So, the government has just announced a three-week extension on the UK’s social distancing measures, and we’ll be spending most of our time at home for the foreseeable future.
For families with little ones, this time is particularly challenging. As parents ourselves, we know. Keeping kids entertained is hard at the best of times, let alone when you’re spending all of your waking hours caring for them – perhaps whilst also working from home.
That’s why we’ve put together a few ideas of things you can do at home to keep your kids stimulated, happy and fit – and to give you a break, too.
Learning from home
Your child’s teacher has most likely given you access to a range of systems that they use at school, and they are probably giving you age-appropriate activities to do on a weekly basis.
If you would like to do some additional learning, Teachit Primary has plenty of free printable resources, split by key stage and subject. DuoLingo is also a fun resource for you to learn a language as a family.
If you love to attend museums as a family, here are a number of virtual museum tours that you can go on from your sofa. Orchard Toys have also released a number of fun yet educational activities that you can print out.
But when it comes to your child’s education, the advice at the moment is to do what you can, but to not put pressure on yourself to be perfect. No amount of home learning will equate to the experience a child receives at school. And that’s perfectly okay. We’re all in the same boat.
You can play a unique role in your child’s life by supporting them with school activities where needed, but also by being a positive and loving figure during these strange times.
Staying mentally well from home
While this is a scary time for most adults, children can have a particularly hard time grasping the concept of having to be at home all the time, not being able to go to school, and not being able to see friends and family.
Mind Moose is a truly fantastic online resource to help kids aged between 7 and 12 to understand their emotions, how their brain plays a part in their mood, and it prepares children with tools to improve their mental wellbeing.
The website includes a series of useful free resources created specifically for families to help them have positive conversations to help support their child’s mental health, and to practice kindness. You can also subscribe to a range of benefits that will help you stay mentally well as a family, in a way that children can grasp.
Socialising from home
Most of us are missing friends and loved ones at the moment, and technology is proving to be a saviour for staying in touch. How many times have you heard someone say, “imagine if we were going through this before smartphones and technology?”
You’ve probably heard of the House Party app by now. It’s a great way to video chat with friends and family, with the addition of getting to play various games with them. It’s a great laugh and your child can get involved too.
You’ve also got WhatsApp video calls, Skype and Zoom at your disposal. Many people are using this period as an opportunity to reconnect with those they haven’t caught up with in a long time. How great is that?
Exercising from home
The NHS recommend that children have 60 minutes of physical activity per day, and adults should also get physical activity each day.
Many of us can still enjoy one walk outside per day, so long as you maintain the appropriate social distance from other households. However, your family can stay active without leaving the threshold of your home, whether you have a garden or not.
The NHS have released a number of at-home activities to keep children moving, and it includes plenty of activities that you can all do safely indoors as a family. nd the fantastic Joe Wicks is running weekly PE workouts on Youtube that you can do at home together.
Of course, whilst it’s great to have some activities planned for your little ones, don’t put too much pressure on yourself to have the perfect schedule to keep them entertained during every waking hour.
Kids, whilst they might complain of boredom, have big imaginations and are notoriously good at finding excitement in the little things. Your child can have an indoor picnic, get out the board games and make Christmas cards early, because why not? There’s plenty of original indoor activities out there.
Hang in there and stay safe,
Love the Pentlebay team x