How has lockdown been for you and the kids? Have you lost track of what week we’re actually on? Whether you’ve enjoyed lockdown or it’s been more of a living nightmare, if your children have yet to return to school, you could have at least ten more weeks at home together. And although restrictions are slowly lifting, with zoos and safari parks set to reopen as well as shops, families are still pretty limited with what they can do.
If your enthusiasm is starting to wane, don’t worry. We have a few ideas to keep you going.
When we’re feeling a bit down, being stuck in the house can make us feel worse. So why not get outside and build a den! You can either use things from the house such as chairs, blankets and fairy lights, or head out into your local woods and build a den from sticks that are lying around and cover it with dried leaves, twigs and grass.
Plan future trips
Just because we can’t go on trips at the moment, it doesn’t mean that we can’t start planning one! And sometimes the planning can be as exciting as the trip itself − studies have shown that it can even boost our mental health. Get out a map of the UK and look at the places where you might want to go and then let the kids research each place on Google. If they’re stuck, they can use their interests for inspiration. If they like history and museums, then a trip to London could be on the cards. If they love the outdoors and adventure, why not plan a trip to the Scottish Highlands? If theme parks are their thing, let them research each one on the internet. Don’t forget to plan your travel as well, for example, if you’ll be travelling from London Bridge to Deptford after a fun day at the museums, have a look at the best train times to fit in with your itinerary.
You may already have done quite a bit of baking in lockdown, and although it’s fun, you might be getting a little sick of the mess and tidying up that it entails. Why not get the children to help you make dinner instead? Ask them to help you look at recipes and decide what they’d like to eat for the week. From making a frittata to rolling out pizza dough, there are lots of child-friendly recipes you can make together with jobs they can do according to their age.
Board games are an endearing classic and with good reason. See if you have any from your childhood lying around in the loft or at your parents’ house; Game of Life and Mousetrap are two examples of classics that are much better than the modern versions. Love it or hate it, Monopoly is a great one for all ages. Risk or Catan are good for older children and they’ll enjoy strategizing and scheming to build their empires. Scrabble is not only fun, it also helps kids practice their spelling and vocabulary. Team up with younger players to level the playing field if you’re playing with older children as well.
Make your own science lab
If you don’t mind a bit of mess, then your kids will love doing fun science experiments. Why not try conjuring up a soda and vinegar volcano! There are plenty of things you can try at home that will bring learning to life for your children and they’ll love telling their teachers what they’ve been up to!
Keep a lockdown photo diary
If you’re struggling to get your kids to practice their writing, see if you can pique their interest by keeping a lockdown diary together. Let them take lots of photos of their daily activities, print them out and get them to write the captions. Encourage them to write down their feelings – was it a good day, or did they feel a bit sad? Not only will this help their writing skills, it will give you all something to look back on when this time eventually ends. Which, it will!
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