Why we headed into The Great Indoors

About This Event

This is not a normal Tuesday morning.

It’s 9 am and my family of five are assembled in jogging bottoms, shorts, and t-shirts in front of a workout video led by my son’s PE teacher, broadcasting from his garage. We lunge and stretch, occasionally knocking books from the shelf and nudging into each other.

The cat doesn’t like this one bit. At this hour, she normally has the house to herself. She gives us a distasteful look then dashes into the kitchen and out through the cat-flap.

We’re still getting used to new arrangements brought on by the coronavirus crisis – but one thing’s clear: having a nine-year-old, a twelve-year-old, and a fifteen-year-old in the house twenty-four hours a day, seven days a week will take some readjustment.

 

Adjusting to the new world

My eldest daughter was in the middle of her GCSEs when the news came that school was over and her exams weren’t happening. It took some time for it to sink in that she wouldn’t be wearing her school uniform ever again and would simply be issued with her grades.

Fortunately, things have fallen rapidly into place. She’s carrying on her violin lessons using Zoom with her music teacher and my son, Noah, has a basketball hoop out the back to burn off excess energy (as well as a long list of homework assignments to get on with from his school).

 

A lifeline for parents

This collection of 100+ free activities has been a lifeline, especially for my nine-year-old daughter Martha who has an insatiable appetite for anything that involves coloured pens, sticky tape, glue and cardboard. When the activities launched, we were straight on there.

Armed with the contents of the craft box, a glass of blackcurrant juice and a laptop propped open, she tackled the first activity: Changing your coat. This involved creating her own coat of arms, filled with all the things that are important to her. She aptly chose her violin, a koala called Euki (short for eucalyptus, of course), our back garden and, brilliantly, herself. Due to some drafting issues, there was no room for her head in the coat of arms, but this didn’t detract from a great result.

I offered to help her out, but she really didn’t need it, so I could get some work done (I’m lucky enough to be able to work at home).

 

Getting creative

Next up was mark my words, which is a challenge to create your own bookmark. As an avid reader, this appealed to her straight away. She promptly came up with a design featuring the instructive words: ‘Read the book, enjoy the book, finish the book.’ A teacher or Scouts volunteer in the making?

After a lunch and a rapid-fire volley of jokes from my son (‘Why did the bicycle keep falling over? Because it was two-tyred.’) everyone had a go at making an animal from twigs and leaves. My son went for a stegosaur. Two hedgehogs, a horse and a whale completed the set.

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