Bring the outdoors inside when you’re cooped up at home...
It’s the season of infectious diseases - chicken pox, scarlet fever and tummy bugs. It’s awful for the children and the quarantine period at home can be a merry hell for parents of one of more Little Explorers who are cooped up inside.
Here’s a long list of activities you can easily stage at home to help you through what is sure to be a trying time! Bringing a little of the outdoors inside can help alleviate the boredom once they are well enough to play again, but not yet clear to mingle with their healthy friends.
Our Little Explorers never say no to playing in a tent, whether it is outside or in. Clear a space and pitch a tent or beach shelter on the floor, create a pretend bonfire with tissue paper and toilet rolls, and ‘toast’ marshmallows over the roaring flames. You could make the classic American camping treat called S’mores – a toasted marshmallow and a chunk of chocolate sandwiched between savoury crackers. Very smoreish!
Why not get out all the camping equipment – a snuggle pod inflatable air bed, plastic bowls and cutlery, and a lamp (strapping a head torch to the lip of an empty 6l milk bottle creates a cosy glow), and pitch up facing a window. It makes a fantastic new play zone or chill out space.
You’ll need a pair of binoculars to watch the birds, so gather up those used loo rolls, ask the Little Explorers to paint them, stick two together and tie on a loop of string – hey presto! Why not hide toy animals around the house and set them off on a safari, or a mini-beast hunt? Depending on how old they are, the Little Explorers could mark off their sightings on a picture or word chart you’ve drawn up.
Once you’ve made camp, why not plant some seedlings ready to grow on the windowsill? Now’s a good time of year to start growing tomatoes, smaller courgette varieties, violas and strawberries. It doesn’t matter if they’re unlikely to come to fruition, even seeing a few seedlings popping out of the ground during your child’s time of confinement will be rewarding. If you do have success, all of these can be planted out in bags or pots on a balcony or patio once the last frost has passed towards the end of May.
Now let’s dig for worms! Here’s a game that whiles away a few minutes, with a guaranteed prize at the end. Make a flower bed of chocolate soil (chocolate cake on the verge of going stale works a treat), bury jelly worms in it and give your Little Explorers chopsticks to pick them out with. The chopsticks develop their dexterity as well as stretch the activity out a little longer. If they find it too easy, try it blindfolded…
Bake meringue clouds for a weather-related activity. Combine three egg whites with a pinch of salt, then gradually whisk in 175g caster sugar until the mixture stands up in stiff peaks. Dollop onto a sheet of baking paper then bake slowly at 140 degrees until they are dry (around one hour depending on how big your clouds are.) You’ll have made perfect fluffy clouds to be served up with blueberry raindrops and muddy puddles of chocolate ice cream.
Once the Little Explorers are well enough to leave the house, a trip to the woods is always good. You’re unlikely to bump into anyone and if you do, holler a warning that your child is infectious so they can steer well clear! Why not take water-soluble paint and hunt for sticks to paint up as light sabres or fairy wands? Plenty of pent-up frustration can be released with a charge around the woods fighting imaginary demons and casting spells.
We wish any poorly Little Explorers a speedy recovery and hope you’ll be back to your adventurous ways soon!
Sneak peek... It’s almost Tiny Test Team time.
The LittleLife Tiny Test Team is coming back, this time offering you the chance to trial the awesome Animal Snuggle Pods.
Our Tiny Testers managed to get their mittens on the newest Snuggle Pods. They really enjoyed pumping up the beds – they love pumps and the whistle it makes is really funny. It took them a little while to achieve maximum inflation which was great. It’s so simple to inflate and deflate. The Tiny Testerss also loved the wings on the owl and the flippers on the penguin pods. They hid little toys and a torch in the side pocket. Once all the excitement had died down, they slept soundly in the cosy sleeping bags!
If you want to apply to be a part of this year's Tiny Test Team, keep your eyes peeled on our website, newsletter and Facebook this April for your chance to enter.