There are many creative and fun activities you can do at home, whether you’re with your family or on your own.
Here are a few to get you started, making use of some simple online tools and apps.
Learn a language
Thanks to the internet, you can learn a language – or as many as you want - from the comfort of your home.
For starters, there’s an endless array of apps and websites for working your way through the basics, such as DuoLingo, which actually make learning a lot of fun. Also, YouTube is packed with language learning videos, and there are thousands of free podcasts available too.
There are also several sites that will connect you with teachers who can give you lessons via video conferencing apps like Skype. For example, if you’re learning French, you can head to a site such as italki and you will find hundreds of francophone tutors offering classes online, often at fees that won’t break the bank.
As well as learning a language, you’ll be exercising your brain and (virtually) meeting new and interesting people from all over the world.
Become an amateur astronomer
There’s a whole universe to explore - you just need to head to your garden, balcony or window.
If you assume that you can’t do a little amateur astronomy without a telescope, then think again. All you need is a free app on your phone or tablet. There are several available, such as SkyView, that use the GPS and compass in your phone to pinpoint your location to help you identify the stars and planets in the sky. Just open the app and point your smartphone at the sky. You can even star gaze through your bedroom window.
Join a virtual book club
Did you know you can join a book club without leaving the comfort of your home?
All you need is an internet connection. You could form a private WhatsApp group to share reading lists with friends, delve into the thriving book community of Instagram, or join an online book club on a site like goodreads.com.
Share a movie night
Watching television needn’t be a solo experience, even if you’re on your own. A new, free Google Chrome extension has been launched that enables groups of friends and family, strung across different locations, to watch and comment on programmes and films together. Netflix Party synchronizes video playback and adds group chat. All you and your ‘party guests’ need is a subscripton to the streaming service and you can get started.
If you don’t have Netflix, then BBC iPlayer is boosting its collection of box sets available to watch - shows it’s added recently include Spooks, The Missing, Waking the Dead, French and Saunders, Wallander and The Honourable Woman.
Don’t forget to do some exercise
Even if you don’t have much or any outside space, you can still keep up with your daily exercise from the comfort of your home. This might range from just getting up and walking around regularly to following an online exercise session.
The NHS is a good place to start. It has loads of gym-free exercise routines on its website - even including one you can do using your pillow as a free weight. When you’re at home, there’s plenty you can do to stay active, entertained and healthy. These are just a few ideas to get you started, with a little help from the internet.