NEW Resources to keep families busy during Lockdown

June 23, 2020Advice, Information, Lifestyle, Parenting, Real life, Things To Do

With some schools and nurseries reopening, there is less pressure on parents to entertain and educate the kids. This means there’s more time for fun as a family and more opportunities to make more amazing memories as we continue to spend more time together under lockdown. With a long summer ahead of us without the distractions of a holiday or trip abroad, we’ve put together our favourite resources to help you make the most of the next few months. 

Updated lockdown rules to remember

  • From Monday 15th June, non-essential shops can start to reopen (but remember, we’ve always been open 24/7).
  • If you’re using public transport, all adults and children over the age of 2 years old must wear a mask at all times
  • Single adult families may now form a ‘bubble’ with one other household. You can sleep over, give each other lots of cuddles and form your own, extended household. Remember, if one member of the bubble shows symptoms of Covid-19, you must all quarantine for 14 days and get tested for the virus where possible. 
  • You can drive anywhere you want within England for some outdoor exercise – you must not cross the borders into Scotland or Wales, where lockdown rules are more strict. 
  • Groups of a maximum of 6 people can meet in a garden but you can only go inside the house to use the toilet (it is your responsibility to clean) or to enter / exit the property.

Find something to smile about

  • Inspire your little ones to treat the world with kindness (when we need it more than ever) with this sweet PSA from Kid President
  • Read The Good News Network, a website filled with uplifting global news stories.
  • Follow @the_happy_broadcast on instagram, an account dedicated to anxiety-free news and positive thoughts from around the world.
  • Read & follow Positive News online and on Instagram for ‘good news about good things’. 
  • Subscribe to The Parenting Edition newsletter from Sheerluxe for ideas, advice and inspiration for everything parenting. 

Listen to a good podcast

To help parents stay sane, feel less alone and remember that you’re doing your best. 

  • The Scummy Mummies Podcast, ‘for less-than-perfect parents’ from comedians Elle Gibson & Helen Thorn. 
  • Dope Black Mums a weekly podcast fronted by five dope black mums who keep it real and rarely agree on anything. 
  • The Grace Tales, a modern podcast on motherhood from former Vogue Australia editor, Grace Abay, includes episodes on race, mental health and parenting in a pandemic. 
  • Pillow Talk with Papa B and Candice Brathwaite listen to this charming husband and wife team share their insights on current affairs and key issues, with a healthy dose of humour and love. 
  • Here We Go Again with Stacey Solomon discusses what it’s like to have a baby a while after your first, how things have changed and what motherhood means now. 
  • Get Your Glow Back with Madeleine Shaw, a wellness podcast for mums to keep you and your little ones happy and healthy. 

Feel better with mental health support

See our first lockdown resource list, published way back in March, for links to NHS & mental health charity resources. 

  • Advice and information to support your children’s mental health during the pandemic from Young Minds UK. This includes guidance if you’re having trouble with your child complying with changing lockdown restrictions. 
  • This list of support Helplines for all ages and needs, aggregated by the NHS.  
  • Mindfulness app Headspace and children’s classic Sesame Street have teamed up for a series of short animations to help children to understand and manage anxiety, insomnia, impatience and other difficult feelings. Watch now on YouTube

Entertain the kids with fun activities

Encourage their creativity and engage their minds with artistic activities, at home and beyond. 

  • From printable Paper Dolls to educational Alphabet Cards and classic ‘Spot the Difference’ pages, we’re publishing new printable activities on the My 1st Years blog.
  • Find the perfect online art class for your little Monet here and read more about how to find the best fun, free and safe online art lessons here
  • Instead of Shakespear in the Park, this year it’s all about livestreaming from the living room – from puppet shows to ballet to child-friendly musicals, you can enjoy the fun of the theatre from your own home.
  • Occupy a little gamer with Wired’s list of great educational & entertaining games for kids.
  • Book tickets to the socially-distanced cinema with brand new drive-in Luna Cinema screens popping up across the country. Family favourites on offer include Mrs Doubtfire, Mary Poppins, Happy Feet and many more.

Support their learning at-home

Find resources designed to further your little one’s development, whatever their age. 

  • This list of online education resources for home learning during the coronavirus includes free subject-specific resources for different ages and educational needs, published by the UK Government. 
  • Twinkl offers an online database of over 525,000 teacher-created educational resources for every stage of your child’s learning journey. 
  • BBC Teach offers bitesize daily lessons, interactive classes, curriculum-mapped videos, all arranged by age-group and subject. 
  • Keep your kids’ time tables ticking over with this handy 10 Minutes a Day Times Tables app from educational publishers Dorling Kindersley
  • Oxford Owl offers comprehensive teaching resources & a free library of e-books for primary age children. 

Keep moving together 

YouTube is a treasure trove of easy at-home workouts to get you and your family moving through lockdown (and actually enjoy doing so). 

  • Mommy & Baby Yoga from Liel Cheri and her adorable baby Milena. Each video is a challenging and grounding experience to share with your little one in an easy-to-fit-in 30 minute session. 
  • YogaBeez offers yoga and mindfulness videos and live streams for children and families. 
  • The Ballet Coach offers ballet dance lessons, available for ages 2+ (all the way up to adult!). 
  • PopSugar Fitness regularly releases new, varied workout videos for all activity levels from a diverse range of instructors (everything from barre to boxing to bootcamps), including this Family Fun Cardio Workout to do with your kids! 
  • Recreate the magic of a Disney World holiday with this at-home Disney Dance Party
  • Stick on their favourite tunes and shake out all of your stress with this hour-long party mix from KidzBop.
  • If everyone at home is starting to get a bit grumpy, round up the troops for this 40 Minute Family Bootcamp Workout from popular online trainer, Sydney Cummings.

Have a Summer Holiday to remember!

Don’t let extended lockdown and holidays abroad cancelled get in the way of a summer of adventures. 

  • ZSL are reopening London & Whipsnade Zoos with social distancing measures in place. If you can’t make it over there,  explore Zoos & Wildlife Parks from around the world within your own home with Kidadl’s guide to wildlife livestreams. All you need is a strong WiFi connection!
  • Subscribe to WWF’s Amazing Planet for monthly deliveries packed with facts, educational features and more to educate and inspire your little ones for a life-long love of Planet Earth. Proceeds from the subscription go towards protecting our wonderful world, wherever it is needed most. 
  • English Heritage sites are reopening for everyone in July, check the website for sites near you. Be sure to pre-book your visit online, you won’t be allowed in otherwise.
  • National Trust have already started to reopen sites across England and Northern Ireland. Click here to find a site near you and book your visit in advance (yes, even if you’re a member).

Cook up a storm in the kitchen

Ditch the banana bread and freshen up your baking for summer. 

  • Try these easy summer sweet treat recipes from Tesco Food
  • Delish has put together 17 Healthy Kids Desserts that you’ll enjoy making together as much as they will enjoy eating them.
  •  Trust BBC Good Food for tried and true recipes to bake up a storm with your little ones. 
  • Whether your family is going plant-based, managing allergies or just looking to experiment with something a little different (we know you’ve got the time), try out some vegan desserts for a fresh take on traditional bakes. 
  • Still missing your restaurant favourites? Recreate the restaurant experience at home with these iconic recipes to make at home.  

For more resources to help you educate and entertain the kids at home, read our original lockdown list from March. 

For a list of resources to help parents to raise your children to be anti-racist, click here. 

For a list of resources to help your children learn about racism and how to actively fight it, click here. 

With love,

My 1st Years x