We hope you’re looking after yourself and those in your household while we’re all in lockdown. If the cabin fever is starting to set in and you're looking for things to do in isolation, we’ve got some ideas for surviving the lockdown, enjoying nature and keeping everyone entertained.
Here are our top ideas for things to do in isolation to keep you engaged with nature:
Plan a trip around New Zealand
Do some bird spotting
Go for a walk
Go camping in your backyard
Make traps or tracking tunnels
Set up a treasure hunt in the backyard
Grow your own vegetables
Download some activities
Have a picnic in the garden
Do some writing
1. Plan a trip around New Zealand
The first of our things to do in isolation is to create the ultimate New Zealand bucket list. Once we’re out of lockdown and as places begin to reopen, there will be plenty of New Zealand business needing support. As well as creating incredible memories doing amazing activities around the country, you can play your part by supporting local. Check out our New Zealand bucket list blog for activity ideas to include in your list.
2. Do some bird spotting
Now is the perfect time to admire all the birds flitting around in your garden. You may be able to spot birds such as the tui, sparrow, fantail, starling, blackbird and many more. You could even make a bird bingo sheet for the kids. If you need a little help identifying the birds, Forest and Bird have a how-to guide. If you're loving watching all the birds, check out some of the native birds you’ll find on our ecotour here.
If you would like to attract more birds to your garden or would like a fun activity for the kids, why not make a bird feeder out of a toilet roll? You’ll probably already have everything you need at home - find out how to make one here.
Photo: Watch all the beautiful birds fly around your garden and see how many you can name.
3. Go for a walk
Take some time to go for a walk around your block and use this opportunity to take in your surroundings, breathe in the fresh air and notice things you may not have before. Its important to get outside each day while we're in isolation but just remember to practice social distancing and keep two metres away from any people you are not in lockdown with.
4. Go camping in your backyard
Camping in your backyard is fun for kids, flatties and adults! It’s a chance for a change of scene, a bit of fun and you could even cook outside. Why not check out the stars and turn the internet off for the night? If you don’t have a tent you can get creative, maybe use some sheets and make a daytime camp instead.
Photo: Pitch a tent in your backyard for a change of scene.
5. Make tracking tunnels
With a bit of free time on your hands, you could create a tracking tunnel and see what creatures are wandering around your backyard. Tracking tunnels are used to find out what kind of creatures are around where the tracking tunnel is placed. The animal will walk across an ink pad to eat food then leave its inky footprint on the tunnel floor. Watch our video for how to build your tracking tunnel with items you’ll probably have at home.
Photo: Ana from Rotorua Canopy Tours with a tracking tunnel
6. Set up a treasure hunt (or Easter egg hunt) in the backyard
A treasure hunt is great idea for the kids (and the kids at heart). Create a bit of excitement in your household and get everyone searching for different objects in the garden (you can download this DOC treasure hunt sheet). While we’re all in lockdown it will also be Easter so you could even set up an Easter egg hunt for everyone to enjoy.
7. Grow your own vegetables
Another great thing to do in isolation is to catch up on the gardening or start growing your own vegetables or herbs. You could even go the sustainable route and try growing some vegetables from food scraps like potatoes, celery and lettuce. You can turn otherwise discarded scraps into a whole new plant with a bit of patience. Find out more about food scraps you can regrow here.
Photo: Start your own vegetable patch from food scraps.
8. Download some activities
There are loads of downloadable activities available online that will keep you entertained. The Kiwi Conservation Club and Outdoor Kid have some great activities for kids like make an origami kereru or colouring in a poster, while the adults might like to try downloading apps with activities such as:
- Adult colouring in
- Word search
- Brain teasers
9. Have a picnic in the garden
We’re having some beautiful autumn days here in New Zealand, so get your daily vitamin D dose with a picnic in your backyard. You can get the kids involved in making the food for the picnic too! Below are some great recipes to get you started:
Photo: Set up a picnic spot and enjoy some home cooked food.
10. Do some writing
Last on our list of our things to do in isolation is writing. This is a very unique time in history – we’ve never experienced anything quite like it and it may never happen again. Create a diary and document this time in your life. If writing isn't your thing, you could create a video diary with an entry each day of all the fun things you've done. Try Momento or Day One Journal for a video diary ios app or Journey for andorid. It’s something you or your kids could look back on to remember how you were feeling and appreciate the time you had together.
We hope you’ve got a bit of inspiration from our list of things to do in isolation and you’re making the most of your time in lockdown. Remember to be kind and look after each other!