7 Tips to keep kids busy during lockdown

“If only I could work from home!” How often have you heard work colleagues say these words… or had this thought yourself. For many employees, the prospect of working from the comfort of their own home sounds like Utopia. But will it be? We’ll know soon…

Another expression immediately enters my mind: “Careful what you wish for…” 

Home working might seem like heaven-on-earth from the sidelines, but it can easily render you into a state of unproductivity if not approached and managed according to your own needs. To ensure that you create the best home working space for you, it’s very important to be aware of your sensory thresholds and how you react to different sensory stimuli in your environment. Complete your Sensory Matrix™ to discover your own preferences. You can also schedule an online Sensory Coaching session thereafter where your Sensory Matrix™ results will be unpacked in more detail. 

In our recent blog, one of the tips to improve your home working environment was reducing distractions. Some distractions are easy to address e.g. close windows to drown out the noise from outside, wear comfortable clothes and declutter your desk. Some sweet, lovable, young  “distractions”, seeking your attention, might be harder to manage during this sudden, lockdown, home working era.

We all know that it will be an (initial) adjustment for both parent and child, but here are 7 tips to help you accommodate/manage/care for your child while you need to work from home:

  1. Schedule meetings and calls in advance
    Being organized and knowing beforehand when you’ll need less noise around, can help you choose the best quiet activity for your young child. Listening to audiobooks can help here. While schools are closed, you can find some for free.
  2. Get back to the senses
    Whenever possible, get your kids off the couch and away from screens (we realize it might be necessary SOMETIMES). For little ones, make edible play-dough. There are many recipes out there. If you can’t find any, we can help.
  3. Incorporate problem-solving and creative thinking
    Remember how we used to build forts, houses and castles in the lounge with old blankets draped over chairs and couches? Have old pillows, linen, empty boxes and furniture available for your child to play and explore with.
  4. Free-play with blocks
    Ask your child to build different objects (or even better, their own inventions) by using building blocks e.g. Lego. No need to follow instructions, rather creative thoughts and loads of fun ideas.
  5. Get outside
    If your home space allows it, encourage your child (if old enough) to play outside in your home garden. Riding a bicycle, baking mud cakes, swimming or even collecting sticks and stones to make a collage. Kids need to move and be active.
  6. Introduce chores
    If there was ever a time to teach kids about household chores and responsibilities, now is it. Children can clean their rooms, make their beds, set the dinner table and help parents in the kitchen during meal preparation time.
  7. Keep in contact with family
    Keep grandma and grandpa happy by drawing them a picture or writing them a letter (handwritten) every day. Mom can keep it safe and send a photo of it every night.

Make this uncertain time during lockdown more bearable for your little frustrated ones – as a result, it might just end up being more bearable for you too!

Children’s work is to play

On the 1st of May, countries worldwide celebrated Worker’s Day. This public holiday was first introduced in 1891 and South Africa has been joining in since 1994. This annual “day off”, also known as May Day, serves as a celebration of workers’ rights. I am yet to find a labourer or employee who disagrees with the importance of this well-deserved holiday.  I hope you enjoyed your day off yesterday!

 

Worker’s Day applies to schools as well, as teachers and teaching staff most definitely deserve this welcoming duty-free day. And yet, when we think of all the school-going children partaking in Workers’ Day celebrations, it’s sometimes difficult to justify how they may also benefit from a celebration clearly singled out for the workforce? Kids just play every day, don’t they??? Maybe our thinking towards little humans is somewhat unfair?

 

I have found clarity for this dilemma in the essence of my work: Occupational Therapy.  I wish I had a cent for every time I’ve heard the words “So, do you find jobs for people?” when someone discovers what my profession is. The real meaning of Occupational Therapy (OT) appears to be quite a mystery to some. So, let’s shed some (much needed) light on the subject and find how it could possibly link up with Workers’ Day for kids:

 

According to the American Occupational Therapy Association, occupations are various kinds of life activities in which individuals engage, including:

  • Activities of daily living
  • Rest and sleep
  • Education
  • Work
  • Play
  • Leisure
  • Social participation

 

A young child’s profession is to PLAY … an older child’s is to be EDUCATED. Just as we, as working adults, leave our homes in the morning to go do our day’s work, our children go to school to practice their profession – LEARNING & GROWING. For some children, their work is a piece of cake; for some… not! And that is where OT’s come in: we strive to guide and help our little clients to reach their full potential in all occupational areas they might have.

 

As OT’s working at Sensory Intelligence®️ Consulting, we aim to enhance children’s LEARNING & GROWING by empowering teachers and parents to implement practical, effective, easy-to-use sensory strategies with the purpose of enabling all children to develop into well-adapted, positive and healthy individuals. We strive to ensure optimal development for all learners by assisting teachers and parents.

 

Our focus areas, when it comes to education, include (but are not limited to):

  • How teachers can manage their own stress effectively
    Discovering their own sensory thresholds, creating self-awareness and identifying strategies to manage overload and stress better according to their unique assessment results.
  • How to unlock learner potential
    Identifying learners’ sensory thresholds and applying simple, effective sensory strategies to optimize their learning experience.
  • How to change the classroom environment for optimal learning
    Practical, cost-effective ideas to enhance layout, seating and space in a classroom
  • How to deal with stress in learners
    Identifying sensory strategies that educators and parents can teach their learners with the aim of self-regulation when anxious and stressed
  • How sensory play improves development and learning
    Preparing children for optimal learning by addressing their sensory needs during developmental phases
  • How to help learners concentrate in the classroom
    Sensory strategies to enhance focussed attention and a sense of calm
  • How to reduce barriers to learning
    Insights and sensory tips to help children who learn in a different way
  • How to cope with the sensory side to Autism
    Sensory strategies to optimize a child with Autism’s learning and living

 

A child’s play is a child’s work, which is essential for their preparation for the world awaiting them as adults. We should help them play (learn, work, grow) as well as they can.

 

I really hope you enjoyed the day off yesterday and if you have kids, I hope you enjoyed a day full of play with them, because after all:

 

The end of labour is to gain leisure – Aristotle

 

To find out more about other services we offer at Sensory Intelligence® Consulting, read our latest blog Calm down and call your Sensory Intelligence® OT

 

Who has benefited

23130
Sensory Quiz™
completed
13538
Sensory Matrix™
completed
9942
Senses on Call™
completed
185
Senses@Work™
completed
20255
Social media
fans
11025
Sensory Intelligence®
subscribers
526
Practitioners
trained