7 Apr, 2020

2nd Keep calm, keep moving newsletter !

We hope you enjoyed the tips and activities in our previous newsletter – and you are all keeping safe and well – also – that the Easter bunny was generous!

Top tips for this week: 

  • Take time to enjoy doing things more slowly – try to follow children’s ideas whenever possible – however annoying or random they may seem to you!
  • All children like repetition – especially if they are midway through learning a new skill they want to practice – because we are only using familiar materials in this series – they  may well try to repeat activities independently – please encourage and support
  • Because their usual support systems may be disrupted during this time – what about making short videos of them enjoying these activities to share with friends and family
  • As always – shoes and socks off whenever possible

Activity for this week:

What you will need: a clear safe space,  a single sheet and a soft toy.

What to do:

  • Invite children to help you spread the sheet out flat on the floor – take time to make sure there are no wrinkles!
  • Now take turns to lie on the sheet and make different shapes on your backs and tummies – eg. starfish shape – wiggly worm – a tortoise – a pencil – an egg – make this as active as possible – and invent some new shapes
  • Ask children to help you fold the sheet into a long rectangle shape and sit  on your knees at either end holding the sheet firmly with both hands
  • Now lift the sheet together as high as possible – bring down to the ground – do this as fast as possible
  • Encourage children to stand up still holding the sheet – now wave the sheet up and down while jumping at the same time – carry on until you are a bit puffed!
  • Invite children to help you roll the sheet into a tube shape – ask them to hold on tight to one end while you pull hard – bit like the game ‘tug-o-war’
  • Now invite children to sit tight on the sheet  while you pull them around the space
  • To end – both of you stand on the sheet with both feet together,  facing each other – and arms stretched high – take a few deep breaths

What’s in it for children

These are simple and fun activities that older siblings can also enjoy with younger family members – lots of opportunities to chat – and some good ways of supporting overall body strength are included.

Taking it forward

  • Place a selection of soft toys on the floor – and place the sheet over them – ask the children to find the toys with their hands and describe them
  • Step from one toy to the other without falling over!

Florence has got some really useful nutrition advice and tips for you this week

During this very challenging time it’s important to eat lots of fruit and veg – its good for the health of your gut and a really good way to boost your immune system.

This week try to include between 10 – 20 plant-based foods into your family diet – think of nuts/seeds/herbs and spices/tinned pulses (beans)/ wholegrain rice and pasta – and fruit and veg in any of the following forms – dried – tinned – frozen – fresh.

Frozen fruit and veg is so useful – especially now – they are packed with brilliant nutrients and can often be cheaper than the fresh version.

Pink porridge

  • This is a yummy breakfast or pudding that even the youngest children can help make – its packed with nutrients – quick to make and stores well in the fridge.
  • Defrost a bag of mixed blueberries and raspberries :
  • Ask children to find the bag in the freezer and take it out. How long do they think the fruit will take to defrost?
  • Now invite them to choose an implement to mash up the fruit – what would be the most suitable? A fork, spoon, potato masher?
  • Now discuss what they could mix the fruit with – yoghourt or porridge – or ice-cream?
  • Find a suitable bowl and mix everything together.
  • Any left-over berry mix will keep in the fridge for a week in a sealed container.

Chocolate fruit!

  • We all need some treats during this time – and pieces of fruit dipped in chocolate are always really popular – and can be very messy!
  • First find a suitable tray or plate that the fruit will sit on – and that fits in your fridge – you can put greaseproof paper on it if you have some handy.
  • Choose fruit that children know and like (eg. apples, oranges, bananas, pears, grapes) – and discuss with them exactly which ones  to include. Involve them in chopping them up into bite sized pieces – or opening packets. Arrange the pieces on the plate – ready for dipping.
  • Invite children to watch you melt the chocolate – wait for it to cool – but make sure it is quite runny.
  • Now the fun begins!
  • Dip each piece of fruit into the chocolate and lay on the plate.
  • Now put the plate in the fridge for 10 mins.
  • You can also roll the dipped fruit in some crushed nuts – this is a great way of upping your intake of protein , healthy fats and fibre – it also slows down the release of sugar in the body – which may be useful if you are having to spend long periods indoors at the moment.

You can learn more about Florence through: www.florencedewalden.co.uk – she is a BANT registered nutritionist.

Some other useful info for you

Please note, these are the correct details to access the great blog by our friend Gill Connell in NZ.

Facebook: MovingSmartNow
www.earlymovers.org.uk  – this site has some excellent material and very useful videos.

www.sensoryintegration.org.uk  – really good information for children who experience sensory issues – their latest piece on handwashing for this group is a must read.

Next time – fun to be had with masking tape – and Jeannie our gardening expert will be sharing her tips and ideas for gardening indoors!

Take best care.
The ‘activematters’ team.