Bringing nature home Fun activities for children on lockdown

It is essential that we all socially distance to halt the spread of the disease. For kids, this means no play dates, no sleepovers and potentially boredom.

Wondering how they could help, a team of academics and researchers in the Ryan Institute at NUI Galway created a new online resource. They drew on their collective wealth of knowledge about nature and biodiversity and, with a little help from their friends in the School of Computer Science and the Insight Centre, are blogging out ideas and fun activities to keep kids of all ages occupied.

Boredom Busters

Boredom busters are quick activities that need minimal resources. They’ll probably only take 30 mins to an hour to complete. These are undoubtedly the easiest to make for rainy days too, so while some will be outdoor activities, the site also includes things to make, colour do online. New activities will be added as time goes by.

Busy Bees

Busy bee activities are designed to keep children (and even grown-ups) occupied for at least a couple of hours and maybe longer, but certainly not more than a day.

Activities are suggested in terms of current coronavirus lockdown restrictions – but these are likely to keep changing so check what's possible each time.


Projects are activities which need a bit of time to grow. For instance they might take a day or two, or they might run for weeks – for example, keeping a log of birds at your bird feeder. Some projects may have been posted before coronavirus restrictions tightened, so always check before starting that the project is safe to undertake.

Nature At Home is the work of a team of academics and researchers in the Ryan Institute at NUI Galway.

The Ryan Institute formed COVID-19 Rapid Response teams within days of the shut down of Ireland’s schools and universities with the aim of helping Ireland respond to the global pandemic.

This project is led by Professor Louise Allcock, an expert in deep-sea biology and cephalopods (Octopuses).