27 Mar, 2020

1st Keep calm, keep moving newsletter !

Hope you are all keeping safe and well during these challenging times.

Joe Wicks and Jamie Oliver are doing some fantastic work to get people moving in the mornings – and eating well – but we know our youngest children have different needs and work to a very different timetable.

The Activematters team are here to help you keep calm – keep your children healthy and well – and give you lots of top tips to manage the days – particularly if you are isolating and feeling very stressed.

Our plan is to send you a bi-monthly newsletter – there will be a main activity that can be adapted for all ages and we will also be drawing on the expertise and experience of lots of our friends and colleagues who know about  other fields including : indoor gardening – nutrition – mindfulness – and water play.

You may need to suspend ‘house rules’ for a while – and be OK with bouncing on the beds or clambering over the furniture – and accept a different level of mess!

It would be lovely to get your feedback – and please send us any of your own ideas and recommendations – we need to work together so that when this is all over – we will all be ready, willing and able to start again with energy levels and confidence intact.

Week One – Boxes

What you will need: A shoe box or similar small container, clear space, a magazine

What to do

  • Ask (or help)children to turn the box upside down – knock – pat – bang – pummel  on the base of the box using different hand parts eg. palm/knuckles/heel
  • Using a small implement – eg. tea spoon –encourage them to make different sounds – very loud and soft – use both hands equally
  • Now ask children to place both hands inside the box – put bottom in the air and push the box around the floor – around whatever obstacles they meet!
  • Ask them to put one foot inside the box – can they walk around the space like this – try the other foot – how fast can they go?
  • Encourage children to stand with both feet in the box –  can they stand on tiptoes very tall with arms above their head
  • Now invite them to jump in and out of the box – for small children hold their hands and help them jump out – do this as fast as possible until they are a bit puffed
  • How many things can they find to put in the box – as fast as possible –now count them
  • Ask children to help you tear some pages from a magazine and scrumple them into paper balls
  • Ask them to empty their box   – now use it like a goal – throw the paper balls into the box – how far away can you stand – try different ways of throwing – under and overarm
  • Invite children to decorate their box with stickers – and other materials – colour in
  • Encourage children to use their boxes as personal containers they can put in anything interesting they find

What’s in it for children

Shoe boxes are a really good resource for children to use as they are generally easy to source and handle. They will come up with their own ideas – but try to keep them as active as possible – all these activities are good for balance, coordination and overall strength.

They will really enjoy having their own boxes to decorate and fill with personally interesting items.

Top tips for parents, carers and teachers

You don’t need much space for these activities – and try to take shoes and socks off whenever possible – it’s so much better for their feet!

Over the next two weeks you can source different sized boxes and explore what you can do with them – small juice cartons are good for constructing activities – and larger boxes can become dens and places to be quiet and read in.

Moving to music always helps – especially if you can sing the chorus together.

Try to move with your children as much as possible – every little bit really helps – and it all adds up throughout the day.

Our friend Gill Connell in NZ does a really good blog you may like to read also – you can access it at www.movingsmart.co.nz/Blog

Best wishes

See you in two weeks time when Florence our resident nutritionist and Jeannie our gardening expert will give you lots more advice and ideas.

Til then – take best care.
From the ‘activematters’ team.