Posted on October 29 2021
As a busy Melbourne mum of two little ones and a small business owner, I completely understand how easy it is to simply give your child an iPad or put on a movie in the middle of the day so that you can get things done and check off your to-do list. But if you're anything like me, the #mumguilt can often sink in pretty hard!
Whilst telling my kids to put the screens down and be creative is all well and good, it often doesn't last very long. If last and this year's lockdowns taught me anything, it's that isolation and home-schooling hits our children more than we think, and doing things WITH them to keep them stimulated and enthusiastic is something I feel passionate about. If that means I am up until midnight getting things done, then so be it. As a busy working mum, I'm very conscious of my own wellbeing and self care, as well as my children's.
We have put together a few little handy tips on what worked for me here in Melbourne through what seems like the never-ending cycle of lockdowns.
My Five Tips on How to De-Screen Your Kids
1. Schedule a daily walk before class
Keep active! #1 on our list.
Schedule a walk or bike ride before their first class of homeschool. I find it makes a massive difference when I take my kids out for a walk and we try to make an adventure out of it or play games along the way to keep it entertaining. The fresh air alone will do wonders for both them and you!
If you really want to spice it up, we recently invested in Roller-Skates and Roller-Blades, and trust me... my kids absolutely love going up and down the street and beach in them, especially watching their Mum try to attempt it (nope, I will not be providing pics of me doing this LOL).
But practice makes perfect, and we have plenty of that...right? Don't forget to add Protective Gear to your shopping cart... We had WAY too many falls that were thankfully protected by helmets, knee pads, elbow pads and wrist guards!
2. Load them up with Arts & Crafts!
Pinterest has sooo many ideas of things you can make from home from just about anything. Paints, sparkles, pipe cleaners, paddle pop sticks, glue, pompoms, etc. You can even go for a walk and pick up some pine cones or sticks and see what they can come up with.
Get their creative minds thinking!
3. Outdoor Adventures
Whilst we might be limited to where we CAN go during lockdowns, a picnic in the backyard may be one thing the kids will love to mix up at meal-time.
Grab a paintbrush, colouring book, outdoor chalk or puzzle, and soak up some Vitamin D with a sweet picnic for you all to enjoy.
Fresh air, soaking up some sunshine (if you're lucky enough to have it #melbournelife) and enjoy a change of scenery to break up the monotony of the day.
4. Bake up a storm!
I often forget how much my children LOVE to bake!
My daughter and son, together with me, spent many different Sundays baking healthy treats and specialties. My kids absolutely loved helping me measure ingredients and create different goodies to snack on. I am a massive fan of Paleo Muffins, and thankfully so are my kids!
Kids absolutely love being part of measuring, mixing ingredients and being part of something delicious. Plus it's a great way to teach them young. Hopefully, they'll be cooking you dinner in no time, and even doing the dishes!! #mumgoals
5. Encourage their Independence - Chores!
Do you remember doing chores around the house as a kid? Vacuuming the living room for $2 or washing the car for $5? It not only gets kids doing something productive, whilst helping you in the meantime, but it also teaches them the value of money... and a purpose of saving up for something they have been wanting and soon can afford to buy - on their own!
Whilst it might not seem very exciting for us as adults to do chores, I have been teaching my children to fold their clothes properly and do certain errands around the house, keeping my own sanity while we are in isolation or lockdown. Moreover, it also teaches them to be more responsible and independent, which also helps them become more confident and well-rounded kids.
Now that our kids are going to school more often as lockdowns around the country ease, don't forget to be present with them so they know you are there for them during such a important transition. Your time with them is valuable, make it count... every day.
You're doing amazing things Mum, never forget that.
So there you have it, our five helpful tips on ways to DE-SCREEN your kids!
Let us know in the comments or send us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org if you have some other useful tips on what to do with your kids at home, especially during the long lockdowns and isolation so many of us have endured the past two years!