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Tips and tricks to keep the kids entertained

This may just be the most challenging blog we have ever written, but, hey, here at Thornbury we love a challenge…

For most parents, the Easter holiday has just got a lot longer. We’ve been advised to keep our distance from others. And soon we may be asked to stay inside following Europe’s example of only being allowed to venture out for a clearly defined reason.

So what are we left with? Well, here are a few (mainly light-hearted) ideas from some of the more creative mums and dads in the office. If you have any other suggestions, we’d love to hear them…

Inside activities
Let’s begin by thinking calmly. Maybe start the day with some yoga or meditation? This might be particularly helpful right now. Check out Apps such as Headspace or Calm. And, when everyone is feeling perfectly relaxed, try cooking together. This BBC website offers some great ideas. If your angels get bored with that, try focusing on cooking dishes from a particular culture: India, China, Italy; there’s plenty to choose from. This could then be linked to the language training we advise below!

And while their latest cooking creation is bubbling away, it could be time to think about others – particularly any elderly neighbours unable to get out and about. In fact, now might be the perfect time to make good use of all those craft skills. The older generation, we’re told, all love receiving cards – particularly hand-made ones – and even the youngest can join in with some finger painting. Messages of support (even ‘we’re thinking about you’) are likely to go down well when people are feeling lonely.

If, and when, your own creative juices dry up, try logging on to Activity Village. And Pinterest has an amazing selection of suggestions for ‘Kids Crafts’, but you’ll need to register for free access.

If all of this activity has got you to lunchtime, then that’s great.

After lunch, it might be time for something a little more educational. We’ve discovered Duolingo. It’s already used in schools to teach language skills – in a fun way. And all kinds of languages are available: from Arabic and Chinese to Welsh and Scottish Gaelic. Maybe it’s something you can do together as a family and at the same time prepare for when we can all holiday again. And with so many different languages available, no one should be able to say: ‘we’re bored’. Of course, when they do…

Tidy room competitions are a very popular idea, certainly among us parents. It’s possible that children may need some encouragement to join in, and may also need to understand your expectations… Okay, money may have to change hands, or other rewards and incentives. But perhaps they could have a clear-out at the same time and give some items to charity?

On the subject of rewards, they might be able to earn pocket money cleaning your car or doing other useful jobs around the house. See it as an opportunity for them to learn about things they don’t teach in school – like how a vacuum cleaner works.

And the perfect day might close with some ‘journaling’, writing about their day, maybe sticking in some photos or souvenirs. If you want to, please send pictures of their ‘dear diary’ entries to us – we may even publish them in one of our next blogs.

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