Bringing the outdoors indoors during lockdown with your kids


87 days ago

Schoolkids around the world usually take part in Outdoor Classroom Day on 21 May.

This year things are very different, but parenting expert Nikki Bush has some ideas on bringing the outdoors indoors if you're unable to get your children out into nature during lockdown.

Ideally, she says, children need to exposed to the outdoors for at least one hour every day.

Even prisoners in jail get taken outside for an hour a day.

Nikki Bush, Parenting expert

When the Outdoor Classroom Day started they were doing research... and they were finding that - in different countries of course it was a different amount of time - they were pushing for for children to get at least 60, but pushing for 90 minutes of outdoor time every day.

Nikki Bush, Parenting expert

Among the reasons for this Bush includes the important aspect of self-discovery

It brings learning alive in a completely different way, in a multi-sensory way. Over and above that, though, of course there's the sunshine, the Vitamin D, and children thrive on space. And so much of their lives today - let alone during Covid-19 - are spent living in small spaces, small apartments, no gardens...

Nikki Bush, Parenting expert

She suggests parents make a point during their busy schedules, of taking their children to the local park if there is one.

Alleviating children's anxiety during this time of Covid-19 is also critical, along with getting them out of a home that's possibly crowded during lockdown.

When children get outside they experience a sense of freedom and liberation. The outdoors can reduce anxiety, reduce frustration and irritation in their emotional lives. I think those three things are quite high at the moment.

Nikki Bush, Parenting expert

Nature provides a rich tapestry of textures and colours and smells and sounds that feed that multi-sensory interaction with the world. It's really interesting how Outdoor Classroom Day has pivoted for this coronavirus time because they've realised of course that people can't necessarily get outside so they've re-framed it. The theme this year is not playing **in** nature, but play**ful** nature... as in celebrating our playful nature and bringing nature inside, connecting to nature through play and that can be done anywhere.

Nikki Bush, Parenting expert

Bush shares ideas on how to bring nature inside, whether on a balcony or in a living room, and how the kids themselves can help parents through their own innately playful nature.

Parenting is not just about what your children learn, but about what you discover about yourself through your children.

Nikki Bush, Parenting expert

The parenting expert also details two more Boredom Busters, both involving food:

- Astronaut space pudding

- Stripy jelly

The activities can be downloaded from toytalk.co.za.

More info on Outdoor Classroom Day is available at outdoorclassroomday.co.za.

Listen to the conversation on Weekend Breakfast with Refiloe Mpakanyane:

This article first appeared on 702 : Bringing the outdoors indoors during lockdown with your kids

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