Fun and creative things people have gotten up to during lockdown

Updated: Jun 13, 2020

The nationwide lockdown has meant that people have had to find creative ways of keeping busy, entertained and engaged - alone, or with family.

Movie theaters, restaurants, and bars have been shut for weeks. Sports arenas, concerts, and conferences have been cancelled. Schools and businesses have also been closed.

Most people’s wellbeing has suffered due to the coronavirus pandemic and large numbers of people have had to adjust to the new normal and find coping strategies. Nonetheless, people have found different ways of keeping themselves occupied and this is what we found.

Virtual socialising

Platforms such as Zoom and House Party have become extremely popular, with friends and family flocking to a variety of platforms to stay in touch.

Zoom says its global daily users went from around 10 million in December last year to a massive 300 million in April, while Houseparty has revealed that its app has seen 50 million sign-ups.


Video game usage has broken records around the world. There has been a spike globally and numbers coming from some of the hardest-hit countries have been mind-boggling. One of China’s most popular games, Honor of Kings, reported a recent increase in daily active users from 65 million to 100 million. According to Verizon, in the US alone, there has been a 75% increase in video game usage during peak hours and a 12% uptick in video streaming.

Tik Tok

Dance routines, dramatic scenes, hacks and tricks - it would appear that TikTok has unleashed everyone’s inner content creator and creative performer. Though the social media platform came long before the coronavirus outbreak and global lockdown, TikTok has reached new levels of popularity and use worldwide.

Initially founded in China in 2016, Tik Tok quickly became one of the most widely used apps. By 2018, the application garnered even more popularity globally and in 2019 TikTok was named the seventh-most-downloaded mobile app of the decade, between 2010 to 2019.

Watching films and using streaming services

The second most popular way people have been coping, is binge watching series and watching movies.

Almost 5 million people in British households have signed up to streaming services since the coronavirus lockdown began, with many turning to Netflix, Amazon Prime and Disney+ to alleviate the impact of the restrictions.

Manish Chopra, Director and Head of Partnerships, Facebook India said: "Culture has gone virtual in the new normal of social distancing, which can be seen in the rise in Facebook and Instagram Lives."

Meanwhile, according to YouTube, video titles around ‘Cook with me', ‘Clean with me' ‘Study with me' saw average daily views of videos increase by 600% since March 15 compared to the average views for the rest of the year.

Spending more time with the people we live with - and helping neighbours

According to the Office for National Statistics, more than half of UK households (54%) say spending more time with the people in their household has helped them cope in the last 10 weeks.

Community spirit has also grown.For weeks since lockdown began we’ve seen an outpouring of support for the vulnerable from individuals and communities across the UK. People have come together to help one another through these trying times.

We’ve also seen football players, managers and legends call vulnerable fans who are at home alone. Clubs have also taken on other activities to help tackle isolation in their local communities, including running virtual sporting classes for children.


Staring at the same four walls has caused a lot of people around the country a lot of anxiety and stress over anything and everything – jobs, money, living arrangements, the pandemic itself – and those feelings have been compounded by an absence of the ways we usually escape from them.

While exercise is not a solution for serious mental health problems, it is proven to have benefits for the mind that can lower stress, reduce feelings of isolation and help ease anxiety and depression.

Walking, specifically for exercise, has been the most popular new activity with three in ten (30%) introducing this into their lockdown regimes. Following walking, the next most popular exercises people have taken up are: jogging, yoga, running, home treadmill, weights and cycling outdoors.

Cooking and baking

For many, cooking and baking carry an emotional connection.It’s a way to celebrate special occasions, observe cultural practices, or even serve as a comfort in sickness or mourning.

Cooking with your family has always been viewed as a great way to bond and make new memories and many families have bonded through cooking during lockdown, as a fun activity to pass the time.

According to a survey conducted by KitchenAid, cookies, pizza and banana bread are among the top treats people in the UK have been making during the lockdown.

The study revealed what culinary delights have been created over the last few months, with sausage rolls, sourdough bread and lemon drizzle cake also proving popular.

It also emerged the time spent baking has increased, with 67 minutes a week now spent kneading, sieving and rolling – compared to just 41 minutes previously.

A rise in community spirit has also seen almost a third deliver their sweet and savoury goodies to others, including 36 per cent to relatives outside of their home and 23 per cent to neighbours.


A new survey has revealed that people in the UK have almost doubled the amount of time they spend reading books since lockdown began, but instead of the proverbial fiction novels that many readers enjoy, they are turning to the “comfort” of crime and thrillers.

Nielsen Book’s research found that 41% of people said they were reading more books. Readers also revealed their tastes have changed since the outbreak of Covid-19, with their interest in other popular fiction increasing.


Gardening is one of those things that you either love or hate. According to studies, gardening boosts both the body and the mind.

Whether planting new flower beds, nurturing an allotment, or tending indoor plants, the UK is finding that gardening has provided hours of pleasure, and not only has gardening benefited people’s mental well-being, it also plays a part in serving our physical and social wellbeing as well. Online centre Gardening Express has seen a huge rise in sales since lockdown began.

While the world has been feeling a bit grey at times at least lockdown enabled some people to go green and inject colour into their gardens.

Arts and crafts.

Getting creative during these uncertain times has helped kids and adults cope with isolation.

The arts have played an important role throughout lockdown, promoting well-being and creating a space for social connection.

Craft specialists, including high street chain The Works,have experienced a surge in online sales as Britons have taken inspiration from new TV shows such as Grayson’s Art Club, presented by artist Grayson Perry and comedian Noel Fielding’s online art club.

Hobbycraft, the UK’s biggest arts and crafts retailer, said the number of people visiting the ideas page of its website – where the projects range from the ambitious Japanese toy-making technique amigurumi, to the more straightforward art of scrapbooking, had tripled since the lockdown began.

Its “50 sewing projects for beginners” blog post had been its most popular post with searches for sewing machines, fabric and thread up 155%, 60% and 310%, respectively on the previous six weeks on the back of it.

While lockdown has caused a lot of anxiety and uncertainty for some, it has allowed others to learn something new and find a hobby they enjoy.

Report covers research from a range of sources

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