Saturday, 9 May 2020

Ad | What To Do With Your Bigger Kids (age 7+) While You Are At Home

Everyone who would usually keep you busy out of the house will need to hold on to some of their plans for a while until it's safe for everyone, but that doesn't mean there's nothing to do. A lot of folk are still determined to entertain you and they have temporarily moved online, so here are some of the sights you can still see....virtually...

Z-Arts crafts for kids at home

Z-Arts aren't open to the public, but the creative teams behind their fantastic arts projects are busy behind the scenes putting together loads of things you can do at home.

LEGOLAND Discovery Centre are doing 'Build At Home' Sessions with Masterbuilder James over on Facebook on Fridays at 3pm
If you have the same bricks as James you can follow his build, or work with whatever you have to create your own awesome version. Each video will be posted on LEGOLAND Discovery Centre Manchester's Facebook page. If you can't make it live, it will stay there for you to access whenever suits.

It’s 16 years since Waterside opened in Trafford and they want you to help mark the occasion from home, by celebrating the remarkable heroes all around us in The Heroes In Motion Challenge. Waterside houses the Cosgrove Hall Films Archive and is looking for short, made-at-home, animation clips to celebrate our everyday heroes.
"To mark our 16th birthday we’ll pick 16 entries to showcase on our website and put together a special screening when we reopen later in the year."
There are several FREE Stop Motion apps. and each week, they'll show different stop motion techniques to get your ideas rolling - including modelling with plasticine, collage and paper puppets - all using materials you can find around the house.
The competition is open to all ages. The piece should be no more than 1 minute long and should be recorded in landscape format (16:9).
The deadline for submissions is 1 June 2020. Find out all of the details here.

HOME Manchester have the Manchester Open Exhibition online, and are creating a series of works "Artists In Isolation".

People’s History Museum in Manchester may be closed, but you can still explore their collections and take part in digital events and activities using their Ideas Worth Exploring online resources.

The Science Museum Group have put together an awesome site where you can view loads of the exhibits from National Collections Centre, National Railway Museum, National Science & Media Museum, Science & Industry Museum and the Science Museum.

Afflecks Palace

You can still browse the oddities and eccentricities at Afflecks Palace, and even enjoy the Afflecks Spotify playlist while you do, so you can recreate the ambience at home.

ComedySportz are moving their live improvised comedy shows online, and teaming up with other ad lib comedy groups too - check the ComedySportz Facebook page for details.

Manchester Museum has lots of different galleries and exhibitions available to view online.

Greater Manchester Police Museum also has collections online.

Theatres Online have free theatre online, here's Wind In The Willows from the London Palladium.

Chester Zoo have absolutely loads of information online, including a virtual tour and educational resources, plus stories about the animals who live there.

Lockdown_life_ White_Bricks

The Lockdown Life Project – How Do Our Young People Feel in Lockdown?
 Our young people have had important milestones taken away. Routines, hobbies, and physical connections with friends have all been impacted by lockdown too. The Lockdown Life project by Chester-based not-for-profit organisation 2engage aims to give young people 10-18 from across the UK a creative outlet to express how lockdown has impacted their life.
Entries can be video, voice recording, image or photograph; art, poem, spoken-word, diary entry. A script, soundscape, song, musical composition or performance, a dance or even a comedy sketch.
Young people need to create and submit their lockdown entry via the 2engage website or Facebook, Instagram and Tiktok. Consent from the young person or their parent/guardian if under 14 will be requested on submission of their entry via the 2engage website. 
2engage will compile the entries in creative short videos and potentially other digital forms. 
For each entry £1 will be donated to Childline.
Project outcomes will be sent to schools and higher education settings across the UK to inform those who safeguard these young people and help them understand what they have been through. It’s hoped this will assist them in managing youngsters’ fears, expectations and emotions once they return to whatever the world looks like after Covid-19. 
Find out more on the website: https://2engage.co.uk/lockdownlife/ or Facebook/TikTok/Instagram:         @lockdownlifeproject

Boy and girl smiling and looking interested using a computer

Codetoday teaches kids aged 7-16 to code in Python, one of the world’s most popular coding languages. Courses run online, with various options for age groups 7-10, 10-12, 13-16. At each stage children are introduced to Python at an age-appropriate pace, with age-appropriate concepts and projects. They have a FREE coding taster session that children can have a play around with to get a taste.

Liverpool Museum hosts lots of their collections online.

