During this period of social distancing and staying at home, while we as parents are trying our best to juggle home, work and home schooling our kids. It can be very frustrating and stressful for both us adults and also the kids themselves.
With the help of my boys, we have come up with some alternative or should I say some fun ways to engage all ages of school age kids and get them outdoors.
I am lucky enough to live by the sea, so we have that space to use as well when walking for our daily exercise too. It is always good to combine activity, education and outdoors time for keeping the kids occupied as well as providing the health benefits they will get such as the vitamin D from the sun and also the recommended cardiovascular fitness time.
So here are just some ideas:
- Science– shark and ray are egg case search- check the tide line for these and use the identification help on shark trust website to check what type of shark or ray. https://www.sharktrust.org/Pages/FAQs/Category/shark-id-guides
- Pebble and shell collecting – great to keep kids interested and look at their formations for science but also these can be decorated with paint or pen later for an art/craft session. We did some to look like cactuses. For more ideas check online.
- Plastic free beach clean- providing you have gloves, bag and a scoop you can get involved in your own beach clean whilst out for a walk.
As during the lockdown beach cleans as an organised group have not been happening so the coast line is being left without the regular checks.
In The Garden
- Learning a new skill in the garden – skateboarding has been what the boys are doing, physical activity and fun outdoors.
- Gardening and learning about the plants and their life cycles- my eldest is in year 3 of school and part of his curriculum this year is to learn about plants- so perfect inclusion into your day. Even if you don’t have a garden, you could do with a window box or just a potted plant. We’ve been growing sunflowers and chilli plants.
- Even playing with sand, water, soil or grass can be great for those kids that have more sensory needs too.
- Art outside- whether it be painting rocks or paper outside, maybe build or create something out of things you have collected on your walks or in your garden (twigs, leaves, cones etc).
- Collect Blue Peter badges- check out their website as there are some great badges to work for and send off for that can get free admission etc in to some awesome days out for the kids and family at a later date. https://www.bbc.co.uk/cbbc/joinin/about-blue-peter-badges
- Obstacle course or circuits for a fun pe lesson for the whole family – whether it be you use steps or garden benches as step ups or bunny jumps in, and using anything you have as markers for different exercise stations. Use your imagine and for some fun circuit ideas. Keep a look out for the next post which will be courtesy of On-Form Fitness Services, which will give you some help tips and creative ideas.
Out for a Walk
- Nature Trail – check out what local native species of plant, insect and even bird life there is in your area. https://action.wildlifetrusts.org/page/57739/petition/1
- Water Cycle- if you walk near a river, reservoir, sea or stream start talking about the water cycle and how it gets from rain to river or sea etc and back- to get some geography subjects in- also where the rivers meet the sea. https://www.bbc.co.uk/bitesize/topics/zkgg87h/articles/z3wpp39
- Local area interesting histories or point out some facts about the village or town you may live in. You could even start talking to the kids about the different styles of houses and getting the children to start thinking and looking at these and pointing them out.
- Climbing trees and exploring the undergrowth, my boys will always want to get up trees and muck about in the woods, which in itself is exercise. But also like with the nature trail, they can learn so much about the natural environment as well whilst being kids.
It is important to remember to make learning fun for the kids and you, enjoy the time with them.