Things to do while self isolating, adults and kids!

Figured I'd start a thread and compile a list of things people are doing, or have found to do, while self-isolating. I figure that the more ideas and options there are in one place, the easier this will be for everyone to get through.

So, let's kick it off!

  • Crafting like crochet, knitting, sewing, felting, painting, rug making, etc.

  • Getting out into the garden. The weeds won’t stand a chance.

  • Plant some seeds and watch them grow into food for you/the family. Depending on what seeds you plant, this could be a short or a long activity.
  • Jigsaw puzzles. Once done with the ones you've got, do a no contact swap with someone else so you've got more to keep you busy.

  • Practice your musical instrument. Amazon probably have some new books for you to learn some new tunes from!

  • Sing along a YouTube to entertain yourself, and the neighbours!

  • Write a memoir of your life.

  • Write a poem, short story, novel, etc. Whatever is in your head.
  • With the kids, why not start a family newpaper? You could write it, draw it, and stick it all together. Do one a week, one a day, whatever suits.
  • Finish/start a memory book for the children/family.

  • Finish/start the admin you've been putting off - death or otherwise.

  • Keep a diary, embellished or actual.

  • Get that spring cleaning done. Great time for emptying out all those cupboards all over the house to give them a scrub and bin anything that's no longer needed!

  • Netflix, Amazon Prime, Disney+, etc

  • Video chat with friends and family all over the world - an app called Houseparty works quite well apparently.

  • Send letters/cards to nursing homes who are currently allowed no visitors.

  • Phone friends and family, especially those who are isolated home alone with no family for company.

  • Teach yourself or brush up on those DIY skills! Amazon can deliver just about anything to you, so why not try making something for the house, or repairing whatever it is that's been bugging you and you never thought you had time to do before!

  • Brush up on those baking skills. See how creative you can be with what's in your cupboards like your very own ready steady cook! Get the kids involved too, because cooking and baking are brilliant skills to have! Do let us know what the weirdest ingredient is you manage to use - that long forgotten tin or jar in the back of the cupboard that you find something amazing to make with it!

  • Get a pet. You being stuck home will give you a taste of how they feel in the shelter. If you've space in your home, and the time to dedicate to a wee beastie even after quarantine, then why not make enquiries? Even with quarantine, you're still allowed to go for walks in the fresh air, just keep 6 feet between you and the next person.

  • Exercise! Plenty of routines on all number of apps and youtube! Why not have a nose and an explore, see if there's something that appeals to you, or at least gives you a giggle when you try it!

  • Learn a new language! There are free apps like Duolingo that you can try, or if you have a few pennies then there are plenty of courses to pay for too!

  • That book you've not finished/picked up yet because you're often too tired or too busy? Perfect time to get stuck in and see what happens next!
  • Put up some bird feeders in the garden where you can see them. Some of the antics of the birds, squirrels, and who knows what that might visit are sometimes better than the TV!
  • Have a couple of duvet days and just chill out. Can't feel guilty when you're not supposed to be anywhere else!
  • The charity called Shine - for patients 20 - 49 - are holding an online book club for people to join in with.
  • Lots of theatres and performers are putting their stuff online so you can still 'see a show/concert', just from your house.
  • Independent cafes and restaurants are really going to be struggling at the moment, so why not buy yourself a voucher as something to look forward to after this is all done and dusted? Alternatively, some of them are starting to offer takeaway where they usually wouldn't. So have a look online at your local restaurants, and even butchers/bakers/fishmongers/etc, to see who is offering delivery, then try and support them where you can to help them through this time!
  • Have a pamper session! Get in some nice creams and potions for your skin, nails, hair, whatever you've got that needs a bit of TLC and do yourself a spa day or two! Guys you can do it too and no need to be shy, because you're isolated - so no one will be a twat and judge you! Your skin needs love too!
  • Write a blog
  • For those with children, this has kept us quite busy today. If you type an animals name into Google (on an iPhone or Android) and then press ‘View in 3D’. It brings up your camera and then 30 seconds later you have a tiger in your house! You can take a photo of the kids with them and they can walk around it.
  • You Tube videos - watch them or make them. Cute animal ones are often fun!
  • Send a loved one a free biscuit
  • The Turn of the Screw

  • The Ring Cycle

  • 1984, the ballet

  • Dracula - Northern Ballet has proved that it can tell any story through dance, but Dracula is particularly well-suited to adaptation. Bram Stoker’s haunting tale of an ancient vampire at large in 19th Century England is full of seduction, temptation and obsession. Dracula will be released on BBC iPlayer in the coming weeks as part of BBC’s Culture in Quarantine Season. 

