Hello lovely faces! How are you doing?
The coronavirus pandemic has necessitated a lockdown and parents everywhere have been juggling homeschooling and working from home!
Homeschooling in our house has been an adventure to say the least, and now we have the glorious two weeks Easter holidays to relax a little (?!) But ‘ahhhmagaaaad’ WHAT to do over the next couple of weeks during the staycation, the isolation, the lockdown?
Have no fear! I’ve found fifty things to keep the kids entertained during lockdown! Tadaaa!
- Science and engineering challenges Designers working with the James Dyson Foundation have devised a series of science and engineering tasks they say can help keep kids entertained during lockdown.
- Junk modelling From shoe boxes, loo rolls (if you have any) or large boxes – get the kids back to old school fun! Arm with sticky tape and challenge them to make something pretty spectacular.
- PJ Family movie day Get everyone to choose a movie, get blankets and cushions to snuggle up with and make nice snack food for an indoor picnic on the living room floor! Netflix and Amazon have lots of great films streaming for Easter!
- Take them to a virtual aquarium Aquariums are a great way to learn about the underwater world, and also a great way to relax the kids at the end of the day as fish can have a calming effect. Check out a bunch of virtual tours of aquariums from all around the world here.
- Board game day! Scrabble, Monopoly, Snakes and Ladders – the oldies are the besties! great for connecting as a family – well, until someone is a bad loser!
- Have a try at Yoga Our friends at Cosmic Kids Yoga have all kinds of yoga-for-kids videos. It’s not just for kids, either! You can do the lessons together as a family!
- Radio DJ Why not record a pretend radio show as a family or let the kids have their own pretend station. Great fun and brilliant boredom buster. Use it as a way of logging down lockdown. You don’t need loads of tech – a laptop will do or smart phone – record and mix in software like Garage Band then share with family and friends!
- Get crafty with newspaper! Make outfits, hats or even puppets out of newspaper! Theres some fun ideas here.
- Loo roll printing fun! turn that empty loo roll sadness into a happy printed picture! Here’s some ideas!
- Visit Le Musee du, Paris here for a virtual tour!
- Check out the British Museum London! Wander through time and click on different artefacts to see them up close, read up on their history, and hear more information with an audio guide. Visit here for a ‘virtual’ day out.
- Try some drawing tutorials on YouTube! There’s some pretty awesome tutorials from Star Wars characters to cartoons. Check they’re child friendly first though folks!
- Go to the ‘virtual park – NEW YORK! Yup – NYC’s green centrepiece is available to tour online. Not only does it show you the sites, it also comes with a guide who talks you through significant events in Central Park’s history as you “travel” from the West 72nd entrance! Have a little wander around here.
- Write a letter to friends and family! Nothing quite like ‘snail mail’ and nothing nicer than receiving personal letters through the post!
- Make a stop-go animation video! Use play dough, lego, piper cleaners or teddies to make fun animated videos to share with family and friends. There’s lots of FREE Aps and to download for tablets and laptops.
- Visit Longleat Safari Park for a virtual tour! Longleat has launched a virtual safari narrated by BBC Animal Park presenter Kate Humble. The guided tour went live on the Wiltshire wildlife attraction’s Facebook page at 10am on Saturday but is still free to view on the Longleat website and across its digital platforms. Utilising a mix of audio commentary with video footage and photos, the virtual tour also includes a newly-recorded introduction by Kate Humble.
- Build a den! Good old fashion fun right there – make a fort out of sheets, blankets, clothes horse or chairs – then let the kids have a picnic lunch or tea in there!
- Learn a new language! These sites offer some great resources for learning a new language!https://www.duolingo.com/
- Dressing up fun! have fun making costumes out of things you already have. Let the kids wear your clothes and shoes for fun and pretend to be you for the day!
- Get baking! Get the cook books out and let the kids see if they can work out the recipe themselves with as little input from you as possible! Help them with the particularly tricky bits like the oven or any sharp cutting!
- Learn to play the guitar Fender is offering new users a free three-month subscription to Fender Play, an online learning platform that teaches you how to get started with playing the guitar, bass and ukulele. Lessons are offered via videos created by trained musicians and guitar instructors and you can pick your favourite genre in order to get a tailored learning plan. To sign up, go to FenderPlay.com or download the Fender Play from the App Store or Google Play.
- Get outside! Lockdown doesn’t mean you have to stay in the house – you are allowed one outing a day to exercise as a family and you can play in your back garden as often as you like! Make the most of the sunshine and play some running around games.
- P.E with Joe! Join the rest of nation and do P.E with Joe Wicks every week day morning at 9am on YouTube! (Warning – it’ll leave you knackered but happy!
- Get water painting – all you need is a tub of water, some brushes or shapes and a patio or fence! Let the kids paint everything outside with water! Stress and mess free fun!
- Write a lockdown journal! My new ‘thinky-thoughts’ lockdown journal for kids is available here for only £3.99!
- Earn a Blue Peter badge. There are lots of different badges – have a look here for details!
