The best free ways to keep kids entertained during lockdown
The best free ways to keep kids entertained during lockdown
It’s a frustrating time for little ones. The all-important daily routine been turned upside down. There’s no more seeing nursery or school friends. Trips to the swimming pool and play park are off, and there’s little hope of a summer holiday in sight.
If your kids are getting restless from all this time cooped up in the house, it can be tempting to splash out on pricey electronics and games consoles to keep them entertained or fall into the trap of ordering expensive toys and gadgets online just for something new to do.
Instead, try some of these easy, cheap ways to entertain and divert your little darlings. You might find that staying home and staying safe doesn’t actually have to cost a penny…
Go to celebrity school
Okay, maybe the kids aren’t begging to get back to school just yet, but they might feel differently when they take a look at this timetable. If anything can persuade them to turn away from Fortnite in favour of something more educational, it’s a bit of celebrity schooling…
- Art classes, Tuesdays and Thursdays at 10am – Join children’s author and illustrator Rob Biddulph for a free draw-a-long lesson. From penguins and alligators to aliens and dinosaurs, these quick and quirky projects will fire up creativity and let little imaginations run wild. What’s more, all you need is a pen and paper to take part.
- Wildlife homeschool, Wednesdays at 9.30am – Nature guru and avid adventurer Steve Backshall live streams these wonderful wildlife lessons, touching on conservation, geography and biology, too. If your children are curious about critters and love nattering about nature, they’re sure to be transfixed by this live Q&A format.
- English, 11am daily – Bestselling children’s author David Walliams is reading an excerpt from his ridiculous and imaginative books daily. And if you ever miss a day, the recordings are stored on his website for a full week so you can catch up on every chapter.
- PE lessons, Monday to Friday at 9am – You’ll enjoy more relaxed afternoons and peaceful evenings if the kids get all their excess energy out of the way first thing. Follow ultimate PE teacher Joe Wicks to hop, skip and star-jump your way into the day. Check out his YouTube channel (and watch previous fitness tips) here: https://www.youtube.com/thebodycoachtv
- Music, Monday, Wednesday and Friday at 10am – Who better to teach your budding musical geniuses than Myleene Klass? She’s offering lessons that touch on music theory, rhythm and even reading notation. Sounds good to us!
Craft a radiant rainbow to support the NHS
Feeling creative? Gather up all the crayons, pencils, paint, felt tip pens and crafting materials in the house and while away an hour or two making rainbows. There’s no need to stop at pencils and paint either – why not experiment with pipe cleaners, buttons, pom-poms, crepe paper, stickers and colourful fabric? Once the rainbows are ready, you can proudly display your works of art in the window for all to admire.
Have a holiday at home
Let’s face it, no-one’s heading off on a camping trip to Skegness any time soon. But even though days out and foreign travel are off the table, it doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy your very own camping holiday at home. Some old bedsheets, a scattering of squashy cushions and a few cleverly positioned chairs can transform almost any space in the house into a den for the day – if you add a pinch of imagination. Or, dig out the tent and have a camping trip in the garden. When it gets dark you can hang up some fairy lights, toast a marshmallow or two and tell spooky stories. Plus, it’s nice to know you’re never too far from the toilet block…Get free advice
Forget your troubles, come on, get appy
You shouldn’t have to shell out for pricey subscriptions to keep kids captivated. While it might be hard to imagine a life without Netflix right now, there’s actually plenty of quality content online that’s available for free…
- Audible has made a selection of beloved children’s books available for as long as the schools are off. Cue up Winnie-the-Pooh or Alice in Wonderland and let someone else do the bedtime story for a change.
- BBC iPlayer Kids is a free app that bundles the best of BBC kids programming into one, handy app-sized package. From classics like Blue Peter and Danger Mouse to bang up to date shows like Horrible Histories and Junior Bakeoff, these free shows are sure to banish boredom.
- Chill out before bedtime and soothe any grumpy little brows with a bit of Calm. The meditation app has made some of its Calm Kids content available for free, and there’s no better way to get a little tranquility into the evening after a long day in lockdown.
- Amazon are offering an entertaining selection of shows for kids on their Prime platform – and you don’t even have to subscribe. With over 40 shows available, there’s enough content to keep children cheerful for hours.
Do some virtual sightseeing
While it’s not a patch on the real thing, there’s something to be said for skipping the queues and the sore feet to enjoy a bit of sightseeing from the sofa…
Central Park – Head off from 72nd Street on a guided tour of New York’s most iconic green space. From glittering lakes and shaded trees to famous statues and fountains, it’s a wonderful way to have a bite at the big apple.
The Louvre – Gaze at the Mona Lisa or come face-to-face with a Pharoah on a tour of Paris’s most cherished museum. While it’s not possible to visit right now, this is the next best thing.
Lapland – Need a change of scene? Head for the frozen north and experience reindeer sledding, an ice hotel and the dazzling northern lights with these 360-degree experience videos from Lapland – you don’t even need to wear gloves!
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