Edu-tainment at Home - Fun and Free Resources for Kids and Parents
With the kids home from school but not necessarily on holiday - and with myself and the hubster also trying to work from home at the same time - we quickly found some education/entertainment for the kids which they have totally loved.
Remember, schools do not expect us to teach our kids like they do, and that when they are at school for 6 hours, they are only in active learning for a very small amount of that by the time lunch breaks, play learning, music and PE and general daily fuss abouts all go on.
So don't expect you and your kids to be in "School Mode" for a full day. Enjoy this season of unexpected (or erm.... forced) family time and reconnect, play, chill. My favourite parts of the day are just hanging out feeding the goldfish, baking together, watching new episodes of Bluey with a big bowl of hot popcorn. (Yes we can share food in our own home)
But here is a list of some of the free resources we have found in the past few days that the kids have really enjoyed!
Free live science classes are running daily at 10am, and my girls are obsessed with it! They do really cool experiments and discuss the science behind what they are doing. Replays available on the website link above too. This has to be one of the most popular live classes around at the moment!
My girls love doing a morning stretch to the stories in Cosmic Kids Yoga. I gave it a shot and was surprised at how hard some of the poses actually are!
Tiffiny Hall is running free workouts at the moment, I find her cheerfulness and positive energy are really good for the soul and she gives options for different skill levels.
A really cute initiative to brighten up the walks around your neighbourhood. Families are drawing rainbows and putting them in windows or on driveways in chalk for children to spot as they go for a wander each day.
The Lost Puppy
No link for this one - it's a game I made up while they were watching the science live class. I snuck out and hid one of their toy dogs in the garden. Then I told them that the puppy had got loose and they had to go find it. Off they went for a good 15 minutes of outdoor exploration. Depending on the size of your toy or your yard you could make it something small like a turtle figurine or even a crew of lego-men for more of a challenge.
Kids love tech stuff and typing is a massive life skill that will be really helpful to have sooner than later. This website has games all set around learning to type, so it's fun and the kids love it.
Some schools will already have logins for your kids, ours only had it for the older one so I have the free trial and will likely pay monthly for my younger daughter.
Code.org is a free resource based in the US that has lots of games and projects for kids to learn coding. Try out fun computer science tutorials, watch videos about computer science concepts, and even build your own projects!
This is an app that teaches kids coding, but is designed as a game. Kids aged around 7-8 will get it, the younger ones might not be up to it just yet. Basically if your kid is into Minecraft, this will be totally in their zone. It is an apple app, sorry android users. But, its free!
This is an info-comic designed to explain what coronavirus and COVID-19 are and why we are keeping ourselves at home and washing our hands so much.
BTN = Behind The News. It's basically news for kids made by the ABC. There is a full half hour of news added every Monday (my Grade 4 says they watch this in class once a week) and there are the shorter stories with PDF's attached for discussion about the story and worksheets on related content to keep their minds active. While it does have news on COVID-19, its kid-friendly and suitable for young minds. Unlike our news, there are also lots of stories on other topics like this one on edible bugs that my girls loved watching, discussing and doing the worksheet on:
MORE FUN STUFF
There are more intense Lego Challenges running around if your kids are lego fanatics (just google Lego Challenge) but this is a little simpler and also engages problem solving skills. First, the kids build their lego island, then they take cards from the disaster pile (free printable) and build the solution. I am so in love with this!
Betty White, Oprah, Hillary Duff and loads more celebrities are reading picture books with animation on this free Youtube channel.
More for older kids as his stories are written for around age 8+. Its audio only but fun stories for older kids.
Animals still need feeding! So while the Zoo's are all public-free zones, the keepers are doing live demonstrations on their social media pages! From crocs to penguins, there's a different live feeding and info session everyday.
Kids of all ages love play dough! Older kids can help you make it and then play a game of charades where instead of acting out the item, they have to craft it from the play dough. Hilarity ensues...