  • Panda Cam

  • Night of the Living Dead Remix, and Oh The Night

  • Project Intimacy

  • Free courses to teach yourself something new from Open Learn
  • Free kids books if you have an e-reader
  • A list of more things to do, including online museum tours! Too many things to list, but do click and have a browse!
  • Photography projects for around the home and garden
  • PE routines!
  • Free films
  • 2 free tomb raider games to play!
  • Play boardgames with your friends, online!
  • Free audible catalogue
  • London theatre shows to watch online
  • Broadway Shows  - 7 day free trial
  • Free audio Children's Stories
  • Marquee TV. Watch Ballet, plays, etc - 30 day free trial. 
  • A play is broadcast every night for free
  • Free Musicals and Plays to watch online
  • Wind in the Willows the musical from the West End!

  • 30 day lego build challenge
  • NTL will show a play every Thursday
  • Oklahoma with Hugh Jackman

  • Reserved

I'll update this first post as more suggestions are added, that way folks don't need to scroll through the whole thread to find things! 

So..... Whatcha got?



  • Hi Lass

    Keeping busy through sofa days is something I have learned through my years of treatment. My list includes:

    1.  My usual crafting. I have looked up some new crochet skills to learn. Bust that stash!

    2. Getting out into the garden. The weeds won’t stand a chance.

    3. Jigsaw puzzles. I must get to the charity shops and pick up a few - or rather send in my girl as I’m under doctor’s instructions to steer clear of shops.

    4. Play my guitar and piano 

    5. Sing along a YouTube. Choir is cancelled but I can always sing along with choirs on the computer where I have the music  

    6. Write my memoir. I have had an exciting life and my girls have asked me to write down my stories of daring do as a reporter and international Red Cross worker  

    7. Finish the memory books for my girls. I am partway through both. I need to print some more pictures and get sticking 

    8. Finish the death admin. I’ve done the big bits of work. I keep promising I’ll do things like make lists of the various shop accounts that need to be closed and lists of people who’d like to know of my sad demise.

    I think that’s enough to be getting on with  

  • Hi Daloni,

    so far it has only been a day but I am liking being at home.

    i can play the piano play my guitar and going to get my art stuff out so I can do some painting. I may start to keep a diary .

    i have been so busy cleaning and ordering on line.

    i have ordered compost and seed and seed potatoes and we are going to grow food.

    seems most things can be delivered on line.

    i am going to try and get dog food today.

    i love Netflix and have got into breaking bad.

    had a video call yesterday with my sister in America both  my children at the same time one in London and one in Bristol we had a great time.

    a phone call with my brother in Watford.

    My husband loves DIY and gardening and is repairing things and clearing stuff out and is going to,paint the lounge.

    i am going to bake some bread and make a quiche today.

    Life seems really busy.

    i had to get up early as my lenvatinib is meant to be delivered if it doesn’t arrive I will phone the pharmacy. They give me a time slot of before 9 a.m.

    i have to walk the dog every morning which I love he is a very friendly Labrador and chases a ball. I haven’t seen one person the last 3 days on my walk at the fields at the back of my house. Good they give me a time slot because he needs to go out for a walk so do I.

    i miss my lane swimming so think I will start some exercises in the lounge 

    if you can keep busy the days are fun 

    keep safe everyone 

    love Ruth 

  • I've been thinking about this a lot.

    When I first had a prolonged absence from work it was a revelation to me to realise that I normally fill almost every waking hour with work and activities.

    When I imagined reirement I hoped to be able to travel, spend lots of time catching up with friends, joining classes, volunteering, doing up our house....

