At the minute we are all beginning to really think wellbeing, both our children's and our own. It is very important to look after ourselves and each other, now more than ever. Here are some things you can do to improve wellbeing at home.
1. Make a list of people to stay in touch with, such as family, and close friends. It is difficult especially when we are socially distancing to keep in touch but try to ensure you have contact with those people regularly. Talk to them, ask them how they are doing, share what you have been doing. But it doesn't have to be just over Zoom or WhatsApp, to make it more interesting you could:
* write emails or letters children love to do this! (And it is good writing practise too!)
* send them a picture or some artwork
* take and send photos
* write a poem to share
2. Play board games! Turn off all screens and encourage all the family to gather round to play board games. It is a great way to learn new skills such as maths and literacy but it is even better at teaching vital social skills such as turn taking, being good winners and losers (don't be afraid to let them lose from time to time). Finally it is a great way to connect with each other.
3. Cook together. Encourage the children to help you cook. Work as a team to make something delicious you would all like to eat. It will need lots of communication to ensure you have a tasty meal.
1. Dance! Anyone can dance! Put some feel good music on and just get moving. It doesn't matter what you look like. In fact the sillier the better. If you aren't brave enough to freestyle you can find 'Just Dance' videos on YouTube to copy.
2. Use the local park. Take a football, a frisbee, your tennis racket whatever you have to hand. You don't even have to worry about rules and learning to play the sport you could even invent a new game. Children are good at this.
3. Play traditional games. These can often be played indoors too on rainy days. Games such as 'What's the time Mr Wolf?', ' Grandma's footsteps', 'Dobby' (or tag) and all the many variations such as 'Dobby off ground', 'Dobby scarecrow' etc. Ask your children if they know any of these games if not you can easily Google "traditional playground games" there are many to choose from, and you can find something appropriate for your family.
4. Yoga. You can do yoga at home. There are many different videos available on YouTube. You can go for traditional yoga or for a little fun you can follow 'Cosmic Kids' yoga.
1. Learn a new language. Together as a family you could learn a new language together. There are many different ways to do this. You can use YouTube videos (always remember to check they are suitable for your children first). You can purchase books and CDs, and when libraries are open you can borrow books. There are also apps you can use, they often have parts that are free to access but beware they may charge you later on.
2. Experiment with science. Here are some easy science experiments you can do at home. https://www.5minutefun.com/top-10-fun-and-easy-science-experiments/
3. Learn a craft. Things such as sewing, knitting and crochet are not only very rewarding when you see your final piece but it is very therapeutic. Once again this is where YouTube comes in very useful if you don't know how, there are lots of instructional videos.
4. Read, read, read! If you can, get to the library and take out lots of non-fiction books. There are so many things you can learn from books.
This is closely linked to mindfulness, the act of being aware of what is happening around you. There are some lovely ideas on the previous page under the title "Activities". Take a look.
1. Identify local trees. Go for a walk and look at the different trees carefully from the bark to the leaves. Have a go at identifying them. If you aren't a tree expert you can do some research when you get home and then see if you can remember them next time you are out.
2. Cloud spotting. Lie down and look at the sky together. Observe the clouds, what they look like, what shapes do they resemble.
3. Star gazing. Take a blanket and cuddle up together looking at the stars. Watch how they twinkle. Maybe you will see a shooting star and you can all make a wish. You can see if you can identify any constellations, there are apps you can download on your phone, then point your phone at the sky and it will identify the constellations for you!
1. Give your all to each other. Find time in the day where everyone has to put their phones and tablets away. We are all guilty of not fully listening to each other whilst checking texts, emails, social media. Even placing your phone face down on the table still shows the other person your phone is important and you are waiting for it to ring. Try having a rule where everyone puts away their phones or tablets at certain times of the day, e.g. meal times, when watching a film together. Have that part of the day to really connect.
2. If you have learnt a new craft skill as mentioned in the last block, why not create something to give to someone you care about.
3. Give kind words. Even little things such as saying 'please' and 'thank you' not only make you feel better but makes others feel happier too. Sometimes as adults we are quick to tell our children what not to do, it's human nature, phrases like "stop making that noise" and "don't make a mess" are things we all find ourselves saying. It's only natural to notice the things we don't like, but try and make a conscious effort to notice the things we like. For example "I like the way you are playing quietly", and "I like how you listened to what I asked you to do" or even "I like how you ate your dinner today, you didn't drop anything on the floor." Not only will this encourage the behaviour that you want from your children therefore making you happier but it will make your children happier by letting them know how they have made you happy. Win win