Schools have closed and unless you are a key worker, the kids are going to be encouraged to stay at home. For some, the idea of taking charge of their learning is daunting and for us, as parents ourselves, we are also keen to find the best resources for keeping them engaged. It’s why we want to pass on our top tips for doing school at home for those under 5’s, because we really are all in this together. 💛
Like us, plenty of you will be juggling working from home and keeping the kids engaged all under one roof. The struggle is real. But, go easy on yourself and remember, this is all temporary. Mother Mag has some great advice from parents who regularly work from home, which includes planning necessary calls just as you get kids stuck into an activity, as well as taking short breaks to escape the madness. Take the opportunity to create a little space for them to call their own, such as a play table for their learning activities, reading and mealtimes too. Starting your day with some exercise together is a great idea and, in case you haven’t already heard, Joe Wicks is streaming free P.E. lessons every day at 9am. 🙌🏻
Spend the time you would have been hunting for preschool jumpers and packing lunch bags to plan the day ahead. We're thankful there are so many amazing resources being shared, with simple schedules drawn up to keep your day on track. You can create your own timetable, or find one on groups like Family Lockdown Tips & Ideas. Fill activity slots with some of the awesome remote lessons emerging. From Theatre of Sciences online classes to sign language by Ettie Betty Baby Signs and easy peasy art classes on Harptoons Publishing's page, there is so much free goodness to keep little learners occupied.
Got a craft box full of dried-up felt tips and pencils, but no sharpener? Darn it. Fresh stationary will limit the stress right now. For preschoolers, washable felt pens or crayon rocks are a mess-limiting pick, but for older children, choose something like the kitpas chalk pens, which come with a cool, mini black board. Definitely, definitely, utilise screens too. We are big believers in using technology for good. There are some amazing free-to-use apps and websites to supplement their learning, like reading app Teach Your Monster To Read and video site The Kids Should See This, which has content you’ll love seeing them get lost in.
We love books at KIDLY and are all for reading to kids as well. After all, if you read to them for just 20 minutes a day, statistics show they will hear an extra 1.8 million words over the space of a year 🤯 and with all of the extra hours at home now, there’s an opportunity to get them hearing even more! You can take the reading on yourself, with plenty of new titles on our shelves if you want to pick up something new or hand the baton over to authors and actors who are doing live readings for a virtual story time, including Oliver Jeffers and Josh Gad (the voice of Olaf). We’ve also come across the #covibook, written to help explain the Coronavirus to children under the age of 7. If your little one is starting to ask questions, print it out and use it to help support and reassure them. Why not connect with other parents of mini bookworms on our KIDLY Book Club page as well.
Forest school has been a topic on many parents’ lips for a while and we love that this lockdown doesn’t mean we can’t enjoy the great outdoors with our children. If you are lucky enough to have a good-sized garden, get it ready for little ones’ explorations. Most of us haven’t mowed the lawn since before the winter, so make that a priority as well as ensuring play equipment is safe, organise their mud kitchens and fill up sand pits as well. Send them out to forage for leaves and flowers, which they can use for collaging later on, you can even teach simple gardening skills, with their own mini tools. After all, now seems as good a time as any to start a veg patch. 🥕
Life may feel a little bit upside down for a while as we suss out getting the right balance at home for us and our children. Whether you are going full-on homeschooling or are free-styling with no schedule, take a pat on the back. From us, to you: we can do this.
Our IDEAS articles are based on our own experiences as parents & a need to find gorgeous, genuinely useful stuff for baby. That’s why you’ll always find our fave picks below our tips. Yes, we’re good to you ;)