2020 has been a disastrous year for everyone around the world because of the Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. In March the UK went into lockdown seeing businesses closing their doors and lots of their staff working from home, entertainment venues closed their doors and although some may have recently just reopened (now with opening hours restrictions), the number of people using them are strictly limited. With the UK now having more and more local lockdowns, with the real possibility of a second wave and a much broader and fuller nationwide lockdown, we have been looking at ways to keep entertained at home.
Now that we have entered Autumn, the evenings have all of a sudden started to get darker earlier and the temperature has dropped so staying indoors, revelling in the warmth and enjoying some time on our own or some good quality family time after the kids have finished their homework sounds good to us.
There are lots of ways to keep entertained at home this coming Autumn and Winter, or during any local or nation lockdown, and we have some ideas on how to keep entertained at home:
- You can watch a movie or show on your favourite online subscription service such as Netflix, Amazon or BritBox or go a bit old school and watch something on DVD or Blu-ray with family friendly films such as Small Soldiers. We watch a lot of DVDs and streaming services and there is always something that can be watched (even when you or the kids decide that there is nothing to watch). Maybe create a cinema night with popcorn and dimmed lights and expand on it by giving the kids some “money” to purchase their tickets and buy their snacks from the kitchen – not only will it add an extra dimension to their new “cinema experience” but can also be used as a learning experience to teach them the value of money and how to count their change etc.
- We love to sit down around the table and play a fun family board game such as Burger Party. And once the kids are in bed, Monopoly is a firm favourite for us adults.
- Whilst the kids love playing on the Xbox, we have really been enjoying sitting down as a family in front of the television playing family friendly games on the Xbox, Overcooked 2 is a favourite. Not only is it excellent fun but gets everyone talking to each other and having fun. Although do make sure that you set limits on screen time, it is all too easy to lose track of time and stay playing for far too long.
- One of my favourite pastimes is curling up on the sofa with a good book. Reading is an excellent form of entertainment and the kids can join in by reading their books to you and then discussing what they have read afterwards. With eReaders and tablets you don’t even need lots of space in your house to store books (although we love having proper books in our house and have quite a collection, the kids even have their own libraries in their bedrooms).
- Now being indoors doesn’t mean you have to sit in front of the television eating family sized bags of crisps. Exercise can be a great form of entertainment, not only is it free but it is good for you. There are plenty of online resources to help you exercise and keep fit, and YouTube is an excellent place to start. And for the kids something as simple as a Frisbee in the garden or even a body bubble are great ways to have fun whilst getting some fresh air and exercise.
- If you are creative, then drawing is always a good way to spend some time. If drawing isn’t your thing then colouring books for adults always go down well. Or maybe take up diamond painting, some of which can be quite intricate but will help you pass a lot of time. Or maybe take a model building project and put together your own model cars, aeroplanes or buildings etc. for that sense of achievement when completed.
- Or maybe get in the kitchen to do some baking and try to become the next 5 star pastry chef or pâtissier – or just make some great tasting cakes and pastries for the family. You can even get the kids involved and turn it in to a family activity. You can also use it instil a love for home cooking rather than takeaways and teach about healthy eating.
- And of course, for the kids there are toys. There are lots of toys on the market that kids will spend hours playing with. Playtime is essential for kids, not only to relax their young minds but playing can also help with expanding their imaginations, help them be creative and even learn new things without realising it. And we have brought traditional outdoor toys inside with the help of Wicked and the the Duncan Pulse Light Up Yo-Yo, the Indoor Booma Boomerang and the Sky Spinner Ultra LED Trick Disc.
- And for those that want something slightly different, you can set up an obstacle course around the house of garden or even create a scavenger hunt.
There are lots of ways to keep everyone entertained at home (following all relevant social distancing, rule of six and different tier restrictions) and above is just a small list of ideas to get you on your way.