With everyone spending as much time as possible indoors in order to limit the spread of Coronavirus (COVID-19), we’re all looking for ways to stay positive, stay occupied and stay at home. These are difficult times, but can be treated as an opportunity to slow down and enjoy the simple things in life – good food, walks in nature and time with our loved ones. For the team at ALKIMI, nature is a lifestyle, so we’ve rounded up a few eco-friendly ways to pass the time with your family.
Sensory messy play
Sensory play is hugely beneficial in early childhood development, helping little ones to explore and get creative with their sense of touch, sight and hearing. With some food colouring and store cupboard staples, messy play can still be clean! To make cornflour slime, simply mix food colouring with water, then add to some corn flour until it’s the desired, gloopy consistency. Alternatively, you can mix a small amount of food colouring with grains of uncooked rice. Once dried, fill a large tub or shallow tray with the coloured rice and playtime can begin – try using different colours and hiding scoops, tubes and toys for them to find.
Nature’s arts and crafts
Whilst stepping out for your daily walk, or into your back garden, see what you can discover to bring home and get creative with – such as leaves, flowers, sticks and stones. Arrange flowers into a beautiful collage, paint designs onto stones and use them to decorate your garden, use leaves as paint stamps or stencils, and see what you can build with sticks – from a stick person to a stick house, or even a woven stick wreath to decorate and display for springtime. If you aren’t able to get outdoors, simple kitchen ingredients like root vegetables can be turned into paint stamps, and you can make your own paint by using herbs and spices for colour.
The shops we can visit might be limited for now, but you can pick up basic gardening equipment at the supermarket whilst doing your weekly food shop. Depending on how pristine your garden is, you could make wildflower seed balls with soil, flour, water and your choice of wildflower seeds to throw into the garden. Wildflowers are great for wildlife like butterflies and bees, and part of the joy is watching how they grow and develop. If you prefer a neater outdoor space, set little ones up with pots, soil and your choice of seeds to teach them how to grow their own flowers, fruits or vegetables.
Upcycle your textiles
For slightly older children, why not spend an afternoon upcycling some textiles? You could decorate your own reusable tote bags, add decoration to cushions or give clothing items a new lease of life. Show your sense of style and creativity with fabric paint, embroidery, buttons or beads – and with a pair of scissors you can easily transform tired, old items into brand new ones for the season ahead. For clothes that are damaged, don’t despair! Rather than creating unnecessary waste, you can cover rips or stains with patches or embroidery and they’ll be totally unique, and as good as new.
Concoct your own beauty products
There are plenty of natural beauty products on the market now, but why not try making your own? Just a few simple ingredients like coconut oil, beeswax, kaolin clay, sugar and essential oils can make a range of lip balms, body scrubs, face masks and moisturisers. If you or your children enjoy a bath before bedtime, make your own bath salts with epsom salt, coarse sea salt, essential oils and your favourite flower petals. Bicarbonate of soda will make them fizz and effervesce like a bath bomb too!
Spring cleaning doesn’t need to be a chore. Crank up the music, set timed tidying challenges or give children points for how many things they put away or set aside to donate to a charity. This will not only get the whole family practising good habits for the future, but will also help them to look after their belongings. For the grown-ups, a clean and tidy home has a host of wellbeing benefits and can increase productivity, especially if you’ve been struggling for motivation in your new routine.
Spending more time indoors means our houses are likely to get messier, but you can use nature to clean up too. At ALKIMI, we harness the power of nature to create effective, non-toxic cleaning solutions for the whole house using ingredients like grapefruit seed extract, eucalyptus and ginger root. Our child- and pet-friendly range can be found at Amazon, Booths, Ocado and Sainsburys.