50 fun things to do at home including stuff to keep the kids entertained

Niki Bruce
Contributor
(PHOTO: Getty Images)

With coronavirus lockdowns happening all over the world, most of us are now at home more than we have ever been before, and our children are with us. 

Eventually you will discover that streaming your favourite programmes just won’t be enough to keep you, and your family, entertained. So, here are 48 things you can do at home - or under the guidelines for social distancing - that will keep everyone from becoming bored and cranky.

ARTS & CRAFT 

There are heaps of crafts you can do at home - for yourself and for your kids. If you want to learn something new, or just get inspiration, try one of these options. There are also a number of art galleries that are offering virtual tours of some awesome exhibitions.

1. Get Crafty - a US based craft group that is offering Crafters Live - a series of free Online Creative Webinars where you can subscribe to watch creative talks, webinars, and masterclasses. You can check here for a full list, and to RSVP for one of the Crafters Live events. You can also sign up for the next 6-weeks to Get Crafty’s Crafters Premium and Crafters Expert Forum for free. 

2. Learn to knit or crochet with Bluprint. Bluprint has a bunch of free classes available until April 9, so sign up soon. The group also offers other classes from cake decorating to woodworking. Go to shop.mybluprint.com/a/shop/free-online-classes.

3. The Quarantine Art Club has been set up by a global group of arts organisations. Search for #quarantineartclub on Instagram to see other people’s art, and follow the daily prompts like ‘draw your self portrait’ or ‘what’s cooking’ to join other artists. Then post your artwork, and use the hashtag to become part of the club. You can also go to coronavirus-quarantine-art-club to see some of the various challenges to try.

4. Check out “In Company With: Barbara Hammer Streaming Videos” on Vimeo. There are a bunch of other upcoming art experiences lined up as well as this exhibition including digital performances, readings, and screenings as part of the ‘In Company With’ programme. 

5. SG Art Class has a number of drawing and painting classes you can take online. Go to sgartclass.com/learn-art-online to discover more.

6. Experience a Brooklyn art exhibition with “Staying With the Trouble: Prompts for Practice” by Alison Owen at A.I.R. Gallery. The artist is also running a series of prompts for people to use as ideas for their own art. Get involved by following #stayingwiththetrouble or #AIRpromptsforpractice2020 on social media.

7. Have a look at art historian Katy Hessel’s Instagram account @thegreatwomenartists which celebrates the work of female visual artists. Hessel is also doing Instagram Live interviews with various female artists so follow her account to catch them; you can also submit questions for her to ask during the interviews.

8. Visit “Pellea[s] by Josephine Meckseper” at London’s Timothy Taylor Gallery to watch the video installation until April 30, 2020. Based on the play Pelléas et Mélisande by Maurice Maeterlinck, the film tells the story of a doomed love triangle set in a largely abandoned Washington, DC. It’s scarily prescient.

9. Tate Modern is hosting “Faustin Linyekula: My Body, My Archive” by Congolese choreographer and artist Faustin Linyekula, who collaborated with the museum to present a one-off site-specific work after his show was cancelled due to Coronavirus restrictions. 

10. Discover the works of Native American artist Nicholas Galanin at Peter Blum Gallery by checking out “Nicholas Galanin: Carry a Song / Disrupt an Anthem”.

11. If you are interested in Korean art, check out the ‘meet the curators’ YouTube videos by the country’s National Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art.

12. Google Art and Culture has a huge bunch of images and videos from galleries and collections from all over the world including the British Museum.

13. Indulge yourself in some fine art at the Guggenheim Museum Bilbao in Spain. You can see exhibitions and curators’ talks on artists like Richard Serra, Mark Rothco and Jeff Koons.

14. You can stare at Dutch masters like Vermeer, Van Gogh and Rembrandt for as long as you like at the Rijksmuseum.

15. You can get tips on how to do just about any craft or art practice you can imagine on SkillShare. Get two months of free trial when you use Coupon Code igamb4363.

MUSIC & MORE

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Music, dancing and singing all help relieve stress and help to keep us from being bored. Now you really can dance like no one is watching!

16. Looking to widen your music tastes? Check out Club Quarantine with DJ D-Nice spinning tracks live to thousands of viewers around the world via his Instagram account.

17. For more live DJing, check out Nowadays, a live music lounge in New York which is streaming various DJs playing online.

18. If you love to dance, go to Born to Boogie Dance Connection for lots of groovy dance music and free online dance classes.

19. The Social Distancing Festival has a bunch of live music, theatre and dance performances from around the world streaming in just one spot; you are sure to find something that suits your tastes and talents.

20. If you prefer to be the performer, check out Karaoke Camp which is using Zoom to hook up singers from around the world, 24 hours a day.

READING & EDUCATION

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Make the most of any free time you have by adding to either your professional skills, or picking up a new hobby; or just start reading through your bucketlist book list.

21. Lessons Go Where has a bunch of e-learning classes you can take. They aren’t free but there are courses that SkillsFuture claimable, so why not top up your professional skills while at home? 

22. You can check out the various exhibits from the Melbourne Museum via its virtual tours of dinosaurs and its First Peoples displays.

