Following the latest lockdown announcement, you could almost hear the collective sigh from parents across the country! How to keep the children entertained and gainfully occupied? Don’t worry, our bumper list of 15 activities is just what you need.
If there’s one thing that parents agreed on during the first lockdown, it’s that teachers need a hefty pay rise! Finding activities for the kids to do at home can be a hair-pulling task. To save you the stress we have come up with 15 fun and educational activities to keep your energetic children busy and occupied so that you can relax and work from home.
Something for all ages, activities include cooking, revision, physical exercise and even mental wellbeing. Browse our list and thank us later!
Home schooling with no prior teaching experience can be stressful for both the parent and the child. Juggling a household, work and now teaching isn’t easy for anyone. These remote learning activities can give you a break from playing teacher whilst giving you the peace of mind that your child is learning relevant and curriculum-based subjects.
Free Revision for 11+, GCSEs and A Levels
eParenting has put together a list of 50 free revision guides to keep tweens and teens motivated during lockdown. Studying from home can be hard and devices like the television and iPads can be distracting. Why not incorporate teens favourite thing (screen time) with revision. The websites listed have fun, interactive and educational revision guides catered to the school curriculum and specific subject focus for GCSE, SATs and A-Levels!
BBC Bitesize Daily
BBC Bitesize Daily is the perfect destination for entertaining and educational-at-home lessons for your child. You can catch up with all the lessons on iPlayer. There are loads of episodes to choose from including a sports week with Olympic silver medallist Bryony Page and a reading by Manchester United player Jesse Lingard.
The BBC is broadcasting three hours of primary school lessons every weekday from 9am on CBBC and at least two hours of secondary school lessons for the older kids. The lessons are interactive and entertaining as well as covering the school curriculum including maths, literacy and science. The programme will feature celebrity teachers including Marcus Rashford MBE. This is a great way for your kids to learn during this lockdown.
Teach them about Black history with BLAM UK
The best thing about home schooling is that we have some influence over what our kids are learning, so why not incorporate some lessons on Black history to their schedule. The BLAM UK app was launched in October and makes learning about Black history so easy. The app is aimed at 11–16-year-olds and educates them on Black history that is often missed out on the school curriculum. The BLAM UK app is available to download here.
All children love being read to, however working from home doesn’t always give us the time to read to our children on demand. The following story time platforms we have picked out bring stories to life and are read by a whole host of Black role models which will be sure to keep the children entertained for hours!
PBS Kids read along with Michelle Obama
Our forever first lady of the United States, Michelle Obama partnered up with PBS Kids, an educational media platform that prepares children for success at school. PBS Kids has a YouTube and Facebook platform where they feature learning material with positive role models such as Michelle Obama herself. You can catch the Read Along episodes with Michelle Obama on their YouTube Channel where she reads popular favourites, The Gruffalo and The Very Hungry Caterpillar.
This award-winning children’s literacy platform is perfect for bored children. Finding things to do around the house can be tedious and it’s hard to keep the little ones entertained for long! This Storytime channel will keep them entertained for hours with reads of diverse stories told by the likes of Viola Davis and Oprah Winfrey.
Tàta Storytime is a Storytime channel created by Okezie Morro, an actor who created the show after being inspired by his daughter. All stories feature a Black protagonist and Black characters. They are read by Black role models with expressive voices and facial expressions along with added sound effects, which help bring the stories to life. Storytellers include Susan Wokoma who reads: Who do I see in the Mirror by Vese Aghoghovbia Aladewolu.
Stimulating Puzzles and Activity Books
Puzzles and activity books are a great way to reduce the amount of screen time your kids are having and helps to encourage social interaction and other developmental skills. Our selection can be enjoyed by the whole family and spark engaging and thought-provoking conversations enabling your child to learn and have fun at the same time.
These puzzles will provide hours of fun for the whole family. Even as adults, lockdown can get extremely boring, afterall, there is only so much Netflix one can take! With these puzzles you can join your little one with a family friendly activity that will spark conversation surrounding their heritage. The African and Caribbean map puzzles are beautifully illustrated with monuments and landmarks.
If your child is naturally curious and is always asking questions about the world then Scoop magazine will be a perfect read for them. We featured the Black History Month special a few months back and love the focus on inclusion and learning. Scoop magazine is a digital and online publication for children aged seven and over and it’s packed full of articles, stories, games and activities that will spark curiosity. The latest issue explores the future and what the future holds.
Physical exercise and mental wellbeing
Children get stressed too, more of a concern lately with all the changes happening in the world. That’s why it is important to promote mindfulness in children and physical exercise for good mental wellbeing. Exercise has been proven to aid better sleep, ensure better moods and reduces feelings of depression and anxiety through the release of endorphins which trigger a positive feeling in the body. We have picked some activities that can help keep your children keep calm during the storm and help them to relax. You can also try these activities alongside your children for your own mindfulness!
Moe Jones Kids workouts
Keep the little ones active and use all that energy up with Moe Jones online workout sessions for kids. Physical exercise is extremely important and is great for mental health and wellbeing. The selection of workout videos is great for mimicking PE lessons and will keep the kids active and tire them out for a little while, you can even join them! The workouts can be found on Moe’s YouTube.
Go for a walk
Simply going for a walk is something that we should all be doing every day. It’s a great time to bond and chat while getting that much needed exercise and fresh air during lockdown. Government guidelines allow one form of exercise outside each day and going for a walk is a great way to get the steps in. You can spot nature, collect leaves for arts and crafts or play eye spy!
We’ve all grown up with Mr Motivator (Derrick Evans MBE)! His hilariously funny workout videos in whacky costumes are sure to get the kids and even the whole family moving. His videos are engaging and motivating and incorporate music, dance and workouts to encourage a healthier lifestyle. The exercises do not need a lot of space or any equipment you wouldn’t have at home, Mr Motivator even has workouts that can be done while you’re sitting in your chair! Mr Motivator is hosting free Zoom classes three times a week and is only asking for donations to help the homeless, so sign your kids up to give them something to look forward to each week. Beyond his fabulous YouTube and Instagram, Mr Motivator has also been signed to be a part of the BBC Teach Live sessions to offer tips on physical and mental wellbeing!
Headspace for Kids is a wellbeing platform that aims to bring mindfulness and meditation to a younger audience. Home schooling and a break from their routine can put stress on kids, so it’s important that self-care is incorporated into their routines. Teaching children about looking after their mind is just as important as teaching them about looking after their bodies! There are breathing exercises, visualizations and focus-based meditation to keep your little ones happy and healthy.
Cooking and Baking
Cooking is a great way to try new things and spark creativity! The cooking and baking activities that we have picked out can help fussy eaters explore and learn more about food and navigating their way around a kitchen. Why not encourage your kids to help make lunch or dinner during lockdown?
Cooking with Omari
12-year-old vegan entrepreneur Omari McQueen has his own cooking show on CBBC! Your children can watch Omari’s episodes and get some inspiration to be creative and explore with yummy and healthy foods whilst learning from someone they can relate to. You can catch up with series one on BBC iPlayer, where Omari takes us through ‘Choccy Oat Bars’ and ‘Kickin’ Jackfruit Curry’.
Another great cooking platform for children hosted by a child! Zoe has lots of healthy and delicious recipes that your children can follow along to at home including ‘Paleo Pound Cake’ and ‘South African Grilled Cheese’. Zoe is a great age-appropriate role model that can encourage kids to try new foods and help out in the kitchen.