The wellbeing of our children is incredibly important during this unusual time. Please do take time to settle and reassure your children before starting on a home learning schedule. If children see or hear things on the news that upset or worry them encourage them to talk to you and ask questions about it. You may find guiding the children to ‘look for the helpers’ in these situations useful, this may help to reassure them that no matter what is happening people are being looked after. For more support on how to help your children through the developing coronavirus situation visit the YOUNGMINDS website. https://youngminds.org.uk/blog/talking-to-your-child-about-coronavirus/
We know that some of our children will need a strong structure and routine to help them with learning at home. However this may not suit all families and we know that every family has their own commitments and schedule. Therefore we have included a link below to the twinkl website where you can search for visual and editable timetables so you can create a weekly schedule that works for your family. Make sure to share this with your children each day so they know what to expect. We recommend the children do a minimum of 30 minutes each of reading, writing and maths everyday plus other educational activities.
Playtime is vital for children’s healthy development. Children should have access to outside space everyday (government advice permitting). In school in KS1 they have two outside playtimes of 15 minutes each per day plus usually around 40 minutes at lunchtime. If you can, try to continue this access to outside play at home. Children should also be given time and opportunity to play inside every day. They should be encouraged to use their imaginations, follow their own interests, relax and do nothing in particular. Children are experts at play. Let them take the lead and play along with them. For more information about why play is important visit the Playboard Northern Ireland website https://www.playboard.org/
Mindfulness and Mental Wellbeing
5 voice clips that explain how to do 5 different mindfulness exercises
A list of practical activities for children
Informative background information on children's mental health, problems and where to turn to for help
More Activity Ideas
Make your own sensory bottles.
DIY sensory bottles make for simple and fun sensory activities for kids and are great as a calming tool for anxiety. They provide good learning opportunities too! You can use small plastic toys (eg fish), food colouring, glitter or anything else you can find!
For some painting fun:
Use an old shoe box (with a lid) and a handful or marbles. Put a piece of paper flat inside the shoe box and add a dollop of different coloured paint in each corner. Then add the marbles, close the lids, and shake! What master piece can you create? The kids love this and it's a great sensory activity!
It's more important than ever that we keep moving and stay positive and healthy. Starting Monday 23 March, the Body Coach Joe Wicks will be hosting a free workout aimed at kids live on his YouTube channel. Join Joe Wicks live on YouTube at 9am each weekday for a kids workout. The workouts will be fun and suitable for all ages and even adults can get involved.
Grow your own plants from seed. Ask your adult if you can have a small patch of land in the garden or a plant pot and plant your own seeds. Make sure you water them and look after them everyday and watch them grow into beautiful plants, flowers or even vegetables!
There are lots of Just Dance videos on YouTube to keep you moving and have some fun! Get your adults involved too!
Write a letter or a postcard
Write a letter or a postcard to your grandparents or your friends. You may not be able to see them at the moment, but they will love to hear from you and you can have fun making a lovely drawing and practising your letter writing! They may send you one back too!
Keep a diary