Lullabies for sleepy eyes

Lullabies for sleepy eyes

It can be tricky getting little ones to sleep at any time. No excuse is needed, no reason is necessary – they want to stay awake to stay near you. During uncertain times, when routines go out of the window, it can be tricky to get ourselves as adults to settle, let alone our little ones. And throw in a holiday like Christmas, Hannukah or Diwali, and it can be a long, long month of family sleeplessness, agitation and upset.

Cue a cure: Musicaliti’s Lullaby Month! This December 2020, every day for 25 days, Musicaliti will release a lullaby that you can use with your littlies at bedtime. Just like the Christmas carols of last year (still available on our YouTube Musicaliti channel!), each day will feature a different lullaby – links will be available from our Facebook, Twitter, Insta and LinkedIn pages. And as an added bonus, this link will take you to the free Musicaliti Lullaby ibook for a link to all of the lyrics of each song: https://books.apple.com/us/book/lullabies-for-sleepy-eyes/id1539038332?ls=1

1. All The Pretty Little Horses (American Lullaby)

Hush-a-bye, don’t you cry

Go to sleep, little baby

When you wake, you shall have

All the pretty little horses

 

2. All Through The Night (Welsh lullaby)

Sleep, my child, and peace attend thee

All through the night

Guardian angels God will send thee

All through the night

Soft the drowsy hours are creeping

Hill and vale in slumber sleeping

I my loving vigil keeping

All through the night

3. Toora Loora Loora (Irish Lullaby)

Over in Killarney many years ago

Me mother sang a song to me

In tones so sweet and low

Just a simple little ditty

In her good old Irish way

And I’d give the world if she could sing

That song to me this day

4. Sleep, baby, sleep (German Lullaby)

Sleep, baby, sleep,

Thy papa guards the sheep;

Thy mama shakes the dreamland tree

And from it fall sweet dreams for thee,

Sleep, baby, sleep

5. Frère Jacques (French lullaby)

Frère Jacques, Frère Jacques

Dormez-vous? Dormez-vous?

Sonnez les matines! Sonnez les matines!

Ding, dang, dong! Ding, dang, dong!

6. Sleep, little one, sleep (Dutch Lullaby)

Sleep, little one, sleep

Out of doors, there runs a sheep

A sheep with four white feet, that drinks its milk so sweet

Sleep, little one sleep

7. Hava Nagila (Jewish Lullaby)

Hava Nagila, Hava Nagila

Hava Nagila, ve-nis-me-gha

Hava Nagila, Hava Nagila

Hava Nagila, ve-nis-me-gha

8. Nina Nana (Italian Lullaby)

Nina Nana Coco lo del la Mama,

Nina Nana Coco lo del Papa

Nina Nana Coco lo del la Mama,

Nina Nana Coco lo del Papa

 

 

9. Thula Thul (Zulu Lullaby)

Thula thul, thula baba, thula ‘mntwana

Tul’ubab ‘uzobuya ekuseni

Thula thul, thula baba, thula ‘mntwana

Tul’ubab ‘uzobuya ekuseni

10. Ally Bally Bee (Scottish Lullaby)

Ally Bally, Ally Bally Bee

Sitting on your mummy’s knee

Greeting for a wee penny

To buy some Coulter’s candy

11. Lavender’s Blue (English Lullaby)

Lavender’s blue, dilly dilly, lavender’s green

When you are King, dilly dilly, I shall be Queen

Who told you so, dilly dilly, who told you so?

‘Twas my own heart, dilly dilly, that told me so

12. Mummy Loves (South American Lullaby)

Mummy loves and daddy loves and

Everybody loves little baby

Brother loves and sister loves and

Everybody loves little baby

13. Golden Slumbers

Golden slumbers kiss your eyes,

Smiles await you when you rise,

Sleep, pretty baby,

Do not cry,

And I will sing a lullaby

14. Hush Little Baby

Hush, little baby, don’t say a word,

Papa’s gonna buy you a mockingbird

And if that mockingbird won’t sing,

Papa’s gonna buy you a diamond ring

15. Rock a bye baby

Rock-a-bye baby, on the tree tops

When the wind blows, the cradle will rock

When the bough breaks, the cradle will fall

And down will come baby, cradle and all

16. Little Boy Blue

Little boy blue, come blow your horn,

The sheep’s in the meadow, the cows in the corn

Where is the boy who looks after the sheep?

