How to stop your kids driving you mad in lockdown: 26th April to 1st May 2020

How to stop your kids driving you mad in lockdown: 26th April to 1st May 2020

This 2020 Coronavirus lockdown is really tough for everyone, restricting us to our homes, limiting us to accessing nature in our gardens or during walks. For many people, we have a garden we can sit in and leafy roads we can walk along whilst taking our daily one hour allowance of freedom.

Visible Minority Ethnic people living in the inner city have told me that they can not go out for walks because the pavements are too narrow and people are not social distancing, just bumping into one another as they walk past.

Mya-Rose Birdgirl Craig on a Lockdown Walk
Copyright Mya-Rose Craig
Mya-Rose Birdgirl Craig with Chris Packham on Colledge Green, Bristol
Copyright Mya-Rose Craig

However, for many people, life under lockdown is even more difficult. Now think about children living in deprivation in our inner cities, especially those who are Visible Minority Ethnic (VME).  Parents waiting for universal credit to come through so children living off ‘free school meal’ food hampers.

At home with a number of siblings in overcrowded homes, with no space for any kind of quiet contemplation or even just your own space. Parents without the skills to home school, no computers, no printers, no paper, no paint, no felt tips or crayons.  No garden, concreted drive at the front of the house, broken washing machines left on the pavements, only built up roads to walk along and now banned from entering parks. It is really important for everyone especially primary age children to get outside daily, to take in the air, watch the clouds,  to absorb nature – the trees, grass and flowers. As humans were are part of nature and have developed to live as part of it. It is really important for your physical and mental health to relax, calm and reduce anxiety & fears and that is exactly what connecting with nature helps us do. There are ways that you and your children can connect with nature, in any small green space, balcony or even out of the window.

Day Twenty-six – 26th April 2020
For day twenty-six, if you are fasting for Ramadan, then have your Iftar (evening meal when you break your fast) outside. Normally Iftar would be with large groups of the family but instead, break your fast with the people you live with in a modest way outside. Either in your garden, if you have one or find a quiet green space you can try. If you have a park nearby, you might find it empty at that time but make sure it’s safe.  Do your prayers outside as well and feel the beauty of our earth.
Notice how it makes you feel and absorb what is before you.

 

Day Twenty-seven – 27th April 2020
For day twenty-seven, if you are fasting for Ramadan, then in the hour before Iftar (evening meal when you break your fast) go outside and spend it meditating, focussing on the positive things that you have to be grateful for, whilst using tosbe if you would like. Otherwise, go outside and do some mindfulness to end the day positively.

Notice how it makes you feel and absorb what is before you.

 

Day Twenty-eight – 28th April 2020

For day twenty-eight, we are now five weeks into Covid-19 Lockdown in the UK and also in Bangladesh. Our lives have totally changed and we are all suffering from stress whether we are like it or realise it or not. Have you adapted to things? Have to allowed nature into your life?

This is a BBC2 programme that I recorded for Front Row  Late presented by the amazing Mary Beard which was put online on 24 April 2020.

Have a watch and look for the ideas on BBC2 Front Row Late

 

Day Twenty-nine – 29th April 2020
For day twenty-nine, try to do some gardening, whether it’s in your garden, balcony or reclaiming a bit of verge side or green space. Plant some seeds, or just make it wild for nature. If you can see it from your home, put some food out for birds or wildlife such as cooked rice or sunflower seeds and some water, especially as it’s been hot, then enjoy the view.

 

 

Day Thirty – 30th April 2020
For day thirty, I am going back to day one. Were you able to go on a different walk each day of the week? Did you adopt them so that your route is through a greener road or one with trees? Have to manage to avoid people knocking into you on narrow pavements? If not, have you tried to change the time that you go for a walk? If your small children are awake by 7 am, that may be the best time of day to go outside before others are on their way out. Have to allowed nature into your life?

