Do you feel like you're in Groundhog Day - where every day seems pretty much the same? Inject a bit of fun by introducing a theme day once a week.
There's no reason why you can't get family and friends (or neighbours across the fence) to join in too, using video calling apps such as Zoom and HouseParty. If one or both of you are working from home in the week, this could be a fun activity for you all to do as a family at the weekend. It's also a great way to make a lockdown birthday party a lot more special.
Here are a few theme ideas to get you started.
1. Backwards Day
Put on your clothes backwards and then sit down to dinner at breakfast time. Learn how to say everyone's name back to front too. Walk everywhere backwards and write or draw using the wrong hand - have a go at playing Pictionary! Organise a quiz where you are given the answers and have to work out the questions. Finish the day by having breakfast before bed!
2. Beach Day
Find as many folding chairs and sun loungers as you can - be sure to get up early to get your towel on one! Blow up the paddling pool, dig out the sandpit and have a sandcastle or sculpture competition. Ask Alexa to play wave and beach sounds. Paint the garden shed to look like a beach hut in ice cream stripes of pale blue, pink, and cream. Go beachcombing - everyone has a bucket and must find items on a list. Play beach volleyball, and don't forget the food! SANDwiches of course. Ice creams and fish and chips for tea.
3. Camping Day
If you have a garden and the weather is nice, great, but if not, you can have fun camping indoors too. Set up your campsite - pitch the tent if you have one, or convert the trampoline into a camping den by pegging sheets and blankets around the net and over the top. Printsnuggly inside with blankets, duvets and cuddly toys. Barbecue for breakfast, lunch and tea - and don't forget the smores around the campfire. Toast a marshmallow and squish between two chocolate digestives.
4. Under The Sea
Set up a bubble machine to get that underwater feeling - and of course, everyone needs to wear swimming costumes, goggles and flippers. Then create some jellyfish from cardboard plates or bowls. You could paint the windows with glass paint or poster paint - use blues and greens to make you feel like you are under the sea. For lunch, make starfish-shaped sandwiches with a cookie cutter, and of course, tea should be fish fingers! Play games including crab football.
5. Magic Kingdom Day
Print some park tickets, magic bands and print off park maps. Dress up as your favourite Disney character - or have a go at Disneybounding. Set up your own Bibbidi Bobbidi Boutique, with clothes, nails and hair makeover. Then find all your favourite virtual rides, like Frozen Ever After on YouTube - no queuing needed! Of course, no day at Disney is complete without a special snack - follow some of these copycat recipes. Then settle down to a Disney movie marathon or test your Disney knowledge - see Kidadl's pick of free online quizzes.
6. VE Day
It's a shame that we'll all be on lockdown still for the May bank holiday that commemorates VE Day, but we can still have some fun. Make everyone a ration book for the day. Have a go at some 1940s hairstyle - Victory Roll anyone? Boys can use hair gels to recreate the Brylcreem look. Fashion some red, white and blue bunting to decorate the house and garden. You could try making paper hats out of newspaper and play some old-fashioned games, such as blind man's buff. Finally, enjoy a 1940s tea, and burn it off by learning the Lindy Hop or Jitterbug.
7. Superhero Day
devise capes out of old curtains, sheets, bin bags - whatever you can find. Then masks from cardboard, paper plates, foam squares. Make up your own hero. Each superhero must have a special power and a catchphrase. Agree on a signal - each time they hear it, each superhero must shout out their catchphrase and perform their special power. Then it's outside for an obstacle course to test their superpowers.
8. Harry Potter Day
Decorate the house or garden with as many Harry Potter things as you can find at home. Get lots of inspiration from the new Hogwarts at Home website. Get sorted into a house, decide on a witch or wizard name, discover your patronus and choose a familiar. Make magic with some fabulous science experiments - how about making a cloud in a jar? No Harry Potter Day would be complete without a glass of butterbeer. Then have a go at this free Harry Potter Virtual Escape Room and finish off with a game of quidditch (check out the rules).
9. Age Swap Day
Kids become parents and parents become kids. So swap clothes and accessories, and let the kids do some of your chores for the day! Meanwhile, you can be playing on the Xbox, bouncing on the trampoline, and generally having a great time. Adults and kids can devise a playlist, so you can learn about each others' music, and they can teach you how to use some software or social media that you just don't understand. Meanwhile, teach them something they don't know - such as how to change a tyre.
