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Things to do in Lockdown
So, it looks like we're not going anywhere for a little while.. what can we do to fill our days now that we’re holed up in our homes? Here are a few suggestions. Please also check out this PDF of Home Learning Activities produced by Cambridgeshire County Council.
Dig those board games out
Great for families or flatmates alike, board games can be a surprisingly fun way of passing the time and even finding out more about each other. No board games? No problem. Check out www.mypartygames.com or www.printableboardgames.net which both offer free printables.
You can also play games with people online. http://playingcards.io offers a really simple way to share a table online to play a wide range of card games. Combine it with an
online chat service such as Google Hangouts so you can natter as you play.
Learn a language
Your holiday may be cancelled but that doesn’t mean you have to miss out on the whole experience. Why not use this time to learn a language for fun? Duolingo has a whopping 36 languages available from Japanese to Navajo, and even Klingon for the Star Trek fans among us. It’s freely available as an app or via their website.
Arts and crafts aren’t just for children. From card making to jewellery making to photography, you can freestyle on your own or find an online class or tutorial. If you’ve toyed with the idea of coming to a life drawing class at Love’s Farm House but never got around to it, you can give it a whirl at home using the (tasteful) online models at www.artmodeltips.com/poses.
Join a book club
The Love’s Farm Book Club has moved online during lockdown. Their next book is You by Caroline Kepnes. Download it onto your Kindle, listen via Audible or order it online from www.waterstones.com.
Visit a museum
Many famous museums have opened their virtual doors during lockdown. Tour the Egyptian Antiquities gallery at the Louvre, take a trip through time at the British Museum or check out the penguins at the San Diego Zoo.
Have a movie night
Dig out the popcorn and the cosy blankets and settle down for a movie. We’re massively spoiled for choice with Netflix, Amazon Prime and the rest, but did you know that iPlayer has some films available for free? Disney+ has just launched in the UK with the full back catalogue of Disney, Pixar, Marvel, Star Wars and National Geographic films. Or for a bit of high culture, use the BFI Player to stream the classics.
Try a new recipe
If you have a smartphone full of bookmarks to recipes you have never tried, now is the time! If the panic buying has restricted your available ingredients, try Jamie Oliver’s Keep Cooking and Carry On on Channel 4. For those with older children at home, this might be the perfect time to give them some proper culinary skills so they won’t be relying on Pot Noodles when they eventually fly the nest.
Expand your mind
Improve your general knowledge with a TED Talk. With over 3,300 talks to choose from, on topics ranging from The Evolution of the Coffee Cup Lid to How Surfboards Connect Us To Nature, there’s something for everyone.
Sing in a choir
You may be lucky enough to have a family that rivals the Von Trapps, but for the rest of us there is another option. Choirmaster Gareth Malone is starting The Great British Home Chorus, to give everyone the opportunity to contribute their voices and instruments to an ambitious digital music project. Register here.
Try some mindfulness
Coronavirus anxiety getting you down? Try some calming mindfulness exercises. You can find some great mindfulness tips from the NHS, or ask Alexa to open Guided Meditation for some short and sweet mindfulness exercises.
You know all those jobs you have been putting off because you’re too busy? Now is the time! From weeding the garden to painting the bedroom, clearing out the loft to backing up your photos, make the most of the extra time to clear your to-do list. Be your future friend. You’ll thank yourself later!
We’ll be adding to this guide on the website — please send your own for inclusion to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Keeping the Kids Entertained
By Charlie Ashley-Roberts
My idea of keeping kids entertained differs greatly from my own kids’ idea of what being entertained looks like. I have visions of reading or baking together, doing something crafty or snuggling down and watching a film, quietly with no interruptions. How can I be so naive with three kids? For them, the pinnacle of entertainment is watching other people unpackage new toys on YouTube.
So here are my top tips for balanced entertainment:
Arts and crafts
Silver Rock Designs are local and provide activity packs tailored for your kids that can be delivered to Love’s Farm. Jo also does a weekly craft video using things you'll find around the house (they're usually mess-free). If you have any large cardboard boxes, let them go wild making dens/castles/drawing inside with some pens or crayons.
Our eldest reads to herself but we read to the smaller kids. David Walliams is releasing daily stories every day at 11am, and Audible has made a whole heap of kids’ books free to listen to.
Even if you don’t have toys and fancy dress specifically for imaginative play, you'll be amazed at what they create when you let your kids’ imagination run. They’ll appreciate it even more if you join in with their games. Letting the child lead the play also takes the pressure off you to think of something.
Technology is great for keeping us in touch with each other. Children need this just as much as the grown ups, if not more so. Use Google Hangouts or Zoom to reunite playground friendships online in a safe space, away from the wider world of social media.
If you're lucky enough to have a garden, plant some seeds, make a small pond, count how many birds you can see or do a scavenger hunt (we use the cards at Sensory Trust). The RSPB website has dozens of other garden activities.
Share ideas with your Love’s Farm neighbours
Join the Love’s Farm Home School group on Facebook to share tips and tricks to keep your children educated and entertained.
Shake it up
In order to encourage a range of activities, make a game by putting ideas on paper or sticks and choosing one at random. If it all goes to pot one day, that's OK. Give yourself a break... and them some time on YouTube.