Spring has sprung,
Summer’s not far away.
Days are getting warmer now,
Time for outside play.
I don’t know why I turned poet just then, it just sort of popped into my head. Anyway, it’s getting warmer and the garden is looking more and more inviting. Time for more outside play, get the kids out there, more fresh air and vitamin D but what exactly can they DO out there? Especially if you have a kid who’s a very indoorsy type of person, how do you convince them to at least spend some time outside. Here’s some ideas to tempt them away from toys and TV and get running around instead.
Both my husband and I are speccy wearers so we both know the drill for having an eye test. Rock up at the opticians, look at some far away letters and tell them whether they are better or worse when viewed through different lenses. But how on earth do you do an eye test for a child? One who’s just started school and isn’t 100% at recognising all the letters of the alphabet when they’re right in front of him, let alone when they’re viewed from across the room with one eye covered.
Playing computer games is often seen as a negative. Kids should be outside, getting muddy, exploring the world. Not stuck on computers all day. I don’t disagree, kids need fresh air and exercise, but they also need to learn reading, writing and numeracy. For this, educational games can be very useful, not only in explaining tricky concepts, but also in keeping their interest.
Buying games can be expensive and, even with reviews, it can be hard to tell if they’re as good and as suitable as they say. The same applies to apps, whilst cheaper, it’s hard to tell if your child will like the game, understand it or whether it’s a waste of money. Thankfully, there are websites which offer free educational games.
We all know our children are supposed to do lots of reading, books come home in book bags, library visits are encouraged and book fairs visit school. Reading is what they’re supposed to do but what if your child would rather pick up their toys than a book? Reading doesn’t have to happen before bedtime from the pages of a book, we are surrounded by words and so there’s plenty of things to read that aren’t books.
Firstly let’s face it, some of the story books at school are a bit naff and, whilst children usually get to choose their book each week, for some children they’re picking the best out of a bad bunch. If your child has a penchant for the non-fiction section instead of Biff, Chip and Kipper, they may be reluctant to read what comes home in their book bag.
Life with children can be a monotonous slog. When they’re babies there’s the day in, day out round of nappy changes, snotty noses, playgroups and poo, lots of poo. As they get older, children then have an endless list of homework, after school clubs, weekend activities and hobbies that they want and need their parents to take part in. A never-ending list of things to be done, jobs parents need to do, and all round hard work. It’s not easy being a parent.
Now don’t get me wrong, I love my kids and wouldn’t change anything for the world. Though go on, admit it, you find playgroups and crafts a bit boring too. We do all this stuff because we love them, because we care for their development and, whilst some of it is fun for all, through some of it we can find ourselves bored to tears. Sometimes we need to work out how to put the focus on fun.
This year is flying by, we’re almost in March which means World Book Day is just around the corner. On the 3rd March, many children will be dressing up as their favourite book characters for the day.
Though what if you’re not a whizz with paints and PVA? Or simply don’t have the time. Here’s 10 simple World Book Day costumes, most of which just require normal clothes and some easy to make props.
George from Georges Marvellous Medicine by Roald Dahl.
Little 8 year old George decides he needs to do something to shake his mean old grandma up a bit. He makes his marvellous medicine, tipping every household item he can find into a big pan. Dress up as George by wearing jeans and a top plus going to school with a saucepan and spoon, or a brown bottle and spoon. If you don’t have a plastic brown bottle, make one by covering an old plastic bottle in brown tape.