The coronavirus lockdown might have given many of us the sort of free-time we only usually dream about, but it can be hard to know what to do with it!
Part of the problem is, of course, working out how to be indoors nearly all day without going stir-crazy. So here at Policy Expert we’ve found some great online ways of keeping you and your family entertained and absorbed – all of which cost nothing:
Have a cook-off
Mealtimes in lockdown are even more of a daily highlight than usual. And there are a huge number of sites and video guides to give you fantastic tips and recipes for cooking up a storm.
One idea could be that each member of the household chooses something they’d love to cook. Then everyone votes on which they like the most, just like in MasterChef! Delia Smith has some great recipes and ideas https://www.deliaonline.com/cookery-school, as does Jamie Oliver https://www.youtube.com/user/JamieOliver.
Carry on with Karaoke
Why not have a good old singalong with your Friday night at-home drinks? Perhaps combine it with a social-media gathering of friends via Zoom or Skype – see below. You could almost be in the pub!
There’s a great area on YouTube called Sing King which gives you the words and music so you can howl your heart out to your favourite tunes.
Quizzes are a great way to pass the time, whether you’re nine or ninety! Online resources are superb for providing all the questions and answers you need, whatever your level of knowledge.
Lose yourself in a museum
Take a tour of some of the greatest museums of the world, from the comfort of your own sofa. There are some fantastic online cultural offerings provided by the likes of the Tate Modern in London and MOMA in New York.
Here’s a useful list of the best and most famous, provided by culture and listings magazine Time Out https://www.timeout.com/travel/virtual-museum-tours.
Watch mega-musicians for nothing
The world’s most famous musicians are, just like us, also in lockdown. Some of them have been streaming free performances online.
Check out the likes of Chris Martin, Gary Barlow, and Keith Urban on their social media pages.
There are also plenty of less well-known artists doing the same, so just Google your favourites and you’ll soon find out what they’re up to.
If you’re more of a musicals fan, do check out Andrew Lloyd Webber’s ‘The Show Must Go On’ channel on YouTube, where he’s making a series of his most famous musicals free to watch.
Books beat boredom
Reading a great novel by a classic author such as Jane Austen or Charles Dickens is a fantastic way to lose yourself in something for hours on end.
Games for the kids
There are a huge number of games online for kids. The BBC’s CBeebies, for example, has plenty to keep younger ones occupied https://www.bbc.co.uk/cbeebies/games – from games for toddlers to those for older children.
And Commonsensemedia is a great resource for parents, offering trusted and safe links to media entertainment https://www.commonsensemedia.org/lists/free-online-games-for-kids.
Nearly all of the main home-streaming services that offer films on demand, such as Netflix and Amazon Prime, let you have the first month for free when you sign up.
They provide a big selection of movies which – hopefully! – should last you through to the end of the lockdown. Just remember to cancel before the free-subscription period ends if you don’t want to pay.
Fitness classes for an indoor endorphin rush
There are a huge number of video guides, classes and information for how to keep fit without leaving the house – just maybe don’t forget to use a mat to prevent sweat-damage!
Current favourite Joe Wicks is causing a huge splash with his morning PE lessons, suitable for both children and adults! But there are many, many more – from yoga for all to pilates and tai chi for beginners. Check out Google or YouTube to find the online exercise that’s right for you.