Tuesday 31 March 2020

PARENTHOOD: Tried and Tested Free Online Live Activities for Children during Isolation

Tried and Tested Free Online Live Activities for Children during Isolation
Life has changed more than any of us could ever imagine over the past few weeks and here in the UK we find ourselves in lockdown isolation to help stop the spread of coronavirus. This has resulted in schools shutting and many of us suddenly finding ourselves home schooling our children full time. I keep going between sheer panic/worry to trying to be relaxed about this whole school situation, as this isn't something any of us could prepare for or anticipate. We are one week into isolation and home learning now and it has been a steep learning curve, that's for sure. I have Isabella who is in Reception, Poppy who is almost three years old and Rory who is five months, so their individual needs vary greatly and the balancing act has been exhausting to be honest. But the solidarity of the nation has really made such a difference; there is certainly an attitude of 'we're all in this together' that shines through the hard times.

There has been such incredible generosity from individuals, companies and brands during this challenging time for us all, many of which are aimed at supporting us parents when it comes to educating/entertaining our children at home. Many people/companies have started free live sessions/lessons across social media platforms that cover a range of subjects, ages and interests. These resources are invaluable at this uncertain time and one that I can't recommend for parents to utilise enough. It is so generous for all of these people to kindly create free content to make our lives easier, so showing them as much support as possible is one way we can give back.

Over the past week we have done a wide range of live sessions via social media platforms (mainly on Instagram, Facebook and YouTube), so I thought I'd share the ones that we've tried and tested and would therefore recommend to you.

9am - P.E with Joe on The Body Coach TV YouTube Channel.
This is the perfect way to start the day, get the blood pumping and keep fit too. Every Monday to Friday Joe does a live 30 minute workout on his YouTube channel, which can either be done at 9am or any time that suits you as it is saved to his channel.
9.30am - Live Phonics Session on The Dadsnet Facebook Page
These phonics sessions are aimed at 3-5 year olds and include the letters, sounds and actions. It's a great way to introduce phonics to your pre-schoolers or to recap over what the children have already covered in Reception. It is like a lesson, so also means you can grab a cup of tea or get some jobs done while your children learn/practice their phonics.
9.30am - Ballet Class with The Ballet Coach 
The Ballet Coach is putting on various sessions throughout the day/week aimed at different ages/abilities. The 9.30am session is for little ones (aged 2-5 years old) on Monday/ Wednesday/ Friday and is so interactive for young children. There is also Primary/Level 1 at 4pm and Adults Basic Ballet & Stretch at 10m. The way Sarah teaches her classes is engaging, fun and keeps the children active. You can catch her classes live on either The Ballet Coach's Facebook or Instagram.
10am - Play Session with Play Hooray on Instagram
This creative play session is the perfect way for your children to challenge their creativity and imagination. Each day Claire will let you know via her Play Hooray Instagram which craft resources you'll need for the play project and then at 10am there is a live Instagram session that really engages the children. A story is read, demonstrations of what to do, games played and a creative project task set.
10am - Drawing Lesson with Rob Biddulph 
You can either watch these on Rob's Instagram at 10am or follow the drawing lesson whenever suits you on his YouTube channel. Rob is a children's author and illustrator, which are skills he uses to teach us how to draw some of his popular characters, including Fred Bear and Sausage Dog. The tutorials are easy to follow and the results are seriously impressive for someone who has minimal artistic skills, like me.
11am - Science Session with Maddie and Greg 
Maddie Moate is a very popular presenter on Cbeebies and she has taken to YouTube with her partner Greg to present a live half an hour session focused on different topics. The first week was all about the Garden (all of which are saved onto Maddie's YouTube channel, so you can catch up) and are great for children to watch for a bit of quiet/learning time. They can be set a task, but you don't have to do anything while watching it other than watch and learn.
4pm - Cook with Theo with Theo Michaels on Instagram.
Cooking and baking is such a fun activity to do when at home and Theo has made it his mission to get the children cooking in a fun, educational live Instagram at 4pm every Monday and Wednesday. The ingredients needed are often 'store cupboard' or can easily be changed with what you do have at home. The first couple of recipes were flatbread pizzas and gnocchi, which were not only fun to make but delicious too! Theo cooks the recipes with his children too and the session was easy to follow along with.

I hope these help you keep your children entertained and learning ticking over during this incredibly hard time for us all.

Feel free to leave a comment - I love reading every single one :)

Helen x


  1. It is great how many resources are becomming available while we are all going through this. It just shows the support is there

  2. These sound like really useful activities to keep little ones entertained. It'll come in handy for my little one to help keep him busy. We've already done the Joe Wick workout a few times.

  3. This is really helpful - it can be tough knowing what to do with the kids to keep them occipied.

  4. Great list, I am loving just how many fantastic companies have released free worksheets, activities and online courses to help us parents and the kids out, its so lovely! I think my daughter would love the ballet one and my son would love the drawing too. Will check them out for sure this week, thanks for sharing!

  5. I can't believe how many companies are offering their services for free online, I think it is amazing and really shows how we are all in this together and trying to get through as best we can. My local pub are hosting an online quiz for free on Friday, I can't wait to team up with my friends on Skype and pretend we are out for the night

  6. I never imagined seeing anything like this in my lifetime, it's almost unreal. It's wonderful to see companies stepping up to offer services to all of the consumers, at a time where so many are frightened and possibly even living on a lower income.

  7. It's so nice that there are quite a lot of resources available online to make it slightly easier to teach your kids at home. Although I really admire parents trying to make it work especially when you have such age gaps between kids x

  8. I am very lucky that both my daughter's schools have set up online portals where there school work is downloaded to they can still learn every weekday. We do Joe Wicks in the morning and my youngest loves learning sign language with Natasha Lamb on YouTube.

  9. We have been doing PE with Joe every morning, definitely a great way to start the day. We are looking forward to the Dav Pilkey drawing sessions

  10. What a fab guide! I'll have to send this off to all of my friends with kids!

    Katie xoxo

  11. I've seen lots of people doing the online PE. A great guide here with some good tips on how to keep busy, as it can be very boring stuck inside

  12. I think what Joe Wicks is doing is amazing! My friend Stephen is reading kids books on Story Time With Stevey on Facebook which I think is lush too xxx

  13. Great ideas! My three year old really struggles to concentrate. Going to try a few of these this week, so thanks for listing them!


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