150+ Ideas For Family Fun During a Lockdown

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Looking for things to do during lockdown? At the current time, many families across NSW and Victoria are in lockdown and looking for things to amuse their kids. It can be challenging trying to think of new family activities to keep them occupied during a lockdown so you don’t hear “I’m bored” or have them interrupt you as you’re trying to work from home.

If the days at home start to drag, keep family life fun with a list of kids activities to try. Here are 150 ideas for family activities to enjoy in a lockdown for kids of all ages. We know lockdown isn’t easy but hopefully, some of these ideas help in making your time at home bearable.

We’ve included games and activities you can enjoy both indoors and outdoors as well as around your local neighbourhood (within your LGA or 5km radius according to NSW Public Health Order).

We’ve also included some screen-free activities if you want to limit screen time but if you’re a fan of technology like we are, we’ve got fun things to do on screens.


ACTIVITIES

Make & play with playdough

Let the kids get messy and create with playdough. This tactile activity gets kids creating and designing. Just put down old newspaper if you’re concerned about the mess. It’s super easy to make homemade playdough.

Paint with yoghurt

This is a great activity for those with young kids. You can use some food colouring to colour different bowls of yoghurt and then let kids paint on paper. If it ends up in their mouth, it’s not an issue.

Build with LEGO

Spend some hours playing LEGO. If you need some inspiration or projects, google “LEGO challenges”. You’ll find tons of projects that your kids can work on. If you want specific STEM projects, check out the Educating Young Engineers website. It contains lots of fun engineering and design projects.

Print with potatoes

Do you remember stamping with a potato when you were a kid? Cut a potato in half and carve out a shape. Then use paint and let your kids stamp away on scrap paper.

Make carrot tops

If you’re preparing carrots for dinner, cut the tops off and let them sprout.

Do play-based activities with babies and toddlers

Have some fun at home with your baby or toddler. Check out our article for five sensory baby & toddler play activities using things you have at home. Educational and entertaining.

Do play-based activities with preschoolers

You can also have fun doing play-based activities with your preschooler. Check out our article for 10 play-based activities and ideas that will support your preschooler in school-readiness & provide skills to be a lifelong learner.

Make colour compositions

Start sorting things into colour and make monochromatic compositions from everyday items around you. For inspiration, check out the chromatic_collection Instagram page.

Read books

Do more reading at home. Stock up on physical kids books or sign up online at your local library and download kids ebooks that can be read on computers, tablets and phones. You can also purchase ebooks through Amazon. Hint, get kids hooked on a book series. If they read one, they’ll be more likely to want to read more. Here’s a list of our favourite kids book series.

Make bookmarks

If you’re kids are reading more, make bookmarks. Use construction paper to cut out long rectangles and let your kids decorate them. You can laminate them and provide them as gifts to friends and family members.

Play a board game

Spend a couple of hours playing board games.  If your kids are preschoolers or in their teens, there’s sure to be a board game to suit them. There’s family classics like Monopoly, Scrabble and Settlers of Catan as well as more hands-on games like Operation, Jenga and Twister. Here’s our pick for best family board games. You can also download for free the Cards Against Humanity Family Edition.

Solve a jigsaw puzzle

Keep some jigsaw puzzles around. They’re great to play with for a bit and then come back to when you feel like it. Choose simple puzzles (under 50 pieces) for young kids under 5. Older kids can handle jigsaw puzzles with more pieces like the 120, 250 and 500 piece sets.

Listen to audiobooks together

Sign up for Audible and listen to audiobooks together. Or for a free option, download audiobooks from your local library.

Keep a lockdown diary

Christchurch artist Stephen McCarthy created a fantastic free printable for kids to complete during last year’s lockdown. My Lockdown Diary provides kids with a 28-page document to record their thoughts in the COVID-19 lockdown. There are some prompts and activities but loads of space for kids to write and draw how they’re doing and how they’re feeling.

Make homemade musical activities

Fill shakers with rice and make maracas or fill water glasses with different levels to make different notes when you tap the glass.

