Say yes to the mess! Yes, we are in new territory right now, but we will come through it. Schools are shut and so a lot of us have our children at home all day long. Some people are saying that this is the moment when parents finally realise what it is like to be surrounded by kids all day long….. So, with that in mind, we had a think and pulled together 5 ideas to help parents keep their children happy, healthy and occupied during these long days at home.
1 Exercise : PE with Joe
Children have far too much energy to be stuck indoors. They need to release that energy in a positive and healthy way. One hugely popular Youtube series for that is the Joe Wicks channel. Make this part of their daily routine and they will look forward to their workout. By the way, all the above applies to adults too. See his works outs, there is something for everyone.
2. Get cooking
We all have kitchens that are overflowing with ingredients that have been there for an age. So why not do an audit of what needs using up with the kids and then cook something loosely based around that. Let them chose recipes and be more involved in the whole process. Cooking is fun and kids absolutely love making things. The BBC has a huge resource of recipes for kids. Or, why not use up some of those packets of flour you have and make a super simple Irish soda bread like this one. Recipe here.
3. Up level their language skills.
When children are small they are sponges for information, especially languages. They are fearless and do not care about making mistakes. The perfect attributes for learning another language. It is when we get older that we find learning new languages naturally harder as we are fearful of making mistakes. So why not use this time to ramp up their skills with a language app. There are many out there. We use Memrise and love it. I recently used it with my 9 year old for French and she got straight into it and loved all the quizzes.
4. Get dressed up!
As well as boundless energy and curiosity, kids have a really keen sense of imagination. They love to play pretend. Raid all your cupboards and build a fancy dress set. Old stuff, hats, old jewellery, masks, face paints, accessories, etc. Keep this all together one place and you can have this as a ready to go activity when they (or you) need it. Make a theme, get dressed up. Ask them to prepare presentations or a dance to go with their chosen theme. Prepare some prizes or motivations for the best one. (clue, they are all the best one…) The kids will have fun and occupy themselves for a time, allowing you a break too!
5. Next Level creativity – Make a Film
There is only so long kids will colour or draw before they get bored. But, they are all naturally creative. They will probably know how to take pictures on your mobile phone and make a video. All kids love doing that. Why not invite the older kids to take that to the next level? It is very easy to find tips and drills for very young film makers on Youtube such as this one. That gives then the basics and software like iMovie is very easy to use. With a little help to create some characters, they can easily be making a soap opera or drama. Days later they can pick up where they left off and make another chapter or episode. This is great for sending to relatives or adding to a Youtube channel for fun.
So there you have it, 5 great ideas to keep the kids busy during these long days.
What have you been doing ?