This used to be a question parents asked themselves when mid-term hit or the Easter holidays suddenly appeared out of nowhere, but that was at a time when we had access to adventure parks, cinemas, shopping centre play areas and even purpose-built trampoline villages! We now find ourselves in late 2020 when these familiar amenities are no longer at our fingertips, but thankfully one woman has the answer to that frequently asked question.
Stef McSherry, Founder of Kinderama and mum of two, is about to solve the problems of many parents now living in fear of school closures or those already hatching a plan of action for the upcoming Christmas holidays.
Originally established in the UK in 2004 before moving to Cork in 2008, Kinderama offers classes to creches and pre-schools all over Ireland. The affordable classes provide a wonderful outlet for children as they are exposed to a variety of activities incorporating music, dance and even mindfulness techniques.
When the pandemic hit earlier this year, Stef’s business came to a halt, like many others in her position. She went from holding classes for 1,600 children a week in Cork alone, to shutting up shop with no idea of a possible return date. With her own children – Daisy, 9 and Sam, 7 – now learning and spending all their time at home, she took matters into her own hands and decided to create a safe, educational and physically active online space in which children could enjoy some guilt-free screen time. Her main aim with this imaginative website was to encourage children to ‘get up and do’ rather than ‘sit and watch’.
Stef explained: “When 2020 became one long, extended school holiday, parents were not only tasked with having more time to entertain their children, but we were also deprived of the many amenities that were once available to us. Screen time seemed like the only way to allow yourself, as a parent, a quiet moment in a long day, but with the World Health Organisation recommending no more than one hour of passive screen time for children aged three to four years, going down this route can often lead to a serious case of mom – or dad – guilt.”
The former broadcaster and graduate of the Italia Conti School of Performing Arts in London first launched her online Kinderama classes via Instagram and Facebook Live during the initial Covid-19 lockdown, carrying out the classes with her children by her side. Now, after months of hard work, she is ready to officially launch Kinderama Online, offering parents the option of safe – and more importantly – guilt-free screen time for their kids.
“My online classes are full of music, movement and magic and are suitable for children age two and up,” commented Stef. “We filmed it all on green screen, so it looks amazing. The classes incorporate make believe adventures, energetic routines, yoga and mindfulness, action songs and games. It really is the perfect solution to creating guilt-free screen time for parents working from home or quarantining with young kids. We’re playing a waiting game when it comes to our children’s extracurricular activities, with no clue as to when they will be in a position to return safely to the things they love. In the meantime, Kinderama.com provides kids with an outlet to get active, have fun and grow in confidence – while you grab a cuppa!”
She added: “With the Christmas holidays just around the corner, it would be the ideal time to gift a membership to a parent you know who might already be worrying about how to fill those cold winter days.”
Memberships to Kinderama can be purchased online at www.kinderama.com with a free three-day trial available with each option.
A membership to Kinderama is priced as follows:
3-month membership – €18
6-month membership – €35 (also available as a gift card)
12-month membership – €60 (also available as a gift card)
For more information, visit www.kinderama.com.