With schools and daycares closed, parents at home, and the option of taking kids out and about off the table - Northland parents have had to get creative with ways to keep children entertained.

Today is the third day since alert level 4 - lockdown - has been in place, but schools have officially been closed, for all students other than the children of essential service workers, since Tuesday.

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• Colouring-in - if you don't have pencils or colouring-in books at home - there are apps and websites you can use; or if you have a printer you can print out pages from online.
• Painting - if you don't have paint at home you can make your own by mixing half a cup each of flour, water and salt; dividing it up; and then adding food colouring.
• Nature art - kids can use leaves, sticks, and flowers to create images of faces, insects, or animals.
• Origami - have paper lying around? Why not get the kids to do some origami. There are lots of videos online to refer to.



Oscar, 6, loves Lego. Photo / Supplied
Oscar, 6, loves Lego. Photo / Supplied

This is probably one of the most popular activities for kids (and adults).

Kerikeri mum Anna Stanley created a Lego-dedicated Facebook group - Lego Kids NZ - on Monday and it already has more than 500 members.

"I've got three boys under 7, and my oldest - the 6-year-old - is very into Lego and was asking for Lego play dates with his friends, so obviously that's off the cards.

"I said why don't we make Lego things and send videos to your friends and they can send some back? And I've got friends all over the country so I'll just make a page for it and it's sort of taken off."

Each day Stanley has been posting different challenges for kids to complete - like build an animal, build a robot, build a marble maze and build bugs/insects - and their creations are shared in the group.

"It's kept them very busy - especially the maze one we did yesterday. The 3-year-old is just learning how to do Lego so he's right into it."

Get active

• Go outside and stretch
• Meditate - there are videos on YouTube to help guide you
• Cosmic Kids Yoga - another popular suggestion - you can access free videos on YouTube
• Get stuck into the garden
• Go on a scavenger hunt in your house or backyard

Board games

Board games can be a great way of keeping kids entertained. If you don't have any at home, it's too late to buy some but many have apps.


• Uno
• Scrabble
• Psych
• Connect 4
• Chess


• Journal - Keeping a journal allows children and teens to write down how they're feeling and what they've been doing.
• Bucket list/post isolation jar - this idea popped on Facebook. Every time you wish you could do something, go somewhere, visit someone - write it on a small piece of paper and place it in a jar. Then, when the lockdown is over and all restrictions removed, you can work your way through the jar
• Make your own word find
• Make your own Sudoku
• Rearrange your bedroom
• Do some cooking and baking

Join a Facebook group for ideas

Here are a few:

Keeping Kids Busy in Isolation
Lego Kids NZ
• Follow Whangārei Youth Space on Facebook