So we’re in lockdown again. Sigh. Our third national lockdown, closing schools, non-essential retail and asking us all to stay home to save lives and protect the NHS. We totally understand that by now there is only so much banana bread and box sets you can take. And let’s not even get started on becoming qualified teachers as well as our full time jobs – we salute all those trying to make it work!
One thing that is absolutely paramount with a third round of lockdown is that we have to keep our sanity and protect our mental health, so we have taken the liberty of searching around for some activities to do in Lockdown – some involve the kids and some are probably best enjoyed with a glass of wine when the kids have gone to bed! We hope that you get to enjoy at least one of the activities on the list!
We will be sharing these activities weekly on our social media, and hope that as you enjoy the activities you will tag us with a relevant hashtag so we can see your creations!
1) Make your own Easy Pizza with the Kids
We all like the romantic idea of cooking in the kitchen with the kids – but it usually ends up a complete nightmare, with more ingredients outside of the mixing bowl than inside, and more ‘tasting’ of the mixture than the finished result – but these pizza’s are a quick and easy win!
These pizzas are a brilliant way to encourage a child’s interest in cooking in a really safe way. All you need are some mini pitta or naan breads, a sauce of some kind, and then lots of toppings.
To make this even more fun and safe for the kids, you can pre-chop all the veggies and put them into muffin cases and let the kids loose on making up their own pizza creations.
- Mini pitta or naan bread
- Tomato puree / tomato paste / Passata
- Any topping you like, including:
- Grated cheese
- Red onion
- Frated carrot
- Green, red and yellow peppers
- Line a muffin tray with paper cases. Fill the cases with, tomato puree, cheese and veggies.
- Place this tray onto the kitchen table or another surface, along with the pitta breads or naan breads and let the kids make their own pizzas.
- Bake the pizzas on a baking or pizza tray in a preheated oven (180c / 350f) for 4 – 5 minutes.
- Allow to cool for a couple of minutes before cutting and serving.
Now Enjoy!! 🙂 Why not upload a pic of your creations to social and tag us @bespokenorfolk mentioning #bespokepizza so we can see your ideas!
2) Host a Games Night
Did you get bored of all the Zoom quizzes in the first round of lockdown?? We hear ya. How about instead you try organising a games night. Here’s a few tips…
- Make someone the ‘happy hour host’ and get them to give a live cocktail masterclass
- Assign ‘drinking games masters’ and ask them to orchestrate some drinking games and forfeits
- Play a good old game of charades
- Get one person to mute themselves and mime phrases and see who can read their lips the best
- Ask guests to submit a surprising fact about themselves beforehand and see who can guess which fact correlates to which person on the Zoom
- Play a good old game of Bingo. Ask everyone to mock up their own Bingo card based on a Google template and use this number generator to kick things off.
3) Renovate a piece of furniture
Have you got an old piece of furniture in the house that you look at every day and think you’d really rather get rid of it, but actually…it’s probably quite a useful piece of furniture it just looks a bit tired?
Why not use this time we have at home, to update the piece of furniture and see if you love it more? The worst case scenario is you might still feel the same, but it will look refreshed and you could even sell it on afterwards. The best case is you have an awesome new piece of furniture in your home!
Refreshing a piece of furniture can be a fairly quick process with high rewards, just by updating the colour with a lick of paint and changing the handles. It’s a straightforward process, but there are a few tips we can share to ensure you get a smooth long lasting finish.
When you have chosen your piece of furniture, it’s just about selecting the basic paint for the job. You need to choose a paint specifically designed for furniture, such as spray paint made to adhere to wood surfaces.
You should also consider the finish you hope to achieve. Do you like a scandi look and feel? Or many maybe you like rustic and textured? Chalk-style paints, milk- or mineral-based paints, and acrylics are all great choices for painting furniture and versatile enough to give you a variety of looks.
You will have many colour choices and paint is widely available so grab some samples and try them out until you find a finish that you like!
The benefit of choosing a chalk paint is that it will adhere to furniture without the need to sand it down first…bliss! But if you have a piece of furniture that has a particularly dark stain to it in the first place, you probably want to prime It first to be sure.
It’s good practice to fill in holes and scratches and sand down the furniture lightly, to prepare it before you begin painting it. Be sure to remove hinges and handles – which will also allow you the opportunity to see if you want to change them! Very often this can make all the difference in the overall look and feel of the furniture.
Paint your furniture in your desired colour – once dry add back on either your original or new handles and hinges, and voila! You have a new piece of furniture in your house!
4) Figure out this puzzle
Take six coins and arrange them in a triangle as shown in the image. Your goal is to rearrange the coins into a hexagon with only four moves. Every move consists of sliding one coin to a new location where it touches at least two other coins.
5) Paint your home like a pro
Maybe you’ve been staring at those four walls long enough, and you’d really like to make a change. The simplest and fastest thing you can do is change the colour of the room. We’re here to give you some tips on painting like a pro.
First off, if you’re undecided on colour, pick up some testers, paint on to some paper, and then masking tape them to your wall to see which is best, in context with your room. This way you won’t have to cover up swatches of different colour.
Be sure to cover your furniture and flooring with dust sheets before you start. It might feel like a lengthy process but you won’t regret taking the time to protect your space at the start. The equipment you might need, depending on your walls, could include; a paintbrush, roller, roller tray, masking tape, primer, filler, sandpaper and of course your chosen paint.
