Motivation in Isolation – A Parents Survival Guide: The Fun List

Yep it’s here, it may not be 28 Days Later or the Zombie Apocalypse but we find ourselves in a state of national crisis.

How you feel about the Coronavirus and the government’s decisions to close schools won’t change the fact that they are, in most part shut… and that means that for the next few months, at the very least us parents are going to have to face an even bigger challenge… Our Children!!!!

There is plenty of government advice on how to stay safe and how to stay well, this blog post isn’t one of them.

For the next few weeks I’ll be focusing on one thing only, how to stay sane and survive kids in lockdown. In our house we have become experts in sofa survival thanks to my array of chronic conditions (I’ll get back to these at some point). Our years of turning my living room into a playground have given us a unique advantage in managing situations such as this.

I’m a single mum with 2 high energy kids, 14 days of tablets and TV just isn’t going to cut it. My kids need to run, burn off steam, make some noise and like many of you I have to find time to help them while managing a way to work from home.

A few nights ago, my 11yo daughter said to me “Mum do you think if the school does close down it would help other kids if we shared some of our games” and so began our plan for Motivation in Isolation. I wanted to call it ‘Coronavirus, Reassurance and Parenting’ but apparently the acronym didn’t sensor check well. I’ll give you some more details about our family in the coming weeks but for now here’s what you really want to know… How to Survive!

It’s worth pointing out that days 1 to 4 will feel like a rainy bank holiday weekend.  You are going to drive each other a little crazy but you’ve been here before. By day 5 all your normal ‘go to’s’ for keeping the kids entertained (like playgrounds and the cinema) have been removed by isolation* and it’s at this point you could be tempted to trade them in for some loo roll or extra hand gel….

This guide isn’t going solve every problem, but it may just help you feel a little better and a lot less Jack Nicholson.

*Disclaimer – I have absolutely no scientific proof that day five is pull your hair out day, for some of you it may be day 7 or even day 2, just roll with it.

Your Arsenal 

Hide Your Kids Favourite Movies – I’m not joking, these are your absolute secret weapons. If things get hectic, you need a few hours to work remotely or just some peace for 5 freaking minutes you’ll be grateful you have these to fall back on. Grab an extra couple of bags of popcorn and turn the movie in to an event. It will buy you a few hours when you need it most.

I completely understand that you can’t hide something on Netflix, in that case pick a few movies you loved or something you haven’t seen that you know they want to, just have them saved and ready. Honestly, you’ll thank me for this.

Me and the Bad Mums are having a Remote Retro Movie Night. It’s time to introduce the kids to Pretty In Pink, The Breakfast Club, and Stand By Me (Age appropriate of course). I’ll let you know when we are having ours and feel free to stream with the team!

Make A Fun List – I know it sounds simple but sit with your kids early on and write a list of all their favourite things to do on a rainy day. This will give you and them some peace of mind, let them know you will be working though the list over the next few weeks. But here’s the fun part, you get to make a list too and this becomes your trade off. You get to call in games you enjoy with them or maybe a quiet shower, 20 minutes of social media time (call that one a quiet coffee) if you play finger paint/make a tent/learn a Tik Tok dance. Mix this up so its age relevant and please don’t forget to have fun with it.

Get Tech Savvy –  If you have older kids and stroppy prenagers (I do) they live in a different world to the one we grew up in. Take this time to really explore their world, play games, get involved. Also remember that this is going to be a vital way for them to keep engaged and interact with their chums. (In a few days we can explore this a little deeper)

GO NOODLE – Seriously guys, this will drive you slightly insane but it’s such a useful tool in keeping younger kids active indoors. It’s an app/YouTube channel that is used in some schools for wet break and includes games, exercise, dances and here’s the great bonus some downtime with mindfulness and yoga.

This channel absolutely saved my life in helping keep the kids active when I was in too much pain to move. FYI – This time around I’m using it to keep off the pounds and have a giggle with my boy and if you’re feeling up to it make it part of your daily routine. If this channel doesn’t work for you then find one that does, there plenty out there.

GoNoodle Online https://family.gonoodle.com/

GoNoodle YouTube https://www.youtube.com/user/GoNoodleGames

CBeebies are also running activities online, if your stuck for things to do with little ones please check them out. https://www.bbc.co.uk/cbeebies/grownups/article-cbeebies-apps

Stash A Little of Something for You – By this I simply mean,make sure you have a little treat to unwind with occasionally at the end of a taxing day. Mine will be goldfish bowl of vino, so you won’t get any judgment here! Whatever your treat is take full guilt free advantage of it as you made it through the day!!!

So that’s your starter kit, its simple, its easy and will buy you a few hours of peace. Ill be back tomorrow with some more tips and tricks for Motivation in Isolation and for as long as I stay sane.

COMMING UP – Motivation in Isolation:

  • A Parents Survival Guide: How to use Tech
  • A Parents Survival Guide: A Crisp Sandwich
  • A Parents Survival Guide: Go nuts with GoNoodle
  • A Parents Survival Guide: SOFA SOCK DODGE BALL – turning your living room into a playground while getting the kids to help out with chores

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