Last month, Sam, aged four and Shawn, aged six, walked up to their parents and told them they were tired of being at home. That it was now boring.
So, their parents thought of different ways of trying to remove this boredom. And so, they hitched up a plan of installing a play area for the children at a designated location in their compound.
“My husband and I had some savings and we used part of this money for buying swings, slides and setting up a sand pit for our sons,” says Bridget Matovu, the mother to the boys.
The items were bought and installed at the family home at the beginning of this month. The boys were ecstatic.
Before this play area was installed, the boys spent most of their afternoons watching cartoons on television, which they got tired of seeing at some point.
Nowadays, they spend more time at the outdoor play area.
The advantage with this, Matovu says, is that the boys not only get to exercise but also, some fresh air as they play.
But how about in circumstances when parents cannot afford the luxury of putting up a play area especially during this ongoing crisis when finances are tight? How can children still enjoy the fun outdoors?
Encourage creativity outdoors
If you are the kind of parent who cannot afford to buy outdoor play items for your child, there is no need to stress yourself. There is a likely solution.
Here is what Joselyn Nankya, did. When her daughter, aged six, kept pestering for a “bouncing castle” to play with outdoors, the single mother politely responded by saying there was no money.
“She was demanding for a bouncing castle like a problem. This was after recently seeing some children playing on one during a television program,” Nankya says, adding, “Instead, I advised her to look around for safe items within our yard and play with.”
Her daughter seemed to have heeded to the advise because of late, the little girl has started gathering sticks from nearby trees and afterwards, makes stick dolls and houses, items she uses when playing.
This is just one example. There are other ways children can be creative outdoors. For instance, if your child is the kind who loves drawing, painting or writing, occasionally, tell them to sit outside the house so that they could use nature or the open-air scenery as their source of inspiration.
Take indoor activities outside
It’s not healthy to stay indoors all the time. Some children have a tendency of doing everything indoors.
From bathing, eating, writing school work to even playing. The only time such a child gets to have a taste of the outdoors is when they are going to school. And you can’t really blame them, can you?
With this continuing partial lockdown, you can switch up things a little bit. Take some of your children’s indoor activities outside the house. For instance, rather than doing activities like bathing and playing from inside the house, let them do them outside.
That compound is a gold mine There was a time many years back when children found joy in outdoor activities like skipping rope, telling stories amongst themselves, playing hiding and seek, among other adventurous activities. What happened?
The most fun thing children of today seem to be doing outdoors is riding their bikes.
So, in case you are one of those parents who enjoyed playing another set of fun outdoor activities compared to what children enjoy doing today, take this time to revive them.
For instance, teach your children how to skip rope (like how you used to do back in the day). Encourage your children to tell each other stories (like how you used to do back in the day). And all this can be done in the comfort of your home compound.
• Swings; These can be bought in different places around town including furniture shops. Prices differ from one place to another. For instance, there are places that sell them at about Shs300,000 and more.
• Slides; These are also sold in furniture shops and children’s showrooms. They cost usually Shs200,000.
• Trampoline; This bouncy item is mostly sold at designated children’s showrooms. They cost about Shs300,000, depending on the size.