He’s under the haystack, fast asleep

Will you wake him? No, not I

For if I do, he’ll surely cry

17. Wee Willie Winkie

Wee Willie Winkie runs through the town

Upstairs and downstairs in his nightgown

Knocking at the windows, crying at the locks

Are the children in their beds for it’s past eight o’clock

18. Girls and boys come out to play

Girls and boys come out to play

The moon is shining bright as day

Leave your supper and leave your sleep

And join your playfellows in the street

19. Twinkle Twinkle

Twinkle, twinkle, little star

How I wonder what you are

Up above the world so high

Like a diamond in the sky

Twinkle, twinkle little star

How I wonder what you are

20. Baa Baa Black Sheep

Baa baa black sheep, have you any wool?

Yes sir, yes sir, three bags full

One for the master and one for the dame

And one for the little boy who lives down the lane

21. Little Bo Peep

Little Bo Peep has lost her sheep

And doesn’t know where to find them

Leave them alone

And they’ll come home

Wagging their tails behind them

22. You Are My Sunshine

You are my sunshine, my only sunshine

You make me happy when skies are grey

You’ll never know, dear, how much I love you

Please don’t take my sunshine away

23. Somewhere over the rainbow

Somewhere over the rainbow way up high

There’s a land that I heard of once in a lullaby

Somewhere over the rainbow skies are blue

And the dreams that you dare to dream really do come true

24. When you wish upon a star

When you wish upon a star

Makes no difference who you are

Anything your heart desires

Will come to you 

25. Brahms’ Lullaby

Lullaby, and good night

With pink roses bedight

With lilies o’erspread

Is my baby’s sweet head

Lay you down now, and rest

May your slumber be blessed

Lay you down now, and rest

May your slumber be blessed

 

Wishing you a festive season, whichever holiday you celebrate,with the hope that you get to Dream A Little Dream!

About the author:

Musician, researcher and author, Frances Turnbull, is a self-taught guitarist who has played contemporary and community music from the age of 12. She delivers music sessions to the early years and KS1. Trained in the music education techniques of Kodály (specialist singing), Dalcroze (specialist movement) and Orff (specialist percussion instruments), she has a Bachelor’s degree in Psychology (Open University) and a Master’s degree in Education (University of Cambridge). She runs a local community choir, the Bolton Warblers, and delivers the Sound Sense initiative aiming for “A choir in every care home” within local care and residential homes, supporting health and wellbeing through her community interest company.

She has represented the early years music community at the House of Commons, advocating for recognition for early years music educators, and her table of progressive music skills for under 7s features in her curriculum books.

Frances is the author of “Learning with Music: Games and Activities for the Early Years“ “Learning with Music: Games and Activities for the Early Years“, published by Routledge, August 2017.

The impact of self-reflection in early years

The impact of self-reflection in early years

Like many parents (and practitioners) there are times when things go smoothly with my children and then there are other times when I honestly feel like I’m wading through mud. It’s like we go in cycles of things going really well for so long and then all of a sudden everything feels like a battle. At these difficult times, our instinct can be to judge children’s behaviour as unacceptable and to adopt new strategies to ‘fix’ it. However, in my opinion, it is at these exact moments that we need to view their behaviour as a symptom of a deeper issue.

For me, I have an ‘inside-out’ approach to life. If something isn’t working, I believe I need to look at myself first instead of pointing the finger at anyone else. Through challenging situations, as hard as they can be, there are always lessons to learn if we look for them. If someone is taking advantage of me, the lesson might be that I need to learn to say ‘no’ more and have stronger boundaries. If someone makes me feel inadequate, the lesson might be that I need to build my own self-worth and look intrinsically for validation, rather than getting it from others. If someone is getting frustrated with me, the lesson might be that I actually need to communicate more effectively. Now this approach to life doesn’t mean that I take responsibility for someone’s else’s bad behaviour. It simply means that I look to see what the situation is teaching me about myself so that I can move forward in a different way and hopefully avoid the same thing happening again.

I also use this ‘inside out’ approach with my parenting and teaching. If a child is displaying challenging behaviour, rather than just looking at their actions and deeming it as ‘bad’, I would try to gain an understanding of why they are feeling or acting this way. I would also dig deep and ask myself honestly if there are any external factors (such as my own behaviour or actions) that might be contributing to the situation.

An example of this was when afternoons with my children became stressful and hard work. They were arguing constantly, whining and generally being quite defiant. In moments like this it is easy to fall into the trap of seeing their behaviour as the problem. However, it’s important to remember that this is merely a symptom of a deeper-rooted issue and as a parent (or practitioner) I believe it is our responsibility to see the bigger picture and then provide everyone (including ourselves) with an opportunity to learn and grow.