    Long periods out of work and failing health have put the kybosh on some of those things, and 12 weeks of self isolation the rest, so it's time to think outside the box.

    your ability to be productive and creative through sofa days (and worse) is astounding. you gutted and transformed a room in your house including laying a carpet and set up potential 'cottage industry' with absolutely b****r all in the tank and no doubt paid the price.

    The secret seems to be engaging fully in whatever it is you're doing.

    I found a brilliant online beginners Spanish Course through wowcher, and an online guitar course. I've been doing an exercise programme at home. These new guidelines will mean a lot more time to fill, so clearing clutter, spring cleaning and following through some paperwork will be factored in...I've got some good books to read, some plants to rescuscitate, a couple of bird feeders to put up in the garden, the list is endless, but how do people structure their day? Having things in the diary to work around was a big help, but with nothing but hospital appointments it would be tempting to hide under the duvet and watch daytime tv.

    I've given myself a couple of days to regroup and make a plan, this thread will help, so thank you!


  • Updated to here with what you lovely ladies have said. I edited to make it all a bit more generic so that folks reading will be able to relate to it all a bit more, and some of what you said sparked some ideas of my own too. So if anyone has any more ideas, or things they find online or whatever, then do let me know!

    And yes Tina, it def took a few days/weeks to recover from clearing the room, learning how to lay carpet through trial and error, then getting all the new furniture in there too! lol. But I love it, and have a bear started - though lots of sweary words have been happening as I'm also teaching myself to use the sewing machine, and it does LOVE to snarl and eat my floofy material! lol. But his head is done, his back is sewn together, I just need some energy to get back up there and get going again. But I've had to clear my kitchen floor ready for it to be taken up and a new one laid. So that's used up my energy for now. But I do know what my next two toys will be once this blasted bear is done...... and they won't be made with this material!!!! lol

    As for structuring my day, it's very much fluid. I usually decide what it is I'd like to achieve, or what it is that needs done, then crack on first thing until I need to rest. Then sit and watch some TV, type up some recipes, reply here, chat to folks, etc etc. Then, once I've got some energy back and the pain has dissipated, I go at it again until i again need to sit. And somewhere in there, I stop and eat a couple of times. So sometimes it means I rest, cook and eat, rest - as the standing cooking saps the energy I'd regenerated. So very much, it's a go with the flow type of thing, but if there's something I absolutely must get done, I make a list of it all and then cross it off as I go. Keeps me more focused and on target that way. Like with the wedding cake tastings I've been doing - I've all the recipes in front of me and I know I must make all the cakes and do all the cleaning on one day, then all the icings and all that cleaning up the next day, before 6:30pm ish. So because I have a task in front of me, and a time in which it all needs done, I push through and get it done. Otherwise, it's just as and when.

    Hope that helps!



  • I have a felting kit that's keeping me busy. Ordered new books. 

    Cooking. Renovating some awful melamine bedside cabinets.

    Started a history blog, but very early days.


  • Some fabulous ideas. I can’t add much except to say if you want exercise that doesn’t jar, the Qi Gong is ideal. I learned it at Tai Chi class but it’s easily found on line. To really enjoy it, find some soothing Chinese music on YouTube. 

    If you feel you have to get out (away from people obviously) the National Trust are making gardens and car parks free for the duration.

    If you have a husband like mine who is easily bored, get the paint and other DIY materials in now. He’s already laid a new floor in the dining room. I’ve told him to leave the kitchen until he’s desperate (next week probably)

    Keeping out of shops and cafes should mean we have a bit of cash when we’re finally let loose. It’s fun planning treats, even small ones. Those local cafes that survive will need your custom. As will the pub.

    Stay safe everyone. We’ve all gone through so much it’s not worth taking risks. Heart

  • Or when feeling low search for ’cute baby animals’ on YouTube.  It’s exactly what it says it is. 

  • I was watching guinea pig videos whilst at hospital this morning!

     Video chats can be fun if feeling lonely.


  • There’s an app that allows a group of people to do video chats. It’s called house party. It works really well


  • Here’s another idea. A jigsaw swap. I finished the one I bought in a charity shop rather too quickly. So my friend and I are going to swap, leaving the jigsaws in each other’s porches / on the door step to maintain social distance of course 

  • Heya, 

    Just to say I've updated this with things I've found and suggestions made! 

