Lets get moving!
Updated: Mar 25, 2020
So I have been asked to cover a couple of things today. Please keep your questions coming, every family is unique and I want to do all I can to help as many as I can.
“How do you answer questions to school age kids regarding the virus & economy without fanning fear, yet not talking down or like the truth can’t be handled?” Also “How do you answer questions such as: Will Dad lose his job? Are we going to get sick? Is grandpa going to die if he gets the Corona virus?”
It is important that children are told that their concerns are valid. I find it never helps to sugar coat anything. However, in my experience it is important to keep answers short and truthful. Long drawn out conversations result in too much talk. Childrens minds need to be busy and activated.
I would explain that Dad has spoken to his boss (which I presume most people are talking to their employers regularly), and he has taken out steps to be able to work from home to help secure his job. Remind them that this will not last forever. If there are bank savings, let the children know that, if Daddy loses his job, you have money saved to keep everyone safe. Let them know depending on your location, the governments are organizing ways to help people. I personally know people who are letting tenants have free rent next month. Share the good with the children and how everyone is coming together to support one another, some little- some big ways, it all helps and has a huge impact.
Reassure children that you are taking extreme precaution to help ensure that they don’t get sick, and that this is why we can’t see our friends at the moment. Instead, we can facetime with your friends, or set up a time for you to have a group skype with your best friends.
Safe and secure are key words that children are looking for.
Worrying about the elderly, is something that we are all doing. I suggest you arrange daily facetime chats with grandparents. I set my alarm every day to call my grandma in the UK. Being able to see her laugh and smile releases a lot of stress and tension. I can see and hear her, and I know she is safe and happy in her home.
Please also use the activities I provide to do with the grandparents- I got an absolutely wonderful video sent to me from a grandma who had made the nature crown and was showing her granddaughter. It was truly very special. The children also can simply share what they have been up to with the grandparents that day, or even draw them a picture and show it to them over the camera. It doesn’t have to be a long drawn out conversation, just a little snippet every day will help keep them from worrying. I honestly find it helps me enormously. You can also say (if it’s the case) that you or other family members are having food delivered to the grandparents, so that they don’t need to go out. They have an ample amount food and are safe. You can also guarantee that if the grandparents think they are going to be getting a call from a little loved one, they will wake up excited every day.
Move each conversation on to the positives and say, this a very special and unique time where we can be all together. Whilst you have Daddys and mine undivided attention, is there anything you want to do with us. Shall we all have a dance party? You all can push furniture to the side of the room and play your favorite tunes and have a boogie. Never underestimate the power of music therapy and getting those endorphins going whilst air guitaring. Let’s use this special time together to have fun and build memories!
My family used to have a dance party every Friday night to top of the pops, we literally pushed all the furniture to the side and danced crazy around the room. These free, family & fun Fridays, are some of the best memories I have from a child.
“Do I have any games you can play long distance?”
I’m going to presume it is older children you are thinking of, possibly 7+ up?
A really great game that you can play, which will enable you to learn new things about each other and is fun is “Have you ever”. You both can choose a small tasty treat such as M&Ms, skittles, or healthier options like raisins. You can then take turns to ask questions, and if the person has done that activity, then you eat a treat. Such questions can include things as:
Have you ever eaten a snowflake?
Have you ever gone boogie boarding at the beach?
*Questions like this, also provide you with opportunities that help you understand more about their lives and things that you could plan on doing together once the corona days are in the past. Maybe they have never been horse riding, and you could then research a place that you would be able to take them to, so they could have their first experience on a horse. These questions can help evoke old memories to share too. Share about when you were little and first went on a horse, what happened? Where were you?
Other questions can be fun like:
Have you ever drank milk from a carton?
Have you ever peed in the garden – silent pause, neither family eats a treat, but you share a specific memory when you remember when the child was little and this funny little incident happened and you caught them watering the garden.
They can also ask you questions such as, have you ever been to a music concert. To them, these things might be completely unimaginable but, it’s an opportunity for you to share a bit about yourself which before they never knew about.
Remember it’s meant to be fun, so make it as silly as you like.
Have you ever stayed up until midnight? … *Grandma eats a treat* Grandma! – shock dawns on the children’s faces, “Mum, did you know that grandma….!”
Let me know how the game went, and I can provide more! Be prepared with some extra questions, incase the child finds it hard to think of something. It can be hard to think on the spot.
The last question of the day I got was:
“My daughter is now attempting to work an eight hour day from home with her 2 very active and high needs asperges boys of 7 and 9. She is trying to go it alone to protect us from the virus bless her. Any ideas would be very welcome.”
Thank you for this message. Absolutely. Todays activity I have decided to specifically blog about is with her boys in mind.
Boys. There’s no two ways about it, they have energy.
Whether you live in a small apartment/ flat or if you have a garden, this next activity will help burn off some of those jumping beans. You can tailor this to each of your childs needs. This is not only fun to do, but you can make it as challenging as you want and continue to develop it more and more. If it’s a hit, then each day you can add another station on it, or swap and change things around to keep it fresh.
I am aware there are some youtube videos to watch regarding exercise, but I wanted to give another fun option that they can be more in control of.
I love doing exercise courses for all ages, as not only are they are fun to do together, you can develop those gross motor skills and ensure that children are getting enough exercise and movement in their lives.
So it starts like this, collect up all that recycling.
Start by talking about different exercises that your child enjoys to do and maybe some skills that still need a little bit more work.
This is a time also to get those crayons out, and you can be as artsy as you like - or not at all, and that totally works too! I have used painters tape in the past for this activity too which works extremely well and is quick.
Attach the activity instruction to the floor, to create an activity station.
Then between each station, choose how the child will get between each station such as 'hopping on one leg'.
Use items you have lying around, maybe search the garage. Do you have a hockey stick and some old paint cans? Can the child use the cans as cones and has to dribble a ball around the cans in between each station?
(Bunny hop to the next station, then bounce the racketball 15 times)
These are some of the other stations I created:
(walk backward to next station, then do 30 steps)
(5 sit ups, tip toe to next station)
(20 overhead press, crawl to next station)
Remember you and your children can set this up any way they like, this is just to show you that you don't need to have a lot of room to be out of breath and get those little hearts pumping. After one or two rounds, you can also time each other and see how quickly you can do the course, how long does it take to do it twice? Can you beat your own time? Have a good old rummage around and pull out those skipping ropes and anything else, I would love to see your pictures!