Well! Things have certainly escalated quickly! Understandably we have had several of our regular groups close due to the virus, and last night it was announced that schools will close for two weeks, as well as the two weeks of Easter. This does mean that children will be at home with limited ability to go out, grated there’s things that can be done at home, but four weeks is a long time! As a parent of two girls who need to be occupied- I too am keen to ready myself for spending this time with them.
It would be easy to plonk them on a tablet and let the internet entertain them- but I’m determined that they will have meaningful tasks, that they enjoy, that they can learn from, as well as capturing this unprecedented experience.
With this in mind, we’ve wracked our brains to come up with a series of activities that you can do at home, in the garden- so they get fresh air, but also stay active. We’re using the theme of avoiding corona-boredom! The first is the Spring Journal! This is a thing we’re calling it- but really it’s a simple scrap book! I first saw these on day one of my Forest School Practitioner course- when Lily Horsemen, the amazingly inspiring trainer, and now the Chair of the Forest School Association introduced them as a means of recording the experiences of the training we were about to embark upon.
They could be any sort of journal really! But I’ve called them a Spring Journal as tomorrow is the first day of Spring, so your children could use them to record what they are seeing outside, which flowers are in bud, which flowers are showing, the first time you cut the grass, what time it gets light, when the sun sets, how much rain has fallen etc.! Anything to do with what we can see outside! So although it is an hour or so to make one, there is the on-going nature of using them! Also, it’s a way ensuring they are doing some much needed literacy and research at a time when they may be missing education; or the home education families we work with- another task for you to productively use, when you are not able to get out to your usual meets!
This also provides a welcome distraction from the virus, and the news that is pervading our lives. That said, the journals could be used to record what is happening! So, how to make them!
What you’ll need:
- Card board
- Paper (scrap paper will do- as long as one side is blank so it can be written or drawn on)
- String/cord/wool/old shoe lace
- Hole punch (of the tip of your scissors to poke a hole in the card/paper)
How to make them:
- Decide what size you want your journal, and cut the paper to that size; I’ve opted for an A5 journal, so have cut all the paper to that size
- Cut your two pieces of cardboard to the to the same size as the paper; these will be the front and back cover of the journal!
- If you’ve got a hole punch, then punch two holes in the top of all the paper and cardboard- if you haven’t got a hole punch then you can use the tip of your scissors to poke a hole in the paper etc.
- Use the string and poke one end through one hole, and the other end through the other hole, then tie the ends together
- Now you can decorate the front cover, and start to add details to it!
- If you run out of pages, you can easily undo the string and add more pages!
- You can paint a picture, do a sketch and then add it!
- Use one page as a table to record something over the course of a fortnight or a month- such as the time it gets light or how much rain has fallen!
- Draw a pair of axis, and then monitor something- taking daily readings- such as the air temperature- this is a good way to maintain numeracy abilities whilst schools are closed- gathering and making sense of data!
Whatever you do- please make the effort to get outside and stay active! It’ll be good for your health, and your mental well-being, but more importantly, it’s vital for children at this challenging time! Would love to hear you comments- as well as see some photos of how you have used the idea!
Stay healthy, see you all soon, Morgan