National Theatre of Scotland are creating a series of works Scenes For Survival.

Listen to the Glasgow Gruffalo with Elaine C Smith.

LEGO Lets Build Together play ideas
Click to enlarge
LEGO Play Agents have been busy. They have daily play challenges, new play ideas and live build-a-longs - which will be shared on social media using the hashtag #letsbuildtogether and on the LEGO Group website - Let's Build Together

The Imperial War Museum have loads to look at online, including collections and the stories behind the pieces.

The National Football Museum have collections online and are currently thinking up inventive ways to let you get your football fix online.


Kids In Museums have put together a list of 10 different activities you can enjoy at home online.

Omnibus Theatre, Clapham are online with a DEM TIMES live performance. A young adult comedy-drama following the re-education of British-born troublemaker, Samuel Adjei, in a Ghanaian boarding school.

14 – 17 May 2020 - Pride Inside (Pride In Trafford festival)
To coincide with IDAHOBIT (International day against homophobia, biphobia and transphobia) Waterside and Trafford celebrate their second Pride in Trafford festival: Pride Inside.
All events are free but audiences can contribute to Waterside’s Pay It Forward campaign, where any donations for select Pride Inside shows go towards future theatre tickets for NHS workers and their families.
From Thursday 14 May - a brand new digital art work from emerging queer poet, Louis Glazzard will be online, in which Louis explores our relationship with technology and social media through the queer gaze in Behind The Eyes
On Friday 15 May the Bi-Monthly Queer Artist Talking Circle will take place in an online Zoom format – welcoming Manchester’s creative community who identify both as queer/LGBTQ+ and also as artists to come together to connect, share, talk, inspire and support one another. Further info on this session is available at prideintrafford.org.
From Friday 15 online Family Gorgeous Story Time sessions are being streamed direct from Waterside’s social media channels at different times across the weekend.  A partnership with Z-Arts Manchester, readers young and old can tune in to and join fabulous members of the renowned Manchester Drag Queen collective ‘Family Gorgeous’ – as they read children’s stories using their mix of outlandish costumes and hilarious storytelling skills.
On Saturday 16 May, join renowned DJ Bright Light Bright Light live from his New York home as he live streams Disco, pop, 12” mixes, movie soundtracks, hits, misses and hidden gems from all ages inspired by the music of one of his favourite films, Romy and Michele’s High School Reunion. 
Also on Saturday 16th May afternoon, Manchester’s Infamous Mother of House of Ghetto; Darren Pritchard will lead a one-off Vogue Dance Class online. In this session participants have the opportunity to explore the moves of Vogue in a 60 minute event. 
On Sunday 17 May, Darren is running a shorter one-off high energy Family Vogue Class where kids young and old can learn to strike a pose and master the basics of vogueing.

collage of photos from NatGeo website cat feather child

NatGeo have always had an excellent online site, and they have masses to offer any youngster who has an interest in plants, animals, the world around them or beyond! 
 - Explorer Joel Sartore has put together his unique endangered species Photo Ark project. 
 - An archived Explorer Live session with explorer Andy Whitworth who broadcast his session live from the rainforest!
 - Take your kids on an indoor safari
 - Learn how to take photographs like a Nat Geo Professional
 - Colour our World for Kids Map
  - Marvel at the World's Most Colourful Natural Phenomena
 - Watch Hummingbirds in Slow Mo
 - Go back to basics with 101 videos
 -  Boost kids’ brainpower with nature
Two National Geographic Explorers are hosting a Global Classroom event on 5th June, in partnership with WHO and UNICEF: Exploration Meets Education: Young Leaders Who are Changing the World
Tune in here: https://theglobalclassroom.com/ on 5th June, 16:30 BST

Tracy Beaker is back with brand new stories in The Tracy Beaker Podcast, made by BBC Children’s In House Productions, and based on the books by children’s author Dame Jacqueline Wilson.
Each episode follows the adventures of Tracy and her friends – as well as the occasional enemy along the way. All episodes are now available on BBC Sounds.

BBC Sound and Bigmouth Audio have a 'Once Upon a Time in Zombieville' podcast which is perfect for visually impaired and sighted children to enjoy together. An immersive comedy-horror audio cartoon recommended for children aged 7-12 and their families. Season 1 and 3 are available free of charge from BBC Sounds and Apple Podcasts.

