Despite social distancing measures, we are continuing to find ways of supporting our family groups.
We have set up group chats for our Royston and Buntingford groups to share information and ideas about how to manage during this difficult time.
We are also holding online family support group weekly meetings using Zoom, for the parents, children and volunteers to get together, catch up and share news.
It has been lovely to receive comments and photos of how the children have been keeping busy, so please do continue to share them with us.
Here’s a little look at what we’ve been getting up to over the past few weeks…
Royston Family Group
In one video session, we discussed local places to bring the children, such as where is safe for them to walk and run around to burn off excess energy and get that all-important exercise and fresh air.
Our Home-Start bear has been a big part of helping the children with activities in the video meetings. The bear has helped with a scavenger hunt, in which children had to find items of a particular colour around the house and show them to their friends on screen.
In one of the weekly meetings, we finished off the session with a Thomas the Tank Engine storybook and an action song, which the children enjoyed thoroughly.
We also recently had a St George’s day theme where we focused on reusing and recycling household items.
We made simple flags using a pencil as a flagpole. Empty plastic bottles were put to good use also, by creating a skittles set suitable for indoor or outdoor use, and to avoid smashing anything indoors, we rolled up a sock to make a soft ball.
Our homemade paper planes yielded mixed results. One of our lovely volunteers will be filming a paper plane tutorial, later on, to remind our families how to make one.
Here’s a look at how one family got on:
We also have plans to video someone reading a story, which is part of our aim to be able to share activities with all our families, ensuring no-one misses out even if they can’t attend the session.
Buntingford Family Group
Our Buntingford family support group has also benefited from the weekly video meetings, helping the families and volunteers get together each week. It has been a great way to keep the support going for families who are missing that ‘human’ contact during this lockdown period.
We’ve been using this time to catch up on each other’s news and to discuss areas of extra support that might be available.
During one of our recent weekly meetings, we got the children involved with a scavenger hunt, which again turned out to be very popular. We finished off that session by reading The Very Hungry Caterpillar storybook and joined in singing a song together.
Following the success of the first meeting, we enjoyed a longer session the following week, which allowed time for more games and activities, as well as a chance to catch up on each others’ news.
We found ways of turning recycled materials into educational games, including paper aeroplanes which are safe to use indoors and out.
Home-Start bear’s shopping game was a fun way to develop language, counting and memory skills for little ones, with options to make it harder or easier according to the age and abilities of the children. There was lots of participation and interaction which was a delight to see.
We rounded off that session with a song and a story chosen by the children.
It is great that we have been able to use these video meetings to stay connected with our families and we look forward to each new week, planning what to discuss and what fun activities that the children can get involved in.
We know from the feedback families have given us that these groups mean a lot to them and have brought to them some comfort. But, if we are to continue to bring these services to them, we really do need your help.
You can support us by texting HOMESTARTCUPPA to 70085 to donate £3 or SAVEHOMESTART to 70085 to set up a monthly donation.
The Home-Start Team