So here we are, middle of the first week with the kids at home – how is everyone holding up with the ‘new normal’? We thought we might try to lighten the Coronavirus load a little for those of you with children at home for the foreseeable future. Personally, I have been feeling a bit wobbly about the whole thing, but I feel much calmer now that Halfords have emailed me with an update….
So, although we can’t help you with screenwash or new hubcaps, Wild Learning do know a few things about entertaining children. If, as is likely, you are at home with your children right now (and maybe for some time to come), we have some suggestions.
Social distancing rules do not prevent you going outside. you can access your garden (if you are lucky enough to have one) as much as you like, and you are permitted to leave the house once a day for a form of exercise – which you can do with members of your household. Getting outside to run off some energy, have a change of scenery and some sunshine (for that essential vitamin D boost) is very important for your health and your children’s (mental and physical). So try to do something outdoors with them once a day – there are a couple of ideas below, and we’ll be sending more next week, but even a simple walk will work wonders!
2. DON’T HEAD TO THE PLAYGROUND
This might be an obvious first activity, and playgrounds are fun, but ANY activity that involves gathering with people not in your household is now banned, and playgrounds will be (if they are not already) closed. Practice some social distancing (and good sense) and head to the woods or fields (if you can) instead, where you can stay the recommended 2m away from people you don’t live with and still have fun climbing and exploring.
3. Get some chalk
There are plenty of things you can do if you can’t get to a wood or fields however. In particular, if you don’t have woods or fields nearby (and probably even if you do) you will have a pavement. If you also have some chalk then you have a ready-made canvas for some artistic creations! Drawing on pavements seems naughty (so kids will love it) but if you use chalk it will wash away with the next rain. This is something that children of all ages can enjoy – you can even leave it overnight and come back to it the next day (as long as it doesn’t rain). I like this because it is something that can build a sense of community on a street, and make people smile as they walk by. Obviously, you need to supervise children drawing on the pavement to make sure they stay safe from traffic, maintain a safe distance from strangers (and don’t write any rude words!).
4. Go on a scavenger hunt
A scavenger hunt is another activity that you can do in a wood, around your local streets (keeping an eye out for traffic) or even in your garden or inside your house. Make a list of items for your kids to collect. Make the list relevant to where they are: in the countryside you might go with pine cones, rocks, seeds, etc; but you can adapt the objects to your environment. Give them an area to scour and set them a time limit, so there’s a challenge. This is great for getting warmed up physically and mentally: there’s lots of scurrying about; it encourages really engaging with the environment; AND you have a collection of things to take home with you (or not!). If you have more than one child you can either do this as a co-operative activity, or as a competition.
5. Collect stones
You can find stones anywhere, so even if you can’t get to the beach you can collect stones to create stone art when you get back home. All you need is a little paint and paint brush and you’re good to go – see our earlier blog post on making story stones here.
Once you’ve made your stones (which is an adventure in itself) you can use them to tell stories as a group, taking turns, or for role-play, for memory and matching games, and probably some other uses I haven’t thought of yet!
Some more suggestions to (hopefully) help you through, same time next week.