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...

Dotted through the post are some free printables from Puffin that you can click on, save and print off on A4 paper... 

Elderly people using VR technology

Heritage Open Days is running from 11 - 20 September - and it is the largest volunteer led festival in the UK. They have some great FREE events that would be ideal for families who are looking to save money but still have a great time with their kids.
The theme this year (which is optional) is Hidden Nature, and it's an opportunity to explore nature on our doorstep and further afield, and embrace the benefits of being outdoors. This year, for the first time, there are digital events, so audiences can tune into fascinating talks, tours and exhibitions from all over the country. This means that no matter where you are, you can access events and activities.

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.

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.

Puffin Books Childrens literacy Door sign

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. They'll also be taking part in the FREE Online Fringe - see below... 

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: 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 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.

The National Football Museum European Cup trophy

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.

Nat Geo advert with photos of explorer dressed for arctic expedition

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. They've set up an entire 'At Home' platform for families. We reviewed a FREE online Zoom session with real explorers

 - 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

Puffin Books Childrens literacy tracy beaker heightchart

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  

Puffin Books Childrens literacy Wordsearch

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.

Edinburgh Fringe can't take place in person, so it's moving online and FREE, although donations are all welcome as artists can't survive on thanks and wishes. There's a full programme of live events through August, featuring loads of family friendly performances, including Manchester favourites Comedy Sportz - find out more and book your slot on your armchair... Free Fringe Festival Online

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.

Puffin Books Childrens literacy dreamer name

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.. 

Puffin Books Childrens literacy inspiration board

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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