Have a silent disco

We love this idea especially when you’re trying to get work done. Put music on, give your kids some headphones with the volume set to the appropriate level and let them dance.

Make a selfie background

Let’s face it. Lockdown is the perfect time to take lots of selfies. So make a cool background. Paint an old bedsheet or tablecloth or hang up decorations to make it festive. Then take lots of lockdown photos.

Play cards

Don’t forget about the humble pack of playing cards. There’s so much you can do with them from playing card games like snap, rummy to building elaborate structures and flicking them at your family.

Have a glowstick party

Get ready for some glow in the dark fun. When it’s dark, break out the glowsticks, glow in the dark clothing and other items and have some fun.

Do a family storytime

Choose a book from the kids book collection and have a family storytime.

Celebrate Christmas

String up the Christmas lights, decorate the Christmas tree and start watching Christmas movies. Nothing lifts the spirits like Christmas.

Make ice creatures

Find small creatures and freeze them with water in ice trays or plastic freezer bags. Then when solid, give them to kids to slowly melt.

Make your own family bingo game

Make a 5 x 5 grid on a piece of paper using things that members of your family often say or do and then add it to the bingo sheet. Make a few different variations of the bingo sheet and distribute to your family members. First person to fill in their sheet wins.

Write a letter (or email)

Get your kids writing. Either let them go old-school and write a physical letter which can be mailed or dropped off to a friend or relative or get them writing an email. Extra points if you’re writing to a friend or family member in another country!

Play nail salon

Draw your hands or your kids hands on paper and then give them crayons, textas or paint to paint nails on the paper fingers.

Make slime

There’s nothing more fun than making a big tub of slime. There are loads of slime kits available as well as instructions on the web which involve glue and borax . Our favourite is fluffy slime.

Record your family history

Spend some time compiling and recording family history to provide family memories to kids and their future descendants. Here is a guide which we put together to record your family’s history.

Put on a fashion show

Get kids to channel their inner fashion diva. Let them raid your wardrobe and old jewellery and come up with different outfits.

Make a zipline for your toys

Grab some string, wool or dental floss and set up a zip line. Then grab a small figurine like a LEGO character and see if you can slide it down the line. You may need to affix the figure using a piece of straw and some string.

Plan your Book Week or Halloween costume

It’s likely that Book Week might be virtual this year but you can still wear an outfit. Same for Halloween. Never too early to plan what you’re going to wear.

Have a Teddy Bears Picnic

Get out all the stuffed animals and organise a teddy bears picnic for little ones. You can even use serve “tea” and cookies.

Make a family time capsule

One of these projects is creating a family time capsule to preserve your precious family memories. Here is a guide that we put together to make a time capsule you’ll love opening in the future.

Enjoy a Fun Spa Day at Home

Need some pampering during lockdown. Grab the kids, look in the fridge and pantry and get creative making these five DIY face and body treatments that will have you all feeling relaxed and pampered in no time (or at the very least, fill in an hour of the day with some messy fun!)

ARTS & CRAFTS

Get crafty

Doing craft is a great activity for kids of all ages. We have a standard craft kit full of coloured paper, textas, crayons, stickers, feathers, pom poms and glue that can be pulled out for some fun. If you don’t have lots of craft supplies, just hunt around your house. Paper towel rolls, old newspapers and magazines, aluminium foil, pens, pencils can all be used to create artistic works. You can also order a craft kit delivered straight to your home by redeeming your NSW Creative Kids Voucher? Use your $100 rebate & order an art pack or craft kit that your children can use at home. Here’s a big list of NSW Creative Kids providers.

Cardboard box fun

Got some empty boxes. Give them to your kids to have fun. They can colour them, jump in them, use them to build cubby houses and more. The bigger the better. Fridge boxes are especially fun.

Colour it in

Pull out the colouring books, crayons and pencils and enjoy a family colouring session. There are fantastic mindfulness colouring books just for parents as well.

Create body shapes

If you have butchers paper or an old roll of wallpaper, trace out your kids body. Get them to lie on the floor and trace our their body. You can then cut out the shape and let your kids decorate it.

