Generally, I’ve coped pretty well with lockdown so far. As an introvert, I’m not that keen on going out anyway and my beloved colour coded schedule has helped me manage working from home while home schooling the kids. What I am dreading however, is the school holidays. At 7 and 9, my kids are too savvy for me to just pretend they aren’t happening and carry on homeschooling (which frankly would be much easier) so I need to work out how to make school holidays in lockdown fun. Below are the ideas I’ve come up with.
Having some days with particular themes seems like a fun idea. It’s something we’ve never done before so I’m hoping the kids will enjoy the novelty. With a boy and a tom boy, I’m not sure how well the spa day is going to go down but I’m planning to give it a go anyway.
Sports Day – Set up a number of sports activities for the whole family to compete in during the day. You can make it as competitive as suits your family and make the “sports” as daft as you like.
Spa Day – Relaxing baths (ideally with glow sticks), face masks, pedicures…I’m not sure how relaxing a spa day with the kids will be but worth a try.
Movie Day – Everyone chooses a movie and you watch all of them throughout the day. Make your own popcorn or buy some. Choose cinema food like hot dogs and nachos for your meals.
Games Day – Like most families, we have tons of games that we rarely get a chance to play so plan to dedicate a whole day to game play. I’m also hoping to create a family quiz a bit like the one they do on Friends when the girls lose their flat.
Let Them Make a Mess
Everyone’s tolerance for mess varies but the idea is to push your tolerance a bit and let the kids do something they wouldn’t normally be allowed to.
- Messy play – Play dough, moon sand etc are all great fun.
- Make Slime – Lots or parents hate it but kids love it, particularly if they aren’t normally allowed to do it
- Let them draw in odd places – I’m planning to let my kids do some art with white board markers and chalk markers on our glass doors
- Don’t tidy up all day – If you usually tidy everything away at regular intervals, try not doing it all day so the kids can dip in and out of stuff
- Let them take stuff where it’s not normally allowed – scooters in the house, dolls in the garden, upstairs toys downstairs, sofa cushions off, maybe even move some furniture
Novelty Sleeping Arrangements
One of the things my children love about going on holiday is sleeping somewhere different, so we’ve come up with some ways to create that novelty for the school holidays in lockdown.
- Camp in the back garden – If you have a tent that you can fit in the garden you can spend the night in it. We’re planning a BBQ and marshmallow toasting too. If your child is part of scouting they can also get a nights away badge for it
- Sleep in the trampoline – If you don’t have a tent but do have a trampoline you could sleep in that, with sheets over the top and plenty of duvets. Probably only a good idea on a warm, dry night though!
- Sibling Sleepover – Let the children have a sleepover in each other’s bedrooms (or if they share a bedroom, in your room)
- Build a den and sleep in it – Let the kids build a den with blankets and pillows and then let them spend the night in it
- Have a living room sleepover – take your mattresses downstairs and let everyone sleep together in the living room
Learn Something Together
While we will be giving the formal learning a rest for the school holidays we thought it might be fun to learn a new skill as a family.
- Chess – Chess has been on my “to learn” list for years and now that the kids are old enough we’re going to try and learn it together
- Sign Language – The children both go to schools with hearing impairment units so know a fair bit of sign language anyway. They love teaching us what they know so I thought I’d expand this to us all learning together from You Tube
- Something Physical – Kids love watching their grown ups struggle with physical stuff so learning how do something like skipping or hula hooping will always lead to giggles
As a family, we love eating so unsurprisingly have come up with quite a few fun food based activities.
- Create a restaurant at home – Choose two people to be the chef/waiters and the rest can be the guests. Create menus, get dressed up and eat out at home
- Cookery Competition – choose a format like, Bake Off, Masterchef, Ready Steady Cook etc and all have a go at creating something.
- Garden Picnic – We may not be able to go out for a picnic but you can still have one at home, either in your garden or on your living room floor.
- Afternoon Tea – Create a formal afternoon tea serving sandwiches with the crusts cut off, scones and cakes.
- Homemade Day – This something Girl Child came up with and we’ve done before. For one day you make all of your meals from scratch. It needs a bit of advance planning to make sure you have everything you need but is great fun
- Ice Cream Bar – We can’t have Ice Cream on the beach but we can have it at home. Lay out a selection of ice cream toppings and sauces (doesn’t need to be loads), serve everyone a bowl of ice cream then let them choose their toppings
Kids really love a bit of nostalgia and gown ups often do to, here are somethings you might all enjoy.
- Watch your wedding video – If the kids have never seen it, or haven’t seen it for a long time, watching their parents get married will be fascinating
- Try on your wedding dress – As a follow up, you could put on your wedding dress and let them try it on too
- Look at their baby books/memory boxes – Just make sure you have filled in the same amount for each child to avoid upset! If you have baby grows or booties they will marvel over how small they once were
- Look at Old Photos – You could show them photo albums of your life before they were born or look through pictures from when they were babies or toddlers.
- You Could also explore your family history – Layers of London have a great project to support this.
- A Day of Unlimited Screen Time – We’re planning to let the kids have one day of unlimited screen time. Its not for everyone but, because we are usually very strict with it, it will be a massive novelty for our kids
- Moving their bedroom furniture around – I used to love doing this as a child, you could even redecorate with them if you have some paint and they are old enough
- Washing the Car – My children love washing my car so that will definitely be happening if it’s not too cold.
I’d love to hear how you plan to make the school holidays in lockdown special in the comments.
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