Parents up and down the land took a sharp intake of breath at the news that UK schools would close as of Friday to prevent the spread of Coronavirus. It was starting to seem inevitable, but that doesn’t make it seem any less surreal or overwhelming. For me, I think the key is going to be a) having absolutely NO expectations, b) sticking to some kind of a routine and c) not actually attempting to ‘teach’ my kids in the professional sense. But I still need ideas on entertaining two small children all day everyday during this weird time while also trying to work from home, so I’ve put together a list of resources and fun activities for kids to draw inspiration from, mainly for my own sanity.
This list isn’t intended to put any pressure on anyone – goodness knows we don’t need anymore right now – it’s more intended as a collation of as many sources of kid-entertaining ideas as possible in one place, so you can dip in and out according to what takes your fancy. I’m also well aware that in about 7 days time I’ll probably want to smash my computer at the wall after looking at this optimistic blog post…
Nobody’s expected to be fluent in mandarin or reciting Shakespeare by the time this is over, if we manage to get through this without putting the kids on eBay I’ll be happy. I’m also planning on digging out all the board games, reading books, snuggling up with movies, playing in the garden ( gosh that trampoline is worth its weight in gold) facetiming loved ones and a SHIT load of iPad/Kindle time, because they’re all extremely valid and important activities!
But if, like me, you’re slightly bricking it about being home alone with the kids 24/7 for the foreseeable, here’s a ton of fun activities for kids that have been recommended through my networks.
Good luck, stay safe and let me know how it goes!
*Disclosure: This post contains the odd affiliate link, which means I may receive a commission if you click a link and purchase something that I have recommended. While clicking these links won’t cost you any extra money, it will help me keep this site up and running!
Games and fun activities for kids
Daisy Upton has two little kids. She loves them (don’t we all) – but they drive her mad (don’t they all). So, to try and keep her sanity she came up with over 150 quick, easy games using stuff from around the house, that only take five minutes to set up and five minutes to tidy up. From pasta posting to alphabet knock down, there are tons of ideas for guilt free parenting on her website! You can also find her on Instagram @FiveMinuteMum and purchase her book from Amazon.
A 30-day challenge for lego lovers from the Paediatric Mental Health Association.
Did you know there are now eight Blue Peter badges you can earn? Why not try and collect them all?! The CBBC website features a list of all the Blue Peter badges you can apply for, including a competition badges, sports badge, music badge etc. If you’re not sure which one to go for – take the online quiz first!
Practical life activities to keep little ones engaged such as button sorting, carrot chopping, mystery bags and so on.
The Joy Journal
Laura Brand (Russell Brand’s wife) explores the joy of natural creative play and eco craft for parents and children on her Instagram @thejoyjournal. Previous activities include natural confetti made with dried leaves, kindness jars and valentines playdough.
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Natural confetti (/Eco Sprinkles) for craft and play- using petals and tiny flowers with dried leaves. Putting them in clean & dry glass bottles is perfect for kids to shake onto their projects! Tip: Leave the lids off unless the flowers and leaves are all completely dried out, otherwise they might go mouldy! #naturalcraft #nature #craft #kids #eco #ecokids #ecoplay #ecocraft #glassbottles #upcycle #kidsprojects #joy
15 things to do with kids when you’re stuck at home. Fun ideas include ‘spa days’ and dance parties!
Arts and crafts
Quick Crafts with Emma Scott-Child
Kate Woods Craft
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⭐ Day 4 of the 14 day loo roll challenge!⭐ King Louis and Princess Louise! You will need- Coloured card Patterned card Pens Pompoms 1)Cut out long stripes for either the beard or the hair of the Princess and glue to the loo roll. King Louis beard is a rectangle of card and then cut stripes all the way leaving a little space. 2) Draw and cut out crowns for both and glue on to the hair. 3) Cut a rectangle piece of card and glue to the loo roll (this is their clothes) Princess Louise has a ‘v’ shape at the top and at the bottom. I also added a little strip of card underneath which is her petticoat! 4) Finally draw your faces and glue a mini pompom to King Louis for his nose.
Create your own (virtual) masterpiece on Tate Paint game.
The Tate has lots of arty ideas for kids on their website – suggestions for making Pop Art like Warhol, pictures like Van Gogh as well as quizzes and the chance to make your own virtual masterpiece on the Tate Paint game.
A family of six sharing all kinds of art lessons for kids, including how to draw, painting and origami. They post a weekly challenge on a Saturday to stretch your child’s creativity – see their challenge page for the latest info.
Magical educational art boxes full of great materials for children of all ages. Each box contains three leaflets on three different artists, background information on the artist, as well as clear and simple instructions for art projects. Try it out, buy a single box for a one-off creative experience or sign up for a 3-month, 12-month or every-other-month subscription.
Cooking with kids
Outdoor nature activities
Founded by two experienced Deputy Headteachers/mamas, Ellie and Nicky’s blog is full of educational blogs. From Monday they will be sharing 10-minute ideas to do outside with the kids each day on their Instagram @edvanced.co.uk. No pressure, just fun and educational.
Inspiring children to enjoying gardening is their mission. See their website, or follow their Instagram account @kidsdogardening.
Easy peasy. You know what to do.
YouTube Channels for kids
Online learning resources
A saviour for parents attempting home learning. The BBC’s biggest ever education offering has launched with daily lessons, teaching resources and classes from familiar faces (Sir David Attenborough has been signed up!)
Become an engineer just like Isambard Kingdom Brunel, design ships with a little help from the great man himself, then put them to the test! Can you design a ship to pass all the challenges?
Bristol Old Vic Family Arts Hub
Bristol’s oldest theatre has a whole host of free resource packs available covering loads of subjects and past productions including A Monster Calls, Wise Children and Noughts & Crosses.
Covering Early Years to Key Stage 3, the Family Arts Hub includes a free database of downloadable acting workshops, arts and crafts “how to” guides, drama games, soundtracks, heritage-based lessons, recommended play-reading lists, scripts and monologues, streamed family shows and competitions to get involved with, with more content being added on a weekly basis.
Steve Backshall online homeschool
Paw Print Badges
World Book Online have just made their fabulous collection of over 3,000 ebooks and audiobooks available for free for children to access at home with books suitable for all ages.