Family games to try in lockdown

If you’re pulling out your hair at the idea of trying to come up with yet another activity for your kids during lockdown, take comfort in these awesome easy-to-play games for your little ones. They don’t require too much preparation and you probably already have most of the items required – especially the loo rolls, right?



Racecar heroes

Suitable for: 3yrs – 7yrs

What you need:

A paved area or garage floor
Dinky cars
A die

How to play:

  • Draw a few lanes (the number depends on how many players there are) and inside each lane, draw squares, which you need to number.
  • Mark off a start and finish line.
  • Place a sweet or chocolate above the finish line – that is the prize for the winner!
  • Line up the cars at the start line.
  • The first player rolls the die and whatever number it lands on is the number of squares the car can move.
  • Continue until each player has had a turn, and then start again until one player reaches the finish line.

NOTE: You have to end on the finish line – so the closer you get, the more challenging it is. If you’re three squares from the finish, for instance, and roll anything over three, you can’t move.

Bright red, shiny tomato-shaped kitchen timer
Lockdown scavenger hunt

Lockdown scavenger hunt

Suitable for all ages

This game requires a little prep work so get organised the night before!

What you need:

Everyday items – think fluffy toys, playing cards, dinky cars
Pen and paper
Kitchen timer

How to play:

  • Hide your chosen items around the house and garden – don’t make it too easy!
  • Write down the list of items you have hidden and give it to your child/children (you’ll need to read the list out to children who can’t read on their own yet).
  • Set the timer and let the children know they need to find all the items in that time.
  • When the timer goes off, count how many items they’ve found. If they don’t find them all, give them clues to find the remaining items.
  • Once they’ve found all the items, let them hide the same items for mom and dad to find!
Brightly coloured clothes pegs in a pile


What you need:

Wash pegs
Whistle (if you have)
Garden or open area in the house

How to play:

  • Attach the pegs to the hem of each player’s T-shirt and shorts.
  • Blow the whistle to indicate the start of the game.
  • All players need to chase each other and try to pull a peg off each other.
  • You can play until all the pegs have been pulled off or play to a timer.
  • The person with the most pegs wins!
Toilet paper rolls stacked in a pyramid
Toilet roll target

Toilet roll target

What you need:

Toilet rolls (apparently that’s something everyone has stocked up on!)

How to play:

  • Line up the toilet rolls on a counter or table.
  • Mark off a point behind which everyone has to stand.
  • Make a ball with the socks and each player gets a turn to throw the “ball” at the toilet rolls.
  • The player gets a point for each roll they knock off.
  • The player with the most points wins!

Thank you to Kyle Baxter aka Coach Kyle for these ideas. Kyle runs a children’s events company offering tailormade active games parties to children from five years up. Visit for more.


Jessica is a writer and editor from Cape Town – and a mom of two young kids. When she’s not working or running after her two little ones, she writes about the mess and the magic of motherhood, sharing her parenting journey, one faux pas at a time. Follow her on Instagram @realhometruths