School holiday, social distancing and self-isolation

The order for South African schools to shut down came 3days before the school where I work (and where my eldest daughter attends) closed for a two week holiday. This is true for most 4 term schools, the 3 term schools were in the middle of a term… so they were a little worse off really.

As teachers we scrambled to get ourselves ready for virtual teaching. We had to be trained to use online platforms and start creating virtual content.  As parents we were scrambling to find safe care for our children while we were expected to be at work. The stress and panic was real. 

Now that it is officially our school holiday I am one of the lucky ones. We can easily self-isolate (well my husband has to go to work). 

I say easily…. but really with a very energetic 4 and a half year old and a newly crawling 8months old (yes she conveniently mastered the art of crawling about 10days before school shut down and we were destined to stay home) easy is relative. 

We have agreed to do one exercise activity and one creative activity per day and then I’m hoping for a small break when baby sleeps and big girl plays alone (a mom can dream). 

Mostly as far as exercise goes it’s been walks, yoga (there are some really great kids yoga classes on YouTube), ball games in the garden etc. 

Yesterday it was lovely and sunny so we did some outdoor exploring (baby mostly) and some cornstarch and water (I think this is called ooblek). 

In South Africa I use Maizina but any corn starch is good. Just dump a bunch on a plastic tray or (plastic) table top, add water and mix. I added drops of food colouring to add some excitement (also because clearly I wanted to stain both my daughters hands). It creates the most incredibly unique texture, kind of a hard liquid, constantly changing and stimulating. Great for messy play and can just be played with or written in/drawn in and generally is just incredible.

Give it a try. Thank me later. 

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