Fun things to do outdoors during a lockdown

Wednesday April 1 2020

Gardening with your children is a great way to

Gardening with your children is a great way to bond while imparting some needed life skills. Net Photo. 

By Esther Oluka

With the recent ban some people are stuck home with their partners, children and other family members. And truth be told, it is not a very thrilling experience being stuck in a house with a number of loved ones while also battling with the uncertainty that comes with the coronavirus pandemic.

Behind closed doors, people are worried and as a result, they are dealing with anxiety and tension. There are even those who will tell you they are bored at home as a result of the restricted directive on movements. But neither worrying nor grumbling about being trapped in your house will help matters.

You need to find a way of remaining well-balanced while at home, otherwise, you may loose your mind. So, in order to help you cope while at home, here are some of the most rewarding things you can do outdoors

Mow the lawn
When was the last time you played with your children? Some parents will tell you that they never play with their children as they are always either traveling or busy working in their respective offices.
But now that the children are also stuck with you at home, utilise this time and play with them.

You can kill two birds with one stone, by mowing your lawn while having fun with the children. Your children probably are not too interested in what it takes to get the lawn in shape as long as they can run and play on it, but there are a few things they can help with.

Now is your chance to help them learn new things while having fun too. If the children are too young to mow, they can do rake the grass and pile into heaps ready for disposal.

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Create an outdoor space
Get the children help you with creating an outdoor space designated for messy play, sensory exploration, building, tinkering and pretending. You do not need a huge, intricate space for this to be a wonderful experience for you and your children.
A simple water table or a portion of your compound can do. Add to it as you feel comfortable and as your children are ready.

Start very small and grow your space as you become more comfortable. Remember it might take time completing this project because the children might get distracted along the way, but that is fine because children are not meant to focus on one thing for long periods of time.

Plant a garden
Gardening with children is not only great fun but also has many benefits such as potential weight loss and management, decreasing the risk of heart disease and slowing climate change.

Gardening with your children is a great way to teach them how to take care of things, help them understand where food comes from and teach them about nature.
It also provides the perfect combination of skills and tasks to address your child’s development.

Literacy skills can be part of gardening, too. Learning the names of different plants and reading what their growth requirements are on the seed or plant packages is a literacy activity.

To give children motivation, you can give each child an area of the yard to watch. Make sure each area that’s assigned can conceivably be made into a garden if it is chosen. This means soil to dig that is not in a high traffic area, and a water source nearby. Help them plan and tend their plots. It will be great fun and rewarding for them seeing things they planted grow.

If you are not that into vegetable gardening, but enjoy growing flowers, you can make one of your flowerbeds a kids-only zone where they can grow their own flowers and learn how to water, weed and care for a little garden of their own.

As you have fun outdoors:
• Follow the global protective measures that have been in place to limit the spread of coronavirus. As you engage in the outdoor activities, wash your hands, wear a facemask and don’t touch your nose, mouth and eyes.
• Mind the security especially if you don’t have an enclosure like a gate at home.
• Limit the people your children interact with. Remember, social interactions have been discouraged as a way of preventing coronavirus infections. So, don’t just leave your children playing about. Monitor his or her movements at all times.

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