At this stage, in our third lockdown of the pandemic, it’s fair to say we are all struggling to juggle working from home whilst also juggling home-schooling and keeping the little ones entertained too! We’ve already shared some great ideas of what to do with Under 5s during lockdown, but wanted to share some ideas for your Over 5s too.
We’ve collated some of the top ideas for activities to do/try at home with older children, utilising your local area/garden and daily walk.
If you haven’t heard of it already and are wondering how on earth you are going to get your pre-teen out of the house for some exercise, then geocaching might be just what you need!
Combining the great outdoors, technology and adventure, all you need is a smartphone and to download the free app and map, or alternatively you can even download a paper map to find the secret caches hidden around your local area!
Here’s a brief synopsis on how it works:
- A geocacher hides a geocache (never buried), lists it on geocaching.com and challenges you to find it using the Geocaching app or a GPS device.
- The geocache will contain a logbook for finders to sign. Once you’ve found it you log your experience online at geocaching.com or on a Geocaching App.
- Sometimes people will also leave small trinkets for trade in the cache. If you take something you should always replace it with something of equal or greater value.
- You then return the geocache to the spot where you found it, ready for the next player to find.
Our very own South Downs National Park have even created a South Downs GeoTour so there are plenty to find within our locality!
Find out more at: https://www.southdowns.gov.uk/enjoy/geocaching/
You don’t need a great deal of outdoor space for this, and it’s an activity that all children love; experiments and the opportunity to make things blow up or explode!
All you really need is some liquids and powders from your cupboards; ideally ones that are likely to cause a reaction (vinegar, bicarbonate of soda etc…) and provide jars or glasses for the children to combine and explore different mixtures – the first to make there’s fizz over, wins!
If you’ve got the opportunity to hose your outdoor space down afterwards, the Mento Challenge is a quick but fun experiment for children to do! And all you need is a bottle of coke and some mentos; but be quick, or you’ll get soaked!
The aim is to drop a couple of mentos into a 2l bottle of coke and watch it erupt; the more mentos, the bigger the eruption, messy, sticky, but tons of fun!
If we’ve learned anything from these lockdowns, it’s the importance of community spirit and helping others, so if your child is that bit older, why not get them to make links with your neighbours, and ask if there’s any socially distanced odd jobs they can do for them, or if they need any shopping if they are unable to get out, the sense of self-worth and the confidence children will get from an act as simple as knocking on someone’s door and offering support is phenomenal, and a vital life lesson to boot!
Although it may be a struggle to get older children out of the house for their daily exercise, they always enjoy it once they are out don’t they?! So why not give the walk a focus? Or give them something to do as they walk, or follow up when they get home. We have so many lovely buildings, statues and places of local history in Worthing and our surrounding area so why not get them to do some research either before or after you head out to explore and get them excited about what you might see, they’ll be much more likely to engage if their outing is something of interest or something they can explore and find out more about afterwards too (you might even be able to tie it in with a school project too!)
Here in Worthing, we are so lucky to have such natural beauty surrounding us, and many of us are only a stones throw from the beach; there is always so much wonderful, natural bounty to be found on our shores and you’ll be surprised at how much your children will find, but also how fascinated they will be with the different objects, so why not head down at low tide and see what wonderful artefacts the sea has left for you, perhaps take some home and collate a ‘beach collage’ or do some research to identify more unusual items, the fresh air, excitement and spontaneity of this activity will keep children engaged for hours but also ignite a thirst for learning and appreciation of their natural world.
With special thanks to Chloe Webster – registered childminder and Under 5s specialist!