It may well be tough. It's going to be challenging. But the next few weeks, or months, could be an amazing chance for us to spend time together as a family, in a way we never have before. It's a new, shared experience. It's unusual, it's daunting and it may well take us out of our comfort zone - and that's just the adults!
It is now down to Team Family. Our top, top tip is not to put too much pressure on yourselves, or the children, in terms of home education. You're not an expert (or maybe you are) but settling into a new routine is going to be exciting and unsettling, stimulating and down-right boring. At times.
If you can have fun, educate, distract and entertain with a smile on your faces, for even some small part of the day - that's a great achievement.
On that basis we have put together some ideas to hopefully help inspire you and ease the stress of our childrens entertainment and education over the next few weeks or months.
Some of these activities may well take us, or the children, out of our comfort zone. But this might also be a great chance to find something new that everyone loves doing.
Getting the children into the habit of helping to set up the activities and clearing up at the end, right from the offset, will be a great help. They would be expected to do this at school so there are no excuses for them to get away with this at home! (We won't be updating you on how this goes with our own kids!)
There is lots we can do and sometimes it's just a bit of inspiration that's needed. We hope these ideas help.
Most of the ideas can also be adapted to suit different age groups.
A is for Art
Dig out the all pens, pencils and scrap paper and see what you can make. Reuse and recycle. Art can also be looking at art history or the work of specific artists to learn and get inspiration,
B is for Baking
Flour, butter, sugar, eggs and icing sugar. 5 simple ingredients and an hour of fun with a treat at the end. A simple shortcut is to just grab some plain biscuits and the children can decorate them themselves.
B is also for ... Board Game
Time to dust it down and get Monopoly out! Games do not have to be played in one go. Why not play for an hour, then tuck it under the sofa to continue the next day. Maybe by week 4, when Dad has all the hotels in all the top areas, everyone will have had enough ...
C is for Card Game
Learn a new card game or remember how to play one that you may have learnt as a child.
C is also for ... Clothing Sort Out
We generally only wear 20% of the clothes we own and this goes for the children too. Maybe its time to clear out their wardrobe and pack up clothes they don’t wear. While you're at it, perhaps the children can help you clear out your wardrobe too.
C is also for ... Collage
Tear up scraps of paper, grab some glue and make a collage. In fact anything you can find, inside and out, can be used to create something different. A smiley face, a sign of spring, your pet, the view from your bedroom - make a positive image of something we love.
D is for Dance
Learn a whole dance routine. You don’t have to be a good dancer or be able to dance at all - remember, no one is watching! Music makes everyone smile and is good exercise too. There are lots of different dances on YouTube to learn. Look up ‘easy beginners kids routines’ and find one that suits you. We love the street dance and hip hop ones. Benefits: exercise, fun and someone else is doing the tutorial so you don’t have to!
D is also for ... Den
Children love building dens and these can be indoors or outside. Create an indoor den with sheets, pegs and furniture. Or just use the cushions off the sofa.
E is for Education
Please see our recent blogs with some ideas to help the children learn while playing. Whilst we're sure the schools will be providing us with plenty of activities, there are lots of other free downloads and resources out there.
F is for Face Painting
This has always made me hide but maybe now is the time to let the children decorate your face. We look forward to seeing the pictures on our facebook feed!
F is also for ... Fashion Show
Some girls and boys love dressing up, so while having a clear out why not have some fun and set up a catwalk to show off the great outfits and the terrible ones too!
F is also for ... Friends & Family
Some carefully monitored online interaction with friends and family for children and grown-ups will be vital! Maybe they could swap a topic and present back some facts each week. Maybe they could choose three things they've created to share with Grandparents.
G is for Gallery
Make an art gallery and show off the work you have been doing.
H is for Hangman
Words can be as simple or hard as you like, let everyone have a go.
I is for Indoor Gym
Set up an indoor gym for the children with a station for each exercise. Or ask the children to set one up for you and all do it together. Eg. 10 star jumps, 30 seconds of plank, 5 press ups, 5 sit ups etc. Again, there are lots of ideas on the internet.
J is for Juggle
You don’t needs balls, any 3 household items can be used. 3 potatoes, 3 small teddies, 3 apples, 3 oranges. There are lots of tutorials online so give it a go.
K is for Kick a Ball
Find a patch of grass and kick a ball about or find a soft ball and push it backwards and forward and then use your legs as a goal - who wins the most goals? Any household or garden item can be used as obstacles to get the ball round.
L is for Learn a New Language
Perhaps learn one word a day or learn to sing a song in a different language. Eg. Heads, shoulders, knees and toes.
L is also for ... Lego Challenge
Who can build the tallest tower?
M is for Magic
Learn a magic trick. There are loads of simple tricks to learn online. You might amaze yourself and the family at what you can do.
M is also for ... Maze
Design your own. A maze can be made with string or drawn on a piece of paper. Test the family, no cheating!
N is for Noise
Make some noise! Create some drums or any home made instrument. Dig out the old recorder (then put it swiftly back again ... ).
O is for Obstacle Course
If you have a garden then great, its time to zig zag round the watering cans and jump through the hula hoops. Indoors this can be done too by using cushions as stepping stones and crawling under the table, jump over the door mat and forward roll into the lounge.
P is for Paper Aeroplane
Have a competition. Whose flies the furthest?
P is also for ... Put on a Play
Make some finger puppets or sock characters and tell us a story. This works as two activities in one especially if the children have to make the characters first.
Q is for Quiet Time
There has been a lot of structured play, now time for everyone to have quiet time alone to do their own thing.
R is for Rock Painting
Grab some rocks or pebbles, dry them, and paint them. Get them ready to hide in the park.
S is for Scavenger Hunt
A scavenger hunt is a game typically played outdoors, but can be adapted for indoors, where participants have to collect a number of specified miscellaneous objects.
S is also for ... Sow Some Seeds
Now is a great time of year to sow some seeds. Try lettuce, tomatoes or some flowers. All these are easy to sow and need little maintenance. All you need is some soil, seeds, a plastic cup or egg box and water. (Order seeds online today and they should be with you in a few days ready to sow).
S is also for ... Skipping
Any bit of rope or washing line will do. Look up all the games and rhymes you played as a kid.
T is for Treasure Hunt
Draw a plan of the house and mark the hidden treasure on the map. Can they find it? For bigger kids, use written clues. Or ask the older children to set up a treasure hunt for the younger ones.
T is also for ... Tidy Rooms
Do the children have too many teddies? (There's normally one answer to that!). Now is a great time for them to tidy their rooms and bag things up ready to take to charity.
U is for Unicorns
Draw a unicorn and make up a story about it and its adventures.
V is for View from the Room
Grab a pencil or colouring pens and sketch or draw what you see outside. Don't get this confused with Room with a View - my fav film of all time. Worth a watch when the kids are asleep ... bringing me onto ...
W is for Watch a Movie
There is nothing wrong with closing the curtains, grabbing the blankets and watching movies for the afternoon.
X is for X-Ray
Draw round your hand and/or your foot and then see how many bones you think you have?
Z is for Zzzzzzzzzzzz
Sleep well! You'll be needing your energy for the next day.
We know you can do this! Good luck all.