Try looking on Google Earth to find some different routes, that are out of the way, green, with wide footpaths and interesting. Once you are managing to go for walks lookout for things that are alive, anything. You don’t have to know what they are, just that they are alive and part of nature, part of you.

 


 

Day Thirty-one – 1st May 2020

For day thirty-one of my tips for connecting with nature during Covid-19 Lockdown, I suggest you change the whole structure of your life if you haven’t already so that nature is a focus all day.

Are you sleeping in much later than in your previous normal life? Re-tune your life with nature’s clock. Get up as early as you can, but at least by 7 am, especially if you have children waking up early.  Once you are dressed, fling open all the windows and let the outdoors in. Hear the dawn chorus and try to differentiate the different birds singing. You can try to identify them if you want to, but there is no need, just hear their life.

Then go for a walk with your children and look out for nature, birds, bees and butterflies above and around you. Look into the nature area that you have created and pause in any green space outside your home.

Back home, look and listen through your windows and just be aware of what you can see or hear. This spring has been full of wildlife, not having to fight to be heard by mates above the traffic. Make the most of it, as I imagine that nature may never be happier unless you fight for this thing that has happened. This positive nature has fought back and made itself heard and seen to us all.

Watch the sunset and then later, watch the stars and the moon, which are much brighter at the moment due to the reduced light pollution.

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How to stop your kids driving you mad in lockdown – 21st to 25th April 2020

How to stop your kids driving you mad in lockdown – 21st to 25th April 2020

This 2020 Coronavirus lockdown is really tough for everyone, restricting us to our homes, limiting us to accessing nature in our gardens or during walks. For many people, we have a garden we can sit in and leafy roads we can walk along whilst taking our daily one hour allowance of freedom.

Visible Minority Ethnic people living in the inner city have told me that they can not go out for walks because the pavements are too narrow and people are not social distancing, just bumping into one another as they walk past.

Mya-Rose Birdgirl Craig on a Lockdown Walk
Copyright Mya-Rose Craig
Mya-Rose Birdgirl Craig with Chris Packham on Colledge Green, Bristol
Copyright Mya-Rose Craig

However, for many people, life under lockdown is even more difficult. Now think about children living in deprivation in our inner cities, especially those who are Visible Minority Ethnic (VME).  Parents waiting for universal credit to come through so children living off ‘free school meal’ food hampers.

At home with a number of siblings in overcrowded homes, with no space for any kind of quiet contemplation or even just your own space. Parents without the skills to home school, no computers, no printers, no paper, no paint, no felt tips or crayons.  No garden, concreted drive at the front of the house, broken washing machines left on the pavements, only built up roads to walk along and now banned from entering parks. It is really important for everyone especially primary age children to get outside daily, to take in the air, watch the clouds,  to absorb nature – the trees, grass and flowers. As humans were are part of nature and have developed to live as part of it. It is really important for your physical and mental health to relax, calm and reduce anxiety & fears and that is exactly what connecting with nature helps us do. There are ways that you and your children can connect with nature, in any small green space, balcony or even out of the window.

 

Day Twenty-one – 21st April 2020
For day twenty-one, do you wake up early? Get up at 6.00 am and enjoy the dawn chorus from an open window. Without cars and planes, the birds are much louder than usual, will be worth every minute.
Watch the birds gathering nest materials, building and then flying in and out with food for the young.

 

Day Twenty-two – 22nd April 2020
For day twenty-one, try looking through your window again but not just for 10 minutes but for a few hours. Move furniture around if you need to so that you can ideally see some treetops as well as the sky. A report from care homes and hospitals found that people who had a view of nature had better health outcomes comparing those with a blocked up view.

Once you have found a view, even if it is just up at the clouds with the occasional bird, keep glancing at it through a morning or afternoon and notice how it feels. Notice the changes and absorb what is before you.

