Day 10 in the Isolation House…

And we’re surviving, I think!?!

We are beginning to find our groove – not a lot of official ‘school work’ is being done
but lots of learning all the same! Learning how to survive all in the same house
together again whilst finding our own ways to have our own time, learning how to
juggle the million and one emotions that we are trying to deal with on a daily basis,
learning that its ok to not be ok on some days and learning that we are not going to
have all the answers anytime soon – so learning how to be patient and be more in
the moment than we have ever HAD TO BE in our lives. This last one is exceedingly
tricky… I am a planner… I like control and this situation has taken ALL OF THAT away,
but actually being forced into the situation is perhaps what was needed for me!

We’ve spent a lot of time bouncing on the trampoline (well the children… that is not
a successful activity for me!!) and finding tigers around our house – have you
discovered this function on google yet?

I’ve spent a lot of time refereeing the fighting… (how many days in a row is it ok to
open the wine at 3.30pm?)… but what I have noticed is that in the moments that they are not screeching at each other, they ARE learning to play together again –
something I wasn’t sure I’d see again for a few years. Our school holidays are
generally spent with 30 other children – so they very rarely have the need to play
and be bored as just them. We have also spent the majority of the time outside this
week – and why wouldn’t we. This is the best weather we have had in AGES and how
WONDERFUL that it has coincided with being forced to stay home. They’ve built
dens on the trampoline, made potions, built fairy gardens and as I type they are
washing their toy animals/barbies in bowls of fairy liquid and water. I am beginning
to like this giant PAUSE we have had enforced on us. I’ve often joked that I need a
pause button – and maybe this is it – our reset? It still feels like the day runs away
with us and I don’t get all the JOBS done – but I am finding I am far less concerned
about that… I know I don’t have to dash off to do something else tomorrow so the
washing that didn’t get done today can go in tomorrow, that cupboard I had told
myself I was going to sort can even wait until next week. It’s quite a lovely feeling.

I am still so worried about the number of parent’s worrying that they’re not doing
enough ‘teaching or home schooling’ or not doing it right. There is no right or wrong
way… please, please, please do not worry about it. Your babies will BE OK!!!!!
It dawned on me this morning that in our crazy busy lives, so much of the learning
the kids are doing now, is essential life stuff that we don’t have time to cover when
we’re in our ‘normal’ daily routine. We ordered some vegetable seeds today and
when they arrive the kids and I will be planting them – tending to them and watching
them grow, learning the whole time. Yesterday they were lifting bricks from the
garden (whilst I soaked up the sun) and discovering worms – so we turned it into a
minibeast lesson and made lists and tallies of what they were finding, today we
made THANK YOU posters to display in our windows for those key workers still going
out to work every day and discussed all the roles of the different key workers and why it was essential that they kept going – another lesson!! So I repeat my message
from last week, try not to get worried or feel anxious about the ‘home school’ battle,
if they don’t want to sit down at the table and ‘learn’ that’s ok. That’s not a failure.
They will be learning in ways you can never imagine.

I also know there are so many of us trying to work from home – which feels
impossible when being interrupted by the constant ‘Mummy can you just… Daddy
please can you get that ball… etc’ so below are some of my favourite activities and
Instagram accounts you could set them up with to give you time to work (or time to
enjoy a cup of coffee in peace!)…

Playdough – easiest recipe with store cupboard ingredients is:
1 cup of flour, ¼ cup of salt, 1 teaspoon of vegetable oil, food colouring
Mix flour and salt and add boiling water (with food colouring and vegetable oil mixed
in) slowly whilst mixing to form a dough, add it slowly – if it gets too sticky add more
flour and salt! Enjoy!

Bubble paint pictures – Mix up a little paint, some water and a touch of dishwashing
liquid in a shallow dish (like a roasting dish or baking tray) and get kids to blow
bubbles through a straw, or mix quickly if you don’t have a straw to make bubbles.
Press paper down to create images – you could have multi colours set up and make a
little conveyor belt to get super creative!

Cutting/Ripping and sticking – use old magazines, newspapers, greeting cards or
torn up tissue/wrapping paper and use pva with paintbrushes or glue sticks and
create masterpieces. You could either draw an outline of something for them to stick
stuff into or let their minds run away!

Pasta threading (or cheerios if pasta is limited!) – String or ribbon and pasta –
create wind chimes, or jewellery or vamp up some shoe laces. Thread the pasta on
and then paint if you like – or don’t paint to avoid mess!

Indoor Scavenger Hunts –

  • Colour hunt – Different coloured ‘base stations’ set up somewhere (I use
    coloured plates) and ask them to find as many things around the house as
    they can of those colours and return them to the plate
  • Number hunt– ‘can you find 3…’ etc or ‘can you find something with 4 legs…
    Outdoor Scavenger Hunts in the garden – There are SO many great ones online! Im
    going to make a CONFI-KIDS one in the next couple of days too so keep watching!

Outdoor Scavenger Hunts in the garden – There are SO many great ones online! Im
going to make a CONFI-KIDS one in the next couple of days too so keep watching!

Ice Excavation – in a bowl freeze some toys – I usually use our toy dinosaurs as we
have a million of them – but you could use LOL dolls – anything hard… put them in
water in a bowl and put bowl in freezer overnight… kids use plastic excavation tools
(knives and forks) to try and free the frozen toys – or pipettes of warm water to help
if it gets too frustrating!

(You can jazz this up by making jelly and hiding toys in the jelly – kids need to find
toys, free them and wash and dry them!).

Doctors surgery – Get out the bandages, sticky plasters and ice cream stick splints –
find them some patients – we’ve used stuffed toys, hard toy animals, Barbie dolls,
dinosaurs…. Daddy(?!) and let them cure all the people in their waiting room!! My
kids play this independently for AGES!!!

Instagram accounts I LOVE for ideas

@fiveminutemum – loads of brilliant ‘educational’ activities that take 5 mins to set
up and which your children may spend ages playing with. I have her book now too
and it is FAB!

I also follow #shallweplaytoday which has loads of ideas!

Social media is an amazing resource if you use it properly! Use it to find the activities
and take with a pinch of salt how ‘in control’ and ‘perfect’ the rest of it pretends to


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