So, we’re halfway through lockdown number two – we’ve been here before, we kind of know what we’re doing (not that it makes it any easier when you’ve got kids in tow) but we’re still either attempting to work from home, or we’re working extra long, busy hours to catch up on the workload that’s been piling on all year. It’s just madness, right? 

Well, we reached out to some of our fave mums to find out what their tips are for keeping the kids occupied during lockdown. Grab a cup of tea, take a breather, and give it a read…

kid playing in leaves with wooly hat on

“Lockdown can feel laborious for all the family but we’ve started some new traditions since the first lockdown with Friday Night Family Film Night each week where we transform our living room into a home cinema thanks to our projector, and popcorn on our laps. We’ve also embraced my own favourite childhood games during this time such as Snakes and Ladders and Connect 4. We admittedly, obsessively compete over Dobble, a more sophisticated version of Snap (we also own the Harry Potter version). The children’s baking and cooking skills have been honed during this time too, Xander, 8, can ace an apple crumble, and my 10 year old, Oliver, can now make a cup of tea and an espresso using the machine with ease, as well as his own sandwiches, which certainly takes the pressure off the packed lunch drill for me now that he’s back at school. Next up, he’ll be learning to cook pasta with a simple but tasty tomato sauce. It’s about time, they harness these life skills.

Both my children have become more autonomous learners too, taking ownership over their school work and homework as well as their schedules, with lockdown being the catalyst to them becoming more responsible and me, more laid back and less controlling! We live in Windsor so spend a lot of time outdoors in the beautiful parks on our doorstep, walking and playing tennis outside. We became fascinated with the app Seek during the first lockdown, which locates species and provides facts on them, when you snap pictures using the app. Brilliant.”

Vicki Broadbent – Honest Mum, and author of bestselling book, Mumboss

picture of mother and her two kids

“One of the blessings of the lockdown has been the extra time we have been able to spend with our teens. We regularly project our local teams football games (our youngest is a season ticket holder) and have match day, with pies for half time and it makes up for not being able to go and watch live. We’ve also been trying out different meals and my eldest has been cooking up a storm in the kitchen with me.

Anyone who has teens will tell you that time spent with them is very precious and we are cherishing every extra minute of it.”

Jen Walshaw, Mum in the Madhouse

two kids helping parents cook

“While kids may be at school now, due to another lockdown there are no kids clubs to pick up the slack.  Museums and places you can usually rely on are out of the question at the moment. This means that parents have to keep kids occupied at home.

One way to keep them out of trouble is to have them make a photobook.  We’re all guilty of living in a digital age and photos generally stay inside our phone. Now is the perfect time to make a photo book, or simply print some photos out to stick in an album. 

They are such excellent keepsake treasures for kids, not to mention how fun they are to put together. It is pretty easy to set up and can take up a whole afternoon. Depending on your kid’s interest, get some old magazines, newspapers, print some photos and buy a scrapbook to do a fun project.  If they’re missing friends or family, then have them make one for them.  It would be a great way for them to feel connected to those they can’t see right now and they would make a great Christmas gift!”

Jenni Grainger, Chilling with Lucas

“The best way to survive lockdown with your kids is to be kind to yourself. You’re only one person and wearing so many hats, whether it’s cooking, cleaning or caring for your kids. With that in mind, keep activities to time frames to help make the days say varied and entertaining.

We’re doing a combination of sports, crafts and language learning, but never in the same order so the kids stay focused and don’t get bored. I’ve been using fun language learning apps on my phone to keep Lucas engaged with his French and we’ve been enjoying online reading programmes for reading English. Together, you and your child can also find out how to learn to code on mobile. We get outside in our back garden at 10:30, 12:30 and 3:00 for at least 30 minutes – come rain or shine. It really helps break up the day for everyone.”

Karen – Travel Mad Mum

“Build in some structure, but not just on a daily basis. Make each day a bit different. If there’s school work to do, stick to the usual routine, unless it suits you better to do something different. Each day though could have a highlight. It could be food related: Friday is pizza day or Wednesday is baking day. Or maybe you have a different walk for every day of the week. Perhaps Saturday night is family film night and Sunday afternoon is for book reading.”

Erica – Nine to Three Thirty 

“The best way to survive lockdown with your kids is to be kind to yourself. You’re only one person and wearing so many hats, whether it’s homeschooling, cooking, cleaning, or caring for your kids. With that in mind, do different activities to help make the days varied and entertaining. We’re doing a combination of schoolwork and sports and crafts each day. We get outside in our back garden at for at least 30 minutes – come rain or shine.”

Jenny – Lets Talk Mommy

“My top tip is relax and breathe… then breathe again, quite literally! I think the best way to start the day in this potentially stressful time is to do a bit of meditation together first thing in the morning. My family and I use the kids’ sessions on the Headspace app. We also appreciate the ‘little things’ more, like when we do a fun art session or a recipe we all cook together.”

Mel – Le Coin de Mel 

Other virtual ideas to keep the kids occupied during lockdown

Have you got any tips, tricks or ideas you’ve been experimenting with during the lockdown? Let us know in the comments!

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