Lockdown Rules

This activity lets young people re-imagine their lockdown and what they would like it to look like. The aim of this activity is to open up a conversation with young people about our current circumstances. Support young people to understand what they are struggling or coping with, to recognise what they need now and to create strategies to look after their mental health. It can also be used to help young people understand the reasons for lockdown and the impact it is having.

Time taken

Prepare: 10 mins
Activity: Up to 60 mins

Number of people

1-to-1 or in a supportive group

Age range

Adapt this activity to suit any age

What’s needed

  • Your usual method of communicating remotely and safely with your young person or group
  • Everyone will need a pen and some paper (or materials relevant to your own adaptation)

Things to consider

  • You know the young person(s) you are working with. Consider the ways they usually like to express themselves. This activity can be easily adapted to suit them.
  • Consider how the young people you are working might understand the lockdown. Parents of younger children might have chosen to shield them from knowledge of the situation. Teenagers are likely to have more knowledge, but they may be struggling to understand the full extent of the crisis. Please use your own best judgement before introducing this activity.
  • If working in a group, first assess if you will be able to create a safe space for young people to share their ideas.
It might be helpful to remind young people of the advice we are all trying to follow
– Stay at home
– Only go outside for food, health reasons or work (but only if you cannot work from home)
– If you go out, stay 2 metres (6ft) away from other people at all times
– Wash your hands as soon as you get home
– Do not meet others, even friends or family. You can spread the virus even if you don’t have symptoms.

Getting set-up

  • How might you incorporate this activity into your usual sessions?
  • Will your young person(s) feel comfortable sharing their final piece with you? Respect their decision if not. The activity is a success if young people are simply given space, and take the time to explore and acknowledge their own feelings around Lockdown.
  • Remind yourself of the government advice on staying safe. https://www.gov.uk/coronavirus

Running the activity

2 mins: Introduction

  • “Today we are going to rewrite the rules of lockdown. What would you like your lockdown to look like? What would you change or keep the same?”

5 mins: Understanding lockdown

  • Hold a short discussion appropriate for your group on the current lockdown and the reasons for it.

15 mins: Time to think

  • Working together or individually, come up with your own “lockdown rules”. You might talk, write or draw. Encourage young people to be as creative as they like!Here are some prompting questions:
Where would you be?
Who would you be with?
What would your day look like?
  • Ask your young people if they would like to share their ideas with each other.

10 mins: Time to reflect

  • If appropriate, hold a short discussion helping young people to reflect on why they might have given the answers they have.

15 mins: Time for change

  • How might you make your lockdown more like your ideal scenario?
What can you do to bring the places you are missing into your house or room?
How can you find ways to connect with the people that you are missing?
What about activities and hobbies?
  • What could be possible? What is not possible? Why not? What compromises do young people think they could find?

10 mins: Next steps

  • What can you and young people do to make some of the positive changes to their lockdown experiences?


  • You don’t need to use pen and paper for this exercise. You could make a vlog, blog, podcast, draw, collage, dance, write a poem or a song.


  • In your next session you might want to check-in on any changes young people wanted to make. Have they been able to do so?
It’s all about listening
This activity aims to allow young people to explore their current situation and what they would like to change. It is an opportunity to let them feel listened to and acknowledged.