On the surface, it looked like my children were just acting up. However, when I did some self-reflection, I realised that wasn’t the case. As much as I was with my children in an afternoon, I had become distracted. I had a lot going on with my business, Early Years Story Box, and had lots of deadlines looming so my head was in a spin. When I looked at things closely, I realised that even though I was with my children, I wasn’t actually being present. My thoughts were focused on my to-do list and I was trying to multi-task, rather than giving them my full attention. As hard as it was to admit that my own behaviour was the problem, it was necessary for things to get better. Sure enough, as soon as I left my work at the door and gave them my full attention, the bickering and meltdowns reduced and peace was restored. Like many people, I was on autopilot juggling a million things. However, by digging deep and looking inwardly, rather than looking outwardly at their behaviour, we not only solved the problem, but we deepened our connection in the process.

Another example of behaviour being a symptom of a deeper issue was on my daughter’s birthday. I’d arranged for her friend to come over in the morning to play for a bit before we went out. Everyone was excited and we thought this would be a lovely start to her day. As soon as her friend arrived, my little girl became unhappy and refused to let her play with her new toys. It was an awful situation and one that if I’m honest I didn’t really know how to navigate. I felt bad for her friend because she’d done nothing wrong and my instant reaction was to feel upset that my daughter had been mean. However, once I stepped back, I could see exactly why this had happened and how I could have done things differently.

My daughter had got a new toy that she had been wanting for ages. She hadn’t been playing with it long before her friend arrived and wanted to play with it too. Now this doesn’t seem like a big deal, but if we put ourselves in her shoes, I think we would feel the same. Whenever I am faced with conflict, I always try to see things from the other person’s point of view and think of a comparative situation relating to my own life. Her desire and excitement about her new toy was equal to the feeling I had when I was getting my new MacBook Pro. I had wanted it for ages so when it arrived it was the best feeling ever. If at that point my friend came up to me and said she wanted to use it too, I most certainly would say that I wanted to use it properly myself before I let anyone else get their hands on it! When we get something new, it is human nature to feel more protective of it because we almost need to establish our own possession of something before we share it with anyone else.

After this realisation, my daughter’s irrational behaviour made perfect sense. With hindsight, I should have given her time in the morning to explore her new things before inviting her friend over. We have since talked calmly about how she spoke to her friend and how this made her feel sad. However, by acknowledging that I understood why she reacted the way she did, it made her feel safe and heard, which in turn meant that she too could learn her own lesson through this about communication and kindness. 

Once we know better, we do better. It isn’t about blame and reproach, but about growing and developing. Looking inwardly isn’t always easy, but the only thing we can control in life is our own behaviour and reactions. If we strive to be the best version of ourselves, take responsibility for the part that we play and treat people with kindness and compassion we won’t go far wrong. We will always make mistakes because we are human. However, if we view our mistakes as lessons and learn as we go, we will always wake up the next day better than we were the day before. 

About the author:

Stacey Kelly is a former teacher, a parent to 2 beautiful babies and the founder of Early Years Story Box, which is a subscription website providing children’s storybooks and early years resources. She is passionate about building children’s imagination, creativity and self-belief and about creating awareness of the impact that the Early Years have on a child’s future. Stacey loves her role as a writer, illustrator and public speaker and believes in the power of personal development. She is also on a mission to empower children to live a life full of happiness and fulfilment, which is why she launched the #ThankYouOaky Gratitude Movement.

Sign up to Stacey’s Premium Membership here and use the code PARENTA20 to get 20% off or contact Stacey for an online demo.

Email: stacey@earlyyearsstorybox.com or Telephone: 07765785595

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/earlyyearsstorybox

Twitter: https://www.twitter.com/eystorybox

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/earlyyearsstorybox

LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/stacey-kelly-a84534b2/

Benefits of sensory rooms for children with autism

Benefits of sensory rooms for children with autism

Six benefits of sensory rooms

A sensory room is a specially designed, safe space that provides children and people affected with autism with the right environment that helps stimulate their neural development. For many people, sensory development is, mostly, fully achieved by the age of 5. However, children under this age bracket have a difficult time managing their sensory information. They may need these types of safe spaces to help them get acquainted with and manage such sensory information.

These rooms are also great for individuals diagnosed with any form of autism that may hinder their ability to perceive and process sensory information.