 

Day Twenty-three – 23rd April 2020
For day twenty-three, try looking through your window again but not just for 10 minutes but for a few hours. Move furniture around if you need to so that you can ideally see some treetops as well as the sky. A report from care homes and hospitals have found that those people who had a view of nature had better health outcomes compared with those with a blocked up view.

Once you have found a view, even if it is just up at the clouds with the occasional bird, keep glancing at it through the day and notice how it feels. Notice the changes and absorb what is before you.

 

Day Twenty-four – 24th April 2020
For day twenty-four,  Do you wake up early? Get up at 6.00 am and enjoy the dawn chorus from an open window. Without cars and planes, the birds are much louder than usual and it will be worth every minute. Watch the birds gathering nest materials and building their nests and then flying in and out with food for young or the insects looking for nectar.

 

Day Twenty-five – 25th April 2020
For day twenty-five, if you are Muslim, fasting for Ramadan and waking up pre-dawn to eat your Sehri (breakfast) try looking through your window or listen for the dawn chorus from an open window. Without cars and planes, the birds are much louder than usual and it will be worth every minute even at that early time. Maybe listen from your bed as you are falling back asleep.

 

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How to stop your kids driving you mad in lockdown – 16th to 20th April 2020

How to stop your kids driving you mad in lockdown – 16th to 20th April 2020

This 2020 Coronavirus lockdown is really tough for everyone, restricting us to our homes, limiting us to accessing nature in our gardens or during walks. For many people, we have a garden we can sit in and leafy roads we can walk along whilst taking our daily one hour allowance of freedom.

Mya-Rose Birdgirl Craig on a Lockdown Walk
Copyright Mya-Rose Craig
Mya-Rose Birdgirl Craig with Chris Packham on Colledge Green, Bristol
Copyright Mya-Rose Craig

However, for many people, life under lockdown is even more difficult. Now think about children living in deprivation in our inner cities, especially those who are Visible Minority Ethnic (VME).  Parents waiting for universal credit to come through so children living off ‘free school meal’ food hampers.

At home with a number of siblings in overcrowded homes, with no space for any kind of quiet contemplation or even just your own space. Parents without the skills to home school, no computers, no printers, no paper, no paint, no felt tips or crayons.  No garden, concreted drive at the front of the house, broken washing machines left on the pavements, only built up roads to walk along and now banned from entering parks. It is really important for everyone especially primary age children to get outside daily, to take in the air, watch the clouds,  to absorb nature – the trees, grass and flowers. As humans were are part of nature and have developed to live as part of it. It is really important for your physical and mental health to relax, calm and reduce anxiety & fears and that is exactly what connecting with nature helps us do. There are ways that you and your children can connect with nature, in any small green space, balcony or even out of the window.

Day Sixteen – 16th April 2020
For day sixteen, look up some animals, birds, amphibians or insects from another continent and draw them or make art to represent them. If all or part of your family originally lived in another country then have a look at the animals that live there. For example, my mum’s family are from Bangladesh and so I would show my niece and nephew photos of Spoonbilled Sandpiper and tigers.

Spoon-billed Sandpiper on Sonadia Island, Bangladesh

Day Seventeen – 17th April 2020
For day seventeenth, look up at the night sky and look out for a full moon from a window.  If you’re lucky, you might even see some stars.  Feel a connection with the worlds above.

 

Day Eighteen – 18th April 2020
For day eighteen, singing in a local green space either alone or with a few family members that you live with.  Singing is really good for lifting the mood especially with drums or a guitar.

Young Birder Birdgirl Mya-Rose Craig

 

Day Nineteen – 19th April 2020

For day nineteen, pick up sticks on a walk and then turn them into a dream catcher or anything your children imagine them to be, such as a snake or giraffe.

Stick Man | Portland Nurseries

 

Day Twenty – 20th April 2020
For day twenty, make a bird feeder out of a toilet roll by sticking suet or peanut butter onto the outside. Roll in seeds, oats or anything thing else you have in your kitchen cupboard that the bird might eat. Hang up on a balcony you can view, or in a green space, you can walk past. Or fill a small drinks plastic bottle with birdseed, put a stick through the narrow neck with holes and hang upside down.

