What a year. This time last year, as we were squeezing in last minute Christmas grottos, parting with pennies at school fayres and marvelling over sparkly seasonal events, none of us would have expected that 12 months on, everything would be virtually halted as the result of a global pandemic.
The Christmas school holiday this year looks so different. Some families are completely unable to leave their homes, whilst others are finding themselves faced with a reduction in activities that would normally provide some much needed distraction and entertainment. Almost all of us are no longer able to see our wider families and friends either.
In response to this, you lovely readers have asked, so today I am attempting to answer:
“What activities can you do with children during a Christmas lockdown?”
There are a number of things that are still able to happen, some of which we are well versed in now. Local walks probably top the list, add in Christmas displays in windows and a wander at dusk is very pleasant and pretty as well as being relatively safe.
Connecting with others continues to be more important than ever too, with all of us getting used to different video calling services this year and relying on them more than ever.
The weather doesn’t always aid winter walks though, and there’s only so long that children will sit and chat to others over a screen, so I have some more ideas of activities that I have noted below. I hope you will find them useful:
Board games can be firm favourites at this time of year, but there are loads of games that you can play without increasing your Christmas spend if you fancy trying something new. ‘Yes or No’ is popular in our house at the moment (the version where you answer questions without being able to say either ‘yes’ or ‘no’). ‘Would You Rather’ is providing lots of fun too and is a great game to play whilst waiting for a meal to cook or to fill in a short space of time. If you have a slightly longer period of time to fill, why not consider ‘Charades’ or ‘What Am I?’.
I’ve shared the idea of making decorations with felt previously, which you can find here, and craft is a good option for keeping children occupied for a while. There are all sorts of ideas on Pinterest, or you could stick to making snowflakes for your windows or paper chains for your walls.
This is also a fairly standard option for passing some time whilst having fun and getting a tasty treat at the end too! There are so many recipes that work well with Christmas, but we especially love making gingerbread shapes which we can then decorate.
Twinkl may come to your rescue once again this year with various options of things to make or do. They have an ‘Advent of Play’ which looks like fun too.
Other free resources include carol concerts on YouTube. Do take care when accessing this platform with children, but there is a wealth of seasonal joy to be found.
Science experiments are great fun and can be a super way to pass the time too. I’ve shared our fake snow idea previously, or perhaps you might like to have a go at growing crystals with ingredients from your kitchen cupboards.
Do you or your children have a special talent, perhaps for singing, dancing or acting? This is a great time to shine within your living room. Dress up, create some props or even a backdrop if you’re feeling adventurous, and put on your own show. If you’re feeling brave you could record it to share with your family and friends too!
This probably fits into the games category, but is a fun and active thing to do so I decided to separate it out. It’s so easy too – find something soft, something hard, something brown, something edible. You can mix it up to suit the age of your family members, and take it outside if the weather allows!
I hope that this list of lockdown friendly activities helps. I also have this very popular post about things to do that you might like to take a look at as well (published before the pandemic so please keep the current situation in mind). Above all else, remember to stay safe and follow the rules.