Surviving A Snap Winter Lockdown With The Kids – Creative Activities For Kids

Surviving A Snap Winter Lockdown With The Kids – Creative Activities For Kids Junge Paprikapflanzen in einer Anzuchtschale

During lockdown are you looking for creative ideas to get them into the garden and off screens…at least for a bit?

We’ve been lucky to have been living in a relative bubble up until now but alas, the dreaded COVID19 has made its way to the Central West in NSW and we are now faced with a snap lockdown of at least seven days. It’s winter. It’s a proper cold, wet winter. The Xbox is a temptation that’s hard to resist for young people. Parents are facing the possibility of remote learning.

Here at Avid Gardener headquarters, we’ve put together a list of easy, low cost and fun activities that will help your little darlings get out into the fresh, crisp air and off those pesky screens. It’s also a brilliant way to build connection as a family.

Plant some seeds for your spring veggie garden. Watching plants germinate and grow is pretty thrilling…not just for children!

Seeds to plant now (mid winter) in cool climates:

  • Bunching onions
  • Onions
  • Mustard greens
  • Lettuce
  • Garden cress
  • Radish
  • Peas
  • Snow peas
  • Sugar snap peas
  • Spinach
  • Fenugreek
  • Seeds can easily be ordered online. Most can be direct sown.

Build a bird dispenser for building nests

This is a super fun activity and a great way to help birds collect nesting materials which can be in short supply. We have come across many a nest in a garden with synthetic materials woven into the twigs and leaves. This can be hazardous to new little chicks.

Materials to collect:

  • Dry plant material (twigs, leaves, bark, etc).
  • Coconut fibre (the lining from hanging baskets).
  • Pet hair and human hair from brushes (your birds will love it! Just make sure to cut long hair so that new chicks don’t get entangled).
  • 2 sticks for birds to perch on, plus one extra for hanging.
  • Other materials:
  • Chicken mesh
  • Tie wire
  • Wire cutters

How to build:

Roll the mesh into a cone and secure in place with tie wire.

Fold the bottom in on itself, so it looks like an ice cream cone. You may need some extra wire to do this.

Pack the cone loosely with your natural materials. It’s important to keep it loose so the birds are able to easily remove the nesting materials and also so it can dry out quickly when it gets damp.

Push your 2 perching sticks through the cone so the birds can easily access the nesting materials.

The third stick needs to be thread through the top of the cone so you can hang it. Use an old hanging basket hook and voila!  You have a “bird feeder”.

Make some damper and roast it over an open fire. Tell each other stories.

Recipe Ingredients:

250g plain flour

1/2 teaspoon of salt

25g butter cut into cubes

175ml milk

Long sticks for roasting

Butter and honey for serving


Mix flour and salt in a large bowl.

Rub butter through flour until it resembles breadcrumbs.

Stir in the milk with your hands (messy and fun!) until the mixture forms a soft, not sticky, dough. Add more flour if it’s a bit sticky.

Shape the dough around the end of a stick. Like a kofta kebab. Roast over a fire and keep turning so it doesn’t burn.

Serve with butter and honey. Super delicious 😋

Paint a pot

A little messy, but loads of fun.


  • An old pot
  • Paints
  • Paintbrushes
  • Drop sheet
  • Smock


Get your creativity on and paint whatever you like! Let it dry and then plant some seeds in your new beautiful pot.

Check the rain gauge. Keep a record.

Just remember, we live in an amazing community. We’ve got this Central West!


Henrietta Hood

Henrietta Hood is a horticulturist and one half of The Avid Gardener, Orange - the other half being the delightful Peta Swift. The two friends cofounded their business back in March 2020 (just as the world pandemic was announced) and haven’t looked back. Together they have a combined 35 years experience in gardening.

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