The first day

Today marks the first day of the national school closure due to the COVID-19 pandemic which is currently affecting countries across the world.

In an attempt to restrict the spread of the virus our prime minister Boris Johnson has closed all schools and educational environments including Arlo’s nursery.

It’s an uncertain time for all and we don’t know yet if our country will be “locked down” further restricting people’s activity and social interaction.

Arlo is now not going to be going to nursery. We have a huge array of toys and activities to do at home to try and keep his little mind busy. Luckily at two years old he is blissfully unaware of the widespread panic and real life implications of this pandemic.

Yesterday morning I drove to two different country parks in an attempt to get him some fresh air. The places we usually visit are secluded and never busy, we might encounter one family or a few dog walkers whilst trekking up hills in the middle of nowhere but yesterday car parks were full.

I don’t blame families for wanting to get out and about – enjoying their freedoms whilst they still can. Especially when the weather this weekend was clear and sunny for the first time in forever. It was however disconcerting to see people gathering in huge groups at popular beaches and national parks – ignoring the social distancing guidelines.

We eventually found a relatively secluded country park and walked around – taking the woodland walk over into fields where we found ourselves totally alone. I took pictures of the pond and the fields and hope to be able to revisit these places again to see if the water clears as the inevitable lockdown will no doubt reduce pollution levels.

It was hard to explain to Arlo that we wouldn’t be going into the “play areas”- too many children and families in close proximity means that this kind of activity could be dangerous, and in countries such as Italy who are at this stage most affected by the virus – these kinds of parks are now closed to the public.

Some councils in London have closed their parks because this weekend was so busy and the National Trust who earlier last week announced that they would keep parks open with free car parking have had to U-Turn because so many people took advantage of this well intended offer.

So here we are on Monday morning. Today our government are busy passing new bills and I expect that the daily announcements from our prime minister will bring more closures and more restrictions to our liberty, because the British public have been unable or unwilling to follow the advice so far.

Before this happens I’m going to head out today and see what I can find in terms of craft supplies, projects and activities we can try at home together. Arlo is such a bright little thing and always keen to learn more. He always wants to play and nursery has been a wonderful experience for him.

The enrichment that nursery provides is something which is priceless to me. Every day Arlo comes home and his vocabulary is extended, he shows me how he can count, tells me about books he has read and all about his friends. On Friday as I picked him up for the last time he proudly gave me an amazing Mother’s Day Card and a little potted plant too.

I’m confident that I can find ways to keep him busy for as long as this takes and I will be utilising all sorts of online resources along the way and sharing them with you all.

Yesterday I found out about a fabulous idea called “Chase the rainbow” – families are making rainbows for display in their windows. The intention is that this is a wonderful craft activity for children and that whilst we are unable to attend play dates and our usual social engagements, children can for the time being walk (sticking to social distancing guidelines) and look out for rainbows.

Grandma created this wonderful rainbow for us and we appreciate it very much. I think we’re going to try and use this time to channel our creative energies as a family.

If anyone has any eyfs ideas we can try at home it would be wonderful to share. This blog also marks day one of our journal, and for my own well being I will be taking the time out every day to write, share my thoughts and step away from the overwhelming noise of the media.

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