Play, Reassurance and Mindfulness during isolation

Play, Reassurance and Mindfulness during isolation

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For many parents and carers with babies, toddlers and pre-schoolers, the prospect of self-isolation and closures affecting child-care, schools, work and family services will be stressful.  What are some positive things that you can do, to help get through this time? Songs, play, reading, games and connection will help, even if it’s online with friends, family and other parents.

We know that the pandemic will not last forever so it is important to reassure yourself and your children that what is happening now is temporary and life will eventually return to normal. Babies and toddlers feel your stress so try to look after yourself.

Mindfulness during stressful times means trying to be fully present with your children, free from distractions or judgment, and with a soft and open mind.

This is easier said than done during a pandemic. When it comes to planning days and weeks together with babies and toddlers, it helps to take care of one thing in this moment, and another thing in the next. Moment by moment.

As overwhelming as a change in routine can be, your calm during this time will positively benefit your family’s health, happiness, and well-being. Being mindful involves pausing so that you can be attuned to your child’s deeper needs (are they unsettled or reacting because they are sleepy, scared, or something else?), and respond to him or her in an appropriate and loving way.

If you need to reach out, talk to someone on Parentline, Lifeline, the Maternal and Child Health Line, PANDA or Beyond Blue. We have included their phone numbers below. Tweddle is still providing residential, in-home, telephone and day stay programs so reach out to us if you need help.

We have compiled some go-to activities, games and songs to help brighten the days and weeks ahead.

  1. Celebrate a new holiday. Announce that it’s Polka-Dot Day or Purple Day.
  2. Throw a doll’s birthday party. Wrap up a few “gifts,” decorate with balloons and streamers, and enjoy a mock — or real — cake.
  3. Open a petting zoo. Place stuffed animals around the room, pet each one, and talk about what they like to eat.
  4. Camp out in your living room. Climb into a tent and sleeping bags. Turn on a flashlight, and eat marshmallows on sticks.
  5. Imitate animals. Practice hopping like a frog, squirming like a worm, waddling like a duck, and stretching like a cat.
  6. Play restaurant. In the real kitchen or a pretend one, alternate between being the customer and the server or chef.
  7. Ride the laundry-bin “school bus.” She’s the passenger, and you’re the driver. Make stops to pick up other kids, and wave bye-bye to the mums and dads at each stop.
  8. Blow bubbles with mixture made of water, dishwashing detergent, corn starch, baking powder and glycerine.
  9. Pipe cleaner games. They can take the shape of a ring, a flower, or a headband.
  10. Draw with crayons and a colouring book.
  11. Make puppets with socks and draw on faces with a texta.
  12. Make jewellery – string painted cheerios or hollow pasta shapes onto yarn and voila, a necklace or a bracelet.
  13. Channel your child’s inner Jackson Pollock: Drag an old sheet outside and let him use a paintbrush to splatter it with waterproof paint.
  14. Make a collage. Use decorations, such as torn pieces of tissue or construction paper, cotton balls, feathers, images from magazines, and photos.
  15. Adopt a pet rock. Adorn stones from a nature walk with paint, glitter glue, and stick-on eyes.

Here are the lyrics of 30 of the most popular and fun nursery rhymes for kids in alphabetical order, or you can enjoy some baby karaoke

Parentline 13 22 89

The Maternal and Child Health Line 13 22 29

Beyond Blue 1300 22 4636 (or chat online)

 LifeLine 13 11 14

PANDA 1300 726 306

Routines are very important for young children. Disasters, forced isolation, and other traumatic situations often break their usual routines. Creating new routines or re-establishing usual routines can help children feel safe. Keeping regular mealtimes and bedtimes, setting a daily time to play games together, read to them, or sing songs together all help.

For more information about the status of your Tweddle service or program call us on 03) 9689 1577.  Visit the Department of Health and Human Services website for the latest health alerts.


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