Lockdown Activities for Parents with Young Children

15 Lockdown activities to keep the kids engaged

With Sydney’s Covid 19 lockdown being extended until at least the 28th August and a number of Local Government Areas in the South West being placed under hard lockdown rules, the ability to attend childcare centres has been greatly impacted resulting in many family members having to work from home while also caring for children. These new enforced arrangements are presenting challenges for all families. One of the greatest challenges is to find lockdown activities that will keep children occupied and engaged. Here are some lockdown ideas for kids in these times.

The types of activities to try

Lockdown ideas for kids can run through a broad spectrum of activities using a range of old and new technologies and resources. Here are some lockdown activities for kids to park your imagination.

Deputise them as your little helpers

A great way to keep your children engaged is to get them involved in helping with the household routine. This is an easy way to keep them busy while also teaching them valuable domestic social skills. Such activities as cleaning, cooking, washing, sweeping or folding clothes are perfect opportunities to get your child to be your little helper and further their self-help development.

Additionally, there are a range of ‘heavy-work sensory activities’ that you can get your child to help with depending upon their age and physical abilities.

These activities may include:

  • Pushing or pulling a linen basket full of clothes
  • Helping with vacuuming
  • Floor mopping
  • Lawn mowing
  • Packing, unpacking and carrying groceries
  • Garbage duties – taking it out and bringing bins back in.
  • Window cleaning
  • Furniture dusting

Have a home picnic

Spring is just around the corner and the weather is already teasing us with the promise of some spring-like weather. Spring time is usually a great time to go on a picnic and while your family may not be able to travel far, breaking the routine and going through the ritual of packing for a picnic will help to add variety even when restrictions prevent you from heading to your usual picnic spots. Having a backyard picnic or even spreading a picnic blanket out in the living room can work wonders and make interesting things to do with kids during lockdown. If you are permitted to move into areas beyond your backyard.

Get them involved in the garden

There is no better time than late winter/ early spring to introduce the kids to the joys of growing their own herbs, vegetables and flowers. Many nurseries throughout Sydney and the state, if not open, still are operating click and collect or delivery services. So, there should be no real barriers to ordering any garden supplies you need. You can involve the kids by giving them a garden plot to be responsible for or alternatively give them a planter box or something similar to plant plants like nasturtiums, perennial like impatiens, various seedlings, basil or lettuce. Tomatoes are another plant that are ideal for planting in late September and early October so there may be some opportunities to plant seedlings now. If you are unable to find a nursery, you can always fall back on the old trick of attempting to grow vegetables from scraps that would usually be thrown out.

Make a movie

One of the great things to do with kids during lockdown is to unlock their creativity and there may be no better way to do this than to get them to tell a story using the medium of film. They can write their own script, design and make their own costumes and shoot their film using a family member’s phone.

Try Tie Dying

The seventies craze of tie-dyeing is back in vogue. There’s plenty of scope for experimentation with this surprisingly ancient art. To start, you will need some plain white Tee shirts and some fabric dye. These should be easy to order online via the big retailers.

Build an obstacle course

The popularity of Australian Ninja warrior makes obstacle courses one of the choice lockdown activities for kids. You can get your kids to let their imaginations run wild as they create their own obstacle course, using whatever household items you deem appropriate and safe. Mix it up with skill tests that demand such skills as bouncing a ball into a bin, with athletic activities such as limbo, jumping, swings and running.

Cook up a storm

The kitchen opens up a wealth of solutions to what to do in lockdown. Lockdown might be the perfect time to get creative in the kitchen and to involve the children in the process. There are plenty of online resources offering a variety of exciting and innovative recipes. Bake some banana bread, cook some muffins or try something different for a main meal – get the kids involved in preparing and cooking the meal. Even the little ones can help in an “assistants” role. They can help peel, grate cheese and even measure things out for you. And don’t forget that all important duty of licking the spoon.

Bird watching

One of the benefits of lockdown is that you get time to notice things that you may not otherwise have time to. One of the many knock-on effects of last year’s bushfires is that many birds have been forced from their natural habitat and into more urban settings. This does allow us to see birds that we would very rarely see. Birdlife Australia’s website can help you identify what birds are in your neighborhood. While bird watching isn’t for everybody, encouraging an awareness of our local environment can help to stimulate an appreciation of the natural world.

Board games are still fun

In this digital age, it’s sometimes easy to forget how much fun can be had with a simple board game. Traditional games like monopoly, scrabble and cluedo still have great appeal. Newer games include the settlers of Catan, Just One and Ticket to Ride. Then there’s a multitude of classic card games ranging from snap right through to strategic games like five hundred. The great thing about all of these games is that they encourage social interaction.

Make a creative space

Let the kids unlock their inner Rembrandts. Gather together some brushes, paints and paper and set aside a space for them to go wild. Choose a place that can be cleaned up easily. If you want you can arrange a still life challenge and encourage all the family to do their best.

Explore music

If you play an instrument or your children play one – have a sing along or encourage exploration of the instrument.

Have a treasure hunt

The old-fashioned treasure hunt is one of those things to do in lockdown with young kids. You can make it as elaborate or as simple as possible, depending upon how many children there are and how much time you have. The treasure hunt can be indoors or outdoors.

Workout sessions

There is a plethora of online exercise video classes available and a little research will help you to find some sessions to do as a family. Alternatively you can find exercise classes that suit your kid’s individual needs.

Make science fun

Scienceworks is doing a great job of demystifying science and making it exciting for kids by demonstrating how science works in ways that help children to understand basic scientific principles. A little time spent online will get those imaginations ticking and brain cells humming.

Try Snail Mail

There’s something deeply personal and magical about writing a letter to a grandparent or relative. Encourage your children to write a letter and take them through the process of addressing, stamping and posting it.