Make a scrapbook

Find an old exercise book and let kids collect and glue in treasured letters, photos and other precious things.

Make wall art

If you have empty photo frames lying around, get the kids to do some drawings or paintings. Then hang them up and create a kids art gallery.

Make a chatterbox

It’s easy and fun to make a chatterbox. Show kids how to make them out of paper and let them decorate it and play the chatterbox game. Need a refresher on how to make a chatterbox. Here are instructions from Cleverpatch.

Do string art

If you have a piece of wood, hammer in some small nails in a circle, triangle or heart. Then give kids thread and let them string between the nails to create different shapes. Check out this heart-shaped design for inspiration.

Build crazy 3D shapes

Build some structures using food and toothpicks or cut up bamboo skewers. Grapes, jellybeans or marshmallows work well in creating geometric shapes. Lots of fun and kids can eat them once their done minus the toothpicks!

Make recycled necklaces

This threading activity is great for hand/eye coordination and developing patience and perseverance in young children. You can use anything you like to make the ‘beads’ of your recycled jewellery. Cut up paper straws, old beads, cardboard from old cereal or biscuit packets, coloured pasta (this can be made together another time – using food colouring and vinegar to dye the pasta), leaves, flowers, any other bits and pieces that can be made into a ‘bead’ by adding a hole.

Make popcorn strings

This is a great activity that is easy to make and that you can also eat. Pop a whole batch of popcorn then let kids string them together using needles and thread. If they get hungry, let them eat the popcorn.

Paint rocks

While you’re in lockdown, paint rocks. It’s a fun and soothing activity for the whole family. Once lockdown is over, you can then place them in different locations in your neighbourhood for others to find.

Make handprints and footprints

Trace their hand or feet or use paint or ink to make handprints and footprints on paper. This is a lovely keepsake for kids that you’ll treasure long after lockdown is over. It will be over and your kids will be bigger!

Make sock puppets

Everyone has old socks lying around. Draw on the socks, stick stuff to them and make them into puppets.

Decorate a t-shirt

If kids want to get creative, let them decorate a t-shirt. They can mark up a t-shirt with markers or cut them up to create a fringe. You can also sew patches onto a t-shirt and spell out a word with letters.

Tie-dye

Find a white t-shirt and a tie-dye kit and get colourful. Need a kit? Use your Creative Kids Voucher to order a tie-dye kit. Here’s a list of suppliers in NSW who will send a Creative Kit straight to your door.

Decorate shoes

If you have a pair of white shoes, get creative and decorate them, Canvas shoes work best for this project.

Upcycle clothes

If you or your kids handy with a sewing needle, modify your clothes. Cut pants into shorts, sew on appliques and upcycle your clothes.

IN THE KITCHEN

Make and decorate cookies

Sugar cookies are super easy to make and lots of fun to decorate.

Make homemade pizzas

Make mini pizzas at home and let everyone choose their own toppings.

Cook a family recipe

Keep your family traditions going and make a family recipe. It’s lovely to teach your kids or have them watch you make a dish or recipe that means something to you and your family.

Make a recipe book

If you’ve got favourite family recipes that you like to make, get the kids to help you make a recipe book. They can even start to use the recipes to make lunch or dinner once in a while.

Pop popcorn

Make a big vat of popcorn and make different flavours of popcorn like caramel popcorn, cheesy popcorn or cinnamon popcorn. There are tons of popcorn flavours you can experiment with.

Make rainbow pancakes

Whip up a big bowl of pancake mix and then split into different smaller bowls and add food colouring to each. Cook up and stack the pancakes and you’ll have a rainbow pancakes.

Make bread

If you didn’t make bread during last year’s lockdown, have a go this time.

Bake a cake

Lockdown is a perfect issue to make cakes, lots of them. Either use a cake packet or make it from scratch.

Colour your food

Experiment with different ingredients like spinach, beetroot and turmeric and/or food dyes and see colourful dishes you can make with kids. Think green eggs and ham, blue mashed potatoes or pink cake.

