With the return to Stage 3 Stay at Home restrictions in Metro Melbourne brings the delay of return to school by a week for students Prep to Year 10 and potentially a move to remote learning.
Kids rejoice in an extra week of holidays and parents resume the foetal position at the thought of going through the balancing act of parent/teacher/employer/worker all over again.
I am no expert but with 3 kids under 5 (1 at school), 2 podiatry clinics, 6 employees and 4 support staff a husband with his own business and 50+ employees…bring on round 2!
The greatest challenge when trying to keep kids active during lockdown is closure of all Physical Recreational Facilities aka publicly accessible PLAYGROUNDS. Playgrounds are fun for all ages, even my 11-month-old gets a kick out of crawling in bark and being pushed on the baby swing by his 3yo sister! This just means we need to dig deep and be more creative!
I have found the ‘Zones of Regulation’ to be a great tool. They teach this at my son’s school to express how we are feeling. Relating a mood back to a colour works well for the younger kids. We are happiest and most productive when in the Green zone.
Activities to Regulate Feelings
The Blue Zone
Make some play dough
-1 cup Flour
-½ cup Salt
-½ cup Water
-Food coluor or washable paint (optional)
Take a walk / scooter / bike ride.
Kick the soccer ball / football.
Yoga – Sit on a bean bag or in a comfy spot.
Have a healthy snack/ do some cooking together
Trampoline (a must have when playgrounds are closed)
There is no right or wrong answer. There will be good days and bad. Kids love learning and asking questions. This is a great time to connect and strengthen the family unit without the chaos of the usual after school activities, appointments, birthday gatherings, sport commitments, drop offs and pick ups.
Something I tell myself quite often is ‘they will never be this age again’ so make the most of today when kids need their parents/caregivers more than ever to be their rock, pillow, shoulder, support beam, teacher, nurturer of development. Make memories with your kids – you will never get this time back again!
-Sarah Warton (Podiatrist and busy mum of 3)