Tag Archives: children

How To Keep Your Kids Busy And Motivated During The Lockdown

While it is a somewhat strange time in the UK at the moment, there is one constant challenge that so many of us face: how to keep our children busy and motivated indoors. To help you keep your kids busy during the lockdown, we’ve brought together some ideas and activities which we’ll share with you in this blog post!

Staying as active as possible is essential during this period of uncertainty, so we definitely recommend allocating your (one) exercise session for the day when the sun is out, the air is fresh and you can find an area where maintaining at least 6-10 feet from other people out and about is achievable.

However, for the rest of the time, why not:

Join In Virtual Read-alongs 

If you don’t have access to many books, or want something a bit more social than all your kids reading separately, why not make reading a social exercise?

Storyline Online is an award-winning children’s literacy website, which streams videos featuring a whole host of celebrities reading children’s stories, alongside creative illustrations. 

You can listen and read along with some well-loved children’s stories, read aloud by famous celebrities including Viola Davis, Chris Pine, Lily Tomlin, Kevin Costner, Betty White and so many more. All these celebrities make it great for adults too, even if you’re hearing the same stories on repeat… We love the ‘Tale of Peter Rabbit’ read by Rose Byrne!

We love this particular activity, because Storyline Online is available 24 hours a day. So no matter where you are around the world, it’s ready to bring you fun, engaging stories.

We think that reading is a great skill for children of all ages to have, not only to boost not only to boost imagination skills and work on vital cognitive abilities, but reading is something that keeps on giving. 

It’s great for bringing imagination to daily tasks, which is essential at the moment!

You can encourage them to come up with characters in play, or create tasks inspired by the plot that encourage your children to sit down and think about why they enjoyed the story. 

Turn Your (One) Exercise Session Into a Game

Who said that walking had to be a chore? Why not incorporate some of the games and activities from inside the house, and take them with you when you get some fresh air?

Of course, it’s crucial that everyone sticks to the strict measures that are in place at the moment for all our safety – staying 6 – 10 feet away from other people, and only going out once a day to restrict the possibility of passing anything along to anyone who is vulnerable. 

However, while you’re out, and abiding by the rules, have fun! 

Why not bring the games that you might have played on car journeys to the paths and fields? Play Eye-Spy to keep them entertained and paying attention to their surroundings; bring along their favourite songs and turn the walk into a dance off. 

Or, turn the walk into a jog, cycle or roll and get them outside on a set of wheels if you have them – making the most of the outdoor time will not only bring freshness and excitement to the day, but it’s great for burning off that energy…

Explore Your Favourite Museums And Landmarks Virtually

There are actually many UK based tourist destinations that you can explore virtually – so why not bring the UK to your living room and show your children some of the best loved places in the country! You can see the artefacts and history at the British Museum, or do some of the learning activities from the Science Museum

Have a look at this list of the 10 best museums around the world to visit, and this selection of family-friendly virtual tours from museums that provide fun and education for all ages.

Museums are hearts of world information, packed full of great educational resources that you can easily access and turn into interactive, fun sessions that keep your kids busy while they learn about the world.

What’s more, some of the most gorgeous and awe-inspiring landmarks around the globe have virtual tours. You can explore the Taj Mahal from the sofa! Have a look at these amazing landmarks that are all open for virtual tours.

Keep Up With The Wildlife

Zoos around the UK have opened up their exhibits to people who want to enjoy all the benefits of seeing the wildlife, from the comfort of your own home! 

From seeing what the penguins are doing at Edinburgh Zoo, to some of the animals at Marwell Zoo or the meerkats at Newquay Zoo there are many wildlife exhibits that you can watch live footage from and learn about the animals while doing so. 

Why not turn the virtual tours into a wildlife lesson? See how much information about the species they can learn, or give them tasks to develop their interest and education about our natural world!

Have a look at this list of 12 animal webcams from around the world that might just make social distancing bearable…

Ditch The Screens

Making sure that we don’t rely on screens and technology to keep our children entertained is crucial, so this doesn’t become a crux or habit later in life! Taking a break from social media, virtual games, and screens in general is great for everyone.

Encouraging activities like colouring, crafting, and making with physical materials is hugely beneficial for developing creativity, and it’s always fun! What child doesn’t enjoy getting a little messy?

