Keeping kids safe and sane during lockdown

Posted on 27 March 2020

A few ways to keep kids entertained during the COVID-19 pandemic without having to leave the house.

As South Africa goes into lockdown, parents around the country are seeking ways to keep youngsters safe and sane while they stay at home. Here are a few ideas to get started.


Meal preparation

Even if you aren’t a committed foodie, now that you can’t simply order in from your favourite restaurant, you will be spending more time in the kitchen than ever before. Once you’ve safely sanitised your groceries, instead of dreading the idea of cooking all your meals, why not turn the kitchen into an interactive lab for your youngsters? While it takes patience to teach a kid how to use a knife safely, how to wash fruits and vegetables properly and how to follow a recipe, it offers a golden opportunity to teach them about nutrition – and how measurements work. When a child cooks something on their own, they are also much more likely to try new flavours and enjoy their own creation.

At breakfast, let your little ones crack eggs and show them how to cook them in different ways. Older kids will need little persuasion to help you create their favourite dessert or cake. Visit for a wealth of age-appropriate ideas.


Clean-up games

In a lockdown situation, the last thing you need is a messy home, where tripping over toys and dirty laundry becomes the norm. Even the surliest teen is going to need to pull their weight to ensure you all come out of this intact. Try these for size:

The speed game: Get your kids to race each other (while you time them) to collect all the laundry / toys / dirty crockery from their rooms. Create suitable ‘prizes’ for the daily winner.

Roll the dice: Each number of the dice corresponds to a different household chore. Each child rolls the dice and is assigned the chore – whether that’s cleaning windows, vacuuming the lounge or folding the laundry.

Clear the table: Mark the bottom of a cup or plate. Get the kids (teens included) to clear the table. Whoever gets the ‘winning’ item gets a prize. Get creative. Sometimes the prize can be the privilege of washing up, or packing the dishwasher. Other times it can be something fun – like getting to choose what the family eats for the next meal.


Learning games

Instead of worrying that your children aren’t keeping on top of their school lessons, rather view this enforced break as an opportunity for your child to explore different avenues. Ask them to list all the different things they’d like to learn and experience (such as learning the guitar or finding out what the surface of Mars looks like), then schedule ways to make this happen. For tips on using technology wisely, consult our guideline article.

Get more inspiration here:


In the interest of our patients, in accordance with SA law and our commitment to expertise, Mediclinic cannot subscribe to the practice of online diagnosis. Please consult a medical professional for specific medical advice. If you have any major concerns, please see your doctor for an assessment. If you have any cause for concern, your GP will be able to direct you to the appropriate specialists.