As a Mum, how guilty do you feel when you see your teen or tween scrolling Tik Tok, taking selfies for SnapChat or gaming for hours…?! Getting the balance right during these times of COVID-19 restrictions is soooo hard isn’t it? I have produced a handy guide that you can print out and stick on the wall or hand to your teen when they need something to do.
In this blog are my top tips for activities that can be done outside and inside by your teen or tween. Most can be done by themselves; where a parent is required I have indicated that. For a lot of these activities I have included a link to resources to help with the activity. While my children have so much extra time without their extra-curricular activities I am trying to get them to “level-up” on their independence and self-motivation in the house. It has been interesting to see the changes in family life during this time, and I for one am looking for the silver lining in the dark cloud of the COVID-19 crisis. It hasn’t been as hard to find as I expected. I would love you to send this blog to your child to read. Feel free to send feedback here or in our Facebook Group.
At the park:
At your local park you could ride your bike. Use an exercise tracking app such as Map My Walk to keep track of your distance, duration and average speed and create a map of your journey. If you save your results and do the same route each time over a couple of weeks then you can compare the results to see if your fitness has improved over time. Use a step counter app such as Runtastic to track your steps for a walk or jog. You could also take along a furry friend, I’m sure the dog would love a walk with you. Other great things to do at the park, while maintaining social distancing are to climb a tree or practise your skateboarding tricks.
A bit further afield you could go on a bushwalk if your have bushland nearby, or have a swim in the ocean (you probably need a parent for these). And closer to home (!) – plant a herb garden. Start with seeds and watch your garden grow little by little each day. Be sure to tend to your garden by checking it each day and watering your plants when needed. There are some great growing kits and seed packs at Biome. Post your plant photos on Instagram using the hashtag #growyourownfood
In the kitchen:
While we are spending so much time indoors, I’m sure we are all noticing that we are spending more time thinking about food! How about you make a smoothie? Here’s a really quick and easy recipe: add two handfuls of frozen mango, two tablespoons of vanilla yogurt and one cup of milk to your smoothie maker. Whizz, drink, enjoy. For bonus points, clean up the cup and cutting blade afterwards!
How about some yummy snacks? You can find a few really easy but yummy recipes here. For example muesli bars, muffins, and banana bread. All of these can be made with a bowl, a measuring jug and a spoon. No electric mixers or fancy kitchen equipment required. You might just need an adult to help you with the oven.
A bit more ambitious but a nice chance to spend some time with Mum or Dad – you could cook a meal for the family for dinner. A meal plan box from HelloFresh or Marley Spoon is great. You can order a box of food to be delivered to your door. Each box will contain the ingredients for a meal, plus a recipe card to easily guide you through the preparation and cooking of the meal.
Isn’t it great when you find a good book and get stuck into it? I have many happy memories from my own childhood of reading so many books and I had some great favourite series. Is there a new book series that you could discover? Have a browse at Dymocks and order a book online. Here are some suggestions
- James Dashner – The Maze Runner series
- John Flanagan – The Ranger’s Apprentice series
- JK Rowling – The Harry Potter series
- Suzanne Collins – The Hunger Games series
- Jenny Han – To All The Boys I’ve Loved Before series
If you’re not keen on reading, why not try an audiobook instead? While schools are closed all stories on Audible are free to stream on your desktop, laptop, phone or tablet.
If you like writing, keeping a diary or want to try something new how about you get an activity journal or a kit to help create a growth mindset? Jigsaw puzzles and card games are also great. Click on the links to go straight to Dymocks to browse for these. There are some great new options available and these can be done completely by yourself, or with a sibling or the whole family. Top Trumps is one of my kids’ favourites.
Getting active in the house can require a lot of self-motivation. To make it more fun, have a browse on YouTube to find some workouts that you like for doing at home. I thought these ones look pretty good – NateBowerFitness and Johanna Soh. Do an exercise routine for 20-30 min and video it with your phone using the time lapse setting.
Another idea is to have a Nerf gun battle. Probably best if you have a sibling to play with, or else turn up your brain to the max and shoot at imaginary figures. This next one may not seem to fit in the category of getting active, but after you have finished you will know why I put it here! Assemble an item of furniture for your bedroom or your family home. Ikea and Officeworks are good places to get flat pack shelving etc that is easy to make (this one will probably test your patience quite a lot!) and they both have home delivery services. Normally two people are needed, so grab a sibling or parent to help.
Last on the list, and try to save this one as a reward for yourself after doing any or many of the above! Online Gaming. My children would choose this option for every day, all day if they could! But we all know that would not be good for their health… For online gaming keep two things in mind: (1) do your gaming with online chat with your friends to keep up your social interaction, (2) before you start, think about how long you will game for, and at what time. Pre-plan with a friend to be online at the same time.
I hope this guide has been useful for you whether you are a parent or a child. Download your printable copy of the guide here. Lowenna xx