By the time you read this schoosl up and down the UK will have closed their doors to most of their student body. In a bid to slow down the spread of the Coronavirus and ensure key workers are available to work, their children will still have school. During this phase schools will not follow the usual curriculum. Meanwhile children at home will be given access to a schedule and work either electronically, or in print. My kids have been at home since Wednesday. We have been using the relevant Key Stage workbooks. However, it got me thinking about the younger ones who are not on a heavy learning programme. Below I share activities I have done with my own kids that we all enjoyed which will be fun during this time of the coronavirus.
Survival Mode During Coronavirus Outbreak
When I left full time employment it was with a heavy heart. It was never my life plan to be a stay at home mum. They don’t tell you when you return to work from maternity leave and your child begins day-care he/she will get sick from the bugs they are not used to. After six months I left work and have not been back since.
Once at home I went into survival mode. I attended play groups, parenting support groups, classes about routines; you name. Ang was a demanding baby which meant I had to have lots of things to entertain him. In my experience, don’t aim for perfection during this time. Don’t take yourself too seriously. Stay calm and get through moments at a time.
The Story Sack
Little ones love stories. There’s no better time than now, with the coronavrus outbreak, to escape into a book for a time. You don’t have to be an amazing storyteller to make the tales come alive. Get a bag (knapsack, colourful shopping bag massive handbag), select toys and cuddles from your child’s collection to use as props during the story. It not only brings the story alive but younger ones feel that their treasured friend is part of the adventure.
Depending on the season and them of the story you can bring the outside in; include leave, followers, twigs, and fruit. Think colour, texture and engaging and that will capture the attention of tinier tots longer.
TOP TIP: why not include special effects. You can find nature sounds online or music on YouTube. Depending of the story, simple pots, pans or a musical instrument might suffice. Use whatever you can access for free or affordably.
An invitation to play
As I mentioned above, the kids and I spent our fair share of time at the children centres. Messy play sessions were always fun. Use your child’s toys and old kitchen utensils, bottles, tins to create a theme. The theme could be colour, textures, seasons, fairy tales, and sports; whatever you think will intrigue your child. Puzzles, building blocks and colouring books shouldn’t’ be over looked.
You could tie in water play with bath time. In the bath, add water toys containers of different size. Slime baths are super fun be sure it’s environmentally safe.
While practising social distancing, going into wide open spaces like your local parks for fresh air and exercise is good for all round wellbeing. However, keep your distance from other visitors AND don’t try to meet up with friends . While on your walkabout you can choose to spot things. You can spot trees , flowers , birds , bugs or all of the above. There are website where you can information on how to identify what you are looking for.
IMPORTANT: play areas are not suitable for children to visit.
Keep it moving. Incorporate nature exploration into your walk or jog for exercise. However, be responsible, if the park is very busy and it’s hard to keep you 2 metre distance, please go elsewhere.
There are so many ways to play this ole game. I like to think of it was a way to get exercise indoors. Throw in some jumping jacks and running on the spot with a time limit that’s sure to get them up and moving.
FYI Joe The Body Coach will be doing LIVE P.E sessions on YouTube for parents and kids from 23rd March.
(updated 1st June 2020)
Kids in the kitchen
When kids are at home they eat everything in sight. Why not get them in the kitchen. My two started when they were toddlers helping me mix, stir chop and create healthy snacks for themselves. They enjoy helping and it’s a great way to break up the day. Simple savoury or sweet muffins, mini pizzas, crumbles, cakes and flap jacks will do down a treat.
Don’t worry of you are not confident it’s all about trying something new together. There a lots blogs and YouTube videos are your disposal for free.
Final Word On Coping During The Time Of The Coronavirus
I hope you find my suggestions helpful … and this too will pass, yes even the coronavirus. Feel free to comment below and make suggestions that you think will be helpful to other parents.
Remember to stay calm, little ones are looking at us to see how we cope. Sometimes all they need is your undivided attention and age appropriate honesty.
You can DM me on insta if you want to chat.
(updated 31st May 2020)