While it is a somewhat strange time in the UK at the moment, there is one constant challenge that so many of us face: how to keep our children busy and motivated indoors. To help you keep your kids busy during the lockdown, we’ve brought together some ideas and activities which we’ll share with you in this blog post!
Staying as active as possible is essential during this period of uncertainty, so we definitely recommend allocating your (one) exercise session for the day when the sun is out, the air is fresh and you can find an area where maintaining at least 6-10 feet from other people out and about is achievable.
However, for the rest of the time, why not:
Join In Virtual Read-Alongs
If you don’t have access to many books or want something a bit more social than all your kids reading separately, why not make reading a social exercise?
Storyline Online is an award-winning children’s literacy website, which streams videos featuring a whole host of celebrities reading children’s stories, alongside creative illustrations.
You can listen and read along with some well-loved children’s stories, read aloud by famous celebrities including Viola Davis, Chris Pine, Lily Tomlin, Kevin Costner, Betty White and so many more. All these celebrities make it great for adults too, even if you’re hearing the same stories on repeat… We love the ‘Tale of Peter Rabbit’ read by Rose Byrne!
We love this particular activity because Storyline Online is available 24 hours a day. So no matter where you are around the world, it’s ready to bring you fun, engaging stories.
We think that reading is a great skill for children of all ages to have, not only to boost imagination skills and work on vital cognitive abilities, but reading is something that keeps on giving.
It’s great for bringing imagination to daily tasks, which is essential at the moment!
You can encourage them to come up with characters in play, or create tasks inspired by the plot that encourage your children to sit down and think about why they enjoyed the story.
Turn Your (One) Exercise Session Into a Game
Who said that walking had to be a chore? Why not incorporate some of the games and activities from inside the house, and take them with you when you get some fresh air?
Of course, it’s crucial that everyone sticks to the strict measures that are in place at the moment for all our safety – staying 6 – 10 feet away from other people, and only going out once a day to restrict the possibility of passing anything along to anyone who is vulnerable.
However, while you’re out, and abiding by the rules, have fun!
Why not bring the games that you might have played on car journeys to the paths and fields? Play Eye-Spy to keep them entertained and paying attention to their surroundings; bring along their favourite songs and turn the walk into a dance-off.
Or, turn the walk into a jog, cycle or roll and get them outside on a set of wheels if you have them – making the most of the outdoor time will not only bring freshness and excitement to the day, but it’s great for burning off that energy…
Explore Your Favourite Museums And Landmarks Virtually
There are actually many UK based tourist destinations that you can explore virtually – so why not bring the UK to your living room and show your children some of the best loved places in the country! You can see the artefacts and history at the British Museum, or do some of the learning activities from the Science Museum.
Museums are hearts of world information, packed full of great educational resources that you can easily access and turn into interactive, fun sessions that keep your kids busy while they learn about the world.
What’s more, some of the most gorgeous and awe-inspiring landmarks around the globe have virtual tours. You can explore the Taj Mahal from the sofa! Have a look at these amazing landmarks that are all open for virtual tours.
Keep Up With The Wildlife
Zoos around the UK have opened up their exhibits to people who want to enjoy all the benefits of seeing the wildlife, from the comfort of your own home!
From seeing what the penguins are doing at Edinburgh Zoo, to some of the animals at Marwell Zoo or the meerkats at Newquay Zoo there are many wildlife exhibits that you can watch live footage from and learn about the animals while doing so.
Why not turn the virtual tours into a wildlife lesson? See how much information about the species they can learn, or give them tasks to develop their interest and education about our natural world!
Have a look at this list of 12 animal webcams from around the world that might just make social distancing bearable…
Ditch The Screens
Making sure that we don’t rely on screens and technology to keep our children entertained is crucial, so this doesn’t become a crux or habit later in life! Taking a break from social media, virtual games, and screens in general is great for everyone.
Encouraging activities like colouring, crafting, and making with physical materials is hugely beneficial for developing creativity, and it’s always fun! What child doesn’t enjoy getting a little messy?
We’ll be posting printable sheets of our loveable Swimming Nature characters onto our Facebook page that your kids can colour in! So take a look, print them off and get crafty.
Also, why not have a look at this list of creative, crafting ideas that your children can easily try for themselves while they’re at home. We particularly love these ideas:
- Making ‘firework’ jars with oil, water and food colouring
- Creating your own ball maze
- Art Stamping with flowers
Homeschooling is going to be critical now more than ever, with a lot of children at home for a few weeks and many parents, guardians and carers still working or working from home.
Luckily, there are thousands of free and educational resources for children of all ages!
Free, printable worksheets for children of all ages keep their minds and hands busy, encouraging the skills that normal classes would explore during the day so that your child isn’t missing out on any basic schooling. Plus they make learning fun!
Do you have any other ideas on how to keep your little one entertained that you think are worth sharing? Please feel free to let us know in the comments below!
In the meantime, we hope you keep safe and healthy, and most importantly, stay at home if you can.