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The past few days parents across the country have been thrown in the deep end, having to teach their children remotely. But that’s not all – children need to be entertained too. So how do you go about finding entertainment that still fits inside your bubble, meets the COVID-19 requirements and still seems educational? Here are a few handy ideas for your next week of remote learning:

  1. Dance parties in the living room

To be honest, it doesn’t sound all that educational. But when you think about how little exercise your wee creature is currently getting, a dance party in the house is both fun and will expel all that unwanted energy before classes in the afternoon. At a time when Kiwi artists are really struggling, why not have a ‘Kiwi artist themed’ dance party – teach your new student all about the Dunedin Sound, who would have been playing at CubaDupa 2020 or your favourite Kiwi bands of all time. Create a dance routine together, learn the history of top New Zealand artists or albums before boogieing your 30 minutes a day away!

  1. Playdough Modelling

Playdough is one of the easiest (and weirdest) mixtures to make in your kitchen – and I’ll bet you have everything necessary already – no need to brave it to the supermarket! The benefits of you and your child playing with playdough are endless. Not only do you as a parent get to see your child being creative and excited at making up stories about their figurines, but you can guide them with their modelling, their story-telling and help them along their creative journey – even if it only lasts for 20 minutes. Educationally, this is not only a fun kinetic act for your child, but it also aids with maths, grammar and fine motor skills.

  1. Free Les Mills Classes for you and your child

TVNZ are streaming free Les Mills classes online for both adults and children during the COVID-19 quarantine! This means that not only can you and your student begin the day with a workout, but you have the option to change the workouts up too. The benefits? Starting the day with a workout rather than waiting until lunchtime, or the end of the day, offers you both a whacking dose of adrenaline, serotonin and helps you get in a balanced sleep pattern. Search the free classes starting Monday 30 March 2020, at 9am you’ll find adult classes such as HIIT and Barre, and at 2pm there’ll be another showing for kids and teens – try a new class in your own home and feel brave, strong and determined for you and your child!

  1. Cooking Together

At some point you and your student are going to need to eat – and now that we’re in lockdown it’s a perfect time to teach your child what the kitchen is all about! There are so many websites out there with recipes for all ages, but Nadia Lim has a whole section devoted to teaching Kiwi kids how to cook easy, hearty meals they’ll be proud of. If your Kiwi kid is a little young for cooking, try teaching them how to prepare different parts of the recipe – how to peel a potato, how to zest a lemon, or how to butter a dish. They’ll thank you for it, and next time you can have a helper in the kitchen!

  1. Time out

Sometimes all that learning takes a little while to process – but how do you know what to offer as a parent/teacher when your child either storms out of the room, slinks off a chair or begins to look drained and exhausted? Offer a quick nap, a time to write in their journal, a walk around the garden together, or make them a healthy snack and leave them to it – often the best remedy is to leave you child to process the information they’ve just been handed, and let them deal with it in their own time. Remember, you’re both in a stressful environment at the moment. If ‘time out’ isn’t an option, think of some quiet games, such as chess, playing with soft toys or watching a quick programme on television.

If you or your child are still struggling to learn, cope and work together – there are some incredibly useful activities and ways to get through this tough time on both the Learning From Home and the Ki te Ao Marama websites.

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