With self isolation and family lockdowns now part of the national landscape, stay at homers are now looking at all possibilities when it comes to passing those many extra hours of confined leisure time. If you share an enthusiasm for jigsaws, like our beloved leader Scott Morrison, you’ll no doubt be working your way through a 2000 piece puzzle of a Hawaiian beach scene or hunting dogs at dawn. Then again if you are more intellectually inclined you might find yourself ‘slow reading’ your way through the 1,463 pages of Xavier Herbert’s Poor Fella My Country.
Whilst endless web browsing and Netflix bingeing can certainly erase some of the boredom I would love to see a renaissance of some of the more traditional pastimes, that once occupied Australian households. Here’s just a short list of some of the activities you and your family, your flatmates or even your good old solitary self might like to consider.
PADDLE POP ART: With its heyday in the 1960s the distinctly Australian folk art of building stuff out of paddle pop sticks is definitely due for a revival. Rather than consume thousands of sugary pops you can buy the actual sticks in bulk and set about constructing your very own model of the Sydney Harbour Bridge or Opera House.
PAINTING BY NUMBERS: Not everybody has the artistic ability or technique to create a masterpiece but with a painting by numbers kit you can achieve the next best thing. Simply daub the paint in the appropriate spot and within an hour or two you’ll have your very own Mona Lisa or scaled down version of Picasso’s Guernica.
SILK WORMS: Ask any baby boomer if they ever kept silk worms at home and the answer is almost certainly yes. School kids loved them in the 50s and 60s and whilst they never produced enough silk to make even a handkerchief, the fun was watching them chomp through a whole bunch of mulberry leaves and leave their cute little droppings.
SEA MONKEYS: These loveable aqua critters have never really gone out of fashion and you can still pick up a Pets Playset at your local Kmart. A type of tiny shrimp, all you need to do is add water, and they will live for up to two years. Even more fun when the naughty kids drop one into Gran’s cup of tea.
TWISTER WITH A TWIST: Finally, what better way to practice self distancing and sneezing etiquette than with an old fashioned game of Twister. It might require some extra nimble gymnastics but try and keep the mandatory two metres apart and cough only into your elbow.