Top 16 Home Activities | Self-Isolation Guide
26 March, 2020
Top 16 Home Activities | Self-Isolation Guide

Top 16 At Home Activities To Get You Through Coronavirus Self-Isolation

 

For most of us, the first week of self-isolation is slowly (very slowly) drawing to a close and it looks like there are more to come which raises the question: Can you actually make quarantine fun?

 

In this blog, we are showing you some fun activities you can set up inside your own four walls with a few items you already have at home, whether you’re looking to entertain the kids or escape the home office for  a while.

 

At the bottom, you also find our best tips to thrive at home and answers to your burning questions about quarantine. 

 

But before we dive in, how do we handle COVID-19 here at Bookado?

 

Normally, we are all about getting you outside and doing things, but obviously this is not possible right now.  But looking at the bright side, staying indoors will have you appreciate the free, post-pandemic times even more. 

 

 

To help you bounce back to your usual self after the pandemic, Bookado are offering FREE Club Bookado memberships to anyone who registers interest before 1st May.

 

                                                

 

Kayaking, biking, rock climbing - the options are endless! We, for one, can’t wait to try all the summer activities. It’s never too early to plan your next adventure, so browse our activities and get inspired. 

 

 

FOR FAMILIES:

 

With schools and nurseries closed, the lockdown probably hit parents the hardest. Juggling a job, house chores and looking after the kids is a full-time job many parents are currently trying to master. These activities are easy to set up and will surely buy you some time to get things done whilst the kids have fun and release energy. 

 

 

 

1. Flight School

 

Best for: Aspiring Pilots 

Level of effort:

 

 

You’ll need: 

  • A4 sheet of paper (one per plane)
  • Scissors
  • Cardboard
  • Marker Pens

How to: Fold the paper into paper planes. Cut holes of different sizes and levels into the cardboard and using the marker pens draw on the points. Then lean it against an item so it can stand up by itself. Now, it’s time to start the planes. Who’s the pilot with the best aiming skills?

Prep. time: less than five minutes

Why we like it: easy to set up and put away, use it whenever boredom creeps up to keep the kids occupied for a few minutes

Post-pandemic activity: Take off with a helicopter experience flight!

 

 

 

 

2. Indoor Curling

 

Best for: The Competitive

Level of effort: O

 

 

You’ll need:

  • A hard floor, wood or tiles with at least 2m length.
  • Something that slides, maybe bottle caps
  • A broom (optional)
  • A target area (tile, markings on the floor etc.)

 

How to: First of all, you’ll need a brief grasp of the rules of curling. Each team takes it in turns to slide their bottle caps towards the target. Each area of the target is worth a different amount. The team with the most points at the end of the game wins.
To make it feel realistic, we recommend teams of 2, to allow one person to be the sweeper. The sweeper usually sweeps in front of the rock (bottle cap in this case) to help it glide further.

It’s also a great way to get your kids to do some unsuspected cleaning!

Prep. time: 5 Minutes

Why we like it: Unleashes competitive sides and gets the children to do some unsuspected sweeping.

Post-pandemic activity: Take to London for a day out and round it off with an evening of real - ice curling!

 

 

 

 

3. Animal Afternoon Tea Party

 

Best for: Animal Lovers with a Sweet Tooth

Level of effort: OOO

 

 

You’ll need: 

  • Participants (dolls and stuffed animals) 
  • elegant attire - tiaras and dresses encouraged- 
  • Fine tea crockery
  • A variety of snacks 

 

How to: Start by having your little one invite her favourite guests and get dressed. In the meantime, you put on the kettle, lay out biscuits and sandwiches and set up the table. Once the princess and all her fluffy friends have arrived, it’s tea time!
If you want to add an extra dimension to this activity. Why not get them to create or decorate their own tea crockery? 

Prep. time: between 10 and 30 minutes, depending on your dedication

Why we like it: It lets the kids use their imagination and with all the snacks, it can double as lunch.

Post-pandemic activity: Design your very own tea crockery in the pottery cafe.

 

 

 

 

4. Mini golf

 

Best for: A Family Day Out (In)

Level of effort: OO

 

 

You’ll need: 

  • Obstacle items, e.g. 
  • Empty cereal boxes
  • scissors
  • Golf balls
  • Golf Putter 
  • Pencils
  • A notepad

How to: Mark up the golf course and place obstacles accordingly. Cut a hole at the bottom of each cereal box and place them at the end of each hole. Grab your clubs and balls and you’re ready to go. Bring along the notepad and note down everyone’s scores. 

