How to survive self isolation with the family

With more and more school closures and more families having to self-isolate, people are going to have to get used to amusing themselves.

As you may not have a choice, why not turn this time into something positive where the whole family can come together and spend some quality time.

We’ve come up with a few suggestions to keep everyone occupied, amused and entertained which will hopefully prevent parents from climbing the walls!

Rediscover your garden

Everyone still needs to get outside and have daylight and fresh air. Whatever the size of your garden, there are always things to be done from scrubbing patios to weeding. Get the children involved with ideas and suggestions for making their garden a better space.

Get out in the garden

Get out in the garden

Use the space you do have to play games. Play ball games with them, get them skipping and running around. They’ll enjoy it much more if you join in. Teach them something from your childhood like hopscotch.

If you don’t have outside space and everyone feels well, take a walk. You can avoid being close to other people but get outside.

Teach them a new skill

Learning and teaching keep the brain active so both parents and children will benefit from this. You have the luxury of time so why not teach them to tie shoelaces, tell the time, make a bed – it doesn’t have to be rocket science. If you have a toddler, a couple of weeks at home could be the perfect opportunity for potty training.

Visit Memory Lane

Get the old family albums out or have a screening of your favourite family outings and holidays. It will remind you all of the special times in your lives and that more happy times are ahead.

Remember the great days and holidays

If you have memory boxes from when they were babies, go through them together. Children love seeing themselves as babies and hearing all the associated stories and memories.


Take a deep breath and tackle their rooms together. Have a sort out of clothes, toys etc and make piles either to sell or go to the charity shop at a later date. Maybe reorganise a few things, move some furniture around. It can make a huge difference.


Make an event of a mealtime. Have the children involved in planning a menu from what you have and helping to prepare and cook the food. Make an effort with the dinner table, decorate it, use different plates – anything to make it feel like an occasion.

Get creative in the kitchen

Bake some buns, batch cook some of your favourite meals, search the depths of your freezer and see what you can come up with. The possibilities are endless.

Have a family movie time

If you are concerned about too much screen time, why not limit it to an afternoon movie that you all watch together. Making it special with popcorn or even just planning it at a particular time will make it something to look forward to rather than something taken for granted.

Whilst it is important to know what’s going on in the outside world, try to avoid wall to wall news.

Thankful list

Finally, ask the whole family to make a list of the 10 things in their lives that make them thankful. Better still, make a game of it and ask them to draw something they are thankful for that you can all take a guess at.

Reflecting on the good things in life will lift your mood and keep things in perspective until you can get out and about again.

Family Group at Pennywell Farm

Family Group at Pennywell Farm





This story appeared on March 18, 2020

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