Tuesday, 31 March 2020

Things to do when you are staying at home

Since so many of us are staying at home at the moment, self-isolating and following the guidelines on social distancing, I thought it would be a good idea to put together a list with ideas for things you can do at home. I've grouped ideas into different categories, so whether you are looking after your children at home, missing going out visiting places or looking for a little distraction in these anxious times there should be something for you to do on the list! I will keep it updated if I spot new ideas and if you have any suggestions please do let me know in the comments.
Stay safe and stay healthy everyone x

Visit a Museum Online

You might not be able to leave your house at the moment but that doesn't mean you can't explore museums or art galleries! Google's Arts and Culture website allows you to explore the collections of hundreds of galleries and musuems from around the world, including:
The Natural History Museum, London
The Rijksmusuem, Amsterdam
The British Musuem, London
The Victoria and Albert Museum, London
The National Gallery, London
The Science Musuem, London

Music
- Listen to some of your favourite music.
- Make a playlist for a friend.
- Practise playing an instrument and learn new pieces by searching for sheet music online.

Enjoy Nature
We are fortunate in the UK that we are heading into spring and the weather (so far!) has been improving. Whilst a lot of life feels like it has been put on pause, nature is still carrying on as normal. Go outside in your garden or if you don't have a garden, what can you see or hear from your window? Listen for the birds singing and see the flowers blossoming and trees becoming greener.

I will be spending as much time as possible in my garden over the coming weeks. I expect a lot of people will have tidier gardens than normal! I plan to sow vegetable and flower seeds, but if you don't have a garden you can still experience the joy of watching a plant grow. Herbs can be grown on a kitchen windowsill. Did you know that there are lots of vegetables that can be regrown too? If you don't have a pot of compost for growing a plant inside you can grow carrot tops, celery and onions in a saucer of water.

Exercise
Get (or keep) fit! Even in a very small amount of space there are still exercises you can do. Sometimes if I'm feeling a bit anxious or stressed I like to remind myself how exercise releases endorphins and will make me feel better.

Joe Wicks has lots of free workout videos on his Youtube channel The Body Coach TV - including a daily PE lesson for children.

Dance - this combines listening to music to make you feel good and some exercise! I've been learning a routine to 'Come Alive' from The Greatest Showman via this video from Beginner Dance Tutorials on Youtube. I'm not very coordinated when it comes to dancing, but this video is easy to follow and fun!

Practise Yoga - Yoga With Adriene has lots of great videos to follow, ranging from short to long sessions and routines to help you relax or burn off a few calories.

Get Creative
Lots of designers are being generous right now and sharing free printables. I have designed some colouring pages, including the butterflies design shown below, which are free for you to download via this page. I have also set up a fundraising page to raise money for the NHS Charities Together Urgent COVID-19 Appeal, so if you are able to donate when you download the pages that would be great too!

Here are some others I found which you might like:
- Angie Spurgeon has shared a weekly planner and Dahlia, Rose & Agapanthus colour-in sheet.
- Cara Rowlands has been creating lots of free colouring pages which you can see on her Instagram page Carabaradesigns
- Spoonflower have created a printable colouring book for you to download, featuring designs to colour by 10 different artists.

Have you seen rainbows popping up in the windows of your neighbourhood? I spotted lots on my one trip out to the supermarket. A think the trend started in Italy, but has spread around the world. It's a lovely thing to do to spread a little hope and raise a smile for your neighbours. People are sharing their rainbows online with #letsallbewell.

Start (or finish) a craft project. Did you start knitting a jumper or sewing a dress ages ago but never finished it? Now's the perfect time to do it! I've been looking through my stack of sewing patterns trying to decide what to make next. I've also been meaning to sew some oven gloves for ages but keep getting scared by the wadding which I've never used before, so maybe I'll do those first!

There are plenty of craft tutorials online too. You can see all the ones from my blog here.

Learn a new skill
There are thousands of classes to explore on Skillshare and if you sign up via this link you can get 2 months of Premium membership for free!

Make Art That Sells is currently offering their MBA (Money BadAss) online course for free (instead of the usual £178). The course is about making money from doing what you love and building a successful business - find out more on their website.

Affinity is currently offering a 90 day free trial of their suite of software; Publisher, Photo and Designer and a 50% discount if you want to buy and keep them. I love their software - it's what I use for creating my designs!

Read a book

We are lucky to have lots of books in our house, so it would take a very long time for us to run out of things to read! However, if you don't have many books at home there are lots of eBooks you can access online for free.
Oxford Owl have books for 3-11 year olds
Local libraries may be shut for now, but if you look up your library's website you can borrow e-books, audio books and e-magazines.

Other Ideas:
- Play a board game with a friend via a video call. You might not be able to meet face to face but you can still play a game together! Some games, like cards probably won't work but plenty of board games could be played from a distance for example battleships, chess, draughts, monopoly or snakes and ladders.
- Do a quiz with a friend online.
- If you are really desperate and have done everything else you could always clean your house and do some of those house jobs you never normally have time for!!

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