The Oei family was meant to be setting off in their camper trailer to visit regional Victoria in the September school holidays.
They haven't seen the children's grandfather in a long time so they were keen to set up camp on the farm and visit the Nhill show.
But the ongoing lockdown in both Victoria and ACT means they won't be going any further than their backyard in Harrison.
Kerrie Oei said her children Alysha, 8, Madison, 10, and Izaac, 12, were disappointed about the lockdown extending into their holidays.
"I think everyone would like to travel and especially be able to go and visit family, because we haven't been able to catch up with family much over the last nearly two years," she said.
While golfers and tennis players were pleased with eased restrictions, there wasn't much in Tuesday's announcement to improve the social lives of young Canberrans.
Major parks and reserves remain closed and Canberrans are not allowed to visit other people's houses except for those in singles bubbles.
When asked if household bubbles to allow families to visit each other was considered, Education Minister Yvette Berry said people would have to stick to picnics with up to five people.
"To all the parents in our school communities, just hang in there," she said.
"I know it's hard. We've got 81,000 students in remote education right now. Two of them are mine. I understand family struggles."
School holiday programs will be going ahead for children of essential workers and vulnerable children. Ms Berry said schools had sent out ideas for activities to keep children occupied during the break.
"We've just got a little bit longer to go until we can get on top of our vaccination rates and infections in the community but I know we've done this before, we can do it again," she said.
ACT Children's Commissioner Jodie Griffiths-Cook said children had been telling her how much they missed their friends during lockdown.
"Even being able to chat online ... it's not the same as being able to talk to their friends in person or play with their friends and all that sort of stuff so I'm hoping that they are able to get out and about and see a friend here and a friend there," she said.
Ms Griffiths-Cook asked for children to send in ideas for passing the time during the school holidays and published them on the COVID info for kids website.
She said it was important to take children's questions and concerns about COVID seriously.
"The thing we do need to keep saying to kids is, 'Hey, you're doing well and thank you. Thank you for doing the right thing to keep yourself safe, to keep your family safe, to keep that broader Canberra community safe'," Ms Griffiths-Cook said.
University of Canberra associate professor of clinical psychology Dr Phil Kavanagh said families might be feeling anxious and frustrated about the prospect of spending the school holidays in lockdown.
He said signs children were not coping with the isolation included being more demanding, irritable and grumpy than usual, or behaving out of character.
Dr Kavanagh said keeping good sleep, eating and exercise routines was key to maintaining mental health.
"I know people can't go away like they would normally do but having some kind of routine [is important]. Say, 'OK, well today we're going go for a walk and we'll feed the ducks or the swans or we'll go for a bush walk somewhere, or tomorrow, we might go for a bike ride'," he said.
"As well as spending quality time together, allowing people to have their own space as well is important."
Dr Kavanagh said adolescents sometimes went into sleep debt during the school term so they might need to catch up on sleep during the holidays.
However, he said it was important not to mess with sleep rhythms too much or else you could get a form of jet lag which could lead to irritability, grumpiness and affect concentration and memory.
"It's those little habits that creep in that end up kind of undermining the foundations for good mental health," he said.
He said getting away from screen time was a good idea, especially since a lot of remote learning was dependent on computers.
"If families go away, camping, which I know a lot of people do around the school holidays, maybe they could set up a tent outside in the backyard space or eat from the barbecue for a week, like they are camping," Dr Kavanagh said.
That's exactly what the Oei family plan to do. They will set up their trailer in the backyard, light up the fire pit and cook dinner on the barbecue.
"Instead of getting out in the bush and getting away from technology, we'll camp in the courtyard and when we wake up in the morning, go for walks and go to the playground," Ms Oei said.
"It is what it is and hopefully we'll be out of it sooner rather than later. I think it's just a good opportunity to focus on the simple things and what we can do."
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