Yes, the situation just got serious, but that’s nothing compared to facing the next few weeks in isolation with three kids (four, if you include the husband!)
Of course, being me, I can always find a positive. There will be no 3-hour round trip commute and I’ll have oodles of spare time on my hands to get on with all those things I would put off using my hectic schedule as an excuse. Hah – who am I kidding. It will still never get done, especially with the kids who seem incapable of entertaining themselves.
The $64million question – is it possible to stay sane?
For the foreseeable future, I will be joining my kids for playtime.
By that, I don’t mean bringing out the board games or spending hours on Pinterest attempting sensory play.
I mean proper playtime; playing outside, in the fresh air. Just because we have to stay at home, does not mean we have to stay inside.
As an adult, I’ve somewhat lost the ability to let my imagination lead the way. Watching the kids has rekindled the importance of taking proper time out. I totally get why teachers encourage the kids outside whenever possible – running, jumping, throwing balls, catching, pulling things, lifting and carrying objects. Exploring nooks and crannies, picking up stones, twigs and bugs. Climbing on, under, through, over anything that will withstand their weight, and sometimes not even that!
Unstructured outdoor play helps kids learn to take turns, share and develop other positive behavioural skills. They are more likely to be inventive, explore and learn about the world around them and use their own abilities. While they invent and play games with siblings or friends, these interactions help improve communication, cooperation and organisational skills.
The Path Less Trodden
Heading outside seems like a great idea, but I stopped being a kid a (very) long time ago, so it will need some practice.
Kids will moan at just about anything, given the opportunity. So I don’t give them a chance; it’s on with the shoes and jackets and off we go, out for a walk.
I encourage going through the deep puddles, off the track and over the log piles, in amongst the thick forest and over the stiles, gates, dykes and fences. I’m not going to take the straight and easy route; instead choosing to take the windy, bendy, hilly, boggy, muddy and twisting path that I have never walked before, and not only that, I want to see how much they can fill their pockets with.
Kids who can play outdoors, in my opinion, are more curious, self-directed and have a longer attention span. Obstacles provide the opportunity to learn and experience. Kids approach new obstacles and examine and adjust, developing motor skills, coordination and adaptation. These skills translate into every aspect of life and adults should take heed.
The Gift of Time
So, I’m going to use this time wisely and remember why I love the outdoors. Remember why I had kids. Remember why I love obstacles – both metaphorically and physically. Its time like these, when I remember to incorporate this child-like behaviour into my daily life and I learn to live more from the heart.
How will you spend your time?