Keeping Busy During the COVID-19 Lockdown: Ideas for Teenagers
After the novelty of not having to get up quite so early for school wears off, teenagers, like everyone else, may get restless.
As the mums of four teenagers between them, fellow MiC mums Viki Michaelides and Claire Pillar (thank you, thank you!) pooled ideas and came up with a few tips, which they offer us in their guest blog below.
No apologies for putting this first. Keep your teenagers mentally healthy. Being cooped up is not ideal, so get some outdoor air if you can (remember to get the required form or SMS permission first if you are leaving your house or apartment). Run around the garden, kick a ball around, do pushups or squats on the balcony or improvise table tennis or other soft ballgames.
A fantastic app to hang out online and party on! Available on Google Chrome, Android or Apple platforms.
In Cyprus, public and private schools differ in their preparation. Private schools are mostly well set up to offer online lessons with the normal schedule. Make sure your teenager gets up on time and don’t disturb them while lessons are on. Although international GCSEs and A levels have been cancelled, study is still possible. Reassure them if they are heading for university that it is very unlikely universities will not be admitting any new students in the next academic year. It just might be later.
Materials from public schools vary. Check the school website and look for the tab that says “educational materials”.
Have a look at some of these resources available for students:
BBC Bitesize – this goes up to GCSE level
FutureLearn – get a heads up on what you want to study at university
MOOC.org – Massive Open Online Curses lists free online courses
Coursera – has more free online courses from universities
Udacity – tech skills, free for a month
Now’s the perfect opportunity to try out a new hairstyle as all the barbers and salons are closed. If you don’t want to have an untrained (!) family member trim your locks, try out a virtual new hairstyle here.
Try out a new recipe. Baking is not only relaxing, but you also get to eat the results!
Here’s a tried and trusted simple recipe from Viki, aptly renamed ‘Quarantine Cake’, as it doesn’t use any milk or eggs (which obviously are more precious now that we can’t just pop out for more whenever we would like!)
Cocoa powder 1/3 cup (optional)
Flour 1 1/2 cups
Cold Water 1 cup
Oil 1/2 cup
Baking soda 1 teaspoon
Vinegar 2 tablespoons
Sugar 1 cup
Salt 1/2 teaspoon
Vanilla extract 2 teaspoons (if you are not using the cocoa powder)
Mix it all together in one bowl, putting the vinegar in last after you have mixed everything into a nice thick batter. Mix the vinegar in and turn the batter out into a cake tin or cupcake cases.
Bake at 180 for 15 minutes for the cupcakes or 45 minutes for a cake. Depending on your oven, it may take longer-it is ready when a knife comes out clean.
P.S. This is a very forgiving recipe. You can add chocolate chips or other small ingredients and it will be fine.
Thinking about giving up meat or single-use plastic? The Environmental Film Festival is making its festival films available online until the end of March. Catch up with The Game Changers, Fantastic Fungi, The Plastic Problem and much more, right here.
Donate your voice
Not as creepy as it sounds 😉 Common Voice is a project from Mozilla to teach machines how to recognise voices. You either speak some text or listen back to some to see if it’s correct.
There are plenty of ways to volunteer online from your own home:
Help from home – lots of ideas, but please check if they are still current. Categories include Computer & Internet, Crafts, People, The Written Word and Miscellaneous.
Zooniverse – participate in research of all kinds, from classifying galaxies to counting penguins to transcribing manuscripts. Whatever your interest, there’s a Zooniverse project for you.
Volunteermatch – directory of opportunities that can be done from a computer.
Do Something – volunteering ideas just for young people specifically around the Coronavirus crisis.
Amnesty International Decoders – join a global network of digital volunteers helping research and expose human rights violations. Amnesty Decoders use their computers or phones to help researchers sift through pictures, information and documents.
Project Gutenberg – thousands of volunteers digitize and proofread the library of over 60,000 free eBooks.
Missing Maps – help make maps of a disaster zone to inform the relief efforts of organisations such as the Red Cross. Volunteers use satellite images and a drawing tool to mark up buildings, rivers and roads in remote areas that may not have been mapped before. Tutorials are available and there are suitable tasks for beginners.
Project Implicit – a non-profit network of researchers investigating the subconscious way our minds work. Volunteers take psychological tests online to help scientists better understand society’s hidden prejudices and how we might tackle them.
And, lastly, maybe try these from home?
We hope you have found some useful ideas, helping you to #stayhome and #savelives!