I was brought up in natural isolation on a wheat and sheep farm, so living in isolation, as a family, is second nature to me. There’s an extensive range of things one can do. Here’s a list of ideas for coping with an extended period of time at home, with or without children.
If you don’t already have resources, where needed, consider ordering items online. If you don’t know how, it’s a great opportunity to learn.
101 options to consider
1. Play healing music in the background, while doing activities of any sort. There’s an abundance on You Tube. My daughter plays healing meditative music and spoken meditations very quietly in the background, and the peace in her home is tangible.
2. Play a musical instrument.
3. If you have a musical instrument in the house, teach someone who doesn’t know how to play.
4. Teach yourself or your children how to create STOMP music. Beat rhythmically using ‘found’ items from home: saucepans, spoons, cereal boxes, newspapers, anything that makes a sound. Yes, of course, go outside!
5. Play your own music. Share the music space and time in your home or if that’s a huge no go zone of clashing genres, use earphones.
6. Dance to music. Teach your kids your generation’s dance moves. Let them teach you theirs.
7. Sing songs together.
8. Write your own songs or music.
9. Listen to recorded concerts recorded by artists.
PHOTOS / VIDEOS
10. Take photos.
11. Share photos.
12. Find out how to edit photos either in camera or on a computer.
13. Learn how to how to re-size photos so more go through on emails to family and friends or posts on social media.
14. Check out Steve Parish’s Masterclasses and heaps of other You Tube hints.
15. Explore the full range of your SLR camera or mobile phone’s photographic capabilities.
16. Take videos.
17. Learn how to edit video clips.
18. Share them with family and friends.
19. Explore apps on your phone. Use social media to advantage to stay in touch. Learn how to use Face time, or Messenger video, or Zoom or Skype.
WRITE / READ
21. Read it to your family.
22. Record yourself reading it.
23. Keep a journal. Write daily about what is happening. In the future you can look back at the quirky things you and your family got up to (or didn’t).
24. Write emails to loved ones. If you don’t have email addresses, (that often depends on the age group here), create them and begin sharing in words and photos what’s happening in your life.
25. Read your own short story aloud.
26. Create your own poems. Read them aloud.
READ / ACT
28. Download e-books from various sources such as your local library’s e-resources.
29. Subscribe to magazines online.
30. Read stories to your children, to your partner, to your cat.
31. Dress up as the character of a story.
32. Use bed sheets to create costumes and create mini plays or re-enactments of simple stories. Video them.
33. Colouring in as an adult or a child can be restful. Explore numerous online pages for printing out.
REDISCOVER YOUR OWN HOME
34. Explore the nooks and crannies in your home.
35. Sort those long awaited boxes of bits and pieces.
36. Play hide and seek with your kids.
37. Build cubbies inside, or on the verandah, or patio. Under the table, with rugs. Make a wigwam out of brooms. The bases make good stands. Tie together with a piece of fabric.
OUTDOORS (if you have a back yard)
38. Sleep in a tent, weather permitting. Go camping in your own back yard. It’s isolated.
39. Re-organise your pantry so you can see readily what you have and what is needed.
40. Learn how to shop online and use your local delivery service.
41. Experiment – make a new recipe.
42. Learn how to cook simple meals that cost less, and go a long way.
43. Teach your child, (if old enough of course), the fundamentals of cooking: how to cook scrambled eggs; how to use a toaster properly; how to whisk an egg; how to use hand mixers; how to make a cake, cook biscuits, make gingerbread men, make muffins, make pancakes or pikelets.
44. Put your children’s lunches into lunch boxes, with their morning tea. Have it accessible at any time of the day. Have their drink bottles at the ready. My daughter has done this for her kids from an early age.
Yeah, okay, they’re not going to school and it is bliss not having to prepare them. It’s also greater bliss to have the food organised ready for them at the intervals they’re used to, and hey, you don’t have to prepare it at your usual time. You can do the preparation in the morning, or the night before, whichever gives you a break from routine.
45. Have a picnic on a rug indoors or outdoors; by the indoor fire if your country is cold, or in front of the air conditioner if it’s hot.
46. Teach your children (age appropriate) how to sort clothes ready for washing; how to use your washing machine; how much powder to use; what you put in the rinse cycle; what cycles to use; what is best hand washed and why.
47. Sort the spare room.
48. Sort the man shed.
49. Watch movies together. Favourites from your own library. Indulge in ones you can actually watch together. We tried Oklahoma the other day with my aged mother. What a trip down memory lane! Okay, so it’s not your type of movie. Watch replays of your favourite genres.
