DOES it feel like a crowded house? Are you crawling the walls? Got cabin fever already?
With school, parks and playgrounds off limits, the answer is almost certainly a unified cry of YES!
In fact, for many, the fortnight ahead may feel somewhat daunting.
Energetic children locked indoors with their parents, working remotely or simply because they have no choice. It is a potentially explosive combination.
Being stuck indoors with no school or social contact with friends to break the daily routine may trigger some rebellion and frustrated behaviour from the kids (and perhaps not just the little ones).
Take my advice, the first thing is to establish is a new daily routine.
Routines are essential for children, as they give them security and peace of mind.
Establishing routines at home to encourage their autonomy, making them participate in the preparation of meals, in the cleaning of the house, setting play schedules, homework and daily exercise will make them find an order in all this uncertainty.
Here we select 20 easy activities to help keep children entertained – and parents sane – during lockdown:
1. Spider’s web: Turn the hall into a spider’s web: with tape or wool… you have to go through it but without touching it!
2. Foot drawings: Are you able to write your name with your foot or draw a house? You may find you surprise yourself, but you’re guaranteed a giggle in attempting to master the pen with your toes
3. Plant a seed: Take a lentil or chickpea and plant it in some wet cotton. Watch it grow
4. Homemade Puppets: Find some old socks, sew some buttons on them as eyes, and make your own puppet show
5. Hide messages around the house: Take some post-its and hide surprise messages around the house; you’re sure to get a smile out of the person who finds them
6. Pillow fight: Nothing like a pillow fight to release tension and laugh out loud
7. Play volleyball with a balloon: If you have a balloon, blow it up and play a game of volleyball in the living room
8. Equilibrist: With a ribbon or wool, walk over it as if it were a tightrope walker’s cable. It’s not as easy as it looks!
9. Treasure map: Hide an object and then draw a treasure map of your house, marking the spot with an X. Who can find it?
10. Collective drawing: Make any scribble on a piece of paper and then someone else has to complete the drawing and try to make it into a clear-cut picture of something
11. Basketball: Use a bucket or a bin… Each time you move the ‘basket’ further away. Do you have a ‘Michael Jordan’ in the house?
12. Catwalk: Anything goes. Open the wardrobe and play with impossible combinations.
13. Family tree: Outline your own family tree, see how far back you can go.
14. Create bookmarks: With paper, cardboard, stickers, magazine cut-outs… design your best bookmark!
15. Hot and cold: Hide an object. The only clues you can give for someone else to find it is ‘cold’ for far and ‘hot’ for near. The more difficult the hiding place, the better
16. Chinese whispers: Think of a strange phrase. Now pass it to whoever is on your right, but say it very quickly. What comes out in the end? Perhaps you could try it in Spanish and put your language skills to test
17. Homemade Tent: Collect fabrics and blankets and set up your own tent, where you can tell stories and have a titbit
18. Write a diary: Write down what you’ve done every day. It may not seem like much now, but it will become very, very special with time.
19. Stranger for dinner: Have dinner with your family but pretend you don’t know each other. What would you talk about, how would you introduce yourself? Have fun!
20. Talk Nonsense: You say something, the next person answers with something that has nothing to do with what’s been said and so on. Let’s see who can go the longest without laughing.
Print out or write down the above list, cut out each idea and put them into a draw, pick one out and go have some fun!
Don’t forget the typical card and board games like UNO, snakes and ladders etc. Have a movie night (with popcorn), camp night, where everybody sleeps in the living room. Have fun with a bit of karaoke, musical statues, bake a cake. The list is endless.
The Must Do’s for kids at home
Make sure to include in the new daily routine:
1. Normal chores, (meals, bath, breaks, homework),
2. Housework (helping to make the bed, setting the table, removing dishes from the table) will help children feel useful and positive about themselves.
3. Daily exercise: Lack of physical exercise can increase a child’s irritability and stress that can affect his or her emotional state. Add music and dance to the daily routine. Jumping competitions on who can jump higher or jump over obstacles. If you live in a house with stairs, run up and down them a few times.
However, make sure the exercises are done before 6pm to avoid activating your children too much before going to bed.