Thursday, 18 June 2020

Life in lockdown - FREE indoor entertainment for children

Covid-19 doesn’t mean there are 18 other Covids out there. Covid-19 stands for CO-rona VI-rus D-isease, 2019. And the ‘corona’ part relates to the ‘crowned’ effect created by viruses menacing sticky-up bits that we’re all so familiar with seeing in the computer generated graphics relayed by the news each evening. So. There we are. All understood? Good. Time to move on? Not even slightly…

Unlike normal flu symptoms, which are expected to spread through a population at a rate of one person infecting only one other person, anyone with Covid-19 is expected to infect three other people. That’s a significant infection rate, meaning lockdown isn’t going to end one day with a global announcement that the air is safe now and everyone can go back to licking as many door handles as they wish without fear of catching the disease, but rather that lockdown will ease gradually, with a careful eye on things as we go. What does all this mean in real terms? It means the children are stuck indoors driving you crazy THIRTY ONE (that’s 24/7 but added up and put in capitals to make a point). Entertaining the children for free isn’t going to be easy, so you may need some tips…

Create a loose timetable

Where children do not have structure in their days, they may respond with complaints of boredom, mood swings, and issues with temperament. Despite being given everything that money can buy (from Playstations and pool tables to board games and colouring books), children often struggle to entertain themselves (see this site for more ideas). Pick a morning and afternoon task or activity and make a wall chart. Popular choices include arts and crafts, quizzes, playing hide and seek, playing charades, and staying active with physical challenges like standing-jump competitions or learning dance moves.

Turn mealtime into a cooking lesson

It’s time to dust off those cookery books (or more likely, consult with “easy home recipe” pages online). Children love tocook. From mastering the art of flipping the perfect morning pancake to spreading butter on toast and whisking eggs for cakes or cookies. There’s a million easy ways to get started. Not only will this task take up around an hour per day, but it will also teach valuable life skills that you may never get the chance to teach again before your young ones fly the coop - and you really don’t want your child being the only student at university who can’t grate cheese or peel a carrot.

Bonus tip… pay attention to what your child is drawn to, and invest in the interest (for example, a musical instrument or a telescope or even IT skills such as Photoshop). In this way, the child will be encouraged to entertain themselves. 

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