Occupy the Children with Boredom Jars and Obstacle Courses

Play Specialist Cat Sewell joins CMR to provide some more amazing ideas for occupying children during - and beyond - lockdown.

Occupy the Children with Boredom Jars and Obstacle Courses

Posted by: Charles Pakana
Posted: 27 August 2020


Click on the play button above to listen to the full interview


Play Specialist Catherine (Cat) Sewell returns to Connection Matters Radio (CMR) with more great ideas to occupy youngsters during – and beyond – the coronavirus pandemic lockdowns.

In this interview she talks – of all things – about boredom jars and obstacle courses.

When it comes to obstacle courses, Cat said: “It’s about having an element of game, chance and challenge introduced to children; and they really love it – they rise to it!”

In commenting on the age of children for introduction to obstacle courses, Cat said that there’s really no age barrier.

“It could even be from baby all the way through to teenager,” she told CMR. “For the baby, the challenge might be leaving the thing that they want to grab just that tiny bit further [away from them] on the carpet, so they have to do a little bit more wriggling – and you’re pushing them towards crawling.”

Cat went on to discuss how the classic Floor is Lava game can be setup in the house, outside and even on walks.


The element of risk and danger

“If you’ve got a backyard, they you can raise some planks on some bricks…it’s really about saying that an element of risk is healthy for children.

“Obviously we need to balance that with keeping kids safe…they really rise to the challenge and they need that element of risk and pushing their own physicality in order to be resilient and learn where their own boundaries are,” Cat said.


A boredom jar?

Adding further to variety of life under lockdown, Cat talked about creating a boredom jar.

“All you need to do is brainstorm – ideally you do this with the kids – about all the things you could possibly do, and you write them on bits of paper,” she explained.

Once all the suggestions are written down, the suggestions are put into a jar, hat or any other suitable container. When it’s time to occupy the little ones, it’s simply a case of the good old lucky dip.

The range of ideas put forward by Cat for inclusion in the boredom jar went from climbing a tree, playing ten-pin bowling in the hallway [?], dance to music, “You just list as many things as you can.”

…so much more in the interview above (WELL worth a listen)

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