Since early last year, our lives have been disrupted with the global pandemic and COVID-19. We had hoped that as we transitioned into 2021, we would be able to leave this strange time behind us.
Unfortunately, within the first few days of January, the UK went back into complete lockdown. For some, this means working from home and online lessons for children, but it is still a long time to stay indoors, and boredom can quickly set in. Thankfully there is no shortage of new games being released all over the place so let’s have a look at some of the ways you can keep busy while staying indoors using games to pass the time.
The traditional board game has enjoyed something of a revival thanks to lockdown. There are still plenty of classics to keep everyone entertained from trivial pursuits to monopoly and many other reimagined favourites. You will find online retailers happy to deliver these to your door.
If you like long and involved gameplay, there are plenty of Dungeons and Dragons type games with various new incarnations arriving all the time. Whether you want to game with fairies and trolls or something more strategic based in the military, you will find many hobby shops have a wide range of games and provided they have a website you can still get your hands on these.
The great thing about advancing technology is the ability to access games on almost every device we own. If you are looking for mobile games, there is certainly no need to spend money as there are plenty of free offerings on the appropriate App Store for your phone. Some games enable a level of play for free and encourage you to spend money, so you need to be aware of this if the children have your phone to make purchases inadvertently.
However, with such a selection of brilliant free games on offer, you can certainly keep everyone entertained for several hours during the lockdown.
Another almost forgotten hobby that is making a comeback is the humble jigsaw puzzle. These range from very simple for younger children to nearly impossible for adults who like a challenge. All you have to decide is how many pieces you are interested in reassembling and what sort of picture you want on the finished item. Some really excellent jigsaw puzzle apps enable you to do these logical building games using an iPad or mobile phone.
If you’re going to challenge yourself, you can cover up the picture and work by skill, or you can make things easier and leave the finished article where you can see it. Perhaps you can arrange to swap jigsaw puzzles when it is safe to do so with other family and friends. Just remember not to break the social distancing rules at the moment.
If you were a child of the 70s or 80s, you might have great memories of playing cards with your grandparents. Whether they broke your parent’s advice and taught you poker or played something more child friendly like gin rummy, it is a happy memory for many people.
Card games can even be played alone with things like solitaire, and they make a great way to occupy a few hours using buttons or sweets if you want to make things a bit more exciting and gamble in a family-friendly way. A pack of cards is a great inexpensive way to pass the time and children can also try and teach themselves card tricks, and even try and build a House of Cards as alternative uses.
If you are short of games and cannot get any right now, you can also invent some excellent imagination games. I-Spy, for example, does not require any equipment, neither do charades. Once they get into it you will find the children really love this sort of game and it certainly helps make a dull afternoon and if a bit more interesting. You could even have a competition and get them to design their games and then pick a winner from amongst themselves.
If you have a home Voice Assistant such as Google Home or Alexa, you may not be aware that they can play games with you. You can enable many different skills that have quizzes and other fun activities suitable for people of all ages. It’s certainly worth having a look around and seeing what you can get. The best news is because you already own the device; these are again free to access.
Over the last few years, the escape room has become a popular gaming experience. Still, traditionally this requires you to go to a location to physically escape the room by solving clues. Lockdown has got many companies to think outside the box, and you can now purchase an escape room experience that you and a group of friends, even those in different locations can work on together across the Internet from the safety of your own homes.
You can also purchase an escape room experience for those living in the same house as you and enjoy teamwork as you try and solve the mystery that will enable you to unlock the room and escape. Some companies also offer murder mystery type games on the same basis, and these were often used for dinner parties which again cannot happen at the moment.
However, you could have a zoom dinner party where several families all choose to eat the same meal and then set yourselves up to solve the mystery.