The pandemic is not going away anytime fast. As we attempt to grapple with lowering the number of daily active cases, it seems lockdowns will continue to be an inevitable part of our lives. Living life in lockdown does not necessarily have to be dull. As our lives have quietened down with less formal classes and activities, this time can be used as a great opportunity to connect and bond with our loved ones.
There are fun activities that you and your family can enjoy doing together.
Here are 5 activities to get you started:
- Growing a Veggie Patch
With spring in the air, this is the perfect opportunity to get outdoors and start planting seeds. Planting a veggie garden is the ideal way to introduce and encourage your child to eat more vegetables. Half the fun of gardening is eating what you sow and children who grow vegetables are likely to eat healthier and are open to trying new fruits and vegetables.
All you need is a small patch of soil, a sunny space, a few pots, and time to get dirty. When selecting what type of seeds to plant, look for those that are likely to germinate quickly. You can find seeds in your local supermarket or order them online. Some of the easiest seeds to grow include:
- Snap Peas – germinate in 10 days and is ready to eat in less than two months.
- Radishes – are super quick to grow. In less than a month, your child will see red globes inching out of the soil.
- Cherry tomatoes – yes, technically a fruit but who does not love a sweet cherry tomato? The cherry tomato plant is high yielding so lots of yummy, gorgeous goodness to snack on and can be added to salads.
- Green Beans – these are easy to grow and can withstand a variety of weather conditions.
- Carrots – these grow well in deep pots. You can opt for some of the smaller varieties like Babette or Romeo or why not even add a splash of colour and plant some purple ones.
- Potatoes – are simple to grow as you can use the ‘eyes’ of an existing potato. This is when you can see the little sprouts shooting out from a potato. A good tip is to wait until all the flowers have nearly died back before picking your potatoes.
- Bird and Tree Hunt
Since one of the activities, we can all do is to exercise, why not make it fun and add a bird and tree hunt the next time you explore outdoors. Australia has such an incredibly diverse range of plants and animal species.
Mornings and evenings are the best time to spot the local fauna. A wide range of birds habitat the local parks and reserves. Some birds to keep an eye out for include the Australian magpie, minors, rainbow lorikeet, galah, owls, little wattlebird, red wattlebird, crested pigeon to name a few.
See if your child can also spot these trees when out and about; paperback, banksia, Illawarra flame tree, willow bottlebrush, the lilly pilly, eucalyptus trees.
To add another level of fun, you could make it into a competition and see who can spot the most of a particular bird or tree.
Most children love to bake and help in the kitchen. The fun of kneading, baking, stirring, and mixing are all part of the excitement for children. Measuring the ingredients is an excellent skill to teach kids how to measure cups, spoons, grams and kilograms and work with numbers. A fun idea could be to get your children to bake two to three simple recipes and put the goodies into small jars or little boxes and make lockdown hampers to cheer a buddy.
There are many children friendly recipes online. To get started, here are just a few healthy recipes from Nutrition Australia:
- Games Night
Having a games night is a fun and energising approach to get the family together to connect and have a giggle. With a variety of games available; board games and, card games there should be something for everyone.
Card games can include snap, memory and the favourite Uno always get family members passionate.
Board games can include Connect 4, Pictionary and snakes and ladders.
Games can help the mind stay sharp and alert and can be an enjoyable means to solve problems.
- New hobby
Lockdown can be the perfect opportunity to start a new hobby. Need something calming to recharge, consider meditation, which can be tricky for young children. Initially start with a minute and make it fun. Photography is another great hobby; get your child to take some snaps using a parent’s phone, print the photos using a home printer and paste the photo into a scrapbook. For the final dazzling touches, get your child to decorate the scrapbook using texters, glitter, buttons and cut out shapes. There are other creative options to discover such as clay sculpting, pebble art, art recycling projects and learning how to play a musical instrument. There are heaps of ideas out there, it is just picking the right one that suits you and your family.
Children best learn when doing, so engaging them in activities such as crafts, drawings, playing outside helps with their cognitive development. At Explorers, part of the Reggio Emilia philosophy is to encourage children to explore, discover and build on opportunities that encourage hands on learning experiences. These lockdown activities are just a few activities that can encourage your child to delve deep and explore their inner curiosity.