Eat around the world

Even if we can’t travel around the world, plan to eat globally. Organise different themed meals each night like Japanese, Indian, Thai, Chinese or Mexican. Either cook up meals yourself or order takeaway from your favourite local restaurant.

Make DIY ice cream sundaes

Get out the ice creams and lots of different toppings and fruit and let kids build their own ice cream sundaes.

GET PHYSICAL

Jump on to GoNoodle

A favourite with kids, Go Noodle has loads of movement and mindfulness videos created by child development experts. Your kids have probably played it at school as they partner with teachers to fuel classrooms with videos. Check out the GoNoodle app for iOS. Sorry, no Android version yet.

Have a dance party

Get the kids to create their own Spotify playlists and then get dancing. Choose different genres for a dance party like boy bands, K-pop or disco. Extra points if the whole family gets dancing.

Do a family yoga session together

Practice some yoga poses together and stretch and relax…. There are some great YouTube videos on kids yoga that you can enjoy together.  Story Hive Yoga for Kids has sessions that are 25 minutes long – perfect for kids who can’t sit still for long. Cosmic Kids Yoga have yoga, mindfulness and relaxation videos designed especially for kids aged 3 that involves a story.

Skip

Grab a skipping rope and get skipping. Not only is it fun, but it’s also great exercise. With three participants, you can two holding the rope and the other one skipping in the middle.

Make an obstacle course

If your kids need to burn off some energy in the house, create an obstacle course with cushions, chairs, cardboard boxes, etc.

Learn to limbo

Find out how flexible your kids really are. Get two people to hold a pole or a wooden broom or place it above top of chairs and limbo underneath by leaning backwards. Add some music to make it even more fun. Lower the height of the pole to make it harder.

Play hopscotch

If you have some chalk, draw a hopscotch on your balcony or driveway and let kids play away. If it’s a rainy day, use masking tape to draw out an indoors hopscotch on carpet or floors.

LEARN

Take a virtual tour of a museum

You might be opting to skip the museum but you can still do online tours of museums around the world like the Van Gogh Museum in Amsterdam, Guggenheim Museum in New York, British Museum and Musee d’Orsay in Paris. You can also visit Australian landmarks, zoos, aquariums, galleries, museums & world heritage sites from your home.

Go on a virtual tour across Australia

Travel plans might be on hold at the moment due to COVID-19 but you can still explore Australia without leaving your home. We’ve found 30 virtual online tours you can do across Australia. Some involve Google Steet View tours while others let you view online exhibits.

Watch some animals

Tune in daily to Taronga TV for fascinating keepers talks and shows, 24/7 live animal streams, animal antics and behind-the-scenes sneak peeks at what the animals get up to when the Zoo in Sydney is closed.

Learning to Sew

Teach your kids to sew. A great introduction is hand sewing a soft toy. There are lots of free and easy to sew tutorials on the blog Sew a Softie. It also contains videos to show parents (even if they can’t sew) how to make fun projects with their kids. Kids three and up can learn how to sew.

Learn Aboriginal Weaving

Order a Creative Kits Pack from a local company Speaking in Colour and learn how to do Aboriginal weaving. There are two kits available, one for kids aged 2 – 12 and another for kids 12+. You will learn the knowledge behind weaving, the ways of knowing, being and doing. Be inspired by these Aboriginal weaving techniques and learn an ancient skill.

Recognise other country’s flags

With the Olympics and Paralympics on this year, learn the different flags from countries around the world.

Build a book bridge

For a practical lesson in architecture, get older kids to build a book bridge between two chairs. They will need a stack of hardcover books but it’s a fun activity to keep them amused for a while. The trick is to build an arch with the starting books being on the seat of the chair.

Learn to play an instrument

If you have instruments lying around the house, this is the time to learn them. Start teaching yourself the ukelele, guitar, piano or even the harmonica.

Learn about Australian Parliament

What does the government in Canberra actually do? Good question and one that many people struggle to understand especially in the current political climate. The Parliamentary Education Office website contains lots of information for students and teachers to learn about Parliament. There’s fact sheets, quizzes and videos.

