In lockdown and in desperate need of something, anything, to keep your kids busy?
While numerous studies have confirmed that boredom is actually good for kids – it motivates them to come up with new ideas and solutions to problems, extended lockdowns can stretch this premise a bit far.
8 screen-free activities to do with your kids in lockdown
With this in mind we challenged ourselves to find a range of screen-free activities to distract them – because, let’s face it, giving them a screen is just about the easiest get-out-of-jail card there is out there. Not that we are judging you if that is what you choose to do:)
1. Camp in the backyard
You may not be able to leave town, let alone your home – but that shouldn’t stop you from experiencing the great outdoors. Where? In your backyard, balcony – hey, even your living room will do. If you have all the gear – like a tent, sleeping bags and lighting, that is great, otherwise improvise with a beach shelter, lanterns and blankets.
2. Create a photobook
Get your kids to make something tangible by creating a photobook from all those pics you have sitting on your phone in the cloud – maybe of your last holiday? It’s as easy as selecting the images, getting them printed by an online service and getting them stuck into an empty scrapbook or album. Memories are forever, right – and photobooks make perfect gifts for family and friends.
3. Beat the boredom with a board game
Ok, here we are not thinking Monopoly, but if that is your go-to game then by all means. Rather invest in some of the new titles out there in board game land, like strategic card game Exploding Kittens, word association game Just One or Pandemic – yes, really there is a board game called that!
4. Roster some chores
We didn’t say everything on this list had to be fun 🙂 Roster some chores into your kid’s day and they can help out by hanging laundry, tidying their room or packing/unpacking the dishwasher. Fun jobs, like washing the dog or car may not need an incentive – but a star system with a reward after they’ve reached a goal can help get them motivated. They can also learn some new skills, like how to operate a washing machine. Hey, they may even teach you a thing or two about all the settings on your front loader.
5. Make an animation short
Nurture the next Steven Spielberg or Hayao Miyazaki at home by getting them to make an animation short using the stop-motion technique. The easiest way to get going is to use a dedicated app – like Stop Motion Studio (Android + iOS) on your phone or tablet. If you have Lego in the home – and let’s face it, who doesn’t, then the figures in these sets make great subjects for stop motion shorts.
6. Help to plan and cook the meals for a week
Judging by the empty shelves in the baking aisle you have already ticked the cakes and cookies box during lockdown. So why not take it a step further and get them to plan and cook the meals for a week. If they are not quite old enough to manage this then a single meal will have to do. Getting them to research the recipes, make a shopping list, go shopping (with you preferably) and then pull it all together and put a meal on the plate will give them a real sense of achievement.
7. Teach them some money smarts
Why not use all that downtime in lockdown to get your kids started on the road to financial literacy and get them money smart. Pocket money apps like Spriggy are designed to help them become, ‘…confident managing their own money as they grow’. It works on a $30 per child per year annual fee and you get a Parent App with complete oversight of their finances and activity, with the ability to ‘set pocket money, oversee savings goals, track spending, instantly transfer funds and lock cards’.
8. Book an online activity
Ok, this is not screen-free, but there are a ton of COVID safe, online only activities listed on our site. There is everything from learning how to draw your favorite cartoon characters, Minecraft coding, tutoring and Lego engineering to name a few.