Benefits of having a sensory room

Sensory rooms have been around since the 1970s in the Netherlands, and they were known as Snoezelen. Aptus Treatment Centre for Adults and Children with Complex Disabilities and many other institutions found out through studies that adults with autism and children, by extension, can significantly benefit from an environment that offers regulated and integrated sensory inputs.

Setting aside a playroom for your kid is great. However, you could also design it in such a way that your child gets to learn critical cognitive abilities while having fun at the same time. Doing this will put them one step ahead of their peers and, at the same time, make it a pleasurable everyday experience. Here are some of the benefits of having a sensory room as your child’s play area.

1. Sensory rooms are calming

Noise pollution is a huge deal, especially if you live around cities. Sometimes the noise you encounter in your daily routine can be overwhelming, making you wish you got a few hours of quiet to get your thoughts in order. This experience is multiplied tenfold when it comes to your child.

Children find it very difficult to process all this information at once and, as a result, become quite agitated in this type of environment. Providing them with a safe space with soft lighting and proper ventilation can keep them calm and concentrate more on playing and problem-solving skills.

TIP: Soundproof your sensory space to keep out any loud noises that may scare your child.

2. They are stimulating

While most adults have learned to tune their attention to these sensory inputs as they need them, children can’t because they haven’t learned how to. You could incorporate a few items in your sensory room, such as toys that they can play with and colourful, stimulating lighting patterns that can help them explore the world around them.

TIP: Have enough sensory-stimulating toys in your child’s sensory room to encourage them to play and keep them occupied.

It can improve your child’s focus

Many children are hyperactive and can find it difficult concentrating on one task over an extended period, which is also true for autistic individuals. Setting aside a sensory space for children will help them learn how to interact with the environment, which will equip them with skills to help them in real-life situations.

TIP: Guide your children while they play and help them stay focused until they complete tasks.

3. Improve socialisation skills

Sensory areas can be great places for children to interact, socialise, and bond. They provide a free environment where children can run around and play safely with other children while bonding.

Given the right tools, this can help them improve their motor skills, verbal skills, hand-to-eye coordination, and many other skills that will help them become healthier both physically and mentally.

TIP: It’s a great bonding opportunity for parents with one or more children. Playing with them will help you learn what they do and don’t like.

4. Help in cognitive development

Sensory spaces expose your child to cognitively-stimulating experiences that help them process sensory inputs from the environment and learn how to react to them. Acquiring these skills will help them explore and learn about cause and effect and how their actions affect the environment.

TIP: Include pieces that your child can use to play cognitive games to improve their cognitive understanding.

5. Motor skills development

Muscle development can be a significant challenge for people with sensory problems. Providing a safe space where they can practice balancing through jumping, bouncing, and being stable can be useful for their development.

TIP: Help your child develop motor skills by encouraging them to perform simple exercises such as running.

Conclusion

Your child’s sensory system is very delicate. It helps them learn and sort out critical sensory data to better relate to their environment. Providing them with access to a controlled sensory area will help them have fun safely and learn how to manage their sensory skills when they get out into the real world.

About the author:

Ava Wadaby is a contributing writer for Autism Parenting Magazine. She researches and writes about autism as she works to understand the challenges of her son who was diagnosed with Autism and ADHD. She also regularly conducts activities with children in her neighbourhood, focusing on their learning and development.

Supporting children post lockdown using the six principles of nurture

Supporting children post lockdown using the six principles of nurture

The nature-nurture debate can often divide opinions; are our children a result of genes (whom they are born into), or are they mostly influenced by their environment? Whatever your opinion on this, I think most people accept that the environment can have a positive impact on our children and, as educators, we do our best to ensure that it is as nurturing as possible. And there has never been a time when nurturing children and supporting their wellbeing is more important. In the midst of a global pandemic, we must ensure that we support our children and hold them in mind and keep them in the centre of our practice.

So with this in mind, I find it helpful to reflect upon the six principles of nurture which were designed for use in nurture groups in schools and settings (Lucas, Insley, & Buckland, 2006). Within our early childhood settings, we tend to adopt a nurturing approach where we act as co-regulators and help children to become more resilient and it, in turn, raises their self-esteem and contributes to a higher level of wellbeing. I’m going to briefly touch on all six of these principles now and share a few strategies that we can use to support our children.

The six principles of nurture

  1. Children’s learning is understood developmentally
  2. The classroom/setting offers a safe base
  3. The importance of nurture for the development of wellbeing
  4. Language is a vital means of communication
  5. All behaviour is communication
  6. The importance of transition in children’s lives.

