Happy Easter. Yep it’s Easter, didn’t that creep up fast. It’s going to be a strange one that’s for sure.
How are you keeping through this lockdown period? I am finding it is bringing out the best and the worse in people. So many are showing a caring side, and I’m not just talking about the amazing NHS staff and other key workers who are continuing to put themselves in the line of fire so that we can sort of lead a normal life. No, I’m talking about neighbours doing shopping for people who can’t get out or are unable to collect their medication from the chemists. Groups of people who have started online groups to help and assist others. There is a lot of good in people. Then we get the others who are only thinking about themselves. Hoarding, bulk buying, flouting the rules and putting us all in danger. Kindness and consideration costs nothing but selfishness and arrogance in this case can cost lives. Please think what you are doing and the consequences it may have not just on you but others as well.
Me, what have I been doing to help? Well I’ve been offering help and advice to people who are letting their anxiety rule their lives and in fact consume it. I’ve offered a few freebies and I’m letting people know I’m here if needed, but mainly I’ve been handling it with humour. At this time, you don’t want to keep reminding people what to do during the virus. They need to take their mind off of it. Here are a few more fun things that you can do during this isolation period. (See last weeks blog for other tips.)
Just because coronavirus has us house bound right now doesn’t mean we have to cancel our weekend plans. There are so many things to do when you’re self-isolating besides staring at an empty wall dreaming of simpler times.
Make A Quarantine Playlist
If ever there was a time to blast ‘Toxic’ by Britney Spears it is now, Make your own or choose from one of the countless that are already on Spotify. The most popular is one called “COVID-19 Quarantine Party” and look, it’s a banger.
With tunes like ‘Fever’ by Carly Rae Jepsen, ‘Don’t Touch My Hair’ by Solange, ‘Hand In My Pocket’ by Alanis Morissette and even some Harry Styles, it’s a playlist that’s practically made for your Friday night in and wine in hand.
Do A Home Workout
Maybe your gym is restricting classes, or maybe you just don’t want to risk it, or maybe you’re just looking for an excuse to skip that 6am class. I get it. Luckily, there are tonnes of free workouts online that you can do from the comfort of your own home.
Take A Virtual Gallery Tour
It’s hard to believe, but there comes a point when even the YouTube rabbit holes dry up. When that moment hits, why not try a virtual tour? Some of the best galleries in the world have incredibly detailed online tours. No one can actually visit The Louvre in Paris right now, but you can explore its world-famous halls on your laptop. The same goes for the Great Wall of China, The British Museum and The Rijksmuseum in Amsterdam. Go on, get some culture.
Become The Star Chef Of Your Dreams
There are few things in life more satisfying than a deep dive on Bon Appétit’s YouTube channel. From mac-and-cheese carbonara to spicy-sweet sambal pork noodles to an omelette soufflé, the inspiration is abundant. Now all your favourite food celebs are live-streaming cooking tutorials from their kitchens – including Michelin starred chef Massimo Bottura. Well, maybe our coronavirus self-isolation is the time to actually start cooking. There’s no better way to make peace with your housemates than freshly baked cheesecake.
Learn a new musical instrument
Always dreamed of shredding like John Williams (that’s the guitarist, not the film composer) but never quite had the time? Learn the classical guitar, or another musical instrument of your choice, through self-teaching, listening and repeating, and online tutorials.
Join a virtual choir
Choirs, like the Stay At Home Choir and Gareth Malone’s Great British Home Chorus, are forming all over the world, with music-lovers everywhere practising and performing together via online video chat.
How about the kids?
Go on a minibeast hunt
Spring is well and truly kicking in now, and the warmer weather will bring lots of creepy crawlies out. So get your kids out in the fresh air and take a closer look at your garden. You’ll soon notice it’s teeming with wildlife! Can you find…
- a worm after a spring shower
- a bumblebee looking for nectar
- a spotty ladybird exploring the grass
- a slimy snail in a dark damp spot
- a butterfly basking in the sunshine?
Make a loo roll bird feeder
This is messy fun kids will love to get stuck into. And it will help them learn about the birds in your neighbourhood.
You can make this simple feeder with items you probably already have at home:
Smother a cardboard tube in peanut butter (no added salt and sugar versions are suitable for birds).
Roll it in bird seed and thread some string through the hole.
Tie it up in your garden where birds will feel safe eating.
How many garden birds will you spot? Take a look at our blog to help you and your children identify them.
Go on a scavenger hunt
This is a fun idea for kids of all ages. You can keep it really simple for little ones – help them look out for different colours or textures in nature. For older children, challenge them to hunt for seasonal signs such as spring blossom or new leaves. Or ask them to see how many tiny natural objects they can find to fit inside a matchbox.
Make natural art
Art and crafts will be a popular way to keep kids busy. To mix things up, put the pencils and crayons to one side and look for natural art materials instead. Collect fallen leaves, petals and sticks and use them to make a picture or sculpture.
You could even use the objects as ‘stampers’ or paintbrushes – dipping them in paint and rolling, brushing or stamping them on paper to create interesting patterns and effects.
Have a picnic in the garden
Kids will soon tire of sitting around the same table for every meal, so pack up your lunch and take it outdoors. It’s a lovely way to keep mealtimes varied, and for everyone to get some fresh air.
If you don’t have a garden or it’s raining outside, have an indoor picnic on the living room floor instead. Kids will love the change from the norm and it will feel like an adventure.
Butterfly symmetry art
This craft has the wow factor! All you need is paint and some paper. Simply splodge paint on one half of your paper and fold it in half so the paint spreads on both sides. Carefully open it up to reveal a beautiful butterfly.
It’s a great way to teach youngsters about butterflies and how their wings are symmetrical.
Once dry, your butterfly will make a cheerful decoration for your home. Or you could even turn it into a card to send to a grandparent you won’t see for a while.
I hope some of these have helped. Let’s come out of this better people.
Until next week.
Take care. Stay safe, stay healthy.
Jon Adkin Author of ‘Can I Change?’ Available from Amazon.