Creating a change in your daily routine and stimulating your brain through music or crossover activities that use both the left and right sides of your body will keep your mental energy at its peak.
We’ve curated a list of activities including trusted apps and online services, which our members and lifestyle experts have used so you can start learning new skills today.
Food and drink
Banana bread is taking over social feeds as globally people rediscover the joy of baking. Once you’ve mastered your banana loaf using Chrissy Teigen’s popular recipe, you can start experimenting with dishes of varying difficulty.
Start out with simple pantry-staple recipes from Claire Thomson with The 5 O’Clock Apron on Instagram and elevate your home cooking to Michelin levels with award-winning Italian chef, Massimo Bottura, who hosts Kitchen Quarantine at 8pm GMT. His five-ingredient toasted cheese sandwich is a member favourite.
For the bread lovers, The Perfect Loaf can elevate you from an aspiring baker to a real one with the website’s array of excellent recipes. If you have some extra time, use it to refine your baking skills and bring home the dough. For more inspiration read our list of The Cook Club: Best Food Programmes To Stream Now
Playing the piano is an enviable skill, and if this is something you aspire to, there’s an app that can make learning much easier. Simply Piano by JoyTunes was developed by music teachers around the globe and works on a tablet or mobile phone by simply placing it on your piano or keyboard when you start playing. This app will give you feedback on your playing and courses range from beginner to intermediate and expert.
If you’ve got a guitar collecting dust, sign-up to Guitar Tricks which is ideal for all levels and musical tastes. Also, Yousician (for Android, iOS, Windows and MacOS) uses videos, animations and performance feedback to teach guitar, bass, piano, ukulele and singing.
Whether you’re trying to master the Renegade with your kids on TikTok or finally considering taking up a classic dance like ballroom, start moving your body and experience the mood- lifting benefits. If you’re a Strictly Come Dancing fan, learn from Oti Mabuse and her husband, Marius Lepure, both professional dancers teaching choreographed dances for adults and children on YouTube.
Other member favourites include virtual dance studios such as Move GB, which offers jazz, Zumba and dance fitness classes, STEZZY Studio for urban dance styles like popping, hip-hop and krump, as well as the Royal Academy of Dance and Sadler’s Wells that offer free virtual ballet workshops and performances. These studios offer subscription-based classes over a range of dance styles.
Start learning the nuances of Mandarin, delve into the complexities of advanced Spanish or brush up on your French. Learning a new language is challenging and stimulating, and a great way to keep your mind active during downtime.
Some of our members’ favourite apps include Duolingo, for its enjoyable gamification lessons, Babbel, which offers 14 main languages and teaches using dialogues, and Memrise, which allows you to watch conversations from native speakers so you can hear the dialects.
Rosetta Stone sets you up with a live coach for one-on-one sessions, Open Culture provides free tools for learning languages with audio books, courses and lessons, and Busuu uses machine learning technology to provide lingual lesson plans for 10 minutes each day.
Painting is a visual activity that develops hand-eye coordination and can help develop your and your children’s artistic abilities. Entertain the family with painting classes taught by well-known artists on YouTube such as Kevin Hill, Jerry Yarnell, Bill Martin, and Mark Carder.
Even a master of the craft such as David Hockney has found new ways to embrace painting through modern mediums using his iPad or iPhone while he self-isolates; his newest work was showcased on Instagram by the Louisiana Museum of Art.
For those who are wanting to become digital artists or improve their art, Photoshop skills are essential and there’s no better time to learn a new technique from Adobe with SkillShare. SkillShare also offers classes on graphic design, digital illustration, photography, and animation.
There are always items that can be fixed or repurposed in any house, and you can find nifty hacks on the 5-minute crafts DIY channel, from sewing tricks to helpful quick fixes.
DIY Perks requires a bit more focus with instructional videos on how to create your own folding desk or studio lights – a modern MacGyver channel of design and technology, it’s perfect for helping you add personal touches to furniture, appliances and accessories.
Taking you back to the art of woodworking is Steve Ramsey; with his sense of humour you’ll quickly learn to make use of what tools you have and tackle woodwork projects with confidence.
With different lockdown restrictions globally, some members have more freedom to be outside of the house. Pick your favourite gardening tools and delight in the fresh air outdoors with some inspiration from Netflix’s Big Dreams, Small Spaces or the BBC’s Gardener’s World.
If you prefer to be in nature with trowel in hand while learning on-the-go, BBC podcasts on Homes & Gardens gives you instant access to gardening experts and their advice. We have also compiled a comprehensive gardening guide for you, read it here
Watch the UK’s Supernanny, Jo Frost, offer hardworking tips for instilling routine and discipline in the home. She has full episodes from season one to eight available on YouTube and also offers great advice for parents who have children diagnosed with conditions such as ADHD and autism.
Finding activities that your little ones will enjoy is made simpler with Pinterest – learn how to create an obstacle course or host a treasure hunt; the ideas are endless.
If they are allowed to watch TV, ensure your kids are watching age-appropriate programmes – CBeebies on BBC has interactive games and hows suited for young children.
For ideas to keep the kids occupied – and keep the peace – as well as developing individual skills, imagination and learning, check our Guide To Keeping Children Entertained At Home