School’s out! With many schools already closed for summer, and social distancing measures throwing the usual holiday childcare plans up in the air, we thought we’d share our experiences of keeping the kids entertained at home. It’s not easy, we know!
The La Dona team spans North, Central and South America, as well as Europe, but we’ve all been faced with the same problems. A sudden lack of childcare, home-schooling, working from home, and limited access to the usual activities that keep us all sane. Fear not!
Are your kids always demanding snacks? Sacha, La Dona’s social media whizz, recommends getting kids young and old involved in cooking at home.
“Kids are fascinated by making smoothies and snacks,” she says. “Our favourite smoothies are: pineapple, mango, avocado and kale; or coconut milk with banana. Squeezing fresh lemons and limes for lemonade is another great hands-on experience for children. We also love making avocado on toast, and you can’t go wrong with a chocolate mousse made with avocado and coconut!”
Once your child has made their smoothie or snack, they can surprise Mum or Dad with their delicious, healthy treat. “Kids love both the preparation and the praise! It’s lovely how food can generate so much satisfaction, togetherness and love! Cooking together is something we’ll continue to do; my son enjoys himself so much, and I’ve seen many positive advances from communication and confidence, to the development of his fine and gross motor skills.”
If your kids are missing their grandparents, aunts, uncles or friends, why not get them involved in the cooking too via video link? Granny always has a super recipe to share!
Are the kids bouncing off the walls? Paul, our Director of Pineapple Operations, suggests stepping outside, whether it’s to the local park, beach, country park or open countryside where you can keep your distance and keep moving.
“I’ve been bringing the kids down to the pineapple farm nearly every weekend,” he explains. “At home they only have a yard whereas here there is wide, open space to walk, run or cycle. My kids have been climbing trees, exploring the outdoors, and really getting back to nature. It’s done wonders for their mood!”
Sick of the school work? Gill, La Dona’s content writer, finds gardening to be a welcome change of pace that’s still educational. Combining fresh air with physical activity, gardening engages all sorts of senses, and helps children to both develop skills and learn about the world without even realising.
“Planting seeds, watering plants, and pulling weeds are all easy, fun tasks that little kids enjoy, plus it teaches cause and effect,” Gill explains. “During lockdown we’ve grown our own strawberries, which has been a great way for my son to connect with his food, and to encourage healthy eating. It’s sparked a lot of questions about how and where different fruits are produced too. Also, when we’re in the garden or out on a walk, we’ve had lots of fun hunting for insects, spotting different tree species by comparing their leaves, and picking wildflowers for craft projects. It’s amazing how a simple hunt can captivate their attention while they burn off some energy!”
Can’t get your kids off their iPad/tablet? Well, everything in moderation, right? So, strike a balance; agree on set times for when the children can watch, play or learn on their devices. And pre-install age-appropriate shows and games that will benefit their development while they relax.
Some of La Dona’s favourite tried and tested apps include: Lingokids, MarcoPolo, Kiddopia, MP Weather, Bedtime Math, Caterpillar Creative Play, and National Geographic Kids.
YouTube has a wealth of fun stuff for kids too; from the Sesame Street channel to PE lessons from fitness coach Joe Wicks. BBC Bitesize uploads new lessons each day, plus there’s CBeebies for toddlers.
There are so many resources out there; from virtual swimming lessons (yes, really!), and yoga for kids to mini mindfulness sessions. The kids could try free online music lessons, use Google 3D to see wild animals walk through their house, or watch live feeds from the zoo. There are even Ted talks (Ted-Ed lessons) that kids will enjoy.
We’re lucky to have so much at our fingertips. Stay safe, stay sane!
– The La Dona Family