23. Love animals? Head to Zoos Victoria’s Animal House livestreams featuring cute snow leopard cubs, penguins, lions and giraffes.

24. Run out of books to read? Amazon is offering great deals on its Kindle ebooks for new users. You can also read Kindle books on your iPad.

25. Read e-books online for free from the National Library; just go to eresources.nlb.gov.sg/ereads to get started.

26. Visit Museo Galileo, an Italian museum focused on the history of science and technology.

27. Always been interested in Ancient Egypt? Visit the Rosicrucian Egyptian Museum’s 360-degree gallery tours.

28. Visit the Frick Museum’s Garden Court via its virtual tour to get some inspiration.

29. If you have always wanted to attend Oxford, try the 3D tour of the University of Oxford’s History of Science Museum.

30. Missing the great outdoors? Take advantage of the US National Parks online tours. You start with the Kenai Fjords in Alaska in and end up swimming through the Dry Tortugas in Florida. Go to the National Parks Service landing page for all the tours.

31. If you have always wanted to learn to play the guitar, check out the free online lessons from celebrity guitarist Justin Guitar.

HEALTH, FITNESS & WELLBEING

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We’re all suffering a bit from the stress of dealing with the coronavirus pandemic, so take advantage of free meditation and wellbeing apps and the free fitness videos available from gyms and trainers.

32. Headspace has free meditations via its app under the ‘Weathering the Storm’ collection; setting up an account is free. 

33. There are heaps of free YouTube yoga classes, including from cult favourite Alo Moves, or try other workouts from top, international trainers. Just one search and you are sure to find the perfect class for you.

34. Join up with Keep It Cleaner’s free home gym livestream on Facebook or Instagram.

35. For helpful breathing exercises and other meditative activities, check out Total Brain. The app is offering a free three-month subscription.

36. If you’re looking for more yoga, HIIT, and even Barre classes, try Down Dog. The site has offered all their classes free until May 1, 2020.

37. You have probably seen ads for Calm on your social media platforms. Well, the brand has got a whole list of free calming activities for you to do, including guided meditation, and stretching videos.

ACTIVITIES FOR KIDS

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You love them, but sometimes you want to kill them, right? Well here are some activities that will help you delay your violent reactions.

38. If you are looking for some help with home schooling, or just keeping your kids entertained, check out Scholastic’s free online learning hub. There are daily learning activities for children from Pre-K and up.

39. Find the Smithsonian’s weirdest items. There are over 2.8 million new artefacts on view via the Smithsonian Open Access initiative, covering everything from art galleries and museums to gardens and a zoo. There are also archives available to be used for any child that has a major history assignment to do.   

40. Keep your kids interested with some at-home gardening. Try one of the projects from DIY.org’s Gardening section. There’s a 14-day free trial, so get online and download a bunch of activities.

41. DIY.org also offers a huge number of practical activities for children of various ages. Your kids can also have their own login and share their projects with other kids. Don’t worry though, parents can also have access to their children’s work so you can keep an eye on them.

42. If your kids love to draw, log on to watch 'Lunch Doodles' by children’s illustrator Mo Willems who hosts a daily draw-along session.

43. Tired of reading the same story over and over again? Check out Storyline Online where famous people read kid’s books. And if you’re not sure if the book is appropriate you can find out at Common Sense Media.

44. If your children are getting their daily dose of exercise by walking around the neighbourhood, get them involved in trying to spot Teddy Bears. There is a global movement of people placing Teddy Bears in their windows so kids can spot them on their daily walks.

45. Need your children to exercise at home? Try Learn Ballet! Emma's Bowtiful Ballet Studio for your budding dancers.

46. Do you have a child that loves gross things? Set them up to view the very gross Museum of London’s Fatberg Cam. Yes, a Fatberg cam. This particular fatberg was exhibited in 2018 as part of a display about pollution. As it got more and more horrible they put it in storage, but are still watching what is happening to it, all in the name of science. You can stream this bit of sewage history 24 hours a day. Yuck!

47. For kids who love to sing, check out Kara Fun for lots of child-appropriate karaoke songs to sing along to.

48. Kids going stir-crazy? Try the Calm app’s ideas for a gentle introduction to meditation, there are things like ‘Blowing out Candles’ and a meditation for falling asleep on Calm Kids.

49. Board Game for the whole family. The Game Plan Game has been designed to offer clever family teaching moments in the guise of a fun board game, covering topics like social skills, mamers, dealing with your feelings and personal safety. Created for ages 4-10, two to eight players can play at any one time, using dice and a colour coded board. Available on Amazon.

50.Learn ballet online. Over the course of three installments led by Germain Louvet, a principal dancer of the Paris Opera Ballet, Sébastien Bertaud, a Paris Opera Ballet choreographer – joined by Stuttgart Ballet principal dancer Friedemann Vogel – and Eleonora  Abbagnato, a Paris Opera Ballet principal dancer and director of the Teatro dell'Opera di Roma ballet company, (re)discover the poetic performances that connect them with Dior’s Creative Director Maria Grazia Chiuri. Watch the dance lessons here.