Puffin Books activities during school closures

Children's publisher Puffin are celebrating their 80th birthday and have a massive package for kids and parents during the school closures: 

Puffin Storytime:  on Puffin’s YouTube, Instagram and Facebook channels search #PuffinStorytime
Mondays & Fridays, 3.30pm - Storytime & Draw-alongs for 0-5.
Charlie Changes into a Chicken: Tuesdays and Thursdays, 3.30pm Sam Copeland will serialise, in 20-minute episodes, his hilarious book for readers 7+
Story Starters for ages 6-11: Wednesdays, 3.30pm. Puffin authors will read extracts from their books to help inspire children to discover their next read.
The Puffin Podcast: A new 3-part Puffin Podcast series will launch on Sunday 19th April (via Spotify, Apple Podcasts, Acast and YouTube Kids), where comedian, children’s author and YouTube personality Humza Arshad hosts laugh-out-loud stories, games and jokes guaranteed to give you the giggles! The podcast will be available at www.puffin.co.uk/podcast  


The Puffin Festival of Big Dreams: An online seven-day Puffin Festival of Big Dreams in May. Writing workshops, drawing masterclasses and storytime sessions and a weekend of live events. Share your own big dreams during the festival using the hashtag #PuffinDreamer
Every weekday from 8th - 12th June, families will be able to enjoy two new videos from Puffin’s star-studded line-up, which will culminate in a live, interactive extravaganza the weekend of 13th and 14th June. Each event will be themed around dreams.
Authors and illustrators taking part include: Jacqueline Wilson (former Children’s Laureate), Robin Stevens (Murder Most Unladylike), Nathan Bryon & Dapo Adeola (Look Up!), Carrie Hope Fletcher (Into the Spotlight), Sam Copeland (Charlie Changes into a Chicken), Nadia Shireen (Bumblebear), Stuart Heritage and Nicola Slater (Jonathan the Magic Pony), Jamie Littler (Frostheart), Rashmi Sirdeshpande (How to be Extraordinary), Yassmin Abdel-Magied (My Name is Layla) and Lucy Hawking (Unlocking the Universe). The festival will be hosted by former Blue Peter presenter Radzi Chinyanganya and there will also be a special guest appearance from some real life puffins.
The Big Dreams on Screen: children have until 2nd August to send in their big dreams for a chance to have them turned into a film and premiered at their local cinema later in the year as part of the Into Film Festival

Working with the BBC: Puffin have also signed up to offer content and activities for both a BBC Bitesize Daily broadcast and BBC Bitesize Online.
Puffin Schools: To support teachers, parents and caregivers now tackling home-learning, the Puffin Schools website has bite size activities and new categories such as Writing Prompts, Activity Ideas and Picture Book Packs
Partnership with TWINKL: Puffin are providing resources from their authors and illustrators to Twinkl’s home learning hub, which offers daily educational activities and a range of free materials to use at home
Teach Primary’s ‘Author in Your Classroom Podcast’: series to inspire the next generation.
 YA Book Club: Launching soon on teen and YA channel: Penguin Platform on YouTube, Instagram and Twitter.

5 Minute Science STEM for kids FREE activities

I'm a big fan of fum science activities, and a couple of years ago my boys and I put together a whole range of 5 Minute STEM Activities which are FREE or cost pennies, and don't need any special equipment. Some of them don't need anything except you.

The BBC have scheduled a full 14 weeks of educational programmes and lessons for children of all ages, and there's some really excellent stuff with some of the best teachers in the UK, celebrities, authors, scientists - it's all there. You can find out more on the BBC Bitesize website.

For actual real teachers, the Department for Education supported Oak National Academy has brought together more than 80 state school teachers and organisations across the sector to create an online school, with lessons for every age and subject. And it's full of exciting ways to learn from home - it's not all print-out worksheets and pages of writing.

Andrew Lloyd Webber is streaming loads of his musicals free of charge on You Tube. You can find an updated list of free online musicals, opera and other performances here.


Game makers Asmodee have a whole range of FREE 'print and play' versions of popular games. They include Dobble, Cortex, Classic Timeline, Dixit and others. It's a fantastic opportunity to have a try of some of my family's favourite Asmodee Games... You can find the Asmodee Print And Play Family Games here.. 



I'll add to this when I see anything appropriate - please feel free to email if you also have moved online while people can't visit! I have been paid to add a couple of links to activities which are not free, because my family have to eat too. I will only add links to activities which I feel are good value and genuinely a good product. 

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