29 May, 2020

5th Keep calm, keep moving newsletter !

We hope you enjoyed the sock activities we suggested in our previous newsletter –  two young girls – Rae and Riah – contacted us and said they had used some of their old socks to make costumes for their teddies and dollies.

They cut off the toes to make hats that they decorated with stickers and safety pins – they then used the main part of the socks to make dresses and overalls – and sourced a range of materials in their home eg. string- sellotape – to make belts.

We’ve had a change of plan this week.

We wanted to share with you a wonderful initiative created by an EY Headteacher on the South coast. Such an inspiring piece of work – simple, accessible, replicable – and sustainable – everything we ever ask for! We have been sharing ideas with this setting for a while now – and added an extra activity to those suggested here – stretch a piece of string across the room – then use the paper plate cone – (or unfurl and use the plate) – to pat /bat /throw / catch the pom – poms over the string ‘net.’

He writes, “We are trying to inspire people to be active, even if they are cooped up indoors. There’s two paper plate quoits and a couple of washed pine cones to try to throw them over.”

“Two paper cones to perhaps set up some bollards to run around with the pine cones too. Granny squares that can be used for hopscotch or just to move between while listening to music perhaps.”

“Pom poms.”

“A paper plate cone catcher to catch Pom poms in and a couple of straws to blow them across a table with.  A couple of little cuddly toys that could be used in relays too.”

“I’m sure our children may come up with all manner of uses other than what we thought too.”

“Well at least we hope they do!”


Florence our resident nutritionist is back with some more great advice – and a really simple idea for a nutritious snack

She writes…

‘Fat is your friend!’

You probably know (and feel) by now how much food can influence both physical and mental health and wellbeing. For those of us with young children – being stuck indoors and trying to home-school has added an extra layer of stress and anxiety to the whole parenting game!

I know that for many years we’ve been told that a low-fat diet is a must – but now evidence is emerging that suggests maybe this approach should be reviewed.

What are the ‘right’ sort of fats – and why are they so important for supporting overall health and wellbeing?
So – a key type of fat to include in our diet – and one that is critical for brain development and concentration is OMEGA 3.

The best source of this is found in oily fish eg. salmon – mackerel and tuna. If possible – you should try and eat these fish twice a week. Tinned fish is healthy , cost-effective and requires no cooking or food prep.

If fish is a complete no-no – then please consider (with professional advice) taking an omega-3 supplement.
What other good fats would I include? Eggs – unsalted nuts- olive oil – avocado – and proper real butter!
What would I suggest avoiding? Corn – soya- or sunflower oil – and I really don’t like margarine (it often contains trans fats that have been linked to a range of health conditions).

My easy recipe for this week has only 3 ingredients and doesn’t need cooking.

Peanuts are an excellent source of healthy fat and plant protein – as well as being nicely filling.

What you need

1 cup of unsweetened peanut butter
1 tablespoon of honey
3 cups of oats

What to do

  • Line a pan or baking tray with foil or baking paper – invite children to find the resources and cut out the paper to the required size
  • Melt the peanut butter and honey together in a pan – or microwave
  • Pour the melted mixture onto the oats and mix thoroughly – ask children to help either by using a spoon – or their hands when it is cool enough to touch
  • Now tip the mixture onto the tray – make sure it is evenly spread and put in the fridge to set
  • Once set – encourage children to cut the mixture into squares – and enjoy!


IKEA Russia have created some great ideas for using stuff you have at home to make a range of constructions – definitely worth a look if you are running out of lockdown inspiration!


Alliance for Childhood has produced another great newsletter – Issue 10 – May 2020. Dr Aric Sigman – who some of you may know from conferences and books has written an excellent piece – ‘Lockdown: Bring on the Boredom.’ Following on from what Rae Pica has written previously – he sets out very clearly that boredom should be considered ‘a health and development requirement’ for young children.



Next newsletter

We will be exploring how paper / plastic cups can be used to keep children healthy and active. Also – Jeannie our resident gardener will share her lockdown experience of newts in her garden pond.

Till then – please take best care.

The ‘activematters’ team.