Schools are now shut because of COVID-19, also known as the coronavirus and lockdown is in effect. The UK government’s self-isolation measures mean we now need to stay in our homes as much as possible to avoid infection. But this is easier said than done when our children become bored! Here are a few ways to entertain your kids while you’re stuck at home.
- Making Rainbows
- Work out together
- Disney Plus Free Trial
- Tune in to the LSO
- Free online learning
- Have a picnic
- Make learning fun
- Reading or writing books
- Baking games
This is an amazing idea and a wonderful cause too. Lots of young people have been getting involved in making rainbows to place in windows and doorways. Taking inspiration from the rainbow in the Noah’s Ark story as a promise of hope for the future, the rainbows are designed to do exactly that!
Passers-by who see them are reminded that the coronavirus crisis is just a blip and that not only will the world recover, it will thrive. It also allows you to entertain your kids and spend some time together doing some arts and crafts. The rainbows don’t have to be perfect, in fact it’s their imperfections that make them so endearing. The fact that a child has made it is what allows the message to be as powerful as it is.
Keeping the kids moving is a great way to make sure you stay fit, too! It also helps burn off pent-up energy and can be an educational tool if you teach them about anatomy, exercise, and health at the same time.
If you’ve got a garden, set up an obstacle course, play kickabout, or invent your own games. For those without a garden, use the daily exercise hour to take them on a nature walk in the local park, or go for a bike ride.
Of course, rainy days and time limitations sometimes mean those things aren’t possible. The good news is that there are tons of children’s workout videos available for free online. Encourage them to calm down with yoga, or get them bouncing with Joe Wick’s daily PE sessions. You can join in, too – Sport England has a #JoinTheMovement campaign to get everyone moving. Their Get Kids Moving section has lots of tips to get you working out with your children.
One of our favourites? Stick on their favourite Disney musical (Frozen, let’s be honest), and dance around the room to the songs!
Okay we’re being a little bit naughty with this one. After all; Disney+ isn’t free, it’s a paid monthly streaming service. One where all the films and TV shows that have been created by Disney or are affiliated with them are placed for your viewing pleasure.
Why have we included it on the list? Two reasons: one they are currently offering a free trial. So while you and your family are cooped up at home this would be a great time to use it. You could even sign up twice using different log ins to get that free trial more than once!
The second reason we’ve included it on this list is because it’s Disney! If you’re looking for a timeless way to entertain your kids, then why not show them the movies we all grew up with? Or maybe it’s time to take advantage of the modern content? Are you a lifelong Star Wars or Marvel Comics fan? Then it could be time for your child’s true education to begin! You are supposed to be home-schooling them after all. No harm in letting Luke Skywalker or Iron-Man lend a hand.
If you decide you really love the service, then you can pay for it monthly for the low cost of £5.99 a month. We actually think its bargain if you have kids. Sign up for the free trial here.
Fancy a bit of culture in your self-isolation? This one is not only free, but educational to both kids and adults too. The London Symphony Orchestra has launched its own online programme offering a range of musical goodness for our ears.
The LSO has done this in direct response to the coronavirus in an effort to keep the nation’s spirits up. It’s also the only way they can perform now that the venues they normally inhabit are closed indefinitely.
By tuning in not only are you supporting them, but they are supporting you. Classical music has existed for hundreds of years and has been there for people during all sorts of crises. Coronavirus is just the latest one.
The orchestra will be playing full-length concerts twice a week as well as providing interviews with the musicians. Each concert will be on a Thursday and Sunday evening. Not only is it a great way to entertain your kids and teach them about music, but their teachers will be very impressed!
Many educational resources are now free to help parents manage home schooling.
The BBC Bitesize Series
A range of lessons every day on the BBC, as well as lots of new content on the BBC Bitesize Website, follows the curriculum for ages 5 to 14. Celebrity presenters help children engage with their learning – from David Attenbrough teaching geography to footballers teaching Spanish!
MyTutor Free Online School
A leading online tutor service, MyTutor runs online sessions every day for GCSE-level students. A-Level modules and Key Stage 3 modules will be added soon, too. The live group tutorials help students learn in an online classroom environment – while their YouTube channel has lots of pre-recorded videos to catch up on content.
Clickview is another online learning platform. It offers a full range of video content for primary and secondary age children and has made a large number of resources available for free. Everything from verbs to the solar system is covered, helping to ensure your children continue to receive a rounded education even when schools are closed.
We know we can’t go and have a picnic in a public place while coronavirus is about, but we can have one in our own back gardens! Get out a nice rug, make some yummy food like pies and sandwiches then get outside and enjoy the sunshine. If you don’t have a garden, why not turn your living room into a camp site? Blanket forts and indoor picnics can liven up family film night!
Let’s not let this virus stop us from enjoying spring and all the nice things it brings.
If you’re the parent of more than one child, then why not turn their lessons into a fun quiz between family members? Be it maths, history or geography, make a game of it!
Make some questions ranging from easy to a little harder and have a child friendly game of Trivial Pursuit. But base the question on what your kids are currently learning at school.
So your children don’t resist avoid telling them it’s a lesson. Instead tell them it’s a game or a quiz. Don’t make it about winning or losing, after all one child may be older and more advanced than another. Therefore, find ways to include and help each child find the answer. Make it a team effort.
It could be a great way to educate and entertain your kids, but we think they’ll catch on that it’s a lesson disguised as a game eventually! But that’s okay.
Enjoying a good book is one of life’s greatest pleasures, if your children haven’t discovered reading yet then now is the time to help them do so. Of course, they can’t spend all their time at home staring at screens. And it’s going to rain eventually so staying out in the garden all summer won’t be possible either!
Therefore find out what your kids are most interested in and either read to them or encourage them to read themselves. They may say they don’t like it, but they’ve just not discovered the right book yet. Help them find it.
If your child is really averse to reading books, you could always try listening to them! Try Audible for lots of children’s audio books – or even your local library’s digital service for free audiobooks, too.
Sometimes, a little more encouragement is needed. If your child really hates reading, turn the task around: write your own story together! This’ll add to their literacy and creative skills, and can help them learn to love reading again.
Making cakes or cookies is a great way to entertain your kids when you’re stuck in the house. Not only is it a fun activity, it also teaches your children some useful life skills that they’ll remember forever. It’s also a fun way to use up your pantry ingredients to keep the cost down (and clear some space!). Try our free pancake recipe ideas to get started.
You can also encourage a bit of competition and introduce your own family Bake-Off! This is a great way to include older children in the household chores, too: ask each one to cook dinner one night a week as part of the competition. This teaches them valuable skills – and means you get a night off cooking now and then!
But more importantly, it allows you to enjoy the fruits (well cakes) of your labour afterwards!
Read our other article about children’s activities here.