Check over your walls and make sure they are cleaned down, no cobwebs or dust, and fill in any holes or scratches. Once the filler is dry you can then smooth it with some fine sandpaper. Taking note of the previous paint type and colour on your walls will make all the difference to your next steps.
If your previous paint was a satin or a gloss, it’s a good idea to rub down the walls, in a circular motion with sandpaper. This will help to create a rough layer for your new paint to stick to. Also think about if you are covering a really dark colour. You may want to paint a layer of basic white paint on your walls before going in with your desired paint colour.
The next thing to do, is cover any switches, sockets, and skirting boards with masking tape, running along the edge adjacent to where they meet the wall so that when you paint, it creates a clean line, but avoids getting paint on your fittings. The sample applies if your ceiling will be a different colour to the walls. Run masking tape on the ceiling butting up to the edge where it meets the wall, so that it creates a clean line.
Now it’s time to begin painting! Stir the paint thoroughly, before you start, tip some into your roller tray and apply to the walls with your roller, using a W or M motion. You can use a small brush for the edges and corners. Once you have covered your entire wall, you can leave it to dry and put your feet up! Most paints will need a second coat to ensure even coverage, so after a couple of hours you can go back over where you began, in the exact same method and apply a second coat.
After a few hours of drying time, your walls should be dry to the touch. You can carefully remove the masking tape and admire your crisp lines, pack away your dust sheets, and clean the rollers and brushes. Your room is ready for moving back your furniture and showing off to your friends!
6) Put up shelves like you were born to do it!
Adding shelving to a room, is an excellent way to space save. There is fixed, floating or even box shelving, and hey, if you’re feeling really creative you could create your own kind of boxed shelving out of reclaimed wood! But maybe you’re new to this, and self isolating so could do with some tips on putting shelves up.
Before you begin drilling, hammering or putting a screws into a wall, make sure you’ve checked what’s behind that wall with a pipe, cable and stud detector. They’re mega easy to use and take the guess work out of drilling into a wall. You can pick one up from somewhere like B&Q – it is also known as a multi-purpose digital detector.
Next you’re going to want to check your walls to ensure you get a strong fix to the wall. If you are fixing your shelves to a masonry wall (brick wall or outer wall) you will need to use a hammer action drill, with a masonry bit. The screws you use should be at least 50mm, and also use wall plugs to go through the plaster and in the main wall behind.
If you want to put up shelves on a stud partition wall, then the screws need to go directly into the timber frame behind the wall – you can find these parts by tapping and listening or use an electric stud detector. Again use screws between 38 – 50mm for a strong fixing, usually with a 4 – 5.5mm gauge.
You will want to think about what you will load onto your shelf to be sure of whether or not you have the right materials/brackets. Want to know if your shelf will sag when up on the wall? Try resting it on stacks of bricks or books, spaced as you are planning to space the brackets. Put your items on the shelf. If the shelf sags, bring the stacks closer together until it’s completely straight. If the brackets can’t be fixed that close together, you’ll need to use a thicker material for the shelf.
When you think you’re ready to put your shelf up, hold the shelf against the wall and pencil where you would like the bottom of it to be against the wall. The mark in where your first bracket will be, then measure the distance to the next bracket and mark it in, using a spirit level to make sure the shelf will be level on the wall.
Once you are happy that everything is in order, take your first bracket and hold it up in the place you have marked, check its straight with a spirit level, and then mark the wall through the fixing holes. Do the same for the other brackets. Now you will be ready to drill into the wall (as long as you checked it was ok earlier) and fix your brackets into place.
Once your brackets are in place, lay your shelf across them, and make a mark through the bracket holes underneath for fixing screws in. Take the shelf down, and drill only small partial holes, taking care not to drill through the other side. Once complete you can put the shelf back in place and screw in the fixing screws, and your shelves are complete!!
7) Make your own Jigsaw puzzle
This is just a super simple fun activity for kids to keep them occupied for 5 mins. Maybe you have last years calendar still kicking about, or some children’s old comics and magazines. Get the kids to pick out their favourite pictures and lay them out.
Using help if needed, cut the picture up into irregular shaped pieces and scatter them over the table. Then see if they can piece the picture back together! It might be helpful at first to try and keep the pieces as big as possible. The smaller the pieces, the tricker the puzzle will be! Good Luck!
8) 30 Day Lego Challenge
Do your children love playing with lego? Look no further, we found this excellent online resource to use in homeschooling which will massively help when you need a moment to breathe!! https://www.freehomeschooldeals.com/free-printable-30-day-lego-challenge-instant-download/
The basics of it are – you get a printable 30 day calendar with a different lego activity to spark your Childs imagination each day. It’s up to you how you use the calendar. You could do it at the same time everyday, as something to look forward to. Or set a challenge to see how fast they can complete the challenge.
We would love to see what creations you come up with in this challenge – if you do create anything, tag us on social media and include the hashtag #bespokelego so we can see all the amazing ideas. There might be a prize up for grabs for the most innovative build over the 30 days…
We hope you found something useful over these lockdown tips. Keep staying home, staying safe, and as always, if we can help you with anything – we just the other end of a phone call.