Half term holiday has finally arrived. It signals the end of the weirdest first half of summer term schooling that we have collectively experienced. In the Stingyfit household, pupil and makeshift teachers are fed up of homeschooling. Even our ‘PE with Joe’ lesson have dwindled down to a few sessions scattered across the week, typically at around 11am, rather than live at 9am. Our morning routine is veering dangerously close towards the schedule of the pre-Covid 19 university fresher, minus the groggy head and hoarse voice the morning after the night before in a student union bar. (I appreciate that this description is somewhat alien to current university students experiencing university life from their childhood bedrooms via online courses and virtual parties, but bear with me while I reminisce.)
What we need is a dose of Mr Motivator* in neon Lycra to shake things up a bit.
Child 1 has proposed a few things to do in the garden which might just do the trick.
Quidditch in the garden – Child 1 has become immersed in the Harry Potter books during lockdown. So much so that it has been proposed that we play Quidditch in the garden. We have made our own Quidditch broomsticks out of bamboo canes and tied wispy willow tree branches to the end of the cane with a piece of string. My role will also involve sporadically throwing bludgers (represented by lightweight footballs) at the players’ legs during matches. Yes, just like dodgeball practice.
Olympic track and field events – In the absence of the Olympics this year, Mr Stingyfit and Child 1 intend to set up an obstacle course in our garden which will feature the paddling pool (the steeplechase obstacle race) and zipwire that Mr Stingyfit fit between two trees in the garden last year. Child 2 will likely excel at the shotput event (using our boules set) during a toddler tantrum.
When we tire of these activities, we look forward to going on some neighbourhood scavenger hunts set up by local people for kids; a useful distraction for young children who would ordinarily refuse to walk longer distances without goals or incentives along the way.
In a pre-Covid 19 world we would have likely packed in a series of day trips out and about to entertain the kids during half term. In the current climate, we’re making do with what we have at home and much more locally. That’s no bad thing. I like to think that Mr Motivator would be proud of our resourcefulness.
*For those readers who are unfamiliar with Mr Motivator, you can see him in action on YouTube here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=J-OvGU5ro24