Credit: Andy Hayward WTML

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How to stop your kids driving you mad in lockdown – 11th to 15th April 2020

How to stop your kids driving you mad in lockdown – 11th to 15th April 2020

This 2020 Coronavirus lockdown is really tough for everyone, restricting us to our homes, limiting us to accessing nature in our gardens or during walks. For many people, we have a garden we can sit in and leafy roads we can walk along whilst taking our daily one hour allowance of freedom.

Mya-Rose Birdgirl Craig on a Lockdown Walk
Copyright Mya-Rose Craig
Mya-Rose Birdgirl Craig with Chris Packham on Colledge Green, Bristol
Copyright Mya-Rose Craig

However, for many people, life under lockdown is even more difficult. Now think about children living in deprivation in our inner cities, especially those who are Visible Minority Ethnic (VME).  Parents waiting for universal credit to come through so children living off ‘free school meal’ food hampers.

At home with a number of siblings in overcrowded homes, with no space for any kind of quiet contemplation or even just your own space. Parents without the skills to home school, no computers, no printers, no paper, no paint, no felt tips or crayons.  No garden, concreted drive at the front of the house, broken washing machines left on the pavements, only built up roads to walk along and now banned from entering parks. It is really important for everyone especially primary age children to get outside daily, to take in the air, watch the clouds,  to absorb nature – the trees, grass and flowers. As humans were are part of nature and have developed to live as part of it. It is really important for your physical and mental health to relax, calm and reduce anxiety & fears and that is exactly what connecting with nature helps us do. There are ways that you and your children can connect with nature, in any small green space, balcony or even out of the window.

Day Eleven – 11th April 2020
For day eleven, look up and watch the sun go down.  Go out to your garden or green space or even look out of your window.

Day Twelve – 12th April 2020
For day twelve, I did some foraging by collecting nettles to make nettle soup which even I think it delicious.  You can either hold them by their stalks or wear gloves.  This is a really easy BBC recipe http://bit.ly/1YpeoQN.  Or go foraging with an older person, who like my Nanu (gran) will point out lots of things growing in the wild that you can cook in the same way as spinach, for instance making pakoras.
Find out more about foraging from this Muslim Kenyan forager http://www.msitu.co.uk/

 

Day Thirteen – 13th April 2020

For day thirteen, feed the birds.  Cut up an apple or other fruit or take out leftover boiled rice and spread it in a green space.  Don’t put out too much out, as you don’t want the food to go mouldy or attract rodents.

Then if you can, stand back and watch the birds come and feed. The longer you carry on feeding, then the more birds will know about the food and will come to feed.  If you put the food on the ground, then you will get ground feeding birds like Blackbirds, Robins and Dunnock.

You could spike fruit into bushes to attract different birds.

 

Day Fourteen – 14th April 2020
For day fourteen, how about dancing outside in an open space.  Dancing with a family member is even more fun!

Tribe of Doris camp

 

Day Fifteen – 15th April 2020
For day fifteen, lie on some grass and feel the sun on your face – do it anywhere that is a clean and safe space but not in a busy local park or green space.

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How to stop your kids driving you made in lockdown – 6th to 10th April 2020

How to stop your kids driving you made in lockdown – 6th to 10th April 2020

This 2020 Coronavirus lockdown is really tough for everyone, restricting us to our homes, limiting us to accessing nature in our gardens or during walks. For many people, we have a garden we can sit in and leafy roads we can walk along whilst taking our daily one hour allowance of freedom.

Mya-Rose Birdgirl Craig on a Lockdown Walk
Copyright Mya-Rose Craig
Mya-Rose Birdgirl Craig with Chris Packham on Colledge Green, Bristol
Copyright Mya-Rose Craig

However, for many people, life under lockdown is even more difficult. Now think about children living in deprivation in our inner cities, especially those who are Visible Minority Ethnic (VME).  Parents waiting for universal credit to come through so children living off ‘free school meal’ food hampers.

