10 indoor activities to keep kids and parents sane during lockdown

entertain kids in lockdown

Alice Piper

Posted August 23, 2021

Entertainment is made easy with these fail-safe activities for when playgrounds are closed.

With Melbourne clocking more than 200 days in lockdown as of August 2021 and other states not too far behind, the fatigue is really starting to set in.

We’ve watched every child-friendly show on Netflix, we’ve played every board game, done all the paint by numbers we can handle – and now playgrounds, our shining star, have been temporarily closed.

So, to keep the kids and yourself sane over the coming weeks, here are ten ideas for home entertainment. 

Hallway bowling alley

The joy kids get from bowling is undeniable, so why not recreate it in your own hallway?

All you need to do is line up some empty plastic bottles and use an old pair of socks wrapped into a ball for a quick and easy game of indoor bowling. You can also make it a bit harder by adding some weight inside the bottles, like sand or water. 

Lego Masters

If you’ve got some old Lego collecting dust in a box, why not get it out and give it a little revival.

Challenge the kids to get creative with their building – think rocket ships, houses, cars, unicorns, mini-cities, anything. You’ll probably find yourself joining in!

Send a good old-fashioned letter

The art of letter writing has been somewhat lost as we’ve come to rely on phones and computers, so get out the pen and paper and write a letter to someone special.

The kids could write one to their grandparents, friends, cousins or even their school teachers! Get them to jot down all the things they love about them and even ask them to write one back – it will not only start a nice pen-pal relationship but give the kids something to look forward to during lockdown. 

Disco mania

Lift the mood with a good old dance party. Bust out some old classics like Abba and Elton John, or open Spotify and find a playlist of dance hits.

It’s inexpensive, gets out their unused energy and is sure to raise the endorphins. 

Build a fort

Turn the loungeroom into a fort and go camping! All you’ll need is some blankets, pillows and your creativity.

You can even bring the kids mattresses from their bedrooms and spend the night in your new cave. And if you want to get really fancy, toast some marshmallows on the gas stove and make some hot chocolate while you watch a movie. 

Treasure hunt

If you’ve got younger children, an indoor (or outdoor) scavenger hunt is perfect for little feet that can’t sit still. And if they’re too young to read instructions, use pictures about where the treasure is hidden. 

entertain kids in lockdown

Ready for a bake off? Image: Getty.

Bake off

Get crafty in the kitchen and bake some yummy treats like choc-chip cookies, cake, or brownies. You can even get all MasterChef about it and score their attempt (all 10s, of course).

Get the bake-off going with this Simple Bread and Butter Pudding recipe. 

Get messy

Finger painting is messy, but the hours of entertainment are worth it, especially when kids can be as creative as they like.

Set up a painting station in the backyard, have some butchers paper or canvases ready, and let the kids go wild – just make sure they know to only paint on the paper.

TIP: If you’re still worried about the kids getting paint on things they shouldn’t, use water-based paint, and it should come off surfaces pretty easily. 

Band practice 

With the extended time at home, it’s a great opportunity to nurture any creative skills your children have, and that includes an interest in music.

Why not set up a ‘band station’ where they can go and practice? Get in there with them and make a family jam session out of it!

Don’t forget the routine 

Activities are fun, and they’re great at taking children’s minds off what’s happening in the outside world, but routine is still an important part of getting through a lockdown.

Keep their regular schedule of chores intact -  taking out the bins, feeding the pets, cooking dinner for the family or just tidying their room.

While they may not be super excited about it at the time, their mental health will benefit from keeping to their regular routine.

So even with playgrounds closed and lockdown extended until September 2nd, fun and games aren’t off the table – all it takes is a little bit of effort, and the whole family will be having fun.