Keeping kids active in lockdown

Linda Youngman and Tam Brisbane designed a scavenger hunt for their kids to do during lockdown. Picture: STEWART CHAMBERS. 247050_04

By Mikayla van Loon

Staying active and getting outdoors is really the only thing us metro-Melburinans can do while in lockdown and thanks to the creativity of one of Chirnside Park’s residents, it doesn’t have to be boring.

Tam Brisbane and her partner have five kids at home and to keep them entertained during lockdown number six, they designed a lockdown scavenger hunt.

And now it’s available to everyone within a 5km radius of their Chirnside Park estate.

Being the co-owner of Beyond the Workout Functional Fitness and already having a kids program, Ms Brisbane said she wanted to put something together that would get people moving.

“If we can do something that can just get people out and get them moving and put a smile on kids faces and parents as well, I think these little things that people are doing throughout the community help,” she said.

There are 12 markers located around the estate marked by a letter and each of them has a clue as to where the next marker is located.

“So it’s a bit like a hangman set up, so the letter corresponds to a number on our chart and then that adds up to a word,” Ms Brisbane said.

Ms Brisbane said in other lockdowns there had been other activities for children to do, like the Spoonvilles that kept popping up in local parks but she noticed some parents had been struggling to come up with inventive ways to keep kids entertained.

“We’re feeling really stuck, it’s winter, sometimes it’s miserable outside and people are struggling with ideas of where to go, what to do.”

“This lockdown is number six, so for five lockdowns we’ve been trying to come up with creative ideas and things for the kids to do and parents are struggling now, they’re running out of ideas, the kids again sick of doing the same thing all the time, and their mental health is deteriorating.”

The scavenger hunt is just one way Ms Brisbane thought she could help during this lockdown but she has many other programs and activities for parents to access should they need them.

Victoria’s lockdowns have been tough on everyone, with constant uncertainty and a lack of routine really challenging people’s mental health.

And that goes for children too, who have been kept from seeing friends at school and can’t attend weekly sports.

“We just wanted to do something because we’re feeling it as well, obviously it’s a struggle, we’ve got five kids at home, the gym’s been shut down, for us it was about what can we do for our kids because they are going crazy.

“It’s within the 5km, there are heaps of families and schools within our area, so we knew there were other people with kids and we just thought it would be something positive we can do for the community.”

“To get out and get moving that releases all the healthy endorphins and makes everyone feel better. To be able to add something that’s a little bit fun, a little bit creative, a bit of a challenge that stimulates the brain and the body just to keep going a little bit more.”

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