Ultimate guide to free online activities for kids in lock down
Here’s a quick guide to lots of free online activities for kids in lockdown. Much of what was available last year is still available now, so if your child missed ‘shaking their bootie with Oti’ or grabbing ‘Elevenses” with David then now is your opportunity!
Get Moving – indoor energy burners
Home schooling requires a fair amount of sitting down concentrating, so it’s great to give kids something to burn off their energy and inspire them to get moving to in between lessons.
Line jumping – such a simple and fun idea. Simple create a line on the floor and let the kids follow the video showing the different styles of jumping over it to music. This one was a bit hit with my boys.
Tabata – 8 sets of 20 seconds worth of fun exercises for kids to party music.
Cosmic Kids Yoga – short yoga classes aimed at children.
Zumba Kids – a kids zumba class
Kids Kickboxing and Martial arts – some suggested sets for young children. I’m thinking if your children are bigger you may need some pads for this one!
Ninja now workout – this is one of the faves in our house. Any excuse to pretend to be a ninja!
Indoor PE games – this is a great example of how easy it is to give your kids something fun to burn off their energy and keep them busy. Great inspiration.
PE with Joe Wicks – Joe is doing PE for kids live every Monday, Wednesday and Friday or you can catch up with his sessions from his YouTube channel.
Dancing with Oti Mabuse – if your child loved a bit of Strictly then dancing with Oti could be a big hit!
BBC iPlayer has an excellent selection of educational programs for young children in addition to the daily live sessions on CBBC. They can learn about wildlife with Andy and his many different adventures or amazing machines with Grace. When you are in a hurry it can be hard to find the right thing, so here’s a list of some of the BBC’s great educational programs by age category.
Reception and KS 1
The Zoo, Operation Ouch, Number Blocks, Graces Amazing Machines, Let’s go for a Walk, Alpha Blocks, CBeebies Snow Babies, Star Gazing, Down on the Farm, Vet Tails, Get Well Soon Hospital, Maddy Do You Know, My Pet and Me, Where in the World . If your child enjoys Andy’s Wild Adventures they will likely also enjoy his Aquatic Adventures, Baby Animals, Dino Adventures, Pre-historic Adventures, Safari Adventures and Deadly Dinosaurs.
Art Ninja, Blue Peter, Deadly 60, Deadly Dinosaurs with Steve Backshall, The Dengineers, Horrible Histories, How to be Epic @Home, Match of the day Kickabout, One Zoo Three, Operation Ouch, Out of this World, The Pets Factor, The Zoo, Blue Peter, Newsround,
Documentaries that may be suitable for older kids
ITV Hub: How, Inside Britain’s Food Factories, London Zoo, BBC iPlayer: Pole to Pole, Sacred Rivers with Simon Reeve, Cheetah Family and Me, Snow Animals, The Polar Bear Family and Me, The Planets, 8 days to the moon and back, The Sky at Night. There are many Sir David Attenborough Series including Life Story, Blue Planet II, Planet Earth II, Africa, Frozen Planet, Seven Worlds, One Planet, Life, Planet Earth,
Most kids love learning to draw. especially when they can be amazed with what they created by following along with a lesson step by step.
Art for kids Hub – we love how the camera shows both the artist and a child following the instructions at the same time. There are loads of different lessons to choose from.
Jony ABC – shows how you can follow along to draw basic landscape scenes.
Draw with Rob – Rob Biddulph is a multi award winning author and illustrator. During the first lock down he published these draw along lessons.
Maddie Moate – Maddie is an award winning presenter from the CBeebies series “Maddy’s do you know”. On her channel at the beginning of lock down she brought us live daily kids science lessons. These half hour videos are engaging and sure to keep kids watching whilst learning about science.
Free stories read aloud for children to listen along to. Some of the options below include video with the book pictures and others are just for listening to.
Story time from space – Story Time from Space is a project of the Global Space Education Foundation. They send children’s books to the International Space Station where astronauts are videotaping themselves reading these books to the children of Earth. Pretty cool huh?! There is a library of pre-recorded books to choose from.
David Walliams Elevenses – This was originally set up for the first lock down but at the time of writing there are still some stories available to listen to.
Storyline Online – there are loads of books to choose with from some read by celebs including Kevin Costner, Christian Slater and even Oprah. We love how the books show the suggested age grade and the videos shows any pictures.
Sooper Books – choose from a free library of 5 minute or 10 minute stories read aloud. No pictures with this one but lots of the old classics to choose from like Jack and the Bean stalk and Little Red Riding Hood.
Favourite Educational (ish) apps
A bit of tablet time is a great reward for most kids but sometimes it feels better giving them something vaugely educational that they can still enjoy, rather than ‘game’ games. Here’s some of our favourites.
Happy Colour – a colour by number free app. Loads of great pictures to choose from including super hero’s and favourite characters. Great for reception and KS 1 level for number recognition and older kids can just enjoy doing it.
Teach Monster – an award winning app teaching children to read which kids genuinely enjoy playing at the same time. There is a nominal charge for device versions of the game but it’s free on a pc.
Monster Physics – a building game for kids to explore the principles of physics. Use any of the 68 different parts to build anything your imagination can think up. Put your design to the test to see if it’s structure would work in real life. Recommended age 8+
Flow Free – a fun puzzle game. Great for spatial development, figure out how to connect the colours and complete the game board.
Schools are well organised in giving parents lots of support this time around so for the most part, your child’s educational needs will likely be covered. That said, some times a bit of extra support can be helpful, so here’s a few of our favourite resources.
Twinkl – a well known resource for good reason, it has it all covered. We love this website for all it’s fab learning material and worksheets. It’s also really useful to be able to see and understand what your child should be able to do at each stage of the curriculum. Some resources are available free but there is a small monthly charge to access all the material. Worth noting that you can see the CBBC live lesson plans here.
BBC Bitesize – great for short fun video’s teaching children on a particular subject. Covers all ages from 3yrs to 16+ across all areas of the school curriculum.
Oxford Owl – free access to online books according to your child’s reading level. If your child has not been able to bring books to read home from school, this is a great place to get reading material.
We hope you find this list useful. If you know of any other resources that you and your children enjoy and you’d like to share with others, please do let us know by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
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