It’s been almost eighteen months since the pandemic first hit the UK and our lives completely changed. It’s not been easy nor all that enjoyable, especially for the children who’ve missed out on school, time with their family and friends, and outdoor opportunities (for those without a garden or an outdoor space) as at one point the public were limited to only an hours exercise outdoors per day.
Never for a moment did I think that I’d be bringing my children up in the midst of what is essentially a plague, yet here we are and though it’s been immensely challenging at points, we’ve made the very best of a difficult situation and have done our utmost to keep the kids educated, entertained, and enthused. Though our generation is lucky to have the luxuries of Facetime, Zoom and such-like it doesn’t really cut it for kids – nor adults if I’m brutally honest.
We are incredibly fortunate as we live slap bang in the middle of a national park thus we are only a stone’s throw away from an array of beaches, forests, mountains, hillsides, fields, parks, and various scenic spaces to which we’ve been able to enjoy time out in the fresh air as a family. We’ve also got the luxury of having a beautiful garden in which the kids have spent vast amounts of time bouncing on their trampoline, taking time out on their swingset, soaking in the hot tub, playing various ball games, running around, picnicking under the parasol, or simply soaking up the sunshine.
Whilst it wasn’t so bad when the sun was shining, lockdown became rather lengthy during the dank, dark, winter weather, though we continued to encourage the kids to get out and about whilst wrapped up warm in waterproof winterwear as they spent time riding around the cul-de-sac on their bikes, scooters and such-like whilst staying close to home.
Despite our best efforts, the kids missed their family and friends immensely. Life simply wasn’t ‘normal’ without those external links thus I was relieved for the kid’s recent return to school and for the lifting of the lockdown limitations.
Thankfully things are opening up a little and we are finally able to spend time with our family and friends socialising safely, and of course to enjoy days out with the kids. We enjoyed a trip to the Tree Top Nets last week – it was our first family trip out in over eighteen months and a welcome break. Though it was an amazing day for us all, bouncing around having fresh air and fun, I’ll be honest – until we are all fully vaccinated, I still feel extremely anxious regarding the virus and will remain cautious for the foreseeable.
I’m so proud of J & E as they have taken the past eighteen months in their stride, they have had patience, understanding and have shown the most incredible imagination and enthusiasm for life. The kids have endlessly impressed me as they have just gone with the flow and whilst they may not have been able to spend time with family or friends nor visit attractions like what was once normal, they’ve occupied themselves and their minds by enjoying a whole host of activities from climbing trees to jumping in puddles, flower spotting, bird watching, treasure hunts, cycling, scooting, skating, or just by taking simple strolls around the local area.
Though lockdown has been incredibly limiting, we’ve all done our best to beat the lockdown blues by keeping busy and making the most of our time together as a family both in and outdoors. Afterall, outdoor play isn’t just fun – it’s fundamental to children’s health and well-being.
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