OFF school? Leveraging guilt to get your parents off their phones? These family activities will amuse you for ten minutes and occupy them for hours:
Build a toy
A well-meaning aunt got you a replica siege engine at Christmas, with 86 parts to be meticulously assembled, and you imply to Dad that your childhood is slipping away unnoticed and you should really build it together. You’re off on Minecraft before he’s even pressed out the parts.
Bake a cake
‘I love your cakes, Mum,’ you say, guilelessly, ‘can we make one together?’ What mother could refuse? You’re there for the assembling of the ingredients and the cracking of the eggs, but mixing’s dull so you flee to TikTok. Mum knows how to make cakes, she’ll be fine. You’ll come back when it’s finished.
Do a jigsaw
Skip the preamble and empty the jigsaw on the table. Begin putting edges and corners together in the approved manner and wait for your parents to join in, imagining hours of quiet calm together. Piss off after 20 minutes but insist the jigsaw stay on the table all week, because you’ve not done it yet.
Your parents wouldn’t stifle your creative soul, would they? So when you want to get the clay out, and the paints out, and the glitter and crafts out, they can’t argue. You make half of something from clay, cry because it’s not what you imagined, refuse all offers of help, slather it in sparkly bits and blame its failure on them. Clean up? After that?
Do a brilliant job on homework
Your history teacher’s invited everyone to create their own chronicle of the Middle Ages, and you decide that for once you’re going to try really hard. Mum, who did history at A-level, sits down to join in and sketch out a timeline. All her dates really take the fun out of it. You’ll eventually hand in what she did with six final lines added on the bus to school.
Mum’s always on about ‘never doing anything together as a family’ so, responsive to her needs, you turn up with Monopoly and set the board up, ready to play. After 20 minutes you look likely to lose and storm off furious. Dad looks likely to win so won’t let it go. The battleground of the board remains in place until next Sunday evening.