Keeping the kids sane while juggling work and homeschooling can be tricky during lockdown, and with weeks on end of the same four walls, the everyday could potentially test our patience. But with a world of wonder to explore outside, getting up and getting out in line with current restrictions is the best way to keep the kids entertained.
According to YouGov, almost a third (32%) of parents have noticed negative changes in their child’s behaviour since the UK was placed on lockdown, including crying more often and throwing tantrums - it’s little wonder when you think of the big lifestyle changes in such a short space of time.
At Parkdean Resorts, we champion sensory learning and children’s entertainment with our range of discovery activities across UK parks. Giving kids exploration and survival skills in the wild, our Bear Grylls Survival Academy is back for summer!
Looking for inspiration on how to keep the kids happy during lockdown? We take a look at some of the best outdoor activities to inspire and entertain the kids, providing a much needed breath of fresh air into their daily routines. You can even join in too!
1. Go on a nature hunt
Print out your very own scavenger hunt and set off on an exciting adventure - even if it’s to your own back garden! Search for ladybirds, butterflies and even earthworms under mulch. The eagle-eyed child with an explorer’s spirit will love the Woodland Trust’s minibeast hunt - prepare for creepy crawly overload.
2. Turn your living room into a campsite!
Camping doesn’t always have to be outdoors, and living through a lockdown is the perfect time to explore something new. Pitch up a tent and whack on some soothing nature-inspired music. When it comes to a midnight snack, smores are much more delicious than toasted marshmallows and can be made quickly in the microwave - no burning of little hands! Check out this kid-friendly recipe here.
3. Learn about the planet with David Attenborough
Just when you thought lockdown TV couldn’t get any better - David Attenborough announces his BBC education addition. The legendary presenter will explain natural world topics such as oceans and animals. Lessons are available on BBC Bitesize Daily, BBC iplayer and BBC Red Button.
Think you could give David a run for his money? Write down all the animals you see and do your best impressions later. Roar!
4. Earn a real life Blue Peter badge
Yes, really! If you or your kids are itching to get your hands on one of these, lockdown is the perfect time to start working on your application. Get the entry level Blue Badge by sending in letters, stories and sketches and then start applying for more!
5. Make some pebble art
Painting pebbles has become a commemorative mark of lockdown, along with rainbows hung in windows and gates of all shapes and sizes. Pebble art is a great gift to give to a stranger - simply create your designs and dot them around walking trails or parks for people to find - you’ll definitely brighten up their day.
6. Grow your own veg
Versatile veggies can be grown outdoors or inside, and there’s nothing quite like watching them sprout up with your children. With spring officially sprung, now’s the time to get planting. Lettuce, carrots, beets and radishes are all fantastic for spring’s seasonal conditions. You can find a full list here.
7. Make a mud kitchen
Fun, messy and easy to do - mud kitchens provide hours of entertainment for little ones who don’t mind getting their hands dirty. Mud play is a great way to encourage open-ended play and communication. Check out the 16 step mud kitchen here.
8. Create a fairy garden
DIY fairy gardens might be small in size but these enchanting abodes make for some interesting sensory learning that’ll keep your kid entertained for hours.
The first step is deciding your theme, whether that’s a fairy castle, a city or a woodland wonderland. Then gather your materials and find a cute spot to set up - rocky areas work really well to keep everything in place and it also adds a nice touch of texture in terrain. You can find a step-by-step guide here.
9. Build a blanket fort
What better way to hide from monsters than with a fort made entirely of pillows? Choose your location (preferably near a wall) so you can pin blankets. Get some supplies - whether that’s a mini-fridge or midnight snacks, to make sure you’re fully stocked for those chilled nights. The best pillow forts don twinkly lights, snug blankets and are easily accessible to Netflix through a TV or laptop! Here’s a professional fort guide you might want to follow.
10. Build a bird feeder
Get up close and personal and enjoy wildlife at its best with an amazing DIY bird feeder. This is a great way to teach your kids all about different bird species that reside in the UK - from robins to goldfinches. You could even create a little checklist and tick them off as you spot them. Find inspiration for the easiest feeders to make here.
11. Sow some seeds
Teach your kids about the great outdoors with this horticultural skill that’ll see them right through to adulthood. Whether you have a garden of your own or space to sow indoors - there’s always a way to get greenfingered. Check out the RHS guide to indoor sowing here.
From stargazing spots to wonderful waterfalls, head to the nature section of our blog for more natural world inspiration! And of course, don't forget to share your own fun lockdown activities on our Facebook and Instagram pages.