We understand that this is a difficult time for everyone. Juggling long days without the usual routine, home schooling, trying to keep the children entertained and occupied... It isn’t easy!!!
We’ve revamped our blogpost from last year with some new ideas and have collected some resources we love or we think children might enjoy. We hope these will be helpful during this period, whether it is activities to use to support home schooling or ideas to entertain the children to keep them occupied for half an hour or so! And don’t forget: you can join in too – get creative, jump around with the kids to PE with Joe, sing along to some music, sit down and listen to a story – while these resources are aimed at children and young people, they aren’t just for children!
*Please remember to look at all undernoted resources yourself first to check they are appropriate for your child and their age/stage. Please note, we have quickly collected the information together and have not gone through each resource with a fine-toothed comb, nor have we been able to arrange resources by age and stage. The resources below are simply some ideas collected together which may be helpful to provide a helping hand*
Getting into a Routine
It is really important to create a wee bit of structure to our days just now, some helpful tips on the websites below.
…If your plan or routine doesn’t go “to plan” (and sometimes it definitely won’t) – don’t worry, that is okay, change the plan or just go with the flow for that day! And remember: do what works for you and your family.
- Home Start – Adding Routine to Life at Home https://www.home-start.org.uk/adding-routine-to-life-at-home
- Some ideas and resources for adding some structure for the day https://www.aspire-sports.co.uk/aspire-active-hub
Let’s burn off some of that energy and get the children moving:
- PE with Joe returns for 2021 – PE classes on You Tube with the Body Coach (Live every Mon, Wed and Fri 9am, but accessible anytime (large backlog of previous classes on YouTube)). Link to the Body Coach’s You Tube Channel, search PE with Joe https://www.youtube.com/TheBodyCoachTV
- Cosmic Kids Yoga – Yoga, mindfulness and relaxation for children. Link to the YouTube channel: https://www.youtube.com/CosmicKidsYoga
Relaxation & Mindfulness
It is a stressful time for everyone at the moment, don’t forget to breathe! Building some relaxation and mindfulness into our days can really help. Here are some resources and ideas:
- Breathing Exercise: Count, Breath, Relax: Birthday Breathing, Sesame Street https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=n66r5Y6wguc
- Breathing Exercise: Star breathing https://www.elsa-support.co.uk/5-star-calm-breathing-exercise/
- Mindfulness – Build some gratitude into your day with gratitude practice (see Pinterest for ideas https://www.pinterest.co.uk/) Try a gratitude journal, jar or conversation. It can be as simple as thinking of one, two or three things you are grateful for: "Today I'm grateful for...". Also an opportunity to get a bit crafty – how about decorating your jar or journal?
- Meditation - Headspace for Kids https://www.headspace.com/meditation/kids
- Meditation - Calm App (search for content for kids and teens) https://www.calm.com/
- Meditation and Sleep Stories – New Horizon Meditation & Sleep Stories - https://www.youtube.com/user/NewHorizonHolistic
- Mindfulness - Stop Breathe Think, a mindfulness website also available as an app - https://www.stopbreathethink.com/
- Mental Health – CAMHS resources https://www.camhs-resources.co.uk/
- Mental Health – Supportive resources from Hampshire CAMHS https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC6tlR00hEPDri9m_2EB2QCA
Home Schooling isn’t easy…here are some educational resources to freshen things up and keep your children learning and engaged.
- British Sign Language - Learn some BSL with Natasha Lamb via YouTube! https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=rR2Zb7TbiOA&feature=youtu.be
- Stories - Free audio book stories available to children as long as the schools stay closed https://stories.audible.com/start-listen
- Stories - Free audios of David Walliams’ books https://www.worldofdavidwalliams.com/elevenses/
- Stories – Online Bookbug sessions (website, Facebook as well as an app) https://www.scottishbooktrust.com/bookbug
- Reading - Teach your Monster to Read – a great resource for younger children to help teach their phonics https://www.teachyourmonstertoread.com/
- Spelling - Spelling Shed – a web page full of resources and games to help with your children’s spelling (a no obligation 30 day trial no card details required): https://www.spellingshed.com/en-gb
- Lessons worth sharing – Educational TED talks for a variety of ages https://ed.ted.com/
- Science - The Kids Should See This – science-related videos, smart videos for curious minds - https://thekidshouldseethis.com/
- Educational video games - https://www.turtlediary.com/
- Maths - Website created by Carol Vorderman to help ages 4 -12 with mathematics https://www.themathsfactor.com/
- Maths – Maths on the Move - Aspire Sports active math lessons from home https://www.aspire-sports.co.uk/programme/maths-move-home-challenges
- General resources for home schooling https://www.twinkl.com/
- Daily Activity Sheets from Orchard Toys – Facebook https://www.facebook.com/orchardtoysltd/ or via their website https://www.orchardtoys.com/
- Educational TV, yes TV! From Mon, 11th Jan, CBBC will offer three hours of primary school educational TV from 9am. Find out more on BBC Bitesize https://www.bbc.co.uk/bitesize
- Languages – For Teens - Duolingo – An interactive tool to learn new languages https://www.duolingo.com/
Arts, Craft and Play
Arts, crafts and play are sooo important right now! Get stuck in yourself and get messy, laugh and have some fun creating and playing!
