With the end to lockdown beginning to come into sight, we can't wait to get back out into the world and see friends and family we've missed so much.
It's true for almost all of us that there have been some definite struggles in this time, but there have also been some pockets of sunshine in the 'new normal' that we'd love to keep a hold on.
Family dinner time, daily walks around the park, dropping care packages off for our neighbours - it's fair to say that lockdown has brought with it a sense of community and family that we might not have been so focussed on before. Face-timing grandparents for a bedtime story has become the norm now, but we know how easy it is to slip back into our old habits as things gradually return to normal. Because of this, we've put together our top tips on how to return to our 'normal' lives, taking the good right along with us.
How Can We Reflect?
The only constant in our lives during the Coronavirus, is knowing that change is constantly occurring. With changes on the horizon again, it's a great time for parents to start looking back on the time we've spent over the course of Covid-19. There have been good and bad times, challenges and also experiences we may treasure as a family for years to come. Talking to each other about our experiences during the Coronavirus, and asking for our kids' opinions will help us understand the good things we can take with us, and the things we can work on to make us stronger parents and happier families.
What Has Lockdown Taught Us?
The Covid-19 period has certainly been a learning curve for most of us, and we've found out a lot about ourselves and our families. The things we like doing together may have changed, and our family has more than likely adapted in ways we might never have imagined. It's important to consider the things we've learnt over this time, and take these lessons forward.
To Make Family Time
Not being able to see a lot of our loved ones has fostered so much creativity. Family Zoom quizzes, FaceTime cook-alongs and texting games have become part of our weekly planning. Connecting with far-flung family has become a treat instead of a dreaded phone call for our children, and family relationships are blossoming. On top of that, creating time for our immediate family has become something we factor in far more regularly, with things like games nights and themed dinner times, which is a great idea to carry past May 2020.
Exploring Our Local Area
With limited travel options, we've all been forced to explore our local areas a lot more thoroughly than we might have before. While we might have driven to a local park before lockdown, we've been forced to see the beauty in our local neighbourhood. It's a special feeling to truly get to know your local area, and continuing to learn about the things surrounding us will create a bond for our children with their home town.
How to Create a Community
The lockdown has definitely fostered a sense of community we couldn't have dreamed of, all across the country. We've been able to get to know neighbours, helped each other and shared with people who were in need. Staying in touch with the people near us will allow us to support the people who need it most, and form relationships that we can treasure.
The Importance of Mental Health
Anxiety has become the current normal for many of us during these uncertain times, and it's been so important to support our mental health and create routines of self-care for our family. Checking in with each other, taking ourselves out of situations that are stressful, and having a bubble bath when we need to chill out are all part of the better normal we can make for our family.
Valuing Our Key Workers
The true heroes of this time period are the people who help us every day, that we might have taken for granted in times past. Nurses, care home workers, bus drivers and so many more are the people who keep our everyday lives running. We've learnt their true importance while we've watched them put themselves at risk to do their job and look after us. Going into this new time, we can all recognise their important role, and make sure we appreciate the work they do.
Helping Each Other
With lots of families at home full-time at the moment, our children can see the amount of work their parents put in to keep everything ticking over. Chores have become more fairly spread, with everyone expected to muck in and do their part. Children may have moaned and grumbled, but taking on their responsibilities in the house is empowering, and builds a happier family structure for parents and kids alike.
Never before have we appreciated the sunshine so much! For those of us lucky enough to go outside, our one hour of sunshine has been the mood-boosting highlight of our day. Any of us that haven't been safe to leave the house have definitely regretted any sunny Saturday's spent inside watching films and playing computer games. As we're able to spend more and more of our time outside, we can really see the importance that fresh air and exercise play in the life of our children, and all of us too.
Creating Good Routines
Children running their own school day sounds like a recipe for disaster, doesn't it? With help from parents and teachers, most of them have been doing a pretty good job, and also enjoying the freedom of choosing how to work. Putting balanced routines in place has been the magic formula for keeping children happy, healthy and working hard at school. We can use the routines we've created during April and May 2020 and support our little ones to stay motivated throughout the year.
During the Coronavirus, we've had to readjust our lives to a much slower pace. We've been blessed with more time to properly notice the things around us, especially when we're out on our daily walks. Our children are learning to observe their location, and it's all the more magical for finding special stones, sticks and buildings that we'd never noticed before. Parents can learn from these times to keep this pace, by taking walks without technology, and being mindful during daily activities.
Here at Kidadl, we've tried and tested more craft projects than we can count. During the Coronavirus, we've dusted off paint sets, tried our hand at flower art and needle felted one or two gifts for all our grandparents. Being creative can help get children to process their emotions, and encourages mental growth, by allowing them to try out new ideas and think in different ways. These are skills our little ones can use in school and in later life. As parents, we can make sure creativity stays in our home by dedicating craft days and taking on new artistic challenges.
At Kidadl we pride ourselves on offering families original ideas to make the most of time spent together at home or out and about, wherever you are in the world. We strive to recommend the very best things, that are suggested by our community and are things we would do ourselves - our aim is to be the trusted friend to parents.
We try our very best, but cannot guarantee perfection. We will always aim to give you accurate information at the date of publication - however, information does change, so it's important you do your own research, double-check and make the decision that is right for your family.
Kidadl provides inspiration for everything from family days out to online classes, arts, crafts and science experiments. We recognise that not all activities and ideas are appropriate and suitable for all children and families or in all circumstances. Our recommended activities are based on age but these are a guide. We recommend that these ideas are used as inspiration, that ideas are undertaken with appropriate adult supervision, and that each adult uses their own discretion and knowledge of their children to consider the safety and suitability.
Kidadl cannot accept liability for the execution of these ideas, and parental supervision is advised at all times, as safety is paramount. Anyone using the information provided by Kidadl does so at their own risk and we can not accept liability if things go wrong.
We also link to other websites, but are not responsible for their content.