Coronavirus is spreading like, er, the unpredictable virus that it is, and it seems the thing most of us mums are talking about is the school closures.
Obviously we don’t want anyone getting ill, or our kids’ education to suffer. But what we’re also panicking about is how the hell WE are going to cope with having them home all day – and for f*ck knows how long?
I’m not sure all the wine, gin and chocolate in the country is going to be enough for me to survive having all three of my boys – aged four, two and two – home all day, every day, indefinitely.
If you read my blog or follow my Facebook page, you may have guessed I’m not really one of ‘those’ mums who has a whole timetable of ‘fun and educational’ activities up my sleeve for such times as this coronavirus pandemic.
Nope. I can stretch to Duplo, Lego, Mobilo, Play Doh, Kinetic sand (at a push), cutting, sticking, junk modeling from the recycling bin and colouring. Absolutely no painting, messy play, slime, or (heaven forbid) GLITTER in my house. After that little lot is exhausted, it’s time for the TV. Netflix and the ridiculous amounts of kids’ films I record each Christmas are my saviour. This was the last time I tried painting…
You’ll have also noticed that my boys fight. A lot. An AWFUL lot. Like constantly. One out of the three (usually poor Twin Two) is always crying because someone (usually shitbag Twin One) has hit/punched/kicked/scratched/pushed/bitten him.
So you can imagine right now, I’m beginning to wonder not only what is going to happen with the coronavirus pandemic but also, how it’s all going to pan out at home. If the four year old gets homework sent from school (please teachers, send LOTS!) the chance of him actually having a moments’ peace to get on with any of it, is pretty minimal.
When he first got reading books home earlier this year, I experimented with what time of day was best to do them, thinking bedtime was a no-no because we were all too tired by then.
I tried after dinner, forgetting that food gives kids their second wind. The twins set up their very own race track running at full speed from the front door, down our reasonably long hallway, through the kitchen to catapult themselves over the arm of the settee in a pretty impressive somersault landing on the spot we were trying to read. Over and over again.
All that was missing was one of those old-school pommel horse vaulting things that we had during gym lessons, and they’d have had even more fun.
So the amount of actual ‘learning’ is likely to be minimal during coronavirus lockdown. (But if you do want help with ideas for homeschooling check out my post here.) I’m kind of okay with that, considering he’s only four and in Foundation. GCSEs/A Levels and the chance of this affecting his grades and eventual lifelong success is a long way off at this point. But I fear I may have to up my game on the ‘activities’ front.
Clearly I have no clue, so have asked my fellow bloggers (who are obviously way better at this type of shizzle than I am) for some ideas. Don’t thank me, thank them.
Activities to keep kids entertained during coronavirus school closures:
- Mini family sports/obstacle course around the garden, act out favourite stories/puppet shows, make a photo diary for photography skills, cutting skills, writing and sticking. From Anna at Twins and Travels.
- Painting branches in primary and secondary colours. This one is simple and slightly educational, and only requires sticks and paints. Can be dressed up to double as an ‘Easter tree’ too. From Malin at Sensational Learning With Penguin.
- Growing your own flowers, fruits and veg. Use plastic fruit containers to create little propagators and grow them from seeds, bulbs and tubers. Talk about how they grow, need sun etc, depending on age. Our playgroup used a caterpillar to butterfly kit last year so might try that at home too if it looks like we’ll be home after Easter. Twinkl parents are also offering a free month of educational resources. Our school and playgroup use them so we will definitely be taking advantage of them too. From Lynne at New Mummy Blog.
- A science lesson for you with stuff you’ve probably already got in the house. For example ‘Can You Make An Egg Bounce’ from Beth at Twinderelmo.
- 40 guilt free educational online resources to keep kids entertained. From Lucinda at The London Mummy
- Create a water compass. It’s pretty simple to gather supplies, all you need is a shallow dish filled with water, a paper clip, a leaf and magnet. It was a great excuse to get outside and the children had fun looking for colourful leaves. From Jenny at The Gingerbread House.
- Use Duplo and do counting and sorting into colours and simple maths. They can also use it to create ball run games and mazes. From Faith at Me Be Geek.
- Here are some simple maths activities to do at home. I’m also planning on finding some nature documentaries for some more purposeful screen time. From Amanda at Mummy2twindividuals.
- We’re on day two of self-isolation and today we’ve used Wii Sports for PE. It turns out I’m quite good at boxing! From Erica at The Incidental Parent.
- How to make your own play dough in just five minutes using ingredients you probably have lying around in the cupboard as well as loads of fun that you can have around the house with play dough. From Steve at The Diary Of Dad.
- Mark making with brushes made out of nature – conifers, sticks and feathers to paint the shed with water. From Louise at Pink Pear Bear.
- Make a dinosaur sensory activity box using green slime-coloured Gelli Baff. My son loves dinosaurs so it’s a really good way of stretching his imagination by creating a habitat for his dinosaurs. For me it’s a good way of expanding his vocabulary and exploring new ways to describe things. From Jane at Hodge Podge Days.
- Making leaf prints from leaves collected in the garden and bright paints. From Catherine at Growing Family.
So there you have it, a few ideas to start you off during the coronavirus lockdown. There are loads doing the rounds on Facebook, and online. Such as this one. Although I have to admit I don’t even know what some of these things are!
These are much more up my street:
Stay safe people! And sane if at all possible…
How did I do?
If you liked this post, why not read Top Websites and Learning Resources for Homeschooling or Keeping Toddlers Entertained At Home? And how about you hang around and check out some of my usual tongue-in-cheek type of posts in the Mum Life section. There’s all sorts in there from my take on potty training, the lies we tell our kids, the best and worst things about having twins, whether you’re a yummy or slummy mummy, and all the stupid things I feel mum guilt over.
If you like a bit of social media madness, pop over to my Facebook page where you’ll be able to have a laugh at what ridiculousness goes on in my house with three very small boys on a daily basis. Warning – there is often sarcasm, and usually swearing. There are also great travel reviews and some AWESOME giveaways. Feel free to join my Twins, Tantrums and Cold Coffee – Shits and Giggles Parenting Group too, where everyone shares their hilarious stories.
And if you want to work with me, feel free to give me a shout here or at firstname.lastname@example.org and I’ll get back to you.