(Adapted from Lucas, Insley, & Buckland, 2006)

1. Children’s learning is understood developmentally

Our first nurture principle is about developmentally-appropriate practice so we need to start with the child and think about individual children and their age and stage of development. Bear in mind the principles of the EYFS – every child is a unique child, children learn to be strong and independent through positive relationships, children learn and develop well in enabling environments and children develop and learn in different ways and at different rates. So at this time, when we need to provide a nurturing curriculum, rather than a catching up curriculum, we must focus on children’s wellbeing and provide activities and experiences which begin with the child and are based on what they can do. We can also include opportunities to support children’s wellbeing such as access to calm, safe spaces, breathing techniques, sensory play, mindfulness and yoga activities and ensure that our settings openly talk about our emotions and feelings.

2. The classroom/setting offers a safe base

The second principle is referring to attachment theory and ensuring that our settings are nurturing places and spaces. We want our settings to act as a secure base for our children, however, sadly, this is not the case for all children. How securely attached a child feels will have a direct influence on their behaviour. Research has shown that children and young people who have a good start in life have significant advantages over those who have experienced adverse childhood experiences or trauma, or those who have had difficulty forming secure attachments. The environment that children grow up within, or the nurturing environment makes all the difference. These children tend to do better at school, attend regularly, form more meaningful friendships and are significantly less likely to be involved in crime or experience physical or mental health problems. Understanding attachment theory can help us to understand why children behave the way they do and help us to remain more sensitive to their needs. We can better understand how external influences (relationships, stress, poverty, neglect, emotional environment) can affect children and this will then help us to plan more effectively for them and use appropriate strategies to support them – intervening early if needed. Being aware of this can help us to adapt our expectations accordingly and use a range of strategies to intervene sensitively.

3.The importance of nurture for the development of wellbeing

When considering wellbeing, I find it helpful to think about the whole child, so to look at learning and wellbeing holistically and provide a supportive emotional environment. Here are a few ideas of how to do this in practice:

  • Ask about children’s experiences during lockdown, perhaps families may want to share photos or videos of pictures or dens made of duvets and airers!
  • Respect children’s feelings and give a clear message that all children are valued and emotions accepted.
  • Provide a predictable and secure environment in which all adults are consistent in their approach to children’s behaviour.
  • Support children with behavioural, emotional and social difficulties by reflecting on and meeting their individual needs.
  • Act as a role model and encourage positive behaviour using emotion coaching techniques.
  • Provide activities and opportunities that support children to recognise and articulate their feelings and emotions.
  • Use key person systems to ensure we build strong, authentic relationships with children and families.
  • Offer understanding, reassurance and security to all children at this time and do not chastise any regression in behaviour (wetting themselves, thumb sucking or becoming excessively clingy to a carer). This will pass with time as the child feels more safe and secure.

4. Language is a vital means of communication

When nurturing children, we need to reflect upon how we communicate with them in ways that they fully understand. In addition to spoken words we should use gestures, pointing, body language, posture, eye contact and movement (this links with behaviour in principle 5). We mustn’t assume that children know and understand any new rules we may have in place and we must share these with them offering them reasons why we need to change things. Children can be very resilient and how we communicate with them and their families will make a big difference.

5. All behaviour is communication

In addition to language, we communicate through our actions and behaviour. If you imagine an image of an iceberg – the behaviours that you see are just the tip and underneath what we see there is a lot more going on. You might want to make a note of a behaviour that you see and try to unpick what is under the surface…So the behaviour we see on the tip of the iceberg could be hitting, biting, shouting, screaming, aggressive behaviour, fighting, a very quiet child or a child who appears very clingy and tearful… but underneath the waterline, the child could be trying to get a message across. I feel angry, I am hurt, I am hungry, I am tired, I need love, I’m overwhelmed, I need a break, I want that toy, I want a friend, I want to connect with you and this works, I have these big emotions and don’t know how to deal with them…

We need to empathise and try to unpick the behaviour and work out what our children are trying to communicate with us.

6.The importance of transition in children’s lives

It would be easy for us to underestimate the impact that transitions have. I really like this quote by Daly, “Something adults may consider to be a small or insignificant event can be quite traumatic for children” (Daly et al., 2004:111). So we have the really BIG things like COVID-19 to worry about, but sometimes it’s not the really big things that will have the biggest impact on our children, it can be the small things that are really big for them. For example, having to go through a different door into our setting, or not being able to sit next to their friend…

Therefore, we need to see the world and our settings through our children’s eyes to really try to understand how they will feel and what will affect them most.

