As the virus progresses, we are seeing more families being isolated for their 2-week containment time. Sure, you can go outside but other than that you are housebound for the 2-week duration. I hear the shriek of screams but wait; help is at hand. Here are some helpful ways you can ward off the boredom.

  • If parents need to work, then arrange your day around child activities. You may not be able to manage 9 am to 5 pm, but you can put in considerable time and effort if you plan appropriately. Perhaps one parent begins at 7 am in their PJ’s while eating breakfast, and the other arranges the morning routine with the kids, eating, dressing, showering, washing up, laundry and so on. You can swap around as the day progresses.
  • Kids will need to keep up with schoolwork from home, so setting a school or study routine is required. This takes considerable hours each day.
  • Outside play and sunshine is an important part of recovery both physically and mentally. Set up games, challenges and obstacle courses in the yard. Kids love challenges, set them up, and kids will love you for it. Challenges like skipping, running, number of sit-ups, star jumps, burpees they can do in 2 minutes, for instance, is great and tires them out.
  • Kids can prepare plays, dances, song recitals all requiring practice. This can take a while to arrange, even when the performance is fast. If they play an instrument, it’s a great time to compose and practice.
  • Get together with you kids to enjoy their technology games but more importantly, other games such as cards, board games, Lego construction, building car tracks or designing dolls houses.
  • All the typical painting, colouring, of course, is fun. Dressing dolls, playing superhero games, all fun and take up time during this isolation.
  • What an opportune time to teach the kids (and partner) how to cook up a storm, make cakes and biscuits. Google receipts and off you go. Supplies may be on hand so send a message out to family and friends; supplies should arrive for you.
  • If one child is undertaking toilet training, it is a perfect time to master this as well.
  • Clean out the toy and clothes closet, always feels good to clean out the old.
  • Remain in touch with family and friends. Facetime or video chat friends often and have dinner via video chat with other family members. You can sit around the table, eating, drinking and laughing even if living apart. Socialising is an integral part of our social existence and needs to be continued, albeit in another form.
  • Of an evening, playing with torches inside and out can take ages and is so much fun. This plus making cubbies with younger children using sheets, blankets over tables and chairs can create such enjoyment and active play.
  • Be aware of not overusing technology and games. While they can be a great distraction, the last thing parents want is their child addicted to a game within these two weeks because the ramification is not healthy. Balance any technology and screen time throughout each day. Kids may be watching a little more than usual but keep it within reason.
  • If you need extra games or cards, send messages to friends and family. It’s incredible what people have in their cupboard. New fun games can take up many hours a day with lots of laughter.
  • Self-isolation can be used as an opportunity to attend to those maintenance jobs at home. Also can be an excellent chance for kids to help learn some skills.
  • A perfect time to complete a short course on a topic that has interested you. With so many online course available, it can be your chance to expand your knowledge in an area of interest.
  • With a variety of online activities such as Pilates, yoga, dancing and fitness, self-isolated families can enjoy all these activities when normally you have little to no time to enjoy.


LifestyleDr Karen Phillip is a Counselling Psychotherapist and Clinical Hypnotherapist who runs a busy practice on the lovely Central Coast of NSW. Karen is a regular on television, radio and in print media. She is the author of 3 books including her latest book Communication Harmony.


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