What a year, hey? This year has definitely been extremely difficult, tiring, overwhelming and stressful. Now that things are slowly going back to some sort of normality it’s important that we all take some time to wind down and take time to relax… since we totally deserve it, right!? Not only do we as adults need to take some much deserved self care time, but so do all the children who had to adapt to home learning, staying at home 24/7, not seeing family, not seeing friends and no playgrounds! While the return to school has only just happened, before we know it, we will be back into school holidays and the end of the year will almost be here. Wow! Where did this year go?
Here are some tips & ideas to help support your child to wind down at the end of the year:
Sit as a family or with your child and use a “Magic Talking stick” (Can be a wooden spoon, wand, stick) & talk about what their favourite parts of the year were, what did they do at home that was super fun? How did they feel seeing their friends when they returned to school? What was their favourite thing they learnt during home learning?
Build an indoor cubby together, a sheet over the kitchen table can work wonders. This can double as a quite space for some time alone or a reading and quite play space.
Get some handwriting practice in with your child by supporting them to write a letter to their teacher or a card to thank them for the year.Or maybe to mum or dad or another adult who helped them with home schooling or keeping busy during this time.
Instead of talking about the year, maybe you could share pictures from the year, funny selfies that you took! You could take it a step futher and make a photo album to celebrate the end of 2020 and all you have achieved for the year or overcome.
Establish a new routine for the Holidays. Make a visual schedule of what may happen during holidays, or use a calendar with dates marked for days you may go to the beach or on a day trip!
Ask the child what they would like to do these holidays, a play date with their friends? Go to the beach? Set in these dates on the calendar too
Do some baking! Maybe some birthday cakes? Make some cookies, use cookie cutters, do some rolling, make funny shapes and mix ingredients together - get messy!
What a great time for some craft activities! With Christmas just around the corner it would be fun to make some cards, decorate the house together, or decorate some Christmas stockings!
Cleanse the year of 2020 and get ready and set for 2021 with some Spring Cleaning! There are so fun many ways to involve children in getting things organised around the house! Ask them to help with sorting out toys, putting together puzzles that can usually be found scattered everywhere and choosing some toys to donate to charities. This is a great way to get that heavy work in and regulate their bodies!
Make time for some Yoga! This can be done any time of the day and is such a great way to regulate the body. It can help to achieve a state of calmness that can get a child ready for the day or ready for a good night's rest!. A great fun website for kids with Yoga:https://www.cosmickids.com
Have a picnic in the backyard rather than rushing around to the park every day and enjoy the sunshine.
Waterplay in the backyard can help with sensory input and be very calming. You may not have a water table but a bucket or tub or old baby bath is great to use and some Tupperware containers and bath toys. Or even just the hose to play with while watering the garden and grass is fun.
Overall this has been a challenging year for everyone no matter your situation. Some more than others and especially those with children with some extra needs. We all need to have time out and a reset and we hope some of the above help you to feel calmer and more ready for a better year in 2021 for us all.