At first, taking life slowly with the kids during this lockdown filled you with joy. A chance to catch up, spend time as a family! Fast forward to today. You’ve covered homeschooling, played every single board game in the house, baked countless batches of animal-shaped triple-chocolate cookies, made rainbow drawings with extra glitter (now everywhere around the house). Yet the day is far from over. Worry not, here are some of our favourite ideas to give you a little respite and keep you smiling:
Artist activity packs
Famous ones! First Site, a contemporary art gallery in Colchester, has worked with Antony Gormley, Grayson Perry, Gillian Wearing, Michael Landy… to create a free, downloadable activity book, ‘Art Is Where the Home Is’. Every project can fit on a single A4 sheet of paper and will only use basic material you already have at home. Wallinger’s idea, for example, is inspired by prehistoric cave painters who used their hands as stencils. Children could trace theirs, draw the details, add colour, henna like patterns… Placed in windows, they would make a symbolic wave, a nice complement to all those rainbows out there.
The activity pack will be available to download for free from April 3. You can sign up now and will receive an email when it is available.
City Farm life
Miss countryside walks and seeing the kids lighting up when seeing lambs, horses, hens? Bath City Farm uses its Facebook page to broadcast live animal feeding every Saturday at 11 am. That includes Pam the pig and piglets and Shetland ponies Dougie and Dougal. Irresistible!
Chris Haughton’s #stayathome and art classes
Big fan of his children’s books? Us too – we have the full collection… Tune in on Haughton’s Facebook page at 5 pm GMT every weekday and you will be treated to book reads, live art tutorials and singalongs. There are plenty of stencils, colouring-in and collage templates to download on his website to get you started.
Draw with Rob Biddulph
Rob Biddulph, author of books including GRRRRR! and Odd Dog Out, is posting a new draw-along video on his website every Tuesday and Thursday at 10 am. You can start refining your alien, sausage dog, dinosaur… skills with the recordings already shared and tweet/insta him the results.
Get creative with Tate Kids
Your life is going to get a lot messier… in a good way. There are arty activities galore on their new kids’ page (from making marbled paper with foam to designing a chocolate painting) and rather funky quizzes.
Kids’ TED talks
A good one to bounce back on homeschooling and making screen time useful. There is a fascinating range of themes to choose from: a mathemagician racing a team of calculators, the genius puppetry behind War Horse, a popular web magazine made for and by Teen girls… Plenty to captivate and inspire young minds. You might very well find yourself sitting down to watch too!
Sharky & George’s 60 Second Shake
Sign up for these free, fun, mini one-minute competitions! You will use old bottles, ping pong balls, toys, craft and kitchen items, and other things that you can find around the house. Those that post the best videos with fastest times will be announced live as the winners.
Stay at home storytime with Oliver Jeffers
Children’s author and illustrator Oliver Jeffers is reading one of his books every weekday, chatting about some of the things that went into making it as he goes along. It’s not only about the sweetest adventures and crayon drawings: it’s about talking about feelings, emotions, friendship and feeling we’re all in this together. See him live on Instagram here (Mondays-Fridays at 6 pm) or catch up on his website.
The great indoors
Scouts have released 100+ free, fun indoor activity ideas to keep learning skills. Think building a miniature raft with twigs and leaves, guerilla gardening, compass coding… You can even earn a few badges in the process!
To celebrate the launch of their Wild Things book, Lonely Planet has shared one of the fantastic ideas featured in this treasure of outdoors adventure: making your own unicorn. You just need an old sock, newspaper pages, glue gun, items collected from the nearby park/forest/countryside and a little imagination.
Any cool tips on your side? Share in the comments below!