- Make a ‘lockdown time capsule!’ Use a plastic or tin container and fill with photos, letters, pictures and newspaper clippings of lockdown 2020! dig a hole and busy it in the garden for someone to find in the future!
- Hide and seek indoors The oldest are often the best! Take it in turns to hide.
- Write and perform a play or movie! Get kids to write down a story and make costumes for a grand performance at the end of the day. They could even film their play to watch as a family on TV via screencast!
- Learn to sew! Brilliant life skill to learn – either hand sewing or using a machine with a grow-ups help!
- Learn to knit! There’s some great Youtube tutorials to learn to knit and wool is available online.
- Make a sock puppet. Old sock, buttons, needle and thread – or use fabric glue to stick google eyes on. Make a set of puppets and put on a puppet show at the end of the day!
- Download and colour some free ‘Happy’ printouts from Anorak Magazine here.
- Learn to dance! Strictly Come Dancing star Oti Mabuse is live-streaming dance classes suitable for all age groups on her YouTube channel and via her Instagram page. Along with her dance partner, and husband, Marius Lepure, the pair will be teaching steps from famous dances as well as choreographing new routines.
- Learn how to DJ This teaches the basics of djing in a fun, interactive way without the need for expensive, specialist equipment. All you need is a phone or tablet and the free djay app by Algoriddim.
- Learn the basics of computer science Code.org has a FREE Code Break program – a free, live weekly webcast where members of the Code.org team teach coding and computer science to children and adults. The team will also be setting weekly challenges for beginners, experienced coders and even students without computers. You can sign up to receive each week’s Code Break via email here.
Have a FaceTime playdate! My little ones loved having chats with their friends the past couple of weeks via whatsapp and fictive on my phone (there too young for their own accounts yet!) but on one occasion my 9 year old had a star wars play session with his friend. They both set up toys and video called for half hours fun play!
- Try the Siemens Science challenges! Siemens has a series of DIY videos designed to encourage families to conduct at-home science experiments using common items found in kitchen cupboards. Create lava lamps using oil and food colouring; build towers made of spaghetti; make Coke cans implode and more.
- Creative a MASSIVE picture! Use old wallpaper, paper rolls or tape A4 sheets together and stick to the kitchen floor to create a MASSIVE picture. Let kids freestyle with chalks, crayons or paints to create a big work of art!
- Make some homemade play dough This recipe is super easy and lasts for ages. Even older kids will love messing about with it!
- Kitchen Dancing Best. fun. Ever! Take it in turns to DJ. Enoy the music cranked up and kitchen dance to your favourite tracks! Set up a family FaceTime dance session to make it a P.A.R.T.Y!
- Blow up some balloons! Never underestimate the humble party balloon! kids love them. any age – brilliant for football trick training or just generally kicking about, popping or playing fun games with.
- Garden camping! Have a tent? Pitch it! Put it up in the garden and have a sleepover/ Next best thing to a beach holiday right? Well, almost.
- NASA at home! NASA has launched its “NASA At Home” website, full of educational content geared to keep children engaged with science. The website runs the gamet of E-Books, podcasts, videos NASA calls “bingeable,” do-it-yourself science experiments, and virtual tours. NASA has even unveiled an app that allows you to take control of a NASA aircraft!
- Watch a musical from the comfort of your own sofa!Andrew Lloyd Webber will be streaming his musicals for free online in a new series for West End and Broadway fans! What’s On Stage have reported the following: “Entitled “The Shows Must Go On”, the series will start with the 2000 adaptation of Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat starring Donny Osmond, Maria Friedman, Richard Attenborough and Joan Collins, tonight at 7pm.The show will be available for 48 hours from Friday 3 April at 7pm BST on “The Shows Must Go On” YouTube channel.
- Do a dance workout! This fitness instructor is doing fun dance workouts to Disney ones!
- Make some slime! There’s some fun slime recipes here.
- Alexa treasure hunt! Lockdown kids treasure hunt anyone? You can obviously do this ‘old school’ by using paper and hiding the next clue in each location – or for a bit of fun get Alexa to announce the locations of hidden treasure! This could be sweets or mini chocolate eggs! Simply write your instructions in advance so you can copy and paste each clue into Alexa announcements!
- Learn to cook! My 9 year old made dinner last week! he made us a delicious chilli in the slow cooker. Pretty safe cooking and tasted amazing. Cooking is a pretty valuable life skill – so what better time than lockdown to teach your kids to cook! Try basics like Spag Bol, Shepherds pie and chilli.
- Screen time! Let’s be realistic here – You can’t have a screen free Easter! If you do – then well done indeed! Kids love games and actually there are so many educational ads and games, it’s not always a negative activity! Just remember everything in moderation. Limit time – set timers and offer additional screen time for tasks (tidy room – extra 15 minutes, helping with dishes – extra half hour! that kind of thing!) For the best recommended Aps and games look here.
Whatever you do this ‘lockdown Easter’ I hope you get to have some chill time and enjoy it, even under these circumstances.