10. Sports Day
Wake up to a super healthy breakfast to set you up for sports day. Use some of the ideas in our sports tournaments blog to get you started. Everyone must dress up as a different sportsperson - tennis player, footballer, athlete etc. BUT they must move around all day like that person - so the footballer must dribble a ball, the athlete has to jump everywhere. The sports day activities should be fun - egg and spoon race, wheelbarrow race, three-legged race.
11. Jungle Or Zoo Day
Whatever you call it, this is an animal day that everyone would love. Set up toy animals around the garden and give a guided tour of your animal park. There are some great resources available from Whipsnade Zoo for ages three to 14. Lots of zoos and animal parks are doing live sessions - do a bit of research so that you can spread the activities throughout the day - you can watch the tigers being fed at Paradise Wildlife Park for instance, or take a peek into animals' lives at the world-famous San Diego Zoo. Pack a picnic to enjoy during your 'visit'.
12. Pirate Day
Ahoy me hearties! Everyone needs a pirate name of course - and will they have an eye patch, a parrot, a wooden leg or a hook for a hand? Everyone needs to learn to talk like a pirate - there are lots of ideas here. Make a treasure map, using diluted coffee so the paper looks old, set up some clues and send the crew in search of buried treasure - bury some small coins in a flower bed, sandpit or pile of compost. Take a break while they follow a Pilates-based pirate adventure. Of course, every pirate needs a ship - task them to build their own out of a big box.
13. Space Day/Star Wars Day
First, you have to take off into space - so sit down, buckle up and board Disney World's Space Mountain ride. You could create a space shuttle cockpit in a small room or cupboard - cover the walls with tinfoil, and create some control panels. Of course, you'll need space helmets - use that tinfoil and cover bike or scooter helmets. Next, make your own rockets using empty drinks bottles. Finish off the space theme day with a bedtime story read by an astronaut in space! Lots to choose from here. Older kids can stay up until it's dark - use an app such as Star Chart or Night Sky to spot stars in the night sky. See if you can spot the Space Station and look out for Elon Musk's satellite trains too
14. Willy Wonka Day
Surprise your kids by giving them a bar of chocolate for breakfast. Hidden inside is a golden ticket that takes them to the chocolate factory! Make some lickable wallpaper by brushing melted boiled sweets onto waxed paper - and invent new chocolate bars by melting chocolate and adding marshmallows, chocolate chips, raisins, cornflakes etc. Make chocolate-scented playdough by adding cocoa powder to your favourite recipe. Everyone can join in this game - put a Jaffa Cake on your forehead, then try to move it into your mouth without using your hands. In the evening, watch the movie - will you choose the original or the Johnny Depp version?
15. Jurassic Park Day
Start the day off with floury dinosaur footprints leading you outside. Then your young scientists can go hunting for the toy dinosaurs that you have hidden around the garden (or house). For dinosaur excavation, freeze small dino toys in water so the ice has to be chipped away, or bury them in mud or sand. Give them some tools and a brush to start excavating. Create a swamp using slime or similar and hide the dinos in and around it.
At Kidadl we pride ourselves on offering families original ideas to make the most of time spent together at home or out and about, wherever you are in the world. We strive to recommend the very best things, that are suggested by our community and are things we would do ourselves - our aim is to be the trusted friend to parents.
We try our very best, but cannot guarantee perfection. We will always aim to give you accurate information at the date of publication - however, information does change, so it's important you do your own research, double-check and make the decision that is right for your family.
Kidadl provides inspiration for everything from family days out to online classes, arts, crafts and science experiments. We recognise that not all activities and ideas are appropriate and suitable for all children and families or in all circumstances. Our recommended activities are based on age but these are a guide. We recommend that these ideas are used as inspiration, that ideas are undertaken with appropriate adult supervision, and that each adult uses their own discretion and knowledge of their children to consider the safety and suitability.
Kidadl cannot accept liability for the execution of these ideas, and parental supervision is advised at all times, as safety is paramount. Anyone using the information provided by Kidadl does so at their own risk and we can not accept liability if things go wrong.
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