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Your initial thought about self-isolation was, “Great! I can relax, unwind, and finally finish that book I never seem to get through.” Then you remember, your kids will be isolated, too. With you. That means isolation will be a little crowded.

No matter how much you love your kids, your new worry is that too much togetherness will increase the tensions. To give you the best chance of maintaining your mental wellbeing, we’ve collected some of our best ideas for how to have fun with the kids, indoors. Read on for some of our best suggestions for passing time.

Card Games

A pack of cards is a must-have in any situation that requires time to be spent a bit more leisurely. The cheap, adaptable 52 card decks open up a wealth of recreational possibilities, from card games, to magic tricks, to card towers. Now’s the time to brush off your shuffling skills and teach the kids how to have fun with cards. If you’re stuck for what to play, some of our favourites are: Snap, Go Fish, Pairs, and Cheat. 

Apps

Our smartphones can access a dizzying array of apps that can entertain, inform, and indeed, educate. Depending on what you want – there’s an app for that. Duolingo teaches you a language in a fun, game-like way. Whereas QuizUp lets you go head to head against strangers and friends in competitive quizzes on topics. Take a look on your app store and see what you can find! 

Monopoly, Scrabble, And Other Boardgames

Boardgames are lifesavers when it comes to keeping the kids entertained. As a parent your main challenge will be to prevent cheating and stop the game from descending into arguments or worse, fights. Time-honoured classics like Scrabble or Monopoly are a great bet – though these can be challenging for the younger ones. That said, you’ve got plenty of time to teach them. 

Hide & Seek

It’s a classic that never gets old. Though you might find it a bit harder squeezing into some of the best spots in the house, the kids are guaranteed to love seeing the adults get involved with this childhood favourite.

Videogames

You may be sick of seeing your kids hogging the TV on their Xboxes and PlayStations, but these consoles can provide a wealth of options for keeping you and the kids from boredom during isolation.

You could choose a game to play through together, getting drawn in by the story and overcoming challenges as a team. Or, you could find a split-screen, multiplayer game that lets you compete or work cooperatively on the same TV. Believe us, it’s definitely worth a try.

Puzzles

You don’t see many puzzles outside of retirement homes these days, but they offer a great alternative to a boardgame. Unlike boardgames, they’re cooperative, so you’re entire family can team up to take on the challenge of a 1000 piecer, or whichever size suits you. There’s one thing that’s for sure – they’re a fantastic way to pass the time.

Combination Man Drawing Game

This one’s great for when you want to be creative. Here’s how it works. Each player takes a blank sheet of copy paper and folds it from top to bottom by the amount of people playing. With the paper still folded, begin drawing the top section of a monster on what would be the top part of the paper. The wackier and more creative, the better.

Then, pass it to the next player. Without seeing what you’ve drawn, the next player continues your drawing in the next section of the paper. The play continues until each player has drawn a section on each piece of paper. At the end, the paper is unfolded, and the grotesque monster creations are revealed.

Charades

Charades isn’t just for Christmas – it’s for self-isolation, too. This festive classic is a lot of fun whatever the season. Use your best acting chops to help your players guess the movie, books, or person you’re thinking of.

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