During the first lockdowns, we found writing letters/making cards for friends to pop in their letterbox (when we had finished isolating), zoom playdates, chalk drawings, washing toy cars with dish washing liquid and colours, experiments from the Kitchen Science book, making a chalk road to drive cars on, scooter riding, scavenger hunts, reading books, baking... and then eating all the baking. We watched Nadia Lim's lockdown ktichen and my then 5 year old and I made the recipes. That was pretty fun. Also coming up with a schedule for the day with lots of downtime and one bigger activity planned.
Don’t fret about the added screen time.
Shape treasure hunts. Draw a shape (or many, like square/circle/triangle/rectangle) on paper/chalk outside/tape on the floor and get kids to find items around the house that match the shape. Use what they've found to make something interesting or write a story about the collection of things.
My 5-year-old likes to be the mum so I'm the kid and I suggest we play bedtime so she puts me to bed and pats my back while I catch a cheeky 40 winks.
If your child is school age then their school may have an isolation teaching and learning plan. Let your child be in charge of what they pick and choose to do each day from that, then allow them free time. A little normality amidst the changes and uncertainty can help keep kids calm and just ticking along. Plan for exercise. A long walk, ride, run. Maybe some quiet time/screen time if parents are still working.
If you’re feeling unwell, some things you can do while lying down - draw, colour and cut out paper fish, attach paper clips to them, have your child find a stick in the yard (or could use kitchen utensils) tie a string and a magnet and then ‘go fishing’ while staying on your ‘boat’ (bed or couch) - can also add points to the back of the fish to make a competition.
Laundry basket and rolled up socks to shoot baskets - toddlers can collect the socks after and move the basket to make it more or less challenging each time.
Couch cushion and blanket forts in the lounge.
Making paper planes with the junk mail or other origami.