Lockdown Day 81 – Healthy Living
Activities of Everyday Living
In our Day 78 post, we introduced the Life Skills area of the South African National Curriculum Statement that introduces the child to beginning knowledge of our world and practical application of skills to be able to navigate it successfully.
In our previous post we looked at helping the child to understand where s/he fits in her/his world. Today we will extend on this to look at how we can help our children to begin to take charge of their health and wellbeing.
Although ‘Care of Self’ is deeply embedded in our Montessori Activities of Everyday Living (Practical Life) curriculum, the national curriculum outlines some further criteria that are worth a mention here.
The obvious hygiene protocol lesson that we will all be reinforcing at schools (when they eventually go back!) is about the correct HAND WASHING technique. This can be reinforced at home. Ensure your child knows why s/he is washing her/his hands in this way using the opportunity to explain how soap breaks down the virus so that it can no longer live. This is and Activity of Everyday Living extended into our Knowledge and Understanding of the World learning area! Older children can delve into how and why soap has such a powerful effect on a virus.
Hand washing can be extended into BODY WASHING, using bath-time as an opportunity to show your child how to wash her/himself well. This may seem obvious but bear in mind that many children are bathed by a parent or nanny, and it is assumed they learn the skill by osmosis somehow!
HAIR CARE is just as important. Start with shampooing and conditioning, and extend this into brushing, combing and styling.
TOOTHBRUSHING requires a number of skill sets. The action of brushing one’s teeth must be accompanied by an explanation of why this is necessary. In the same way that soap stops the a virus from attaching itself to our hands, so does toothpaste remove plaque and other cavity-inducing substances from our teeth.
Discuss with your child the importance of GOOD NUTRITION, EXERCISE and SLEEP. Although young children rely on their parents for many of these choices, your role modelling and the time you take to reinforce your healthy choices are life-lessons of great value and importance. Your children are far more likely to do what you DO, not what you say!
Make a day of consciously practicing each of the above.
- Discuss your meal’s ingredients. Is there a healthy balance of fruit, vegetables, starches, carbohydrates, proteins, fats/oils and protein? Why is this important?
- Include some exercise into your daily routine. A brisk walk, a bicycle ride, some jumping jacks or even building an obstacle course will increase the heart rate. Talk to your child about why this is important and why our bodies need to be active. Use child-friendly language like, “when our body is healthy, it can fight of germs more easily, we can think more clearly and we can enjoy life more fully!”
- Lastly, as the parent, do a little research on the value of sleep. This is where you can probably be the best role model! Depriving ourselves of sleep leads to irritability and slows down our metabolism. Consider age-appropriate bedtimes that include a no-electronics or television hour before bedtime rule.
Find all of our lockdown tips here – https://www.montessorisa.co.za/blog/