Kidscape- New Activities and Reading Ideas.



Back in April, at the start of this pandemic, we teamed up with Kidscape to bring you a blog post on activity ideas to do with your children at home. It has been eight weeks since that blog post and we were just sat here reflecting on our experiences over the last few weeks, in addition to the experiences we have heard about from others, and wanted to put together another bunch of ideas in hopes that they might help. With only some year groups going back in the next few weeks, and also with the Summer holidays looming, we thought that you might be in need of some fresh ideas. We also wanted to draw your attention to a place that offers advice if that is something you are in need of right now. We know this has not been an easy time.


Crafting.

In our first post 'About Kidscape' we encouraged you to save all your boxes and yogurt pots and anything that could be used for junk modelling. We have found this to be incredibly useful, allowing the kids to go wild with their imaginations, sticking whatever they choose together and decorating different textures. The cool thing is that it is inexpensive and you don't need to go out and buy more toys, as my next few ideas will prove.

1) I found that yogurt pots are perfect building blocks and can keep children entertained for quite some time. The different shapes mean they have to really think about how they can get the structure to balance. This was something I had fun with and was lovely to do with them.

2) Kids LOVE putting stuff in boxes. I created a long thin rectangle in one cereal box and made a post box. Be it a picture, a letter or a scribble, we had so much fun 'posting' our bits of paper in the 'post box'. Furthermore, I used a small Quality Street box to create a money box, with a smaller rectangle hole in the top. I happened to have play money to use but you could use a few real coins or even make your own with bits of paper. Larger boxes can become suitcases. Get your child to gather things that they would need for a holiday and place them in their suitcase. You can then talk about where they are going and what they are going to do there. :) Also, clothing pegs...who knew?! :)



Sensory.

Today I really wanted to focus on activities that don't cost you anything and where you can use things around the house. Another use of saving butter tubs and yogurt pots is making ice-cubes. I never got round to buying an ice-cube tray for my house, but ice is such a fun and great sensory activity for kids. So, I collected a few different shaped pots - butter tub, ricotta tub, yogurt pots- and filled them with water and popped them in the freezer over night. You can add food colouring if you have it or even add tiny toys and figures inside, if you have those.

You can then use plates or trays, whatever you have at home, to pop out the ice and allow the children to touch, feel and play with the ice for as long as their hearts desire. With the older kids you could even experiment with allowing them to pour warm water over the ice and watching it melt and talk about reversible and irreversible materials.

Outdoor.

I know not everyone will have a garden, so I do hope you have some space where you can get out and walk and get some fresh air. On these walks, or in your garden, let your kids collect stones, pebbles, leaves, mud and allow them to 'make soup' or 'perfume'. This was one of my favourite things to do as a kid. Of course, make sure your children aren't picking the neighbours prized roses or scooping up anything yucky, but letting them run around in nature and again play with the different textures can be great fun for them and allow them to be free and use their imaginations.



English.

At this stage I know it might be really difficult to get your kids to want to do 'work', so maybe a change of tactic might be needed. I loved writing letters as a kid, so maybe sitting down to write a letter to a friend or family member would be a fun way of getting them to do some handwriting and mark making. Furthermore, with the weather warming up, getting outside and having a change of scenery might be a nice way to mix work and play. Bring your reading books to the garden and your notebooks outside and create stories based on what you see around you.

Moreover, in light of what has been going on in the world recently, we really feel that now is a time to educate not only your children but yourselves. We found a list of books that look at diversity, from race to cultures to gender to disabilities, which you can find here: Important reading, It's OK to be different, and 'Book of families'. We feel that it is so important to be having these conversations with your children now in preparing them for going back to school. Children are more connected these days, they know what is going on in the world and they should know. It is our responsibility to educate them, for together we can make a difference.

One big thing I wanted to mention today after seeing lots of Kidscapes lovely quotes on Twitter is their Parent Advice Line. Whilst this service is usually used for parents who would like advice on bullying, during the COVID19 crisis they have adapted it to help provide emotional support for parents well being, which I think is incredible. Please don't feel that you have to do this alone and if you are struggling, please reach out for help.

Parent Advice Line.

I hope some of these ideas today will be beneficial and maybe just even spark a few more creative ideas to keep you going through this difficult time. And like I said, please remember to reach out if you need help. I believe parents are already Superhuman in every day life. This crisis will be calling for you to be Super Super Human and that is not an easy task. Please know that you are amazing and wonderful and awesome and remember to breathe and do what you can without putting so much pressure on yourself.

Love


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