Write something

Write with your kids. Here are some writing prompts from ThinkWritten to get kids and yourself thinking and then writing. There are some really interesting prompts. Use them as short story or poetry writing prompts or just to tap into your kids creativity.

Learn a new language

Have your kids ever wanted to learn a new language. Sign up for free for Duolingo and learn one of 30+ languages including French, Spanish, Italian using their mobile app or webpage. Duolingo offers short bite-size lessons that make it fun for kids to learn.

Learn Morse Code

This is way old-school but teach kids how to use Morse Code. Kids can learn how to tap it out or even use a torch to do flashes of light. At least teach them SOS. Never know when that might come in handy.

Write a picture book

Get kids to write their own book and illustrate the photos. If it’s good, photocopy and distribute it to family members. Grandparents love homemade kids stuff.

Learn how to code

Teach your kids to code using Scratch, a project of the Lifelong Kindergarten Group at the MIT (Massachusetts Institute of Technology) Media Lab. Scratch is designed especially for ages 8 to 16, but is used by people of all ages. It’s a graphical programming language which allows children to drag and combine code blocks to make a range of programs. There’s also ScratchJr for kids aged 5 – 7 which is more appropriate for younger kids. It allows them to program their own interactive stories and games.

See what they are doing in space

Check out the NASA website and see the earth from far away. You can also watch STEMonstrations. These are STEM demonstrations on the space station.

Learn Auslan

Learn how to sign a few words in Auslan, the sign language of the Australian deaf community. There are YouTube videos to show you how to say hello, thank you and goodbye to start with.

Do science experiments

Have some fun and learn! There are so many science experiments you can do at home using things that you have lying around like rulers, pencils, strings and more. Check out Cool Science Experiments Headquarters website for some great video tutorials.

Learn how to juggle

If learning to juggle has been on your bucket list for ages, now is the time to learn. Here is a tutorial on how kids can learn how to juggle. You can use bean bags, rolled-up socks and tennis balls.

Write poetry

Learn how to write a few lines of poetry, a haiku (17 syllables) or even a funny limerick

Learn magic tricks

Want to learn how to do magic. In these YouTube videos, Joel Howlett from JD’s World of Magic shows you to do sleight of hand as well as how to make rubber bands jump or create tricky paperclips. There are a series of tricks that are easy enough for school-aged children to learn and require only household items!

Listen to family podcasts

Want to keep little minds interested? Get them listening to podcasts especially during this enforced time at home. We love podcasts as kids can listen to the subject matter while relaxing, drawing or just playing with LEGO. Here are our picks for the best podcasts for kids. We’ve chosen a selection from around the world including some great podcasts created here in Australia that parents will love too! Either listen to the podcasts together or give kids some headphones.

Learn how to tie knots

It’s a lost skill but one that more of us should know to do. Learn how to tie knots to secure something whether you’re camping, hiking or boating. Check out this Scouting website to find out about how to tie 10 essential Scouring knots including bowline, double fisherman’s knot or a square knot.

Learn about nautical flags

Still on the nautical theme, how about learning about nautical flags. The Royal Melbourne Yacht Squadron website explains all about the different nautical flags.

Learn how to say hello

For a fun activity, learn how to say hello in 10 different languages like bonjour, hola, konnichiwa and more.

SCREEN TIME

Sign up to streaming services

With a stay at home order, we’re all looking for things to do. This includes streaming movies and videos at home. Unlike the old days that you could quickly run out of DVDs to watch, streaming services provide your family hours and hours of entertainment. It seems the number of streaming services has exploded in the last few months, particularly after Disney and Apple announced their streaming platforms late last year. From Netflix and Foxtel Now to Stan and Amazon Prime, we researched the best streaming platforms available in Australia, what they offer and how much they cost. We’ve also included free options that offer some shows for family viewing.

Make a movie

Get your kids making a movie. It’s super easy with the iMovie app on iPads and iPhones. Kids can spend time filming themselves doing things and then edit a final video for the whole family to watch.

