Following the announcement this week of an extension to Melbourne’s lockdown-6, you may perhaps be feeling despondent, frustrated, angry or worried. Some of our kids are also struggling with big emotions during this time.
I was listening to Georgie Harman CEO of Beyond Blue on ABC radio yesterday and she used a metaphor that resonated with me:
“Every storm passes. We can’t prevent the storm from happening but we can pack an umbrella”.
It’s useful to remind ourselves that this isn’t forever and that we can focus on things that are within our control. Although we don’t have big events or holidays to plan or look forward to at the moment, we can prepare something special at home.
Below are my top 10 survival ideas for locking down with kids.
1. Plan a Global Feast
Choose a place, investigate it and prepare a feast of cuisine from the area. You could use research using MapCrunch – a fascinating site where you teleport somewhere in the world and can virtually wander about. Kids could decorate, find music, prepare menus and help cook.
2. A Day in the Life
Document a Day in your life during lockdown as a photo journal or video. It could even be from the perspective of your pet.
3. Publish or Custom Design Something
Write and illustrate a story. Use a publisher like Blurb to order copies for your family. Alternatively, children could design a t-shirt, mug, phone cover, greeting card, stickers or even a face mask. Zazzle is an example of a company where you can order custom made products.
4. Board Game Olympics
Have a day of games with the family (board games, x-box, jigsaw). You could set up a Leaders Board or do Kids vs Parents challenges. You could link up with relatives or friends and prepare a trivia night over zoom.
5. Lolly Hunt
Kids go crazy for an Easter Egg hunt. Why not create your own lockdown hunt with Lizzie the Lockdown Lizard who has visited and left lollies all over the backyard or lounge?
6. Make a Gift
Evidence shows that performing acts of kindness boosts happiness and wellbeing.1 Children could bake, make some craft or write a card for grandparents, neighbours or friends.
7. Indoor Camping
Set up a tent indoors (you can use blankets, cushions, sheets). Use torches or string lights. Have special food like pizza and marshmallows and eat it on the floor.
8. Scavenger Hunt Walk
Prepare a list of things to find on a daily walk such as the one found here.
Children could use a phone camera to document their finds. You could make it a race or work in family teams.
9. Obstacle Course
We can’t use playgrounds at the moment but we can set up a playground in our house. Chairs, tables, big boxes and blankets can be used to climb over and under. Cushions, beds and couches can be jumped, balloons can be tapped and rolled up rugs can be balanced . Setting up the obstacles is part of the fun. You could use a timer or video children doing it. Participants could be led through the course blindfolded or directed blindfolded using voice only.
10. Grow Something
Spring is nearly here and now is the time to sow veggie seeds in punnets indoors. Children could have their own little patch in the garden or pot on a verandah or window sill. Alternatively, grass heads such as these, sunflowers, indoor plants, a flower or fairy garden could be grown.
Suzanne is drama teacher and owner at Schamozzle. In addition to teaching drama, she runs Social Learning classes for children on the autism spectrum at Dandelion Kids.