Parenting vloggers Anna and Jonathan Saccone-Joly are BIG on social media right now, with a staggering 8million followers between them.
The Irish couple, who live in London with their children Emilia, age eight, Eduardo, six, Alessia, three and Andreas, one, love sharing their everyday family life with their online fans.
With four children at home in lockdown, the YouTubers know a thing or two about entertaining little ones. Here, Anna and Jonathan shares their top tips for keeping kids happy and occupied.
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5 ways to entertain children in lockdown by the Saccone-Jolys…
At-home sports day
Getting outside for a walk or bike ride is a great option because it’s inexpensive and the possibilities are endless. Bring a packed lunch, play hide and seek, check out the view!
We’re fortunate enough to live in the countryside and love Googling local trails/walks for somewhere new. We tell the kids we’re on a big adventure and having an excited attitude always helps to lift their spirits – so does bringing the good snacks – for them and us!
If leaving the house isn’t an option, you could set up a ‘sports day’ outside and have a go at all the old-school games like egg and spoon or three-legged races, piggy-back (and the backwards piggy-back!) and wheel-barrow races.
For us, this usually results in chaos and a LOT of laughing! Video them if you can, it’s a lot of fun for the whole family to watch back.
The Saccone-Joly family
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Family Bake Off
Get everyone involved with making a family meal – whether it’s baking, an at-home picnic or a healthy lunch, embrace the mess and give everyone a task to focus on.
Recently we’ve been trying to do it Bake Off style - seeing who can do the best biscuit decoration, that sort of thing. Because our children are a range of ages, making biscuits is quite a good one because each stage can be adapted to suit one of them. We love to make brownies, chocolate cake, cupcakes, M&M cookies and pancakes too.
We also love sending cookies the kids have made in the post to our family and friends with a home-made card. It’s a great way to stay connected and we usually face-time when they receive them which is lovely.
Run your own home Bake Off competition
Build a 'games fort'
Building a fort in the living room out of blankets and sheets can keep kids entertained for hours and gives them a (probably) much-needed break from screen time. Get the fairy lights and the cushions out and make it magical!
If they’re feeling energetic, we usually encourage our kids to make up their own game revolving around the fort. Our favourite ones so far have been '40-40' home and 'pirate ship' inspired by Peter Pan.
If it’s a quieter hour, setting the space up with a few more cushions and putting on an audiobook (we use YouTube and Audible) for them all to enjoy while using their colouring books and crayons gives Jonathan and I some peace and quiet…for a while at least!
Make a lockdown scrapbook
I am not the craftiest mum and I certainly don’t scrapbook or sew my own quilts but children love to get messy with paints (waterproof please!), coloured card, sequins, feathers, googly eyes and scissors!
Yes, it’s a total mess but if you layout a good plastic tablecloth or even some old newspaper and put the children in aprons, this makes for an easy clean-up and they can have fun while making their messes.
Who made a scrapbook as a child?
They all love cutting and sticking things onto their creations as well as glueing on anything they can find. We even made some lockdown scrapbooks during the first one last March! We printed photos and stuck them into albums for them to look back on in years to come.
One of my favourite crafts is washable crayons that you can use on windows or in the bathtub. They are so easy to clean up and the children get a kick out of scribbling on the windows!
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Do impressions of each other!
Sometimes to give us all a break from our screens we do this fun activity that we made up, where we act out and do impressions of each other (the crazier the better!).
Our six-year-old Eduardo is the absolute best at this…he hits the nail on the head every time and has us in stitches of laughter! Usually, Emilia, eight, and Eduardo, six, will do impressions of Jonathan and me, followed by us doing impressions of them. They think it’s hilarious!
The babies are a little bit too young for this one at the moment, so we normally do this on the weekends when the older two have a ‘movie night’ and get to stay up an hour later than normal. It’s the perfect end to an evening!
Follow the Saccone-Joly family on YouTube.
Parents Anna and Jonathan are both on Instagram.