Boredom busters for a better lockdown: inspired by the zoo

Black and white photo of front entrance of Melbourne Zoo.

Melbourne is back in lockdown and a lot of people are pretty over it. Enthusiasm for yeast baking, zoom drinks and paint-by-numbers is at an all time low.

I’ve come up with a few original suggestions on how to maintain the intellectual stimulation and connection that many humans crave, even while in lockdown.

I got all these ideas from the zoo.

Challenge yourself

Instead of keeping your food in easily accessible kitchen cupboards, get someone in your household or bubble to hide your meals around the house. Start with cooked food that will be easy to smell out, but move on to more difficult items like crackers and yoghurt. Some of the hiding spots should be difficult to access, so you get exercise clambering up and down ladders and reaching into drainpipes. This simulates natural human behaviour in the wild, like going to a cafe.

Freeze it

Ask your friends to send you lovely compliments written on laminated cards. Freeze the cards into a giant block of ice. Use time and your own body warmth to get to their kind words – no tools or heating devices!

Catch your food

Food on a plate is dull, dull, dull. To make eating more active and stressful, have someone throw bits of food at you. If they miss, physically fight for the dropped piece. If you live alone, you can still do this. Just throw the food up into the air and then fight your own demons for it.

Solve a puzzle

Is there someone in your past who rejected you, but you’re not sure why? Now is a good time to try to work it out. Contact them directly to ask, but also others who knew you at the time. Demand absolute honesty. Cringing is a great mental and physical workout.


Create mud using dirt and water. Wallow, slide around on the floors and rub against the furniture. Clean up. This suggestion is redundant for households with children.

Whole foods

Rip an animal carcass to shreds as a household group or with your bubble-buddy. Whole carcasses are difficult to access in urban areas, but use your daily outdoor exercise to scout around and scavenge creatively.

Stay safe!

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