Creative ideas for the long stay at home

Over the next few months my son and I will be spending a lot of time at home alone together, while my partner does frontline ambulance work. There’s so much about that sentence that makes me take a deep breath. SO, I’ve been drafting a list of creative activities for me and my seven-year-old. Here are some of my plans so far…!

   (My son getting up-to-date on Bear Grylls’ adventures, a few weeks ago.)

  • Learn how to cook properly (me, mainly).
  • Make videos together on ipad/phone. Documentaries, probably about dinosaurs. (He announced two years ago that he was training to be a palaeontologist and now I think he meant it. I’ve had to revise to keep the conversations rolling.)
  • Reenact a historical event. (I need to think this one through so I don’t have to flee toy swords…)
  • Make dance routines and music videos.
  • Animate on iPad animation app.
  • Arts and crafts. We’ll dig out different materials from around the house, even if some days it’s only a biro and the back of an envelope.
  • FaceTime our family in London and continental Europe.
  • Teach my son French or Spanish, or start a different language neither of us speak.
  • Write/download quizzes.
  • Decorate one designated wall in the house with art. Permission to draw (thoughtfully) on this wall will be granted.
  • Write stories. Individually or together.
  • Teach him about world geography. Recap on it myself.
  • Get to know the flora and fauna in our small garden. (With the right mindset it could take a lifetime to get bored of those few metres!) We can study insects, draw leaves, learn names of plants and clouds, prune plants, hide lego figures for each other to find, take pics of lego figures as if they are in a jungle (which can also work with pot plants).
  • Get to know the sky. Keep a photo/art diary of it. Even when stuck at home there’s an ever-changing landscape of clouds and light outside.
  • Woodwork. It is time for my son’s long-awaited reopening of the toolbox (banned after incidents that made my blood boil). He will promise good listening and I will hope for the best.
  • Redo rooms: shift furniture, create cosy corners, swap curtains and move pictures around to create a new space without buying any new items. We’ll dig out paint pots. We’ll decorate some (again, designated), furniture using stickers and pictures.
  • Create a reading corner and have reading times when quiet time is needed.
  • I hope to introduce my son to daily mindfulness practice. Somehow.
  • I intend to meditate daily. I regularly listen to these online short guided meditations from the ‘Mindfulness’ book by Oxford University’s Mark Williams and his co-author Danny Penman. I find the three-minute one can be especially useful. If I don’t do a meditation, I intend to practice mindfulness nonetheless.
  • I will teach my son (and me) how to sew properly.
  • Follow the string/thread! We will unravel sewing thread or string and play hide-and-seek with one of us tracking the thread to find whichever one of us is hiding. All going well, the thread can be wound up and reused… if the cats don’t get involved first.
  • We can play hide and seek.
  • We can set each other treasure hunts with clues around the house.
  • I’ll dig out musical instruments or look up music apps on the iPad.
  • Set up the tent in the living room. Let him have snack time, reading time and bedtime there.
  • We will create a make-believe ‘corner shop’ for my son in our living room, where in desperate times I will trade goods or tokens for good listening. Tokens will include trades such as iPad/TV time (half-hour tokens, for example), access to more chocolate, or time with prize items currently under a ban (my partner’s banjo, the toolbox etc.) My living-room shop will accept hand-drawn bank notes with silly pictures, artwork, hard cash (1p or 2p) or, when the going gets tough, I-promise-mum-good-listening tokens.
  • When the shop idea wears off and I’m worn out, we will watch films. This will probably happen a lot.
  • (Below, our Rufus’ thoughts on my ‘follow the string’ game idea.)R1R2
  • Click here to follow me on Instagram at rebekahcurtisart.

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