As lockdown due to COVID-19 drags on and on for many around the world, organisations have been opening their ‘virtual doors’ providing some fabulous resources to help us while away the time whilst we are stuck indoors.

As many of us have online access to the internet, Here is a list of some great resources that have been made available to help  us get through this challenging time.

From music and concerts, plays and virtual museum tours, to books and tours around zoos, you can gain access to the world of culture from your living room. Here are a few suggestions so you can while away the time in lockdown:

1. See Shakespeare’s plays at The Globe THeatre in London with these free-to-view performances.

2. Check out the weekly play from The National Theatre’s productions.

3. The English National Ballet is showing a weekly performance which is hosted on YouTube.

4. Settle down to watch an Andrew Lloyd Webber musical, streamed for free for 24 or 48hrs on the The Shows Must Go On YouTube channel.

5. If you are a fan of classic musicals, you can download the fabulous Les Miserables for £9.99. Proceeds go towards the theatre community and the NHS.

6. Pretend to travel the world. Go on a virtual tour of these 12 famous museums. and see what they have on offer

7. You can also take a self-guided tour and see the wonders of the unique Yosemite National Park from the comfort of your sofa.

Meerkats

8. If you like animals. how about taking a look around Edinburgh Zoo’s live cam and watch your favourite animals strutting their stuff.

9. Audio books are also readily available and ideal for those struggling with sight-loss, or for those who like to listen to a book read to them while they are doing other things. If this is you, then check out Audible which is offering a free 30 day trial period at the moment.

10. If you like flexing your brain cells, then you could participate in a Virtual Pub Quiz. This initiative has raised nearly £20,000  for the NHS. It held every Thursday night after the 8pm clap for the NHS and key workers event has finished.

There are also some practical activities you could try that don’t involve logging online: 

Knitting is an absorbing – and productive – hobby

1. Knitting & Needlework – Knitting, crochet, patchwork, tapestry, and embroidery are all great old school activities that provide hours of fun and mindful creativity.

You could produce something practical from your efforts too.

2. Arts and Crafts –  From sketching and painting to collage and pom-pom making, there are activities for every level. Painting by numbers and adult colouring books provide great entry level activities to spend some time mindfully drawing. 

3. Word Puzzles – Whether it’s crosswords, quizzes or word searches in a book, a verbal connections game or one of the many online options.

If words are your thing, then these options provide plenty of collective head-scratching moments and hours of entertainment. Free online games are also available. Take a look at ArkadiumWordgames or Brain Games for inspiration.

4. Bingo – This is a classic game that works equally well for large and small groups, if your elderly relative is living at home with you, don’t feel you need to stick to calling out numbers, you can make up your own variations with family catchphrases, sightseeing icons or holiday activities.

5. Sudoku and Logic Puzzles – These are brilliantly addictive and there are different levels with many books available as well as online resources such as Puzzlebaron or Brainzilla

6. Jigsaw Puzzles – Reverting to childhood activities can be fun, and many elderly people will enjoy the relaxing and meditative elements of puzzles.

Solving puzzles is a good solo activity as well as multi-player (if practical) which provides the ability to share tactics.

Do you start by completing objects in the picture or go for corners first to create an outer rim? You could also upload an image and have a jigsaw puzzle created and sent to your relatives isolating alone – to make sure they still remember you.

7. Chess – This iconic game is ideal for those at home in a duo and also good for virtual play – if both players have a chess board it can provide hours of concentrated fun as well as an opportunity for elders to share knowledge and strategies to younger generations.

With no need to move, it’s a great game for those with mobility issues. 

8. Serving Tray & Shopping List Games – The serving tray game is classic and another good activity for those living at home together or it can even provide an opportunity for virtual play if both attendees have their own trays. 

9. Cards and Card-Matching Games – For those in isolation Solitaire is an irresistible classic, while for others who may be within a smaller household Pontoon, Bridge and even Poker can prove to be great fun. 

10. Learn a New Language or Instrument – If your loved ones want to be really challenged, they could try to learn a new language or instrument.

There are many online courses as well as teach-yourself books that can help them on their way. You could even learn the same thing and compare your progress.

11. Gardening. Plant some vegetable or salad seeds and supply yourself with fresh vegetables in the summer. You do not need to have a garden either. You can grow seeds on a sunny windowsill or balcony.

There are many things you can discover to keep yourself occupied. You never know, at the end of your quarantine, you might find you have discovered a new skill or hobby, learned about a new topic, or re-discovered cultural classics.

Whatever you choose to do, you will emerge ready to face the new normal – whatever that might be.