    Hope you find some things to enjoy, especially as this looks like it might be going on for 12 months to different degrees 

    Stay healthy! 



  • Hi All,

    So far I've spent my time digging three big holes down the garden as there are four of us in the house at the moment (mother in law is here as well) and I'm sure that not all of us will survive.  Only co-incidentally to do with coronavirus but after 12 weeks of self isolating in a house with three others I may well be jumping in one of the holes myself and pulling the soil in on top of me!

    On a much more positive note I was sent this link today click here  in the local U3A newsletter.  It has lots of online resources that people might find interesting.  It looks really good and I'm certainly going to have a look at a few.

    I hope that every one is coping well.

    All the best,

    Gragon xx

    Added edit.

    Hi All,

    I've just had a look at the list in more detail and I must say I am impressed.  One of the sites is a link to Audible which is currently free for children so long as the schools are closed.  As well as children's books it includes several classics so looks really good.  There are several learning resources including languages, free streaming of concerts, virtual tours of art galleries and museums and lots more.  It is really worth looking at and clicking on a few of the links.

    Gragon xx

  • Hey Gragon, 

    Hope you're not too tired after all of that digging! Lol

    If you have a look above, the chatterpack link is already listed in the first post, as is the audible book link separately. It's not pretty as it's easier to use my phone than my computer, but I can tidy it up with hyperlinks if people think that would make it easier to use? 

    I'm continually updating the first post as I find things, and I've added three new links today. The one I just put up has links to operas, musicals, and plays that you can watch online if you wanted a touch of culture!



  • Tidied this up and added a few more things to the list that I've found.

    Hope you all find something of interest!



  • Hi 

    We had safe and socially distanced fun down my road on Sunday. It’s a small cul de sac of houses built in 1952 by the council. One of my neighbours invited us all to go to the top of our front gardens at 11.30am for a game, primarily for the kids. He set up a table in the middle of the street and from there shouted instructions for a scavenger hunt. We raced into our own houses, trying to be the first back with different items such as a jug of water, a black glove or a scooter. He awarded points and a prize for the winner. It was very funny. 


  • what a wonderful idea - bet the kids loved it (no matter what their age!).  Just the picture it painted in my mind made me smile - thank you


  • @daloni I dont know if it's right but I just got an alert to delete the house party app as it was responsible for hacking bank accounts etc.

    Stay safe everybody 

  • For those with children, this has kept us quite busy today. If you type an animals name into Google (on an iPhone or Android) and then press ‘View in 3D’. It brings up your camera and then 30 seconds later you have a tiger in your house! You can take a photo of the kids with them and they can walk around it.



  • Hi ,

    Please click on the link to see this article on the BBC website.  here   Houseparty are offering a reward saying that they believe they were the victims of a smear campaign.  They deny any problem with the site.  The article does describe some issues with "gatecrashers"

    Wishing you all the best.

    Gragon xx

  • Working on a family tree - warning. It's very addictive. Both Find my Past and Ancestry are offering two week free trials at the minute.

    I've been a member of Ancestry for years so now's the time for me to work on some of my "brick walls".  My can't-remember-how-many-times-great-grandma deserves to be known as more than just "Widow Linnane". 

    Be warned though, it's very addictive and can be quite sad.  My great grandmother  - who died before I was born - had something like 11 children with only five living. (Although I can't help but giggle when I see she had twins in 1922 and called them Ronald and Donald!) I've found a  cousin  of my grandma - he died in my lifetime - nobody knew he existed. He was born in 1902 to a single mother and sadly died in an asylum. Nobody knew he existed. 

    It's really interesting and a great way of teaching kids (if you have any of the right age) a bit of interactive history. One lady I know wrote out her family tree and then they set to work collecting coins of the year of birth for everyone and sticking them on the chart.  

    I look at my chart and the people who were around in WWII - queuing for food, struggling with shortages, worrying about loved ones and so on and I see a parallel to today. When I moan to myself about only having 6 eggs, I think of my great grandmother Lily who would no doubt have LOVED to have six eggs to feed her five children.  It puts things into perspective for me.