Keep your family healthy—physically and mentally—and minimise spread of the Coronavirus
This week, Coronavirus a.k.a COVID-19, like a slow-motion tornado, finally arrived, wiping away many of our ordinary routines and leaving us in a strange new landscape. Unlike a tornado, this is a disaster on a biological level that lurks unseen and living among us and our loved ones which makes it all the more scary.
Drive out of town and a tornado which would flatten houses becomes just a bad thunderstorm, move away from the coast and you can totally avoid the devastating tsunami altogether but there is no avoiding coronavirus and our only weapon is to stay at home.
Governments around the world are struggling to react to the rapid spread of the virus in a desperate attempt to ‘flatten the curve’ by urging and in some cases legislating residents stay at home. These are troubling times as we all try to do our best to follow disease-prevention measures we’re not sure we are equipped to handle. You can track Coronavirus cases in the UK here.
Navigating this challenge poses particular problems to parents. Many of us are confined to our homes in some cases out of work, with children underfoot and it’s totally understandable to feel overwhelmed. Juggling all these responsibilities with limited or no childcare and taking on home-schooling activities is not what we had in mind but we’ve all got to keep on going and get through this together.
The safest thing you can do is avoid unnecessary exposure to others, particularly if you live with a grandparent or someone with a compromised immune system. The advice from the government and NHS is to cancel all play dates and other non-essential contact with people who don’t live with you. View NHS Stay at Home Advice.
You can still go out for exercise so long as you keep 6 feet apart from others and avoid play parks/equipment. Research shows UV light from the sun makes the virus less stable, however Coronavirus can remain active on stainless steel surfaces for days.
The best thing we can all do is get back to basics with some good-old-fashioned activities we all grew up with and love.
We’ve got 7 top tips we can all use to avoid the ‘I’m bored’ moans from children amongst the widespread school shutdowns:
Start putting books around the house in a variety of places to increase the chance that your children will pick one up and just start reading on their own.
Try it with books your child may not have read for a while – you may just find that they develop a new love for reading!
LEGOs are the ultimate stay-at-home activity and there are sets for every age, gender and interests. Your family may already have LEGO sets you haven’t touched in ages, why not take over the dining table and turn it into a LEGO builders’ space.
Some of the more complex kits can take days to complete. That’s plenty of fun to go around and not to mention the skills it transfers – they may grow up to become an engineer.
Of course you can substitute LEGOs for jigsaws, stickle bricks or whatever else you have at hand.
Cleaning and chores don’t need to be boring tasks we have to force our children into doing as a punishment.
You can make chore time fun by setting up a snack bar and putting on some music so you can dance as you clean. Not only will it turn into a min at-home-workout but you’ll be looking forward to a drink and snack!
This makes it fun rather than a chore, you could always get competitive and see who can fold the most clothes in a minute.
Just because your child’s school has closed doesn’t mean the learning has to end, email their teacher to find out what projects they would have been working on.
That way you can explore those themes at home so that they won’t feel like they’re falling behind when they get back to school.
It’s also totally okay to take regular breaks every 15 minutes or so, we actually benefit from learning this way rather than trying to push through and focus for a full hour.
Here’s some worksheets you can try with your child. View worksheets.
Try to include a challenge every day to help keep your child engaged.
Get baking in the kitchen, kids love to help bake. Why not try a simple recipe like cookies? All you need is flour, baking powder, butter, vanilla extract (optional), chocolate chips (optional), sugar, eggs (optional). Try this recipe for “Simple Chocolate Chip Cookies from the BBC : View recipe.
“Try to make healthy foods. You don’t want your kids to have lots of artificial foods and sugar as they’ll make them hyper and you don’t want that when you’re in a small space!”
Netflix is full of wildlife and ocean documentaries and there are plenty available on the BBC and re-runs available.
There are lots of great programmes you can watch which is much better than having brain-numbing cartoons on all day. We absolutely love watching David Attenborough documentaries (what child doesn’t) and we are sure your child will learn a whole lot about the planet while you’re at it.
Get busy making and creating. Get out the colouring books and crayons, the child-friendly scissors and coloured cards and just start making.
The creative interaction between parents and young children engaging in activities like arts and crafts not only provides immediate and lasting cognitive benefits but also creates a unique bonding experience for you and your child.
Why not make a ‘get well soon’, or ‘thinking of you’ card to send to a neighbour?
We hope that this has given you some useful ideas and of course, we look forward to welcoming you to our wonderful holiday park where you can have the holiday of a lifetime once these short-term quarantine measures are over.
If you’ve had a holiday cancelled this year because of Coronavirus and you’ve been refunded then why not opt for a cheaper UK based holiday at Epworth Fields Holiday Park?