Well actually, as a child of the 80’s - who spent most of my childhood making mud-potions in the garden, setting up shops in the shed or lost among a sea of Sylvanian Families – I can remember first-hand a blissful childhood that wasn’t dictated by grown-ups, but one that was led by my own imagination.
We played, explored and generally made lots of mess, and that’s what I’ve found my children doing more of since Covid-19 reared its nasty little head.
As a mum and teacher, I’m battling a little with the boundaries of home-school / work-play. It’s like having two little characters on my shoulders - mum and teacher – each reminding me that I should be doing more.
The teacher in me knows that education and routine through these months is as important as hugs on demand and keeping little tummies full, but the parent in me shouts let them play!
I knew the way to satisfy both shoulder companions was to roll it all into one … let my children play, discover and act on their ideas, but gently guide them in their learning too. After all, we can make every occasion into a learning opportunity if we use the right vocabulary.
I’m one of millions of parents living this crazy, uncertain life of home-schooling. We’re doing our best to juggle family and running the home with our jobs and businesses, so we have to be realistic about what is feasible, enjoyable and right for our family’s mental health.
We might not be able to ‘teach’ to the same standard as our children’s teachers, but as the person who knows our children best, we can provide them with a variety of learning opportunities that suit their interests, needs and wants and fill those special (long) hours at home with things they will enjoy.
I wanted to share my knowledge of teaching in the Early Years and Primary curriculum with parents who are now faced with the challenge of home-schooling, in hopes that it might help their days to run a little smoother and happier. So I decided to create a set of simple activity cards to keep kids entertained.
The activities need nothing more than a pencil, paper and a few household items. With inspiration taken from my own classroom and the hazy days of my childhood, I’ve covered everything from literacy and maths, to science, role-play, songs, games and mindfulness. Mud potions are optional but fun.
These activity cards are absolutely free to download and either printed or viewed as a PDF.
Alternatively, you can purchase the entire March set of 70 activities for just £7.
These activity cards are my gift to the world, I hope they will help. Please share with parents who might benefit from a few simple time-filling ideas... and stay positive.