From board game Olympics to round the world night, here are twenty ideas for parents to banish boredom in lockdown, learn new skills and have family fun along the way when schools are closed.
1. The great outdoors. Fresh air and exercise will help to banish boredom and housebound blues. Go for a walk or bike ride, giving your kids the map to plan the route. With younger children, give them a bag and collect ‘treasures’ on the way – a beautiful leaf, stone or flower. Nearer to home, try tree climbing in your local park or set up camp in your garden and use stargazing apps like Nightsky.
2. Create a routine. Many children will benefit from a daily routine – it’s something they are used to at school, so build a plan that works for everyone and is age-appropriate. Ensure there are regular breaks and a set lunch hour and include screen-time as part of your schedule so children know what to expect.
3. Reading for pleasure. Encourage your child to read daily. Set older children book reading challenges such as ‘a book a day/week’ to motivate them, or create virtual book clubs with their friends using video chat apps, Google hangouts or Group FaceTime. If you run out of books, swap with a friend or search for free audio and ebooks online. With younger children, create book-themed treasure hunts around the house or encourage them to make their own books or draw book covers featuring their favourite characters.
4. Free resources. Many educational websites (including Teachit) are offering free access to learning resources during the Coronavirus (Covid-19) pandemic. Ask your child which subject/s they think they need to work on most and search online together to find worksheets and resources to suit.
5. Train like a champion. Keeping physically active is particularly important for children. Research the training regime of a famous sportsperson or idol and get your child to create their own daily or weekly training programme, using videos and apps to help. Keep a record to track their progress and use rewards to motivate them, or set them the challenge of creating a family workout with DIY circuits and time trial challenges. Younger children might enjoy Go Noodle or Cosmic kids yoga for their daily workouts.