By Jen Burness @lucas_and_owen

The world has forced us all to slow down and spend more time at home, but is this a bad thing?

We’re all guilty of wishing we had “more free time” for the people and activities we love – so why not use this tough time to spread some joy within your household.

As a family of six, here are some of my top tips to making the most of increased family time.

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1. If you’re in a suburban area, try and make the most of the social distancing rules and get outdoors. Go on a hike, bushwalk or even a bike ride. Nature will do wonders and it’s sure to tire the kids out.

2. If your kids are older, use this time to play the games you normally avoid, like the dreaded four-hour-long Monopoly game or the 1000 piece puzzle hidden at the back of the cupboard. Or for younger kids, it’s a great time to introduce them to some of the family favourites like Connect Four or Snakes and Ladders in our household.

3. Who doesn’t love to dress up?! Why not use the opportunity to dress the family in matching outfits (where no-one is there to judge you, ha!) With Easter just weeks away, we personally love Best&Less’ Easter range of bunny onesies for the whole family.

4. Hold a dance off. Go on, bust a move and show them who’s boss!

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5. Try teaching your kids a new skill, whether it be an instrument (if you can handle the endless noise), a new language, or handstands (there are kid’s yoga classes online if they’re more advanced).

6. Get crafty. I’m not talking your usual papier-mache or macaroni art level, why not bring back the slime phenomenon, or flower crowns for older kids! My personal fave is DIY playdough (see recipe below).

7.  Make their favourite meal. Calling brownies a meal might be a stretch, but why not involve them in baking/cooking their favourite dish. Teach them the recipe, or make tweaks so they get excited for the end result! Our favourite is unicorn brownies (just add edible glitter or sprinkles).

8. Show them your favourite childhood classics. Forget Paw Patrol, bring back Mr Squiggle! YouTube is a godsend for old-school shows.

9. Same goes for music, get them hooked on The Beatles and Spice Girls!

10 Build an indoor fort – enough said.

Playdough and kids is always a winning recipe.

DIY playdough recipe

Materials

  • 1 cup water
  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
  • 1/2 cup salt
  • 1 tablespoon cream of tartar
  • Food colouring
  • 1 cup flour

Directions

  • Combine water, oil, salt, cream of tartar, and food colouring in a saucepan and heat until warm.
  • Remove from heat and add flour.
  • Stir, then knead until smooth. The cream of tartar makes this dough last 6 months or longer, so resist the temptation to omit this ingredient if you don’t have it on hand.
  • Store this dough in an airtight container or a Ziploc freezer bag.