Lockdown Family Activities
Wow what a year it has been! Who would have thought that this time last year the world was still learning about Coronavirus and how it could affect us and now words such as social distancing, tiers, and lockdown have seemingly become part of our everyday vocabulary! Being a parent throughout these lockdowns isn’t always easy, being at home can be overwhelming with little ones and sometimes really lonely too and don’t even get me started about homeschooling! So, I was really excited when Hipp Organic invited me to write about our experiences and to share how we have tried making our lockdown days a little more interesting. I am by no means an expert just a mum of two wonderful littles, living in not so sunny Devon but hopefully these ideas may just help you a little bit like they have us.
Activity Idea #1 – Scavenger Hunts
Our one walk a day was starting to get a little monotonous without the variety of places to go and people to meet up with so I really wanted to try and find ways of making our trips out a little more interesting. One thing that Amelie loves is when I give her a little activity to do, the girl loves a challenge (she is competitive like her Mama it seems). A really easy activity I love is to create a scavenger hunt list and take it out with us for her to try and spot things its such a simple idea and definitely helps to brighten up and make ‘just a walk’ a little more entertaining. Some days we may put colours on our list so ‘can you spot something red’ etc and other days if we are going into a woodland area, we may get a little more specific with the things we spot like ‘can you spot a squirrel’. Its just helped give us another dimension to our walks and so easy as it can be done anywhere and its also really helped us stop and notice our surroundings more. Its always so interesting how much further Amelie will walk when she is distracted with an activity and its fun for us all getting involved as a family together.
Activity Idea #2 – Theme Weeks
At home can be a challenge and I must admit now we are in our third lockdown period and with the weather not being like those glorious sunny days of Lockdown 1.0, I have often had days of feeling overwhelmed and the daunting feelings of ‘what shall we do’. I have found by giving myself a little theme as such helps to give me a little direction and planning with activities. It narrows down my ideas and helps to spark a little creativity. A theme can be anything you want of course; books make great themes to plan activities around and something that little ones can really engage with. Recently we planned a little theme week around old favourite Room On The Broom as its one of Amelie’s favourite stories (I swear I can recite it without looking now). We made magic wands one day using playdough, then collage masks the next, pretended to mix up some potions using water and old flower petals and leaves we found in the garden. Just by adding in a theme can really just help you think outside of the box a little and you can make it as simple or elaborate as you wish. You can find some great suggestions on platforms such as Pinterest, Twinkl and Sparklebox have some amazing printable resources too, (we got our masks as a free download on Sparklebox), so you don’t need to worry if you are not creative at all.
Activity Idea #3 – Homemade Playdough
Playdough makes a great activity for little hands too and can be used in so many ways and adapted for most themes too. We have started making our own at home and its so simple and uses basic store cupboard ingredients. I have tried many recipes over the years but this one is great, doesn’t require any cooking, super soft, and really lasts well if stored properly. All you need to do is mix the following ingredients together until it forms a soft dough, pop in an airtight container and it should last for some time too, little tip washed Hipp Organic baby food jars make great little storage pots for playdough too.
- 1 cup of plain flour
- ¾ cup of water
- ¼ cup of salt
- 3 tablespoons of lemon juice
- 1 tablespoon of oil
You can colour the dough using food colouring and even scent it too using flavourings or natural scents such as cinnamon, lavender etc. Amelie loves a bit of sparkle, so we put glitter in ours often too but just be mindful of little ones in case they have a tendency to put it in their mouths.
Hopefully this has helped give you just a few suggestions to help lighten the mental load when it comes to entertaining your tots through this strange old time. However, what I would say is just do what you can do, these times are crazy and creating pressures in many ways, don’t add to the pressure by feeling you should or have to do things. Keep things simple and always remember that the main thing your little ones’ need is lots of love and happy parents.