- Pinterest – a great resource for ideas when you’ve run out! https://www.pinterest.co.uk/
- Instagram – great ideas for natural play and crafts from two pages we love: The Rhythm of Play (https://www.instagram.com/therhythmofplay/), The Joy Journal (https://www.instagram.com/thejoyjournal/)
- Play Scotland – lots of downloadable booklets on their website with activities and ideas https://www.playscotland.org/parents-families/playful-families-library/
- Learn origami https://www.thesprucecrafts.com/origami-projects-for-kids-4142802
- Art for Kids Hub – a free website with video tutorials of how to draw, a family run blog https://www.artforkidshub.com/
- Red Ted Art for Kids – https://www.redtedart.com/
- Picklebums is a great online blog with lots of free ideas for the family https://picklebums.com/
- Educational and fun website full of arts, crafts and play ideas, perfect for home schooling https://happyhooligans.ca/
- Loads of free resources with quite a few related to the current coronavirus outbreak https://www.elsa-support.co.uk/category/free-resources/
Animals, Wildlife & Nature
If your child loves animals, wildlife, nature…these might be for them!
- Edinburgh Zoo offer live streaming via their animal webcams so anyone interested can watch what the animals there are up to. See link for more details:- https://www.edinburghzoo.org.uk/webcams/panda-cam/
- Zog downloadable activity sheets. Download free children's activity sheets for some dragon fun at home. See link for more details:- https://www.forestryengland.uk/resource/zog-activity-sheets
- Nature games and activities from RSPB https://www.rspb.org.uk/fun-and-learning/for-kids/games-and-activities/
- Animal-Wise educational activities from SSPCA https://www.scottishspca.org/animal-wise
Free Printable Downloadable Activities
Some other bits and pieces we’ve found and love – and good news, they’re free!
- The Happy Newspaper - Free downloadable resource packs to find and celebrate happy news – much needed at the moment! https://thehappynewspaper.com/product-category/education/
- Strong Girls Club Printables – Colour in members of the club and decide who you would put in your club. https://muthahoodgoods.com/pages/free-strong-girls-club-activity-download
- Elise Gravel's illustrations - we love these! Great conversation starters for lots of important topics! http://elisegravel.com/en/livres/free-printable-stuff/ And some colouring pages too http://elisegravel.com/en/livres/free-printables/
Resources Around Covid19
We are currently living through a pandemic, our lives have changes so much. The pandemic has raised lots of questions, feelings and concerns among children. Some of the resources below may help you as a parent and be useful for your child. As we said at the start – please review these yourself first.
- Resources and tips to help support parents during this time https://www.parentclub.scot/topics/health/coronavirus
- Place2Be - Supporting Children who may be vulnerable - a resource from Place2Be, a children's mental health charity https://www.place2be.org.uk/about-us/news-and-blogs/2020/march/coronavirus-supporting-children-who-may-be-especially-vulnerable/
- COVID19 story - Nurse dotty books, a story to help children understand COVID19 https://nursedottybooks.com/dave-the-dog-is-worried-about-coronavirus-2/
- Dealing with the Pandemic – Children. It is okay to worry about coronavirus – A resource pack for under 12s https://nhsforthvalley.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/04/COVID-19-Resource-Pack-Unders-Its-ok-to-worry-about-coronavirus.pdf
- Dealing with the Pandemic – Teens. It is okay to worry about coronavirus – A resource pack for teens – NHS Grampian https://education.gov.scot/media/2pdfjp5q/covid-19-resource-pack-overs-its-ok-to-worry-about-coronavirus.pdf
- Hello I am a Virus book https://www.mindheart.co/descargables
General Support/Resources for Parents
- Highland Child Protection Committee – lots of resources and information https://hcpc.scot/
- Bumps to Bairns – early help for Highland children https://bumps2bairns.com/
- Parent Club Scotland https://www.parentclub.scot/ or Facebook https://www.facebook.com/ParentClubScotland/
If you find any other great resources that have been helpful to your family, do let us know and we’ll add these in! If you are working with us and finding things difficult, do get in touch and our team will do what we can to help!
If you aren’t working with us but your family have experienced domestic abuse, please see our Services page for more information. If you would like to refer yourself and/or your child/ren, please do get in touch.
Tel: 0345 408 0151 (9am-5pm Mon-Fri, 24hr answerphone service)