Have a family movie night

Now more than ever, it’s the time for a feel-good family movie. Laugh, cry and get distracted from the COVID-19 pandemic. The Newy with Kids team has brainstormed together and have come up with an extensive list of family movies that you can watch with your crew while in lockdown. We’ve got something for everyone: classics, animals, sports, sci-fi, fantasy and comedies, even some cringeworthy gems from the 80s and 90s.

Watch a new release movie

Here is a list of new family movies released in the last few months that you can watch at home including some which have been fast-tracked for home viewings like Jungle Cruise, Cruella and Black Widow.

Binge some TV with your kids

Here we are in Lockdown 2.0 and we’re all looking for things to do. How about watching a TV show with your kids? We’ve put together a big list of kids shows that you can watch together as a family. It can be a challenge to find kids shows that don’t annoy you or make you cringe but hopefully on this list, you’ll find some shows that you can enjoy as much as your kids. We’ve covered TV shows for a range of ages from preschooler to teens.

Create a personalised Zoom background

If your kids are on Zoom calls often, get them to create a personalised background. Use Canva graphic design software to personalise a template. Just search for Zoom for templates to appear. You can then get in and change different aspects.

Get your kids to do a family podcast

Do your kids have lots of things to say? Get them to create a podcast by recording themselves using Memos. They can then share it with family members.

Read the book & watch the movie

Read the book and then watch the movie or watch the film and then read the book. Whatever suits your family best. Reading books that have been made into movies is a great way to get kids engaged in books. Here is a selection of children’s books that have been adapted for the screen. Sometimes the book is better than the movie but there have been some great movies resulting out of these books. 

Enjoy a movie marathon

With all this time at home, invest the hours into a movie marathon. You can watch the Toy Story movies, Shrek series, Harry Potter movies, Pirates of the Caribbean, the Star Wars movie franchise or enjoy a Disney Princess marathon. Just make lots of popcorn to enjoy with the movie!

Watch a documentary with your kids

If you want some education with your viewing, watch a documentary. There are great ones for the family to enjoy including David Attenborough’s Blue Planet, National Geographic Kids documentaries. There are loads to choose from on Disney+.

Play video games

Indulge in some video games. If you have video systems at home like Xbox, Playstation or Nintendo Switch, you’re set. If your kids want to expand their video game collections, you can download a wide range of games on the AppStore and Google Play for iPhones,  iPads and Android devices. There’s also a variety of games on Apple Arcade. They can play by themselves or invite friends and do multiplayer.

Make a video message

Let your kids get creative and make a video message to their friends using Canva. It’s a fun way for kids to express themselves and let someone else know that they are thinking of them.

Keep in touch with friends

If your kids are missing hanging out with their friends, let them hang out virtually. Set up Facetime or Skype sessions so kids can communicate with their friends. Skype and Google Hangouts let them have group video chats if you want to add more than two to the conversation.

GAMES

Have a sack race

Grab some pillowcases and let kids enjoy a sack race. Race outdoors or down a hallway. See if kids can beat their best times.

Bob for apples

If you have apples lying around, throw them in a tub of water and let kids bob for apples. It’s a fun way to catch your food. Note: Supervise young kids around water at all times.

Play musical chairs with your kids

Set up the chairs. There needs to be one less chair than there are people playing. Then turn the music on and let participants run around. When the music stops, everyone has to grab a chair. The person without a chair is out. Keep playing until there are only two people playing and one chair. The person in the chair wins.

Paper airplane challenge

Grab some spare paper and start making airplanes to see which plane goes the furthest or stays the longest in the air. Double Helix by CSIRO has some great designs for paper planes.

Boat challenge

Find all the floatable items you have in the house and see what kind of toy boat you can build. Then sail itin the sink, laundry tub or in the bath tub.

Learn origami

Grab some paper and teach kids the Japanese art of paper folding. There’s plenty of tutorials online to learn how to fold cranes, boxes and other cool things.

Make a volcano

If you have baking soda and vinegar, make a volcano. Super easy and lots of fun. Pour the baking soda in first to a bowl and then add the vinegar to make it fizz. Add food colouring for extra fun.

