By Janine Mergler, Families Magazine

Our kids are living in an historic time. And we are shepherding them through this time as best we can. Whilst the government and health care workers deal with the ongoing economic and health crisis of the coronavirus pandemic, parents everywhere are martialling their troops at home. We are crafting, cooking and online learning like champions to keep our kids safe at home.

As the days turn into weeks, and we run out of our activities to keep the kids busy at home, check out these unique ways to entertain the kids, and yourself, that anyone can do!

Janine and Alex Mergler

Janine Mergler and son, Alex share their favourite things to do, eat, see and play over at Families Magazine.

1. Harry Potter at Home

There’s a new Harry Potter at Home online hub where you’ll find all the latest magical treats to keep your little muggles occupied. From how to draw a Niffler, wizarding wordsearches, free audible books of Harry Potter stories and even an online Harry Potter escape room.

2. Find a podcast

Podcasts are great to listen to at any time; while cleaning, hobbying, soaking in the bath etc. If you already have a few favourite podcasts, why not explore outside your usual genre. You could find an entertaining comedy, an amateur dramatic reading of a play, something educational, or a podcast that leads you to a new pastime.

You could find a podcast the whole family will enjoy as an alternative to television, or one for the kids to listen to while you get on with other things. A quick Google search will reveal heaps of podcast platforms to explore, and many of them are FREE!

Hatty Potter at home

Harry Potter fans rejoice! There’s an entire online world for muggles to enjoy.

3. Stay at Home Diary for Kids

Rather than a Lockdown Diary, what might be comforting at this time, is a Stay Safe at Home Diary. This subtle rewording turns a negative into a positive and reminds kids that they are at home to stay safe. Diaries are a great way to record not only our day to day experiences but also our feelings during this unprecedented time.

Staying safe at home diary

Writing down what is happening in their days and in their minds in this unusual time is a great habit for kids to get into.

4. Connect with board games – online

If you are missing your social get-togethers, get together with friends with an online games night. We’re not talking Playstation or Minecraft – there are heaps of games available for non-gamers!
Some of our favourites:

Or go to the app store or Google Play and search for your favourite game, then invite your friends to join you.

5. Take a virtual tour

Venues might be closed to visitors in the real world, but you can still visit in other ways. Virtual tours and field trips are THE thing to do right now, and the best part is you can visit ANYWHERE in the world in seconds! Try these:

  • 17 Museum Virtual Tours; including the British Museum, The Louvre, and more.
  • Virtual Disney Rides – ever wanted to visit Disney and ride all the awesome rides? You can – from your own lounge room. Kick these onto the big screen, sit back and enjoy these rides, without the queues! And then get your kids to make their own rollercoaster out of toilet rolls!
  • Virtual Field Trips – there are so many wonderful places to explore from the comfort of your own home, from the Great Barrier Reef to Taronga Zoo, and from The Great Wall of China to Mars! You can visit farms, national parks and even Scott’s Hut in Antarctica!

Kids can go virtually anywhere, even in isolation.

6. Make a hug and post it to your mum/grandma/loved one

This is a great activity for kids to create for their grandparents or another loved one that they can’t see over this time. You can create a life-sized hug to send to a loved one anywhere in the world.

There are so many wonderful activities available to keep us all sane over this time. Stay safe and keep your distance!

Sending a hug is a sweet way to let someone know that isolation has you missing them.

WATCH: Mum dresses her children up as Joe Exotic and Carole Baskin from Tiger King during isolation