Hands up who’s bored of staying at home pretending that they’re living their best life making sourdough and enjoying the slower pace of life?
*waves hand wildly*
It’s getting kind of tedious isn’t it? I know, saving lives and all that, I’m not about to start an illegal rave, but I do miss full contact brunch. Still, it has to be done, and probably for a while yet, so in the meantime I’ve pulled together a load of things to do online that are fun and free. It’s not like the post I wrote the other day suggesting you learn a language or get a skip bag or anything, these are all purely for time wasting or purely joyous purposes.
Read to the end of this post, or skip there now if you’re really that fed up, and there’s the chance to win a £50 Amazon voucher! (I nearly included ‘evaluate your Amazon wish list’ as one of the items, but I assume that was the first thing EVERYONE did? It’s certainly something I’ve spent a lot of time on.)
Play board games online with friends
We’ve had a bash at playing some games with family via Zoom, but it can be a bit fiddly if you’re all trying to keep track of your own Monopoly board. Instead, try something like Tabletopia for board games that you can play virtually.
Go to the theatre
National Theatre is showing a full length play every week during lockdown via YouTube, and they’ve had some absolutely cracking stuff on so far. This week it’s Gillian Anderson in A Streetcar Named Desire. Now’s your chance to get all fancy and cultured – no one needs to know you saw them at home in your pyjamas.
Enter some competitions
Totally free and who knows, you could end up with a new car or even a year’s supply of Weetabix! The thrill of winning a competition is rarely proportionate to the prize in my experience – having the winning ticket in the village fete raffle is an absolute buzz, even if you do just win an Old Spice gift set.
If you’re not normally a comper, check out Competition Finder as a great starting place for finding and entering competitions.
Learn how to take a dramatic portrait shot of your pet
Dramatic pet portrait photography is just one of the many, many online courses available at Skill Share, amongst other treats such as ‘how to create the ultimate donut flat lay.’ Skill Share is a paid service, offering easy to follow lessons in all kinds of creative subjects, but there’s a decent free trial if you just fancy giving one or two things a go.
Knit your own necklace with your fingers
Finger knitting is an actual thing and now you can go online and learn exactly how it works thanks to my friend Emma. Emma is an expert crafter and sells all kinds of amazing kits, courses and handmade products, but she currently has a free tutorial on her site to show you how to make your own finger knitted necklace. All you need is is some leftover bits of yarn or an old t-shirt.
Go online speed dating
Remember that time I went speed dating and learnt a valuable lesson in online security? Well, read that post first, just so you know what to do, and then why not have a go at meeting some new people via online speed dating with DateinaDash?
They run weekly speed dating events online for all ages, where you meet 10-15 people over the course of 90 minutes, and the best things is that you only have to get nicely dressed from the waist up. This one isn’t completely free but it’s only a fiver and can you really put a price on love?
Join a choir
I have to say I’ve been a bit sceptical about the ability to form a choir online with all of the time delays that come with WiFi but loads of people are doing it, so I guess it must work. Dip your toe with something like Gareth Malone’s Great British Home Chorus.
Go to a rave
Not the illegal type. Loads of music venues are going online now, creating that musical experience from the comfort of your own living room. Check out Defected Records if you’re a house music fan, or go for more a general festival vibe by not washing for a couple of days. Glastonbury Festival had to be cancelled this year of course, but they have plenty of highlights and playlists on their website and you can always stick a tent up in the garden and pee in the flowerbeds.
Master the art of gift wrapping
Another friend of mine. Amanda, has some brilliant tutorials on IGTV sharing tips and tricks to help you master the art of gift wrapping, even with tricky shaped objects or if you have no wrapping paper. If you’re that person who has never quite figured out how to get straight corners in your Christmas presents, then now’s your chance to learn the skills to impress all your friends come December.
Solve a string of murders
Belle and I love an escape room and just before lockdown we did ‘On the Last Train to Paris’ from Red House Mysteries. It was the best we’ve done so far and so we were dead chuffed when we saw that they were offering an online mystery to solve. The Rising Water is an interactive mystery that involves case files, secret codes and hidden websites, all of which you can do totally in your own time – we did it over the course of a couple of weeks with my sister, comparing notes via Zoom and WhatsApp.
This is a cheaty one as it does cost a bit of money, but not much, and if you like this sort of thing it’s totally worth it.
Join an online book club
My book group is still meeting online, although to be honest it’s not the same without the crisps and Mr Kipling battenburgs. Still, I am managing to read more now than ever, despite a general lack of motivation and being part of a book club can help to give you focus and a sense of purpose. Reading is brilliant escapism too – you can go anywhere and be anyone with a book.
The Guardian has a good list here of online book clubs you can join.
Win a £50 Amazon voucher
Now we’re getting to the real meat of the pie. Check out the widget below and do as many things as you can to add more and more virtual raffle tickets to the hat. One winner will receive a £50 Amazon voucher to spend on treats from their well curated wish list, or cat food, or a saucepan set… the world is your lobster.
The competition will close at 11.59pm on June 6th and the winner will be chosen at random and contacted via email within three days. Full T&Cs apply.
Good luck and don’t forget to check out Competition Finder for more giveaways!