Tell fortunes

Look at your kids’ palms and tell them their future or get them to read your fortune. Our prediction: Lockdown will end at some point!

Make a cubby house

Get blankets, sheets, pillows and chairs and let kids construct a cubby house inside.

Play hide and seek

See how well your kids can hide. Play hide and seek and see how long it takes to find them.

Go bowling at home

Find empty plastic bottles, fill them with water and set them up. Then find a ball and start bowling. A hallway works really well for bowling at home.

Play charades

Write notes with a variety of different things like animals, movies, activities and drop in a jar. Then let kids pick out a note and act out the charade.

Do a treasure hunt

A treasure hunt is a favourite in our house. Leave a note for your kids with direction to a different spot in your house. There they might find a mini-treasure and then a note for the next spot and so on. Have a big prize at the last spot on the treasure hunt.

OUTDOOR ACTIVITIES

Spoonville Newcastle

Create a Spoonville

Has a Spoonville sprung up in your neighbourhood? The latest lockdown activity is creating a community of spoon people. It’s a fun activity for kids. Not only can they can decorate a spoon and add it to the collection, but they can also walk by and enjoy the various Spoonville characters. It’s something fun, interactive and COVID-safe to look forward to on your neighbourhood walk.

Chalk some pictures (#ChalkYourWalk)

Grab the kids and some chalk and get outside and decorate your sidewalk or driveway. #ChalkYourWalk was a feel-good campaign that swept the globe amidst the COVID-19 outbreak last year. It’s time to revive it for this lockdown. It’s a fun and easy way to spread positivity.

Play outside in the yard

If the kids are going a bit crazy inside the house, let them loose outside. As long as they’re not interacting with other people, it gives them an opportunity to do something different. Have some fun with yard games like quoits, corn hole, tetherball, frisbee toss or just kick a ball around.

Do a backyard scavenger hunt

You don’t need to venture far from your house to find a fun activity for your kids to do while in lockdown. Get outdoors and explore your backyard with a backyard scavenger hunt. We’ve put together a list of things for you and your kids to find using a free printable.

Blow bubbles

It’s so much fun blowing bubbles. Either use bubble wands or make your own or use this CSIRO bubble mix recipe. Experiment with different bubble wands. You can make some cool shape bubbles using paperclips, wire and string.

Host a Teddy Bears Picnic

Bring teddies outside and have an outdoor Teddy Bears Picnic.

Play foot golf

Set up a foot golf course in the backyard. Use plastic or paper plates as “holes” and then kick a ball (either a soccer ball or tennis ball) to different tees around the backyard.

Do some birdwatching

Get outside and watch some birds. There are always plenty around. Look them on the internet. Birdlife Australia has a great catalogue of birds. If you want to identify some bird calls, watch the YouTube video Aussie birds and their calls.

Create a bird feeder

If you want birds to come to your place, create a bird feeder. You can use a hanging pot or plate and then add birdfeed blocks (available at your local supermarket).

Play backyard games with the neighbours

Looking for fun social distancing games and activities that you and your family can play with neighbours while keeping to your own yard? Consider games that don’t require you to get too close to other people like badminton, water balloon or water gun fights, spike ball, lawn bowling, croquet, corn hole, bocce. Just have rules in place that people can only touch their own balls, mallet or toss bag to reduce germ transmission.

Do some gardening

Get the kids outside to pull out weeds, prune back bushes or plant some seeds.

Find some balance

Make a balance beam and get kids practising balancing.

Have a cloud watching session

Lie down and pick out shapes in the cloud.

Set up a drive in movie outside

If you have little ones, find large empty boxes and let kids decorate them as cars. Then either set up a TV, computer screen or projector and watch a movie in your backyard in your drive in.

Adventures at Your Place

Looking for fun family nature activities? Hunter Local Land Services presents Adventures at Your Place, fun activities for kids to do in their own backyard. There are lots of activities available – so get everyone on board as your kids discover, learn about and enjoy their piece of the landscape puzzle.