At home with a number of siblings in overcrowded homes, with no space for any kind of quiet contemplation or even just your own space. Parents without the skills to home school, no computers, no printers, no paper, no paint, no felt tips or crayons.  No garden, concreted drive at the front of the house, broken washing machines left on the pavements, only built up roads to walk along and now banned from entering parks. It is really important for everyone especially primary age children to get outside daily, to take in the air, watch the clouds,  to absorb nature – the trees, grass and flowers. As humans were are part of nature and have developed to live as part of it. It is really important for your physical and mental health to relax, calm and reduce anxiety & fears and that is exactly what connecting with nature helps us do. There are ways that you and your children can connect with nature, in any small green space, balcony or even out of the window.

Day six – 6th April 2020

For day six, I ate the first part of my dinner outside in the garden. I thought that if I had dinner outside on my own, I would feel rejuvenated and happier in myself.  That really did work. If you don’t have a garden or green space nearby, just go outside with water in a bottle and a couple of biscuits in your hand and eat them, remember how beautiful our world is and enjoy the taste with your surroundings.

Day Seven – 7th April 2020

For day seven, I thought it would be good to do a little gardening. So, fill a medium-sized old food container with compost or soil, plant seeds for veg you like and make sure you water regularly.  If you live in flats, put the container on your balcony or have something small for an inside window ledge.

As easy option is as follows:

My niece Laila holding an old fruit container
My niece Laila putting an absorbent material into the container, to cover the holes
My niece Laila using cardboard to put ordinary soil into the container
Laila using cloves in water to soak but try whole coriander soaked and split
Laila planting cloves (not sure if they will grow but that is part of the excitement)
Young Birder Birdgirl Mya-Rose Craig

 

A child helping his grandfather in the garden

After the lockdown, if you or someone in your family have a garden, help out and involve your children and elder family members.  The elder family members may be particularly interested in gardening and many have allotments.  My Nanu (gran) has always grown vegetables and herbs.  She used to supply the family restaurant with coriander in the ’70s and ’80s.  Now she is disabled but still pays someone to do the gardening for her, coming out in her wheelchair to watch it all grow.

 

Child in her grandparents’ garden

 

Day Eight – 8th April 2020
For day eight, go outside into your garden, the nearest place you can sit outside or a local park. Then sit quietly and practice mindfulness (focusing with all your senses on what is around you), meditate, use worry beads or if you have faith, maybe some prayer or rosary beads.  As it’s the month of Ramadan, I prayed using prayer beads (called tasbih). Send me photos of you and I’d love to add them to this blog post.

 

Day Nine – 9th April 2020
For day nine, I took photos of my niece Laila enjoying and feeling the rain. At first, she complained (I know I’m a mean aunt, but then she liked the rebellion of it all). My Mum told me about visiting Bangladesh for the first time over the summer of 1977 when she had her 8th birthday. I have been there quite a few times but never in the heat of the summer. She also said that it was really hot and humid and that many relatives didn’t have electricity so no fans. Lots of houses had corrugated roofs, patched up after the civil war. It was unbearably hot, especially as she had never left the UK before. It was the monsoon season and so in between the days of sweltering heat, there would be sudden thunderstorms, when the warm rain was so heavy the roads would get flooded immediately. As soon as the rain started, all the children, rich and poor would run outside to feel the rain and enjoy the coolness as it soaked them through. So part of today suggestion is for parents to tell that story and connect my generation with those who live back “home”.

Summer rain
My niece in the summer downpour

 

Day Ten – 10th April 2020

For day ten, find some kind of container, place it in a green or outdoor space (any small green area or balcony) somewhere birds can use it for water.  If you are lucky you might get a blackbird or robin taking a bath in it. Refill the container in dry spells like now or over the summer.

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