5 minute read
Even though some parents are dreading the thought of being in isolation with the kids, there are plenty of ideas out there ranging from educational, creative, physical and let’s not forget FUN! It can also be a time to bond with your family. Often people are too busy with their day to day lives that they don’t actually spend that “quality time” together. So hopefully, if you can take 1 or 2 ideas away from this then I have done my job.
One of the first things you need to think about is how to create some structure and routine for your days. If you don’t have this pretty early on then it’s going to be hard to keep you and the kids productive. Everyone is better off knowing what’s expected of them and how many hrs a day that involves (especially when you are talking about schoolwork). To get them motivated get the kids involved in planning this. You can do this by turning it into a creative activity or by simply downloading a free Timetable App. There are plenty available on Google Playstore and the App Store. They are easy to use, and you can colour code each day & subject. After each session, don’t forget to let the kids take a break.
If you are looking for a more creative approach then think about a “Daily Schedule clock” – this can be made from cardboard. Divide it into segments, colour code days/categories and use coloured pegs as labels (which can be pegged along the outside of the clock. This can be adapted to suit your child, so use whatever materials are available to you. This image is from Instagram Blogger Kirsty @instagramtoday.our.children. Check out her stuff, as she has a plethora of ideas.
Use the resources the school provides and then add your own creative twist to things!
Element of Surprise
Yes, we may be in isolation for weeks but it doesn’t mean we can’t treat the kids, especially as many of us are cancelling our summer holidays this year. One of the first things I did was to buy the kids an Essential Home Pack (it’s not really essential, I just wanted to call it that!) Now I admit I had already prepared for this but you probably have a few things around the house that you could use towards a gift pack. Knowing that we would end up in the house for weeks, these bags consisted of new pj’s, slouchies, chocolate, bubble bath, art pencils & paper, sketchbooks and various other small random things.
If that’s not feasible then surprise them with a treasure hunt. Set it up when they are in bed, so that that’s the first thing they see in the morning. The clues could be maths questions or riddles etc… And give them a prize once completed.
Science, Museums and Virtual Tours
There are some great little gems out there to make these subjects more interesting and interactive.
- Nasa has a great website https://www.nasa.gov/about/index.html You can also take virtual tours https://www.nasa.gov/specials/irt360/
- The British Museum has some great visuals and fun facts https://britishmuseum.withgoogle.com/
- Also, try this popular blog site https://kidsactivitiesblog.com/ by Holly Homer. It’s full of stay at home ideas and science experiments.
We all know the importance of exercise (even if we don’t like it) So, now more than ever we need to make it fun! You can get involved too. It’s a great opportunity to bond with the kids.
- Make obstacle courses in the garden
- Make up routines on the trampoline
- Get the old hoops and balls out of the shed.
- Complete a Joe Wicks daily live workout from YouTube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6v-a_dpwhro&t=56s
- Go for a walk. Change the times of day you go to make it more interesting (take note of government advice re: social distancing etc)
- Play hide & seek with the dog!
This could involve artwork through painting etc, digital design or in the kitchen.
- Encourage the kids to draw. It could be anything from a flower, beetle or shoe. It’s just about exploring their creative self.
- Make a card for the Grandparents. They will be feeling particularly lonely at the moment, so design a card and write a message to them.
- Introduce the kids to watercolours or other materials they haven’t used before.
- Give them your old makeup. They might want to use it on their faces or for a picture.
- Origami can keep them entertained for hours!
- Maybe even design a pair of Personalised Flip Flops! Uses imagination and colour and gives them something to look forward to wearing, especially as they designed them https://www.flipflopdesign.shop/product/personalised-flip-flop/
- Baking can be very artistic. Think about shapes, colour, smell and texture.
The Boredom Jar Challenge
Get the kids to write a long list of things they could do when they are bored. So when they have finished their school work and fed up with TV/tech they can take a sticky note from the jar. Ideas include:
- Rearrange bedroom
- Practice drawing
- Go through drawers and get rid of junk
- Learn something new
- Do a nice deed for their siblings
- Teach the dog a new trick
- Learn Tik Tok trends (?)
- Read 1 book a week
- Start a vision board
- Get better at the splits
- Make up a dance routine
- Help around the house (yes please)
- Re-build those old lego sets (with the incentive of selling them and earning themselves some money)
Travel the World in 5 months
Well, the kids may well be off till August but that doesn’t mean we can’t explore the world from your home. For those that like travel there are plenty of travel documentaries on TV. A couple of examples being Human Planet, or explorers who travel the world like Steve Backshall or Simon Reeves (check if age-appropriate for your child).
Another idea is to get the kids to choose 2 countries every day and then write 5 facts about each one. Keep it simple with just bullet points. It’s a chance for them to learn and get excited about the big wide world. You will probably learn a thing or two too!
In it Together
Don’t forget, we are in this situation together! Family need to help each other and the kids can do that in subtle ways too: (My daughter calls this “tricking the children into doing work”)
- Get them to pair up the socks. Turn it into a counting or pattern game.
- Tidy the kitchen cupboards but get the kids to find all the out of date tins.
- Ask them to write the shopping lists (I’m sure they will sneak a few things in there too)
- Hide treats/stickers/rewards around the house and then ask the kids to do the polishing.
- Help put the shopping away.
- Make a playlist together and put that on while doing the jobs. Dance around and be silly!
Most importantly, try not to get too serious or lonely during this challenging time. There’s plenty of fun ideas out there, such as online parties, Netflix Party, social media platforms like Tik Toc, Snapchat, FB & Insta, and also plenty of local volunteer groups to help with shopping (if you are self-isolating)
I would love to hear your ideas and stories about what has & hasn’t worked.
If all else fails, bring out the wine!
#Stay home and Stay Safe