On Monday 23rd March Scotland went officially on lockdown and all public spaces such as libraries, places of worship, pubs, communal parks, playgrounds and pubs (yes I’ve said pubs twice, it’s not a typo it’s to emphasise the double disappointment I am currently feeling from losing my local watering hole) were forcibly closed.
Whilst I understand and commend the Scottish and UK governments for finally making a clear (almost clear) and unanimous decision to try and prevent the spread of Coronavirus, I can’t help feel for the little people (and of course their parents) who have been sent home from schools and nurseries and are now confined to the home with little or no means of outside distraction.
Sure, the recommendation is to take exercise once a day, but having a walk in the nearest green space is by no means a walk in the park especially when the park is closed. My 3-year-old doesn’t understand why she can’t play on the swings and how can you explain what a pandemic is? She doesn’t care, she just wants out so that she can explore, and play, and jump and inevitably fall over in the way that all learning toddlers do.
As an adult, I do understand these decisions and I know that I have a responsibility to not only protect my family but also my community and I will do my absolute best to abide to the government guidelines. But it’s tricky, my partner is on maternity leave looking after our 8-month baby, our 3-year-old, me, and the ever-growing sheaf of paperwork caused by my home working and lack of dedicated office space.
The balance of being productive with work while maintaining family stability and entertaining small children is tough and challenging but thankfully there are loads of resources out there to help.
We’ve worked out with Joe Wicks and we’re still feeling the burn from last Monday! We’ve listened to free audiobooks thanks to Audible. We’ve baked so much that even ‘pink cakes’ have lost their appeal (there’s also a likelihood that Joe Wicks will need to become a twice daily routine!)
You’ll all have found lots of ideas online – be they videos, games, lessons – there is a plethora of ideas out there and thankfully most of them are free. Unfortunately a lot of them are on screen and I for one am getting traumatised by the tinny din of the ‘Wheels on the bus’ which literally go round and round all day long!
Thankfully our team of amazing staff, who are still providing childcare for key workers, have kindly decided to share their favourite activities, their top tips, and even the tricks of the childcare trade so that you and your families might be entertained, stimulated and saved from potential toddler tantrums.