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The best way to survive lockdown with kids? Be prepared! We’ve all had some practice at this, so there are some routines to manage the monotony of those long days at home in place.
But if you’re all out of inspiration, here are some boredom busters to keep everyone busy.
If you have some outdoor space, take advantage of any nice weather you get. Spending time outside is fantastic for our mental and physical health. For little ones, you can set up a blanket on the grass, maybe blow some bubbles and enjoy the sights and sounds.
Slightly older kids might like to get stuck into some gardening, make some mud pies, or go on a nature safari hunt to see what they can discover in the bushes.
Embrace sensory play
Sometimes we all need to get out of our heads and back into our bodies. Sensory play is fantastic for helping kids get lost in the moment and discover the world. One of our favourite sensory play products is our Biodegradable Water Beads.
Safe for four-year-olds and up, these colourful beads can be used for colour sorting, water play, counting, pretend cooking, bouncing, rolling, building fairy gardens, or adding some fun to bath time.
Playdough is another go-to favourite for many households. This sensory activity sparks the imagination and keeps little hands busy for hours. Our natural play dough from The Dough Folk comes in various colours and scents; we also stock dough stamps and cutter sets to boost the enjoyment. You can find all those and more in the Sensory and Creative Play section of our shop.
Don’t have any outdoor space, or faced with bad weather? You can still get moving! Crank the music up and let the kids have a dance party. Play “the floor is lava” in the lounge using cushions and chairs; build a fort and have an indoor campout; or build an indoor obstacle course using boxes, furniture, pillows, and toys.
Getting artsy outside is a great idea – less clutter and mess indoors and more freedom for the kids to be creative. Draw chalk art on the pavement, or “paint” on the driveway with safe, water-based paints
If you are in need of a quiet indoor activity for the kids, set them up with some crayons, coloured pencils, or paint. We love the Honey Sticks range, full of natural ingredients to keep kids safely drawing or painting for hours. Check out the bath crayons, bath drops, watercolour paints, or crayons on our website.
Crafting can fill up a lot of time and is a lovely way to encourage creativity, mindfulness, positivity, and celebration. Pick a reason (Earth Day, Father’s Day, or just because) and give the kids the supplies they need to make letters, posters, cards, or gifts to send their friends or family members.
Create new traditions
Break up the monotony of endless lockdown days by creating a schedule of things to look forward to. You might just discover some new traditions to continue after lockdown!
Think Friday Film Nights with blankets and popcorn, Taco Tuesdays where the kids get to help prepare dinner, Lego Thursdays, Wednesday dress-ups where the kids (and adults if they like) create costumes for different themes.
We have some beautiful, chemical-free natural play makeup products available in our shop – from play makeup and nail polish sets to shimmery eyeshadow and fun face paint.
Embrace the screen
While we don’t want the children zoning out in front of a device all day, screentime can be a great boredom buster. It gives adults some much-needed time out, and there are plenty of productive things for kids to do online without just zoning out to a TV show (although there can be a place for that, too.)
Many museums and zoos offer virtual tours or live cam footage. You can visit a Harry Potter Escape Room, take on one of Bear Grylls’ indoor challenges, or download a fun, learning-based app to keep curious minds active online.
Worries about their eyes? Check out our Babiators Screen Savers, blue light blocking glasses.
Are There Big Feelings In Your Household?
By now, we all know that being in lockdown can seriously affect our mental health, and of course, our kids can be affected too. Just like us, they may be feeling scared, agitated, stressed, sad, or angry.
But unlike adults, children often aren’t quite as good at recognising or regulating their emotions. Some may try to suppress those feelings and appear subdued, while others may act out as a way to express their frustration.
Kids under the age of two tend to be more resilient and adapt well to change. However, all children can and will pick up on your emotional state. If you’re feeling anxious, they are likely to be anxious too, so take care of your own wellbeing and model self-care.
How Can You Handle The Feelings?
It is completely natural to be feeling all of the things right now! Be honest with kids of all ages about what’s happening. This is a valuable chance to teach them resilience and the skills to cope with uncertainty.
Rather than hiding what’s going on, create an open household that encourages children to talk about the situation and their feelings about it. Take time to check in with your children to ask them how they are doing. Show them it’s okay to feel the way they’re feeling – whatever that may be.
Creative activities such as playing and drawing can provide an outlet for negative feelings. If your child has difficulty expressing themselves verbally, they may find it easier to communicate through art or storytelling.
Making time for mindfulness and calm can also be helpful. Many caregivers and parents find that little ones do better with a routine.
You could introduce reading into your night-time wind-down routine. This provides a quality, safe space for your kids to talk one-on-one with you. All Natural Mums have some fantastic books that help children identify, name, and talk about their emotions.
If you would like more information about helping children understand their big emotions through story-telling please read our blog The Power of Story-Telling, Helping Kids Deal With Their Emotions.
Back to school is fast approaching, so it’s time for the important business of school preparations to commence.
Bags, lunchboxes, drink bottles, healthy food ideas… they all need to be sorted.
Luckily, we have you covered with the ultimate 2023 back to school guide. Let’s jump into it!
It’s a great time to get outside for a picnic and enjoy some family activities. Here are our favourite Spring picnic activity suggestions, perfect at home in the garden or heading on a road trip.