Prep time: From 10 minutes to 2 hours; it totally depends on the length of your course! 

Why we love it: a fun activity for the whole family, set it up in the garden and catch some fresh air.

Post-pandemic activity: Putt in the Park- mini golfing in London’s greenest spaces. 

 

 

 

 

5. Water Gun War

 

Best for: Marksmen/Women and Paintball Enthusiasts

Level of effort: O

 

 

You’ll need:

  • Water guns (one per player)
  • A towel
  • Optional: gear (helmets, sunglasses, etc.)

 

How to: Start by laying out the ground rules like noise levels and war zone -if you have a garden or basement, it’s surely an advantage. Then, it’s up to the kids to take down the enemies. 

Prep time: less than a minute

Why we love it: It will make the kids tired and negotiating bedtime a thing of the past.

Post-pandemic activity: Nerf wars or a VR shooting experience

 

 

 

 

6. Escape Room

 

Best for: Little Detectives

Level of effort: OOO

 

 

You’ll need:

  • A timer
  • Requisites and decor
  • Quiz material (find more here)

How to: You can either come up with your own plot based on your kids interests or buy an at-home kit online, for example at lockpaperscissors. Turn your kids bedroom into a mysterious room full of quizzes, practical challenges and thrilling stories. Will they have to solve puzzles to slay a dragon and rescue the princess or track down a secret agent on the run? Consult their favorite books and tv shows for some inspiration. Write notes and instructions on pieces of paper to guide them through the game and give hints. Once you lock the door behind you, they have one hour to complete the quest. 

Some quiz ideas include:

  • Finding an item you hid in the room
  • Ready-to-use prints: sudoku, where’s wally image, 
  • Encoding a letter in secret code

Prep time: between 1 and 2 hours 

Why we love it: You can work in some home-schooling material. 

Post-pandemic activity: Escape Rooms, like the immersive, high-tech rooms at AIM Escape in East London.

 

 

 

FOR COUPLES:

 

 

Self-isolation means more time to spend with your loved one, some even become colleagues! It’s important to keep things interesting and harmonic, so challenging each other and creating things together is a great way to bond.

 

 

 

7. Have a Cook-Off

 

Best for: Master Chef of the kitchen

Level of effort: OOO

 

 

You’ll need:

  • A printed out recipe
  • A trip to the shops 
  • Ingredients 
  • Cooking utensils 

 

How to: You and your partner pick five ingredients that need to be incorporated in your dish. Both of you have exactly one hour to interpret these ingredients and come up with a tasty dish. When the time is up, you try each other’s food during a romantic dinner and eventually, grade it. The winner gets to choose what’s for desert. 

Tip: include one extraordinary ingredient, such as pineapple or coca cola for an added challenge.

 

Prep time: approx. 1 hour (excluding the food shop)

Why we love it: It makes cooking dinner more exciting and maybe finally gets the hubby to lift a cooking spoon. 

Post-pandemic activity: Going for dinner or taking a cooking class.

 

 

 

8. Invent a Board Game

 

Best for: Those that have completed Monopoly and argue during Uno 

Level of effort: OOO

 

 

You’ll need:

  • A big cardboard
  • Scissors, glue, pens
  • Token 

 

How to: Take inspiration from your favourite board game, whether that’s Cluedo or The Game of Life and give it your own take. Create a colourful board, an interesting story like and brave characters. This is a great way to unleash your creativity and work on a joined project. 

Prep time: between 1 and 5 hours

Why we love it: It’s mentally stimulating and allows you to get creative. Plus, you’re left with something you can use many times.

Post-pandemic activity: Immerse yourself in an Escape Room and put your strategic and problem-solving skills to the test.

 

 

 

 

9. Life drawing

 

Best for: Intimate, One-On-One Time

Level of effort: O

 

 

You’ll need:

  • A big notepad
  • Pencil, chalk or paint
  • Picture frame (Jokes!)

 

How to: Strip down and strike a pose! You can either take turns or draw simultaneously. Focus fully on your partner and pay attention to his/her unique features. You don’t have to be a talented artist to do this activity. The goal is not to create a realistic, flawless painting of your partner, but your own interpretation. 

Prep time: less than five minutes

Why we love it: It’s a different way of experiencing intimacy and romance. You get to show your partner how they look through your eyes. 

Post-pandemic activity: Make your next date night a mindful painting and prosecco class. But please put on clothes for this one!

