The UK’s lockdown was implemented on the 23rd March. On this date, Boris Johnson announced that social gatherings and unnecessary travel are banned until further notice. The main message of his speech was that the British public need to stay home and save lives. You should only leave the house to shop for necessities, such as food and medication, do one form of exercise a day, travel to work if you’re a key worker or provide supplies for vulnerable or high-risk people.
With lockdown in full swing, you may find that you have a lot of time on your hands and nowhere to go. Here are our suggestions for useful and fun things to do when you’re bored at home.
Below, you can find a list of DIY activities, upgrades and projects that can be done during this time.
It’s important to use this time to check things that you might not normally, including your boiler’s pressure. This should usually be between one and 1.5 bar of pressure, so, when the boiler is not operating and the system water is cold, check the gauge on the front of the appliance to make sure it’s ok. If it’s lower than one bar, some water may have been lost from the system via a leak or air ingress. Therefore, you will need to repressurise your boiler and add water into your heating system.
If the gauge is reading over around 2.75 bar of pressure, the system needs depressurising to bring this down. This can be done by first bleeding your radiators to check they have no air in them and then continuing on the last radiator until the pressure is at the desired level.
If you’ve been moaning about your shower that only lets out a dribble of water when you turn it on, it may be time to give the head a good clean. A showerhead that’s clogged with dirt, limescale and mould won’t let much water out and is the most common cause of low water pressure. Not only does it look unsightly, but black mould can be bad for your respiratory health, therefore it’s better to get rid of it.
Remove the showerhead by unscrewing it from the hose. Keep hold of the rubber washer that should be situated between the hose and the showerhead as this is an important part. Take a small, clear plastic bag and half fill it with white vinegar. Then submerge the showerhead in the bag and use an elastic band to seal the bag around the head. Leave it for 30 minutes.
After 30 minutes, rinse the showerhead with cold water to remove any vinegar deposits and use an old toothbrush to get inside every nozzle on the head. Wipe the head over with a dry cloth and reattach it to your shower. This should have fixed any low-pressure issues.
While most boilers are tucked out of sight in bedrooms, bathrooms or utility rooms, they can sometimes be somewhere you can see it all the time, like your kitchen. During lockdown, you could start the project of hiding your boiler by creating a cupboard to house it.
Swapped from a conventional boiler to a combi boiler and still haven’t got around to doing something with the old airing cupboard? This space can and should be used for something and there are so many options. You could turn this into additional wardrobe space, a cosy book corner or even a pantry if your airing cupboard is located near the kitchen.
Over time, white gloss paint can turn yellow, especially on your radiators. This is because the heat speeds the yellowing process up. Therefore, take some time to paint your radiators white again - you’d be amazed at the difference. Or, if you want to do something a little different, paint them a different colour entirely.
Perhaps you have a piece of furniture at home that you’ve never liked or one that’s looking a little past its prime. You could spend some time reupholstering seat cushions or upcycling pieces of wooden furniture to give them a fresh lick of paint and a new look. You can order supplies online and have them delivered to your home so you don’t have to leave the house and you can spend a couple of days on this project.
If you’re scared to get the paint brush out and attempt such a big DIY project, you could paint some plain ceramic plant pots or change the handles on a cupboard.
While the UK has been in lockdown since Boris Johnson announced it live to the nation on the 23rd March, Italy has been in lockdown since the 10th March - longer than the length of the UK summer holidays. Parents often struggle to find a variety of activities to do with kids during these six weeks, never mind when playgrounds, indoor play centres, cinemas and zoos are closed.
If you’re going stir crazy at home, trying to prevent the children from drawing on the walls and generally creating mayhem, here are some ideas that you may not have thought of to keep your children entertained for another few weeks.
This is an easy DIY task that can be completed quickly and won’t make too much mess at home. You’ll need an inflatable pool and around 200 balls. Simply fill the pool and leave your kids to play for a while! You could even add a small child’s slide so they can land in the pool. The great thing about this play setup is that it can be moved outside to the garden, too.
Mouldable sand, otherwise known as moon sand, can be made at home and with only two ingredients. While it can get a little messy, it’s a great activity that can also become a bit of a science lesson for your children.
Simply mix eight cups of plain flour (around 800 grams) with one cup of baby or vegetable oil in a large tray. Add colouring to create some fun colours. Then the moon sand can be moulded, sculpted and shaped into whatever your kids want. When you’re done, the sand can be put in an airtight container for use again.
The longer lockdown goes on, the more restless your kids become and watching TV is no longer a novelty. So make film night fun again!
You could ask the children to build a den to watch a movie in using sofa cushions, chairs and duvets. You could even set up a tent indoors and spend the evening watching films before settling down for a night of ‘camping’. Turn off all the lights and use torches to make animal shadows on the walls of the tent. You could try making toasted marshmallows indoors by covering a baking tray in non-stick foil and putting them in the oven until they’re golden brown.
There are so many ways to make film night fun again, and the kids will love it.