We encourage readers to stay positive and see this as a time for learning, reflection, and gratitude. We hope that everyone is staying safe and well in this unprecedented time.
Believe it or not, there are plenty of reasons to stay at home. Perhaps the weather outside is rubbish, budgets are small and so days out are limited, or maybe you’ve simply extended everything there is to do in your area? Contrary to popular belief, spending time at home can be extremely rewarding, whether you have a family or live alone. Our list of things to do at home – inside, outside and with children - are productive, fulfilling and fun. See more things to do in your spare time outside of the house.
Things to do indoors or outdoors
As the Great British weather can be extremely unpredictable, it’s wise to have a mental list of things to do indoors. Use this time wisely – whilst it’s tempting to binge your favourite TV series for the fifth time, try and find productive things to do inside.
Or, maybe there’s finally a sunny day to enjoy! There’s no better way to spend a lovely day than outside in your garden. If you’re lucky enough to have a big outside space, then there’s plenty of things to do in the garden. If not, a small yard or balcony is still an area you can spend time in and be creative with.
Whether this is gaining a new qualification or learning a language, there is no better time to start learning something new than when you’re in the comfort of your own home. Thankfully, we live in a digital world and there is online access to countless courses that are sometimes available for free. Use this time to get clued up on something new or further advance your knowledge on a topic you’re already familiar with.
Get to grips with those cooking books you never opened! Being stuck indoors is a great time to whip up some culinary delights. Practice makes perfect remember, so don’t be disappointed if your first attempt wouldn’t be up to Mary Berry’s standards. Cooking is a great choice on our list of things to do indoors - your taste-buds will thank you later, as well as whoever you live with!
Join a virtual book club
If you live in a different location to your friends and family, why not begin a virtual book club? Meet every other week to discuss various storylines and see how you’re all getting on with the book you’ve chosen. Not only is this a great excuse to get stuck into some reading but is a terrific opportunity for a catch up with friends.
Do some gardening
Whether it’s a few potted plants along the edge of a balcony or a vegetable patch in a large space, doing some gardening is a great way to spend time at home. See your garden transform as you tend to those pesky weeds, rake the leaves away and plant new vegetables and shrubs. Reuse household items like tins and ceramic pots as planters and watch your garden completely change into a Titchmarsh-worthy masterpiece.
Fancy rearranging your bedroom but haven’t got around to it? What about that cupboard downstairs that’s needed clearing out for months? You got it – now it’s time to take that spring clean to the next level and complete a DIY project. Not only is this incredibly rewarding (mentally and physically), but your new favourite room will make the time spent indoors much nicer too.
Perhaps you love to practice yoga or are a skilled coding wizard. Whatever your passion, have you ever thought about teaching others? A great way to make money or an incredibly rewarding pastime, think about using your spare time indoors teaching others. If you can’t see your students in person, online video calling can work just as well.
Have a BBQ
Everyone loves a BBQ! Even if it’s not summer yet, sunny weather and wanting to stay at home is a great excuse to get the tongs out. Be imaginative – if you don’t have standard BBQ food then remember that pretty much anything can be grilled, so go wild. Having a BBQ is a great thing to do in the garden or on a balcony and encourages you to spend time with who you live with.
Stay connected with loved ones
If you’re spending a long time away from friends and family, don’t forget to schedule regular check-ins with them. Whether that’s a phone or video call, or a simple text asking how they are, keeping communication up is something that’s extremely important for our mental health.
Doing home workouts (particularly in the morning) is a fantastic way to start your day and release some endorphins. There are plenty of workout videos to follow on YouTube where no gym equipment is required. From yoga to Pilates, HiiT to strength training, a gym is no longer essential to sweat and get healthy. There are many physiological benefits of exercise too, so why not get started?
This is a great one if you have children and a large outdoor space. Use household objects to create an assault course – crawl under blankets, step from log to log and score goals through imaginary goalposts. Assault courses are great ways to encourage the family to get active as well as creating some healthy competition.
Make homes for the wildlife
It’s likely that a wide range of wildlife roams your garden in the day and night-time. If so, why not make a home for them? Hedgehogs are happy in a nest of twigs and leaves, so this could be a great idea if you don’t want to buy anything special. Furthermore, it’s common knowledge that bees have been threatened in recent years. Take an old teapot and bury it in the ground with the spout poking out to create a secure nest site for bees (this will only work if it can be kept free from damp).
Things to do with kids at home
School holidays are meant to be fun, right? Of course! But finding indoor things to do with kids can take its toll after a while. Once you’ve exhausted this list – see things to do with kids outside of the home for more ideas, or perhaps play one of the best board games of all time.
Build a den
Let the children know that you’re going to be building a fort today and see if they can grab the necessary materials themselves. Duvets, pillows, tables and chairs should be enough to make a substantial den inside. Encourage the children to invite their favourite toys to the den or to role-play with themselves. Building a den can make hours of fun and not too much tidying afterwards.
Whether it’s the holidays or schools are shut for some reason or other, this is a time where children should still be learning where possible. Setting up a home school sounds intimidating if you aren’t a teacher, but realistically can be a fun learning exercise for all parties. Head to the internet for easy lesson plans and ways to keep children interested. School isn’t all about maths and science, it can be about encouraging creativity through art and music or getting energy pumping in P.E classes.
Give them jobs, with rewards
Make a chore list suitable for the age of your child. Completing these chores will receive cash rewards, ranging from 10p for smaller chores to £1/2 for larger. The children then have the choice on what to buy with their new funds. They could save up for a new toy or treat themselves to a snack that’s usually limited. This helps give children an understanding of money (and also helps you get housework done).
Host a birthday party for a favourite toy
Your imaginations can go wild here. Are you going to have an intimate afternoon tea or go big and invite the whole family (and their favourite toys) too? Musical statues, pass the parcel and a birthday cake with candles are must-haves, along with your family’s favourite songs and dance moves. Encouraging your child to get involved in the planning of the birthday party is a good way to show how much effort goes into their own birthday parties.
If possible, dedicate one room to be the ‘creative hub’ of the house (you could always use the garden if this is safest). Encourage your children to get arty – whether it’s painting, making things with beads or experimenting with papier-mâché. There’s no wrong answer in the creative hub, so encourage your children to get their artistic juices flowing and have fun!