5 fun activities for kids in self-isolation

Quarantine isn't everyone's idea of fun, but here are five ideas to keep boredom at bay while the kids are off school.

Many people across the UK have found themselves in self-isolation with a houseful of children who can’t venture far from the house. While this is certainly the safest approach to take, it can lead to boredom and bad moods… for parents and kids alike! Here are a few ideas to keep you safe and sane:

  1. Make sock puppets. Kids love crafting, and sock puppets can be made pretty cheaply and easily using bits you find around the house. Older children might enjoy making a puppet theatre and putting on shows for the family. Teenagers may not want to make sock puppets but might be amused by this clip of a sock puppet ‘eating’ cars on a busy street.
  2. Get cooking. You may not have all the groceries you normally have in stock, but be as creative as possible. Enjoy preparing and eating the food together. Younger children might like to decorate cakes or biscuits. Older kids might enjoy playing a homemade version of Ready Steady Cook or Come Dine with Me. If cooking isn’t your kids’ jam, try coming up with some never-tried-before concoctions and have a blind tasting session to see whether they can guess what’s in each dish.
  3. Learn some Bible verses. This may not sound super fun, but you can make it a really enjoyable activity. Cut out the words or phrases and stick them up around the house, then send the children on a treasure hunt to collect and put them in order. Alternatively, have them come up with actions for the verses, or set the passages to music. Have some prizes on offer as an added incentive and test them at the end of each day to see if they remember them. There are some great ideas to help older kids learn Bible verses here.
  4. Take a family walk. The current advice is that you can take a walk as a family unit provided you don’t meet with or touch anyone else. In some areas people are decorating windows with pictures of rainbows to bring a bit of cheer to others. In other places families are putting teddy bears in their windows so children can go on a bear hunt. Get involved and decorate your own windows, then enjoy looking at what other people have come up with. Some families are also lighting candles every evening as a reminder to pray for those with the virus or who have lost loved ones, as well as for the key workers who are risking their own health to keep the country going.
  5. Have a family movie night. Encourage your children to pick a favourite film, then turn down the lights. Get snuggly under blankets or duvets and have something delicious to eat as a special treat. Many takeaways are still open and will deliver without any contact, so if your cupboards are a little bare this could be a helpful option. If you have children of different ages who can’t agree on a film, encourage them to share their favourite YouTube or TikTok clips with you instead, or better still to make their own movie with a script and props.

This is likely to be a tricky time for many families, but it won’t last forever, so try to enjoy this time together as much as you can. And stay safe!