It's just like a family holiday, but at home! (Said no one, ever)
With so many of us having had our holiday plans quashed by the recent events, which seemed to come out of nowhere, but has completely altered our way of life (for the time being), we thought we’d come to the rescue and attempt to give you some ideas of how to keep sane and keep your family occupied whilst you’re surviving the Coronavirus-enforced lockdown.
Depending on the ages of your children, their education is going to be of concern, especially for the older children who may be at a critical time with important exams. There are a number of useful websites to use as extra resources, such as BBC Bitesize which is free and you can find the appropriate level for your child’s needs.
But being holed up with your little cherubs 24/7 is no laughing matter and you may be racking your brains as to how you’re going to survive...
Well, that’s where we’re coming to the rescue, with a few ideas on how to survive self isolation:
1. Make a plan and schedule
The idea that you can just cruise through and take things easy is impossible when you have little people with you the whole time. For your own sanity, coming up with some sort of structure to your day will be really mentally beneficial to everyone, including yourself, to ensure you don’t become overwhelmed about everything going on in the world.
Come up with a time-table (it can be strict or loose) but have an idea of how your days are going to work and write it down so that your children know what is expected of them and what they are going to be doing while they’re stuck at home.
2. Give your children chores and jobs around the house
As simple as making their bed, tidying their room, or emptying the bins in the house. This will not only help you and make sure that you’re not just a slave to them, but will also make them feel they’ve achieved something and enable you to give them praise, as well as keeping their room in a more organised state, as they will no doubt be spending far more time in their rooms than they would normally.
3. Create challenges
These can be as simple as who vacuumed their room/the living room/the hallway the best, a Bake-off style competition, or a drawing/creative competition. Whether you are stuck at home with your husband, going it alone, or have a single child, you can take a challenge with them and both of you will enjoy some light-hearted fun and put the world’s troubles to one side for a time.
4. Try to make things fun
Order a cheap table tennis net and bats and use your kitchen or dining room table as a ping pong table and sort out family tournaments. Invent your own games using only items from your kitchen. Play eye-spy and word games.
All of those puzzles that have been put to one side and left in a cupboard, that your children have sniffed at and ignored, will suddenly come into their own. Puzzles are a great way to stimulate the mind and power up those problem solving skills that will bring the family working together.
6. Be creative
Don’t worry about mess, at a time when people aren't going to be ‘popping over’ and your in-laws won't be able to turn up unannounced, it’s the best time to get out all the paints and crafty bits and bobs and have some fun making lots of things to hang around the house—Easter cards for all those people you’ll be unable to see and even homemade Christmas cards, which you’ll feel so smug about people are sending through their shop-bought cards and you’re posting off your personalised creations made by your little darlings.
We all know how important exercise is, not just for our physical state, but our mental state, so make it a priority to move around and keep active.
If you have a garden, then take advantage of outside games—even simple ones such as tag or chase, will get you and the children to let off steam and burn off some energy.
If you don’t have any outside space, put the radio on loud and have a little disco in the living room with your children.
There are all sorts of exercise apps you can download and also meditation and yoga too and you use household products, like cordial bottles or tins from your cupboard as weights.
The National Trust has opened it’s gates to the public free of charge and it’s easy to stay socially distant in such vast grounds. Connecting with nature and doing a colour challenge (getting your children to find certain colours on a walk) will be so uplifting when you’re feeling disappointed about being unable to jet off on the holiday that you had planned.
8. Gather round
Card and board games are of course old favourites and now’s the time to get out Monopoly and Cluedo and enjoy some old fashioned family bonding.
Enjoy a large gin and tonic or glass of wine at the end of the day. You deserve it!
For more family, home and lifestyle content and inspiration follow Sheila Kronfeld's instagram @shebkron
Read more: A guide to a Brighton holiday with your kids
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