Good morning and happy new week! I just typed a whole paragraph about how long we had been in isolation, but deleted it as I questioned myself and actually cannot remember how long it has been! We started a week before the the official lockdown as me and Ste both have health problems, but when that was now… I can;’t remember!
There have obviously been some fantastic resources for children being homeschooled become available and as a nursery nurse with two children I have lots of ideas. Today I wanted to share some simple ideas that encourage learning through everyday activities. I know some parents are really nervous and worried about teaching their children but this is a difficult time and it really is not worth feeling guilty about. There are so many opportunities in our normal daily routines and they won’t take much planning at all!
I have seen a few parents implementing a tuck shop for their children. Every day or week you give them a set budget and they are responsible for buying their snacks which you can pop into a bowl on the side for them to choose from. Write up a price list which can be more detailed the older they get. Children can learn what each coin is and looks like, adding up money, getting used to a budget and about healthy eating. You may want to give them a limit of one chocolate snack a day though!
Every Friday invite your child to write a page for their home-school journal. This could include what they have enjoyed that week and what was less enjoyable, what they struggled with or found easy, and this will help you when planning the following weeks activities. You can also use it to discuss emotions and how they are feeling. You could also include simple tasks such as writing the date, the weather etc. You could get them to include a self portrait on the front cover and add a page every week. This will be lovely to look back on in the future when this is all a distant memory!
Encourage your child to make their own meals – breakfast and lunch are ideal to start with. Pouring out cereal, making a sandwich, buttering toast, making scrambled egg are all examples of easy things children need to learn. They can also help you make main meals with safe, child friendly steps you can monitor. My kids loved doing things like this growing up and now all three like to help us make meals and will often take the lead
Bath-time offers a perfect time to enjoy some fun, learning activities when the kids don’t even know what they are doing! Pop a few different size jugs in for your children to practise pouring and measuring with. Ask them to fill a jug up half way or to a certain number line if they are a little older. Little lady loves to have one of her dolls in the bath and enjoys bathing them, washing their hair and face etc. She also loves to play with her foam bath letters which is great for letter recognition and spelling practice. It is also a great time for some sensory play – the Zimplii Kids products always go down well in our house and to tie in with this post I will be launching a little giveaway on my Instagram to win some of these!
You should know if you are a regular reader that I am a huge bookworm, as are my kids. To encourage some reading during each day, why not try introducing a home library. Set up a few age appropriate books which your child can come and ‘check out’ one at a time. Give them a book review sheet with heir book which they have to complete following reading it and before they return it to chooses another one. You could introduce half an hour ‘quiet time’ every day where everyone goes to their separate bedrooms to get a little time to themselves while younger siblings nap and mum/dad get a little break too!
There are loads of ideas for different Easter card designs on Piinterest. Get your child to make a card for someone special. They can then pop it in an envelope and get some practice writing an address on the front. Take the card and let your child post it on one of your daily. allowed walks. Family members and friends will love receiving them or you could even send them to a local nursing home.
I think Joe Wicks has this covered and I know my boys are loving their PE session with him every morning at 9am. Being active not only helps child feel good, but it is also a great way to start their learning time. Another website that we love is Go Noodle which is worth looking at if you want something a bit different. Ensure that your children are getting their daily dose of outdoor time on the allowed walk/run/scoot/cycle as well as time in the garden if you have one. Riley has always enjoyed being able to eat his breakfast and lunch in the garden when the weather is warm and you could even do their learning activities out there.
Did you have a pen pal when you were younger? It was such a big thing when I was little and even though we have video calling apps which is helping our kids stay in touch with friends, I know that my boys love receiving post so think this would be a fab idea to do.
A few short, simple ideas which I hope you will find easy to implement and work really well. If you would like more posts like this please let me know in the comments below. As an ex nursery nurse who is used to planning according to the EYFS etc., I am happy to provide more ideas for after the Easter break! Take care and keep safe,