Activities To Keep The Family Entertained At Home

Happiness can be found, even in the darkest of times, if one only remembers to turn on the light.”

— Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban, JK Rowling

We have plenty of things to keep us entertained – there are streaming services like Netflix, video calling options such as Apple’s FaceTime, Zoom or Messenger to stay connected with loved ones, but if you are looking for other ways to have fun here are some online activities that will keep you and your family educated and entertained during your time at home.

Play your favourite music

Here is a public playlist I put together on Spotify (get a free account here) or a paid subscription through Apple Music (a free trial is available).

A playlist: Positive tunes for Self Isolation – Spotify or Apple Music 

Music can be a great equaliser. It can lift you up when you are feeling down, or in need of an energy boost. There are many streaming services available with curated playlists or you can pull out your favourite vinyl or CD.

Keeping the family entertained

Taronga Zoo has its own zoo channel with live feeds of its Seals and Tigers and other animals. Watch feeding times with the Zoo keepers – both educational and entertaining, like Big Brother for animals!

https://taronga.org.au/taronga-tv

NASA has a range of free online activities including Making your own cloud in a bottle, building a model paper rocket, or online images from space.

https://science.nasa.gov/get-involved/nasaathome

Author of Harry Potter, JK Rowling, has launched ‘Harry Potter At Home‘, here you’ll find all the latest magical spells to keep you entertained – including magical craft videos (teach your friends how to draw a Niffler!), fun articles, puzzles and plenty more for new readers, as well as those already familiar with the wizarding world.

Cast a summoning charm on fun!

https://www.wizardingworld.com/collections/harry-potter-at-home

Australian National Theatre Live has a range of recorded performances that you can watch online – keep your cultural muscled flexed at http://www.antlive.com.au/

Sydney Olympic Park virtual tour of ARTEXPRESS https://www.sydneyolympicpark.com.au/Education/ARTEXPRESS

Start a Garden

Whether you have a balcony or backyard, you can buy some plants or seeds at your local Bunnings or hardware store and grow some herbs or vegetables. And won’t you feel good about yourself knowing that you are growing vegetables to stay healthy?

Keep moving and exercise

There are many online fitness classes you can use or you can simply grab some of the canned goods from the pantry, and use them to do some arm curls, use the lounge to do dips or do some squats.

If you are working from home, replace your travel with a walk or a run. You have more time up your sleeve so you can finally get started on that fitness regime!

Support local businesses

See if your local cafe does takeaway, or buy a voucher that you can use when things finally get back to normal.

Apple Education Activities

Apple has created a handy activity sheet for kids, got to love that!

Now get out there and get creating, learn something new or simply chill out on the lounge and be entertained!

Confessions of a casual Guitar Hero gamer

Dear Activision,

When you announced four years ago that you were discontinuing the Guitar Hero franchise, I was upset. How could you do that? It seemed like it was selling well across all consoles. And you didn’t run out of music, so WHYYYYYYYY?

I hung on to my Wii, scoured eBay to get secondhand copies of GuitarHero Van Halen, World Tour and the occasional Glee Karaoke (Don’t judge me I am a casual gamer) and played like no one was watching. Because. No one was watching. I made sure of that and waited until no one was home, or were upstairs playing COD or some equivalent first person shooter that didn’t include music soundtracks or interactive controllers.

IMG_6585

Then my drum set broke. But I prevailed….I could stick to my two guitar consoles, and even tried a duo with myself – I am like a double threat, guitar and badly pitched vocals.

I kept going. Four years on and still have not been able to crack Saturdays Alright for Fighting on Medium. Who knew Elton John’s music could be such a minefield of difficult guitar riffs? I take my hat off to you Sir Elton.

I tried playing on iOS, but it is not the same without holding the actual guitar controller – there is no proper whammy and ‘air guitar’ style movements that you can easily do on an iPhone without encouraging strange looks from people around you.

Then I discovered, a month later than the world, that Guitar Hero was being rebooted and available with a new guitar controller on the new Apple TV – it is not just movies that are coming full circle, a whole new generation will get to experience the interactive game.

And once I saw this trailer I was sold.

Thank you Apple. And THANK YOU ACTIVISION.

Apple TV is going to rekindle my love of a casual game. By bringing games out of the mobile and tablet device and back into the living room, Apple is making a small but firm step into the world of ‘no console’ gaming. It wont by any means compete with the likes of XBox, PS or PC but it stands to corner a niche market of non-gamers and the average family – and there are ALOT of those.

My Christmas list will have this one item. And when I say Christmas list I mean, this is what I am buying myself with the cash I am getting from the Italian relos.

Yes I am in my thirties and buying a video game for myself for Christmas. I don’t need a dowry and I am sure the bills will pay for themselves right?

No Console. No Worries.