Lockdown provides a learning opportunity


Keeping children to a routine is essential to surviving the next four weeks, Big Brothers Big Sisters of North Canterbury manager Ellie Le Gros says.

Ellie suggests people follow normal routines as much as possible while complying with the government lockdown.

‘‘We are not having to rush to be anywhere,’’ she says.

‘‘What we are advising our mentor matches is ‘just do what you normally do’. Go down to the river, walk the dog, that sort of thing.

‘‘You need to remember to keep doing the physical distancing, but there’s quite a few websites with activities to keep children entertained.’’

Ellie says the next four weeks will be a good opportunity to teach children life skills, such as how to make a cup of tea or coffee, do some baking, teach them household chores or talk about taxes.

‘‘All the life skills we pass on in a casual way, we can do it in a practical way. Does your teenager know how to boil an egg? Or do they know how to use the washing machine?’’

She advises turning off the TV and radio and setting limits for time online.

‘‘We want children to be informed and to understand what’s happening, but we don’t want to scare them unnecessarily. Our children have been through heaps and this is an added thing that’s going to cause anxiety.’’

Activities can include going for a walk, collecting pine cones, making a kite, playing with marbles, going for a picnic, climbing a tree, teaching children how to play Scrabble — ‘‘all those things we used to do before we had technology’’.

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