Arts & Lifestyle How to keep the kids entertained during the Easter lockdown without losing...

How to keep the kids entertained during the Easter lockdown without losing the plot

Keeping kids engaged can be challenging, but here's a list of activities for the whole family

Make the most of the lockdown together as a family (Image: Goodtoknow)

Are you struggling to transition from having the kids at school and extra-murals all day to having them at home 24/7 – all while also working from home?

Many parents are in the same boat, but if you have already run out of ideas on how to keep the youngsters entertained and active, here are some pursuits the whole family can enjoy together:

1  Grow some veggies or herbs

Teach your kids about the rewards of gardening. They’ll love getting muddy, digging in the soil and being active. Gardening connects us with the outdoors and kids especially enjoy the satisfaction of watching things grow.

If you don’t have a garden, all you need is a sunny windowsill and some small pots. Basil and mint are easy herbs to grow and if you have a little more space so are beans, lettuce, brinjal and spinach. Read up on how to start here.

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2 Get their heart rate up

Keep the family active! Not only is keeping fit good for the body, it’s also good for our mental health and wellbeing. It’s easy to feel stuck because your gym routine has been disrupted, or your kids’ soccer/ballet/rugby practice is toast, but it’s also an opportunity to try new things.

There are so many great exercise apps to check out. For yoga we’re loving Down Dog while popsugar offers a fantastic range of workouts for all ages and fitness levels.

3 Get creative

Creative play helps children grow emotionally, socially, intellectually and physically, and is vital for their development. Tap into your inner child and have some fun with your kids.

Colouring-in books are great for littlies and if you don’t have any, no worries, you can always draw a picture of an object or scene that will appeal to them and have them colour it in. Paper doilies like your granny used to use are also great fun to colour in. For older kids (and adults) download and print adult colouring books.

4 Toilet-roll Easter bunnies

This Easter, why not make some animals out of all those empty toilet roll holders? For inspiration take a look at some of these ideas on Pinterest –  from zebras and elephants to mermaids and Easter bunnies.

5 Permission to “act out”

Kids love to act, so charades is a great idea. The person who is “on” has to think of a movie or book title, or a well-known saying, and must act it out without speaking. It will have you all in stitches.

And for those who can hold a tune, there’s always family karaoke. If you can’t sing for toffee, why not tune into one of the live stream music concerts like this Corona Concert or the One World Together At Home broadcast to honour and support healthcare workers. Curated by Lady Gaga, the five-star line-up includes Alanis Morissette, Billie Eilish, Chris Martin, Elton John and John Legend.

Meanwhile, parents of teens and tweens might want to brush up on their dance moves. Recreate the TikTok app’s viral dance challenges with your kids. The results are hysterical. If you’re brave enough you can post your video too.

6 Snuggle up in front of the TV or with a good book

While you may want to restrict your screen time (and that of your kids), watching a movie together is a great way to bond as a family. Make some popcorn or a snack and settle down to a family comedy. There are also lots of free virtual theatre productions being streamed during the coronavirus crisis.

As the autumn chill makes itself known, there’s nothing better than curling up with a good book. For all the bookworms, Audible, part of Amazon.com, has released a collection of hundreds of free audiobooks for children. Go to stories.audible.com/start-listen.

7 Learn something new

Put your free time at home to good use. There are loads of free stuff to choose from and this time isn’t coming around again. So, take advantage and learn a new skill, or read up on something that’s always interested you but that you never quite got around to. Whether its learning Italian, how to play the guitar or how to code, here are some ideas for older kids.

8  Sort out your stuff

The downtime is a wonderful opportunity to tackle those nagging chores and sort through the clutter that you’ve been avoiding. Does anyone out there not have a junk draw?

Go through your kids’ cupboards (and your own) and sort out what doesn’t fit anymore and that you can donate to charity after lockdown. Better yet, get the kids involved. Here are some tips from renowned tidying expert Mari Kondo.

9 Become a virtual volunteer

Use this time to teach your kids to be grateful for what they have and to consider helping others, especially in South Africa where poverty, hunger and unemployment are rife. Choose something that resonates, perhaps making masks or helping with feeding schemes.

There are so many organisations that desperately need support during the coronavirus pandemic. It’s easier than you think to get involved remotely.

Share your Covid-19 #lockdown experiences on our Facebook group, Lockdown Diaries South Africa.