over it already!
Indoor Quarantine Activities:
- Colour / letter / number matching games with milk bottle tops (with said colour / letter / number written on the top) and a sheet.
- Cosmic yoga (available on youtube)
- Arts and craft (start saving those cereal boxes and toilet rolls now!) If you need inspiration then Pinterest has loads of ideas on junk modelling.
- Homemade putty with cornflour and water (and food colouring i’d imagine as well?)
- Board games
- Decorate plain baseball caps / t-shirts etc
- Pillow case race (for hard floors only). Kneel on a pillow case and race around a ‘track’!
- Cooking challenges
- Role play – set up your own museums / shops / vets etc. They could make signs and price lists (if you wanted to make it more about reading and writing and maths).
- Cinema afternoons
- Flatten a cardboard box and turn it into a race track or city for car
- Stair slide! Get a load of strong boxes, duct tape to the stairs, mattresses, quilts and pillows at the bottom! They fly down and have loads of fun.
- Make your own slime
- Hair / make up / pamper days
- Selection of bath activities – disco bath, calming bath with candles, glow stick bath
- Make your own sensory area under a table
- Make towers using jenga pieces, dominoes or duplo
- Marble runs – whether it’s using actual marble run resource or junk modelling. How far can you make the marble travel?
- Experiment with different ice lollies using smoothies / ice cream / juice
- Decorate plant pots before you plant seeds
- Build a cardboard car or robot
- Make paper aeroplanes and then race them
- Work on jobs and chores together and encourage children to take the same level of responsibility for their home as they do in school (otherwise can you imagine the mess and carnage?)
- Make cards to send to elderly relatives or neighbours – people who could be vulnerable on their own and may not get any company from one day to the next.
Outdoor Quarantine Activities:
- Skipping ropes – both individually or in small groups
- Homemade hopscotch
- Painting the wall or fence with water
- Make a wormery, snail farm or slug zoo.
- Lots of nature crafts with sticks and leaves
- Make / decorate a bird feeder and then make / use a bird identifiaction table
- Chalk / decorate the patio
- Collect fir cones and then decorate them
- Water fights
- Sand and water play
- Make small worlds outside – I went to a local garage and asked for any old tyres which they gave me for free. I then painted them and got them ready for the kids – I filled one with mud for a general digging area, one filled with dinosaurs and plants for a dinosaur world and the last with sand which we used for ponies and fairies!
Quarantine Activities that can done Indoors or Outdoors:
- Nerf wars
- Hide and seek
- Den-making with chairs, sheets etc
- Tuff trays with various activities set up on them. There’s some great facebook groups dedicated to tuff tray and sensory play work – just search under tuff trays and you should get a selection.
- Cats cradle
- Rainbow challenge – children need to collect as many different items in the different colours of the rainbow and create a mastepiece from it!
- Potion-making. Could you link it to a story that you read them initially?
- Circuit training
- Mini Olympics
- Treasure hunts
- Grow your own plant / veg (you could link this to literacy by then writing about it, or maths by measuring it etc)
- Assault course
- Simon say
- Collect stones or rocks and then paint them
- Twinkl enter the code UKTWINKLHELPS. This is an online resource that many schools use, but due to the current Coronavirus situation, this is being offered as free resource to parents as well.
- 5 Minute Mum. A stay-at-home mum blog who uses her skills and knowledge as an LSA to create 5 minute activities to keep little people engaged and happy!
- The Muddy Puddle Teacher. An online resource that normally teachers subscribe to, but in the current worldwide crisis that we are facing, they are opening it to parents as well as a free resource, initially for one month but this will be reviewed. A brilliant company that only use natural and upcycled resources.
- Bella Learning – a resource set up by a local Mum who you can purchase from games and activities from.
- Play Hooray – a blog and wealth of knowledge passed on by Early Years Specialist and Mum to a small person
- Sam & Fran’s Book Corner on facebook – a great selection of books, magic painting, puzzles etc.
- Lego page on facebook – some amazing ideas and games you can try out
- Museum virtual tours which look awesome for broadening the children’s horizons
- UNICEF Paddington Postcards where you subscribe for £8 per month and your child receives a postcard and pack teaching them about different countries around the world.
- Eats Amazing – practise / experiment with baking with some amazing tutorials and ideas.
- Switcheroozoo – watch, listen and play games to learn all about amazing animals.
- Nat Geo for Kids – learn all about geography and fascinating animals
- Into The Book – go ‘into the book’ to learn and practise phonic and reading strategies
- Seussville – read, play games and hang out with Dr Seuss and his friends
- ABC YA – practise maths and reading skills whilst playing games
- Fun Brain – play games an dpractise reading and maths skills at the same time
- Star Fall – practise phonics with read-along stories
- Storyline Online – listen to some of your favourite stories read to you
- Highlights Kids – read, play games and take part in cool science experiments
I really hope these ideas can help you in the coming weeks. Thank you to everybody who volunteered their amazing suggestions – if you have any more ideas that you think I should include then please just shout and I’ll be sure to include them. And just remember – we’re all human and we’re all in this together, even if we’re not actually allowed to be anywhere near one another! In a time that could understandably cause anxiety or panic, always ask for help and take it one day at a time and instead of trying to look upon it as a time that we have to just survive, lets try and create some awesome memories with our kids! What doesn’t kill us makes us stronger!