A lot of things are quite difficult at the moment, since lockdown was announced on the 23rd March due to the coronavirus a lot of us have found ourselves at home with bored kids who are in dire need of entertainment. So, what can you do in these times to keep not just the troops but your whole unit entertained?
One of the upsides to being on lockdown is that you’re with your family in a very different situation to the norm. There are no school runs, no leaving for work but also no play dates or after school clubs which leaves a vacuum for entertainment as far as the troopers are concerned. One thing that we’ve been doing is several nights a week we will all sit down and watch a film together without any devices or other distractions which is a perfect way to spend a few hours between dinner and bedtime. If you have more than one trooper, alternate who gets to pick the film to prevent any arguing which we all know can come easy in times such as these!
As of writing this post www.gov.uk advises us all to “Stay local and use open spaces near to your home where possible” we have been following these guidelines loyally by leaving the house once a day for exercise purposes. We tend to keep each walk under an hour and a half so no one gets too tired or cold and keep it as close to home as we can, remember that it is vitally important to the safety of your entire unit to only leave the house with members of your household! If you come across other members of the public maintain a distance of at least 2m to ensure the continued health and wellbeing of your unit.
A good outdoor activity for younger troopers (and a personal favourite of mine) is going on a mini-beast safari! This is an ideal activity for our current situation as the only place needed is your garden or another small grassy area close to home. Brief your troopers on how to safely handle mini-beasts and make sure they know to ask permission before doing so as to ensure they don’t pick up anything that could bite or sting. Move carefully in the garden and adopt ‘David Attenborough’ tones in order to not startle any nearby wildlife, take this little adventure as an opportunity to educate your troopers about the world of mini-beasts and how every single one has its own job in the animal kingdom. Take photos and draw pictures to take back to base camp and talk about later, this will also come in handy for identifying certain mini-beasts in future safaris.
Depending on how old your troopers are they will have their own interests and hobbies whether it be gaming, reading, football etc. Now is a good time to have a trooper debrief, ask about what they’re up too and find out more about their world, if it’s a game then ask them to show you how they play it, a book? Ask questions about the characters or the plot. Really whatever comes to mind, I have had a very interesting few weeks finding out about what my kids get up to to entertain themselves during this time.
If you decide to embark on the mini-beast hunt, print off the handy help sheets below as well as the ‘Mission Accomplished’ one to go with your troopers photos and drawings!