50. Use your subscribed channels.
51. Download free movies.
52. Watch mini series.
54. Take advantage of free trials and downloads such as on Audible.
55. Check out your local library’s list of audio books.
CRAFTS and ART
57. Teach your child how to sew. Simple running stitch, hemming stitches. No fabric? Use an old pillow slip or sheet, or an old t-shirt or work shirt.
58. Teach your child how to sew a button on. Use an old sock and make it into a puppet with button eyes and nose. Use it as a character to tell a story.
59. Make a simple soft toy like a rag doll. Here’s ten more ideas .
60. Teach yourself to knit or crotchet.
61. Show your child (age appropriate) how to knit. I did this with my grandchildren, and they made long scarves. No yarn? Check out what’s online.
63. Learn how to make rugs from old garments.
64. Make random art and craft activities. Use found objects to create a collage: lids, bread tags, pencil shavings, stickers, stamps.
If not stocked up, the cheaper stores like the Reject Shop and Red Dot have items or again, buy online.
66. Draw crayon pictures, alone or together.
67. Frame some of those drawings or pictures. There’s cheap frames in cheap stores.
68. Make chalk pictures on paper or your footpath or fence. It will wash off!
69. Create a record of what size and how tall each person is by joining together sheets of newspaper or if you have it, butcher paper, and draw around the silhouette of the person laying down on it.
“Dress” by gluing on hand drawn or magazine pictures or writing about favourite things, favourite food, who you are, what you like, what you don’t like, who’s in your family – whatever you can think of.
70. Create a scrap book of ideas, of things you love, of things the children love, of hopes and wishes and dreams, of recipes, of gardening ideas, of home decorating ideas.
71. Make collages from magazine cut-outs. Use glue made from plain flour and water. Yes, I know you need that flour for cakes. Just a little, though, goes a long way.
72. Inside or out, with little ones, play simple games like Duck, Duck Goose; Ring a Ring a Rosie; Who’s go the cookie?/Who took the cookie from the cookie jar?
73. Push them on a swing, let them swing themselves, teach them how to if they don’t know.
GAMES / ACTIVITIES / EXPERIMENTS
75. Play board games like scrabble, snakes and ladders, chess, monopoly, squatter and so on.
76. Do jigsaw puzzles – alone or together as a household.
77. Simple science experiments – as simple as using food colouring
78. Easter is coming up. Organise an egg hunt in the house or the yard or both.
79. Have that birthday party with just your family.
80. Teach your child how to use make up, either starting out or differently.
81. Make new hairstyles together. Have fun.
82. Paint your nails. Paint your daughter’s nails. Paint your son’s nails.
83. Have a foot bath. You don’t need a foot spa. Just a big enough bowl.
84. Spoil each other. Massage those sore muscles, sore feet, tight neck muscles.
PROJECTS / RESEARCH
85. Do an online project. I like learning about family history. Now is a great time to “socialize” with my ancestors.
LANGUAGE / CULTURE
86. Explore the differences between different countries’ customs, traditions, geography and climate. Find the countires on a globe or map.
87. Learn a new language, or at least begin to.
88. Teach your kids new Aussie slang words! And maybe throw in some rhyming slang.
89. Hang the pictures your children drew.
90. Paint that room that’s begging for a new coat, or recover the lounge.
ATTITUDE of GRATITUDE
91. Leave love notes in strange places.
92. Look for the bright side. Every cloud has a silver lining.
93. Weed the garden. Make that new garden bed. Plant in-season vegies.
94. Trim hedges, shrubs, bushes.
95. Mow the lawn, or the weeds, or both.
96. Grow a pot plant indoors; grow seeds or bean sprouts on a window sill.
97. Join your local Buy Nothing Group and donate the random kitchenware, shed tools, clothes, children’s toys, shoes, and so on that you no longer use or need.
ESTABLISH FLEXIBLE ROUTINES
98. Instead of going into meltdown about what you can’t do, create Plan B and when that slips into semi or full blown uselessness, Plan C.
If you have a family, you can break the day down into a ‘school-like’ day. Just be more relaxed about it. No sirens to blast your children or teens to the next time slot. Just the end of that movie. Or the end of that cooking session. Or the end of that game of hide and seek.
Alternate quiet activities with physical. If you have a backyard, play time is easier.
99. Go for a walk around your own yard, if you have one.
100. Play ball games with your children.
101. Enjoy coffee breaks in your own back yard. Or front yard. Or courtyard. Or balcony. Or by the window looking over the quiet street. Grab a peak of the sky. Whether blue or grey, bright or dull. Breathe deeply. Several times.
In a world where you can be anything,
Disclaimer: The above ideas are intended for voluntary implementation and are at the discretion of the individual. No responsibility is taken for any activity or outcome.