 

 

 

 

10. Host your own Pub Quiz

 

Best for: Recreating a Wednesday night with the mates

Level of effort: OO

 

 

You’ll need:

  •  A laptop and online pub quiz of your choice
  • beverage(s) of your choice

How to: Pick a quiz of your choice, we recommend inquizite and gather your friends for a virtual evening in the pub. If you can, project the quiz onto your tv screen for an immersive experience. 

Prep time: as long as it takes to pour a pint and start your laptop

Why we love it: It’s the closest you can get to our favourite after-work activity.

Post-pandemic activity: A real pub quiz, duh...

 

 

 

 

11. Plan your next Getaway

 

Best for: Making up for cancelled holidays

Level of effort: O

 

 

You’ll need: 

  • Inspiration (from travel pages, magazines, social media etc.)
  • A notepad 

How to: Curl up on the couch with a glass of wine and talk about where to head first after the lockdown. Maybe you replan a holiday that fell victim to COVID-19 or you use the spare time to plan an exciting trip from scratch. It doesn’t have to be a huge holiday, maybe it’s just a hike or adventure like rock climbing or sailing

Prep time: none, you can jump right in

Why we love it: You get to talk about the future in a casual atmosphere. Having plans you can look forward to will help survive these bleak times. 

Post-pandemic activity: Put those plans into action! We have lots of activities and days out for every budget and schedule. 

 

 

 

 

FOR SINGLES:

 

 

Life during lockdown can get very lonely, even more so when you live by yourself. But it also provides opportunities to discover yourself. Trying a new hobby, working on your goals and practicing self-care  all help to keep you busy and positive. 

 

 

 

 

12. Make your favourite food from scratch

 

Best for: The Foodies 

Level of effort: O

 

 

You’ll need:

  • Jars 
  • Ingredients  based on recipe you choose

How to: Now is the time to get creative in the kitchen! Why not try your hand at making your favourite store-bought foods yourself? Not only is it cheaper and healthier, cooking also makes for a lovely indoor activity. This recipe for crunchy banana and coconut granola by A Mummy Too will surely take your breakfast to the next level.

Prep time: depending on recipe

Why we love it: Saves a trip to the shops. 

Post-pandemic activity: A visit to a farmers market in a nearby village, maybe make it a bike trip

 

 

 

 

13. Update your Bucket List

 

Best for: Reassessing your life plan - is it still serving you?

Level of effort: O

 

 

You’ll need: 

  • A poster or notebook- however you want to write things down
  • Colourful pens
  • Resources: maps, travel guides, websites, pinterest

 

How to: Refer to your favorite travel sites and get planning. Print out images and glue them onto a big poster, write down all your dream destinations, etc. If you need some inspiration, have a read through our UK Bucket List blog

Prep time: less than a minute

Why we love it: It’s so productive. Plan now, experience later. 

Post-pandemic activity: Obviously ticking them all off!

 

 

 

 

14. Set up a Cross Fit Course

 

Best for: Those into Fitness - stay active!

Level of effort: OO

 

 

You’ll need: 

How to: Transform your living room into a home gym. Maybe you have dumbbells and ropes on hand, otherwise you can use water bottles as weights, boxes for box jumps and ropes for skipping. Set up seven exercise stations and spend one minute at each before moving on to the next one. Repeat between as often as you can.

If this is too much effort but you still want to keep in shape, these 15 Effective At-Home Exercises will help you burn fat and build muscle with zero equipment. 

Prep time: approx. 10 minutes

Why we love it: Trying out a new workout without being watched by anyone. Plus, all the quarantine snacks need to be burned off somehow. 

Post-pandemic activity: attending a killer workout class (F45, anyone?) or trying a new sport, such as climbing or trampolining

 

 

 

 

15. Make a Bespoke Mantra Meditation

 

Best for: Mindfulness and Relaxation

Level of effort: O

 

 

You’ll need: 

  • A mat or cushion to sit on
  • A candle 
  • A piece of paper
  • A pen

 

How to: Select a quiet place in your flat to place the mat and light the candle. Now, take a few deep breaths (inhale for 4 seconds, hold the breath for 4 seconds and then exhale for 4 seconds) and think about your mantra. Among the most popular are Aum or the Om, pronounced 'Ohm', and ‘I am that I am’. 

But to make this bespoke meditation serve you and your personal needs, you choose your own mantra. Whether you want to worry less or find clarity, muttering words that resonate with you will help you focus and stay in the moment. 

After you chose your mantra and wrote it down, find a comfortable seat and close your eyes. Concentrate on your breath and repeat the mantra as many times as you need it. When you feel relaxed and refreshed, you can open your eyes again.

