Here in the UK we are about 10 weeks into the lockdown with restrictions gradually being eased. I have to admit i’m enjoying the time again with the children. So, what have we been up to, aside from the school work?
Learning about nature
I am always really surprised how many adults can’t identify plants and animals, as a result I take every opportunity to try to encourage my children to learn about nature so they can benefit from the joy of being able to identify a tree or a bird. We have been watching Chris Packham’s Self Isolating Bird Club broadcasts on YouTube, going around the garden looking for mini beasts, drawing birds and animals, listening and identifying bird song using an app and taking a Woodland Trust Tree Identification Guide out on short walks.
Creating window displays
I’ve always thought that our windows provide the perfect place to showcase ideas and thoughts, once we’d done our NHS rainbow we decided to use this space to create further displays. The children have been busy painting and creating things from Hama Beads which we can hang up and display. We’ve had loads of positive comments from neighbours and its been a lot of fun.
My daughter has been busy learning all about photography and digital editing. These skills will stay with her for life and have given her enormous satisfaction. She has managed to get a Guides Photography Badge, used loads of digital editing apps and learnt the rudiments of Photoshop. This project was so inspirational it also provided the impetus for us to create an Instagram account for our cat.
We have had lots of fun creating all sorts of constructions out of cardboard from our deliveries. We’ve also created pop up cards so we have a stash of cards to send out of birthdays.
If you’ve got a sewing machine and have been meaning to teach the kids so sew, then this is a great time to get going. We’ve been making pyjamas from Tilly and the Buttons pattern and my daughter is now fully embracing the joy of wearing home made. It is really satisfying to know that she is quite self sufficient in most things now.
Scouting, Guiding and Blue Peter badges
Sometimes having something to do which is a bit challenging is a good thing and we’ve been working away at various badges, including the Blue Peter music badge. It’s been good to have some activities which are externally recognised.
Nature based art
Creating art around things that we can find in the garden has always been a quick win and i’ve been giving the children themes to develop their practice and restricting the plants that they can use to a colour pallet or a type of plant.
I’ve been amazed by the number of apps that are available for free which will allow you to manipulate your photographs and create some fantastic effects. From Pixlr, Collagepic and Snapseed to many others we have been having absolutely loads of fun learning how to use these apps and create some fantastic images. My son manipulated this image of our cat and then we went one stage further to explore potato printing to create some graphics rather than doing that digitally- just because we could!
Creating our own films
I really wanted to record this lockdown period, so i’ve been encouraging the kids to write diaries but alongside this i’ve sneaked in a few film making projects. The kids have done a variety of film making from creating their own horror film, devising a charity fundraising advert through to creating an educational film about how to make Roman bread. Its been good fun and is a nice record of what they were like in 2020 as its hard to just film them as you would toddlers. The whole process has been assisted by a couple of free phone apps- VivaVideo and YouCut.
I’d love to hear what you’ve been doing, please share your thoughts and ideas in the comments.