Looking to the future

If we bear in mind these six principles, we will help to keep our children and their wellbeing central to our practice. It has been, and continues to be, a difficult time for everyone, so we need to practise empathy and using the principles of nurture can enable us to do this. It will take time for us all to get used to new routines, rules and a new normal that keeps changing. So let’s support our children and families by providing a nurturing environment that focuses on their wellbeing.

References

Daly, M., Byers, E. & Taylor, W. (2004) Early years management in practice: a handbook for early years managers Oxford, UK: Heinemann.

Lucas, S., Insley, K. and Buckland, G. (2006) Nurture Group Principles and Curriculum Guidelines Helping Children to

About the author:

Tamsin Grimmer is an experienced early years consultant and trainer and parent who is passionate about young children’s learning and development. She believes that all children deserve practitioners who are inspiring, dynamic, reflective and committed to improving on their current best. Tamsin particularly enjoys planning and delivering training and supporting early years practitioners and teachers to improve outcomes for young children.

Tamsin has written three books – “Observing and Developing Schematic Behaviour in Young Children” , “School Readiness and the Characteristics of Effective Learning” and “Calling all Superheroes: Supporting and Developing Superhero Play in the Early Years” and is working on a fourth looking at “Developing a Loving Pedagogy in the Early Years”.

You can contact Tamsin via Twitter @tamsingrimmer, her Facebook pagewebsite or email info@tamsingrimmer.co.uk

A look into parenting through a pandemic

A look into parenting through a pandemic

2020 has been the year that has brought families together in ways we would have never expected. Forced to the confines of our home to protect those who are vulnerable and to stop the spread of this unwelcomed virus, and hurled into one another’s company day in and day out. But have families begun to adapt to this new way of life and embraced this one on one time?

It seems that many parents have in fact soaked up every minute with their children, so much so that many of them don’t want it to end. According to a recent survey conducted by Legal & General, following the pandemic more than half of parents in the UK (55%) would actually consider becoming full time caregivers to their children after spending so much time at home with them during the pandemic.

However, this isn’t to say that looking after children full time during the pandemic has been a total breeze, especially when it came to keeping the kids entertained for months on end. Children tend to have more energy than they know what to do with most of the time, so it is no wonder that parents struggled to keep them entertained during a global lock down when other means to entertainment were very limited if not totally unavailable.

Places such as local outdoor playgrounds, soft plays, bowling alleys, cinemas and other entertainment venues were closed for long periods, forcing parents to find alternative ways of keeping their children entertained, and for many, all whilst trying to work their full time jobs from home.

Technology can often be a bit of a taboo subject when combined with children, but for some parents it is the only way to get five minutes to themselves or even to get other jobs done around the house. The Legal & General survey revealed that many parents used technology to their advantage during UK lockdown periods, however it was particularly popular with single parents, young parents and fathers too!

Technology doesn’t have to be mindless and there are some really great educational resources that can be accessed via a tablet, phone or computer, that will actually benefit your children, especially in the absence of teachers! During the pandemic parents have found educational influencers to be the most useful online resource for their children (37%) as well as fitness influencers (30%) such as Joe Wicks.

These testing times have given parents across the country a new found respect towards technology and its abilities to not only entertain children, but educate them too – with 32% of parents admitting that they now have a more positive attitude towards technology than they did before the pandemic began.

This use of technology doesn’t mean that more traditional methods of entertainment were off the table however, as parents were still playing with their children and reading books with them. Interestingly, the survey actually revealed that these activities were predominantly done by mums, as well as many of the other childcare duties, such as dressing their children, preparing their food, changing their nappies and bathing them. However, it wasn’t just the childcare duties the mums got the brunt of, they also had to juggle the household chores too, taking on all of the below tasks more often than their male counterparts:

  • Cleaning up – 89%
  • Laundry – 91%
  • Family life admin – 82%
  • Buying clothes – 91%

The only exception the women have is looking after the household finances, which tends to sit with the men (75%), but only narrowly so.

So as it seems, mums have taken on the brunt of the childcare and home chores throughout this pandemic, but that doesn’t seem to have put them off too much as over half of mums in the UK (58%) said they would definitely or possibly consider becoming a stay at home parent out of choice, which shows just how much this extra time together as a family has been enjoyed by families all over the UK.

The interest in stay at home parenting may not be the only change to come from the pandemic as going forward parents would like to see improvements in childcare support (45%), child maintenance payments (33%) and maternity/paternity leave (32%) – so let’s see what the future holds.

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