At first, you might not manage to sit quiet for longer than a few minutes, but if you practice it everyday, you will soon feel the benefits and enjoy your daily time out.

Prep time: approx. 5 minutes 

Why we love it: Meditation can be daunting at first but with a mantra that’s meaningful to you, you can keep your thoughts from drifting off. 

Post-pandemic activity: Depending on how enthusiastic you are, book a meditation retreat or try other relaxation techniques, such as yoga or deep breathing. 

 

16. Take an Online Course

 

Best for: Furthering your Career (and LinkedIn profile)

Level of effort: OOO

 

 

You’ll need: 

  • A work space (preferably a desk)
  • Computer

How to: Feeling unproductive and want to use this time to think about your career? Polish up your skills and take a free online course, for example at exD. Founded by Harvard University and MIT, it is one of the best learning platforms offering courses, such as Solar Energy Engineering, Robotics, People Management, Project Management, Mandarin Chinese for Business & more. Shine in the next meeting with your polished up Mandarin skills or take get to know a completely new profession!

The courses include reading material, videos and tests and tasks to complete, so once you enroll, you have to put in the work. 

Prep time: approximately 30 minutes for signing in and choosing a course

Why we love it: You get a certificate at the end!

Post-pandemic activity: Show off your new skills and knowledge, whether that’s in a meeting or pub quiz!

 

 

 

 

 

ANSWERED: Your burning questions about mastering self-isolation life

 

How do I keep the kids entertained?

 

Being a parent can be very exhausting now that the kids are home 24/7. Apart from trying out our fun at-home activities, there are lots of ways to keep the little ones busy. Come up with a strict daily schedule including both duties such as house chores and learning sessions as well as fun time and family activities. Having a set schedule will help them to stay in a routine that is not too different from their normal one. 

 

 

How do I keep a work-life balance when working from home?

 

For many, it is the first time they are working from home. Although it is tempting to stay in your bed wearing pyjamas, try to keep your normal morning routine to boost productivity. Have a set space where you work, which shouldn’t be the bedroom, and allows yourself to completely switch off for the day once the work is done. It may be easy to quickly check your mails on the couch whilst watching a movie, but it doesn’t allow you to relax. So, resist the urge and spend quality time with your family instead. 

 

 

How do I avoid feeling lonely during self-isolation?

 

As our social life is becoming close to non-existent, we can’t help but feel a bit lonely sometimes. These uncertain times increase anxiety and stress for many of us and we have to be careful to not let them get to us. Keeping in touch with your friends and family via video chatting or phone calls is as essential as looking after yourself. Practice self-care by cooking tasty meals, introduce a pampering routine and move your body daily. In addition to that, combat stress and anxiety with breathing exercises and meditation and break the habit of checking the news every minute. 

Remember, there is no one-size-fits-all approach to mental health and you have to find out what feels good to you. 

 

 

 

 

How does the Bookado team stay sane? Hints and Tips for self-isolation

 

 

Tim, Co-Founder & Director:
"Perhaps little boring and maybe ask me in another week or two but having a bit of a routine to my day brings a bit of normality to this surreal situation we are living in. I like to break up the day so that there is always a little something to look forward to… mainly meals. I’ve also separated my exercise throughout the day; yoga just after I wake, run/walk after lunch and workout in the evening.

If time permits with your schedule, I would recommend allocating a little part of the day to learn a new skill/hobby, why not… cook? learn to juggle? learn a magic trick? Or perhaps paint? "

 

 

Nathan, Co-Founder & Director:
"Routine is key. It keeps you productive and gives you little things to look forward to throughout the day. Most people living in cities are probably currently confined to a rather small space too, so it’s really important to be able to segregate your work time and your leisure time.

I generally kick off the day with some exercise, before settling down to work. We are rather busy at the moment planning our launch of the exciting Club Bookado!
In the evening, it’s normally a board game, a walk or a virtual catch up with friends to let the mind rest."

 

 

 

Lisa, Marketing Coordinator:
“I think FOMO is very real for many of us right now. That’s why we need to find ways to connect with friends.  Houseparty is a social network that enables you to video chat with your friends. You get notified when your friends are “in the house” and there are funny games available to create a real house party feeling. “

 

 

 

We want your ideas!

 

We would love to hear from you, whether we have inspired you or perhaps you have your own ideas, let us know! You’ll be able to email us or tag @bookadouk on social platforms - share your best indoor DIY activities and we will feature our favourite ones.