Five fantastic play ideas for lockdown kids.

Childhood Magic
4 min readJan 8, 2021
A little boy plays among the trees.
A little boy plays among the trees.

Today on the second day of Lockdown I was amazed to hear my son say, “This is the best day of my life!”

Parents worldwide are worried about their children stuck at home and how to keep them entertained, when in fact some of the simplest, cheapest, child-led activities will keep the kids happy. Here are a few ideas.

1. Ride rollercoasters virtually!

My boys love pretending they’re riding a roller coaster when we go up and down hills in the car.

These YouTube videos by Coaster Force are taken from the front of various rollercoaster rides and there are many similar videos on YouTube.

For an authentic experience, you can put your little one on your lap or on your back and reenact the twists and turns in real life. You can also pull them around in a little cart, if space allows, or bounce them around on a space-hopper. The Slinky dog ride is our favourite! “Haaaang Ooooonnnn!” he exclaims as he hurtles through the air, bringing you with him!

Ride your favourite rollercoasters virtually.

2. Have a Superhero Picnic at home!

During the Summer, Derby Parks organized a virtual Superhero Picnic with a whole host of activities such as drumming, a superhero workout, and printables for colouring and crafting.

You can still download the printables and follow the varied activities on their YouTube videos. Grab a costume, pack a picnic and you’re all set!

The Talking Tom Superhero picnic episode on YouTube (below) might inspire some crafty costume and superhero play ideas.

Make superhero cuffs at home for your virtual Superhero picnic.

3. Blow, chase, and pop bubbles!

Blowing, chasing, and popping bubbles is a magical way to pass the time and keep you moving. On a windy day, the bubbles fly far and fast. On a frosty day, you may be able to make frozen bubbles.

You can make your own bubble solution with 50ml of washing up liquid 600ml of water.

Dr Zigs and Galt toys’ Bubble Lab provide a wide variety of bubble solution and equipment to keep you busy with bubbles.

My son marvelled at the rainbow bubbles we made and by the way that the house and garden were reflected in the huge bubbles we made. “Is this the whole universe?” he asked. He also had fun playing with the bubbles in the bath. Next, we’ll try putting them in the freezer!

4. Climb trees!

Climbing walls are closed but there are trees galore to explore and climb. Children don’t climb trees as much as they used to but perhaps this will change during the pandemic.

For those hoping to avoid A&E, “In fact, children are more likely to injure themselves falling out of bed than out of a tree.” according to Laura Moss’ article below.

Marghanita Hughes from Educating the Heart with Nature Art is a great advocate of Tree Play as you will see in her YouTube video below.

Marghanita Hughes shares her love of trees and Nature Art.

5. Explore and hunt for wildlife.

Most children know Michael Rosen’s “We’re going on a bear hunt story”. This is fun to simulate and act out with a few props and natural resources. There is also a very detailed Explorer’s journal based on the story. Furthermore, it can inspire hunts for all kinds of animals which inspires children to move inside and outside the house. We have spent hours firing water pistols at an imaginary Shere Khan in the bushes, climbing trees, and using crayon and paper for bark rubbing.

It can inspire hide and seek too which we had great fun playing today. It gives you a chance to have a little lie down if you choose your hiding place carefully!

Pokemon Go is a popular app for hunting Pokemon and offers lots to explore even when you’re staying at home.

Please let me know which activities your thrill-seekers have discovered during Lockdown!