We’ll be posting printable sheets of our loveable Swimming Nature characters onto our Facebook page that your kids can colour in! So take a look, print them off and get crafty.

Also, why not have a look at this list of creative, crafting ideas that your children can easily try for themselves while they’re at home. We particularly love these ideas:

Print Off Worksheets For Brain Training

Home schooling is going to be critical now more than ever, with a lot of children at home for a few weeks and many parents, guardians and carers still working or working from home.

Luckily, there are thousands of free and educational resources for children of all ages! 

Free, printable worksheets for children of all ages keeps their minds and hands busy, encouraging the skills that normal classes would explore during the day so that your child isn’t missing out on any basic schooling. Plus they make learning fun!

Do you have any other ideas on how to keep your little one entertained which you think are worth sharing? Please feel free to let us know in the comments below!

In the meantime, we hope you keep safe and healthy, and most importantly, stay at home if you can.

How to Make Your Next Summer Holiday Even Better for the Whole Family

‘According to a survey by NUK, 87 per cent of mothers feel guilty at some point, with 21 per cent feeling this way most, or all, of the time’.

After reading through Guilty Mother’s blog, I stumbled upon the above statistics. Needless to say, they threw me. Does parenthood really have to mean automatic guilt? Every mother, or father, wants to parent their child in the correct way – which translates into doing what we see to be the best for our kids. But when did this inherent self-accusation become so deep rooted in our society, that parents have lost sight of ensuring that their own health and well-being is preserved? Surely parental wellness is inextricably linked to that of their children’s – and therefore wanting to take some time for self-care should be met with understanding, not judgement. This could mean wanting to pop to the gym, enjoy an hour of downtime, or relax when you’re on holiday… but can this ever be a possibility?

When setting off on a family break, I’m sure that parents would appreciate a stress free and untroubled time, which is not always easy when your child is in, or around, water. Although children should never swim alone, and should always be supervised – the ideal goal would be for a mother or father to be rest assured that their child is a confident swimmer. To achieve this, every little one should be taught the principles of floatation along with energy saving, which in turn enhances water confidence and safety.

With this in mind, what exactly should be implemented in terms of making sure an individual is safe when swimming? The RNLI offers plenty of useful advice on this topic, as part of their ‘Respect the Water’ campaign. In order to minimise the risk of drowning, the RNLI have produced ‘5 steps to float’, which simply and succinctly explains how float on your back. Firstly, it’s suggested that you should fight any instinct to thrash about, and instead lean back until your body is parallel to the water, whilst you extend your arms and legs. If appropriate, moving your limbs to help you assume this position is advised. You should then float until you have complete control of your breathing, and only then should you call for help or swim to safety.

                Championing this approach relates to our own unique practice of teaching, which rests on encouraging all students to float before they learn any form of swimming technique. Some traditional methods instruct children to swim a few metres, before they are completely in control of an aquatic environment. This is outdated, and falsely gives parents the impression that their child is safe, when they are not. Instead, every little one should initially learn to float on both their back and front to encourage water confidence, safety and relaxation. When floating on their front, the water should hit the pupil’s hairline, and the body should naturally find the right buoyancy. Legs should be straight, with no movement at all to preserve energy. Similarly, when floating on their back, students should have their ears in the water, with their hips up and feet kept underwater.

                Alongside this, our method encourages water confidence in a manner of different ways too. The aim of building water confidence is to prevent fear, which can lead to panic. By teaching children about the properties of water, you can help to reduce or eliminate this fear by showing them how to have fun and be safe. Building on this, we don’t use armbands or floatation devices in our teaching, which encourages a sense of achievement and control when swimming. Additionally, when on holiday use of a lido or other inflatables can be hazardous– as they can cause the tide to take you out to sea, and they may ‘pop’. Ultimately, by exercising every possible avenue to instil the best way of acting in the water, we give children the highest chance of staying safe when they swim for themselves.

                Having enrolled your little one in our lessons, you can relax a little on holiday, knowing that they will feel safer and more confident when swimming. Although we would never recommend sitting back and assuming your child is completely secure around water, do feel comforted that they will be equipped with the correct protective practices. So battle that seemingly innate guilt – instead book an even better adventure than last year, and enjoy yourself (whilst your children do too)!