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Stuck at home with the family? It’s family bonding time! Whether you like it or not! Luckily, LockHouse is here to help you come up with some ideas for family activities — that are actually fun for everyone involved.

Board games

Nothing says ‘family bonding’ like the fun, frenzy, and feuding that ensue when you break out a family board game. Some of the long board games out there are guaranteed to keep everyone occupied for a whole day. You can keep bloodshed to a minimum with a cooperative game, like Pandemic or an Exit game, or get some much-needed catharsis from watching plastic sculptures crash to earth with Junk Art. Bonus: set up a league table and keep a running record of which family member is the lockdown board game champion.

Kitchen creativity

a family with two parents and two children around a table with cooking ingredientsThere are a whole range of family activities to explore in the kitchen, provided you’re not worried about little things like ‘making a mess’ or ‘burning your house down’. The best thing about doing some family baking is that you’ll (hopefully) end up with some delicious snacks by the end of it — plus, it’ll teach the kids valuable life skills, like oven safety and the fact that cookies are the best way to anyone’s heart. Alternatively, indulge your inner mad scientist with some science experiments. We’re all feeling like a Mento trapped in a bottle of Coke these days. Let it out. Explode something. 

Film night

This is one for when you’re feeling exhausted by the weight of the world. Are you lying on the sofa with your eyes shut, like a minor Victorian noble with a case of the vapours, begging feebly for a break from the high-stakes excitement and fiendish brain-teasers of yet another brilliant escape room board game? In which case, it’s time to recharge with movie night. Make it more exciting by setting up a DIY cinema: dim the lights, make homemade theatre tickets, and ‘sell’ snacks and drinks on the door. Then settle in to lift everyone’s spirits with a feel-good film, or escape with an adventure film.

Do some crafting

a selection of multi coloured colouring pencils on top of a white colouring pageBy this point pretty much everyone, no matter their age, could probably stand to do some colouring. Collect all the pens, crayons, paints, and glitter glue you can find, and relax with a colouring book. There are all sorts of colouring page options out there, for every age and interest — or if you’re feeling extra creative, or you’re out of printer ink, you can take turns drawing pictures for other family members to colour in. Hang up your masterpieces in an at-home art gallery, complete with little placards underneath them explaining the deep artistic vision behind your fluorescent-marker dinosaurs. Other craft ideas to get stuck into include knitting, origami, or researching and creating your family tree.

At-home adventures

Transform your home into something more exciting! Escape the tedium of lockdown by creating your own DIY escape room. Doing a DIY escape room provides a great distraction, and rolls excitement, puzzle-solving and creativity all into one project. (Plus, escape rooms are great for family bonding. But, like, in a genuinely fun way.) If you’re looking for something less intense and puzzling, try putting together a scavenger hunt or floor-is-lava-style obstacle course.

Finally, a quick heads up for everyone interested in games: itch.io’s Bundle for Racial Justice and Equality is offering over 700 video games and tabletop roleplaying games for a minimum price of $5. All proceeds are being split equally between the NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund and ActBlue’s Community Bail Fund. It’s a fantastic opportunity to donate to help the fight for racial justice, and pick up a whole lot of great games at the same time. And for people looking for family activities, there are some great family-friendly options included in the bundle, like Mausritter (a fantasy tabletop RPG in which everyone’s a mouse), or Codemancer (a video game designed to teach kids programming in a fun, accessible, fantastical way). The bundle is available until June 16th, so now’s the time to go help it make a difference.

We hope everyone’s staying safe, and looking after yourselves and others during these stressful times. While LockHouse is currently closed, we’ll be keeping up a series of blog posts on all things escape rooms, board games, tabletop RPGs, media recs, and more. Read all our LockHouse Lockdown content here. Plus keep an eye on our Facebook for everything from updates to brainteasers!