Do a Nature Treasure Hunt

Kids love a good treasure hunt and there’s nothing easier than creating your own nature hunt to encourage your little ones to look a little closer and appreciate the beauty that can be found in their own backyard.  Here are instructions on how to make your own nature treasure hunt.

Create a bug hotel

Encourage your brood to be wildlife warriors by building a bug hotel from things you’ve found in the garden and in the recycling bin! Your bug hotel will act as the perfect habitat to attract a variety of mini-beasts to your garden which is wonderful for environmental diversity and also a great outside activity that will continue to spark your child’s interest as they regularly check on their big hotel for new guests!  Here are instructions on how to make your own bug hotel.

Play with goop

Make and play with goop in the backyard. Fun to play with and easy to wash away.

Create a compost bin

You can create a compost bin from scratch or you can purchase one through local councils. Some councils have a scheme with subsidised compost bins to get residents started.

Press flowers

If you have flowers growing in your backyard, pick them and press them on paper between heavy books. It’s a lovely hobby from yesteryear.

Design a aluminium foil river

If you have wine corks and aluminium foil, create a long tin foil river and float cork boats down it. You’ll need lots of foil for this. Just scrunch up the sides to make a narrow river, put it on a gradual slope, add water and sail your boats.

Have a family handball tournament

You just need a small bouncy ball and some pavement and you too can play handball. Make it interesting with kids vs parents.

Create an outdoor obstacle course

Set up an obstacle course in the backyard. Use pool noodles, boxes, cushions and anything else you can find for obstacles.

Get your kids reading outside

Need some quiet time? Set up a reading station in the backyard with comfy pillows and blankets and let the kids read.

Plant a veggie garden

Order some seeds and gardening supplies online and plant a veggie garden. It’s a lovely way to show kids where food comes from.

Build a fairy garden

Get your kids to make a fairy garden using leaves, stones and twigs. Decorate with brightly coloured ribbons and place some special things in there. This is sure to bring fairies out to your garden.

Make mud pies

This activity is guaranteed to make your kids dirty but it’s so much fun.Grab some mixing bowls and spoons. Add water to dirt and let kids play.

Do a torchlight tour

Explore your yard at night with torches. See if you can spot any nocturnal animals in your backyard or just see how different things appear in the dark.

Stargaze

Get outside at night and see if you can spot stars, planets or even the International Space Station. Teach your kids how to find the Southern Cross.

Do a neighbourhood scavenger hunt

During this lockdown, take a short walk around your neighbourhood (adhering to COVID-19 rules). It provides fresh air, some exercise and a change of scenery. To keep kids occupied on this walk, we’ve come up with a neighbourhood scavenger hunt. It has lots of things that you and your family can look for on your neighbourhood walks.

Create a rain gauge

Find a small container like a jar or vial. Measure and mark off different measurements like 5ml, 10ml and then let kids measure the rainfall when it rains.

Score a goal

Do a soccer shoot out in your backyard. Just need a ball and two items to mark the goal.

Waterfight fun

If it’s a warm winter’s day, get kids out and have a waterfight in the backyard using waterguns or water balloons.

Wash the car together

Your car probably needs a clean inside and out. Get your family involved and get them to help you. Your kids probably made lots of the mess! Vacuum the inside and then have fun washing the car. Just keep in mind any water restrictions.

Go for a walk

If you can go for a walk in a secluded area like bushland or a park, get some exercise. Just ensure that if you do meet people along the way, practice social distancing. Abide by current government social distancing rules.

Go camping at home

You might not be want to leave your home but that doesn’t mean that you can’t camp. Set up a tent inside and let them fall asleep in sleeping bags or if the weather is fine, set up a tent in the backyard. Kids will enjoy the experience of camping.


You might also like:

How to Virtually Celebrate Your Child’s Birthday During a Lockdown

Best Free Zoom Virtual Backgrounds (including Disney, Star Wars, Marvel & GoT)

How to Talk to Your Kids About Coronavirus

How to Keep In Touch With Grandparents & Elderly Relatives During a Lockdown

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