Into the Unknown - Keeping Young Ones Busy
Life has changed dramatically overnight, and we now find ourselves playing teacher, play mate, and all-around entertainer to our children. With the lockdown set to continue for a while longer, we could all do with a little help to keep us entertained! So we've compiled a list of some ideas and resources to try to keep everyone sane.
Magic Light, who produce the animated version of the Julia Donaldson books, have been releasing free work sheets and activities on their Facebook page daily HERE
Pinterest is a fantastic resource for recipes and free craft ideas – keeping the kids entertained doesn’t have to be expensive, collect your milk bottles, cereal boxes and toilet roll tubes and get junk modelling and more – here are just a few ideas we’ve found.
For those of you wanting to add a bit of fun, while teaching your young ones the bible, then there are plenty of programs on RightNow media made exclusively for kids and families. There’s loads of 5-minute family devotionals – we love Old Testament Heroes!
Liberty Subscribe to RightNow media so you don’t have to pay for it. To set up an account, just email firstname.lastname@example.org
Many churches around the world have put so much time and effort to make sure that with this lockdown our kids are not missing out on the Godly teachings that they would get during a Sunday service. Three of these churches include; Hillsong who have created an app that not only includes video’s and devotionals but also activity sheets and colouring pages that you can download and enjoy. Vous Church has created weekly lessons and memory versus with videos for those who want to keep to well known weekly routine. They also have their own Pinterest Boards with even more ideas. Life Church Bradford has sections on their website for weekly video’s, devotionals and a Spotify playlist so your child can still worship and enjoy their music.
There are several free or very cheap apps that may help with entertainment and learning during this time.
If your little one is learning to read, then Teach your Monster to Read is a fantastic app – it’s been reduced in price to 99p at present and has been approved by the Department of Education. They also have a number of free resources available on their Facebook page from sing along phonics songs, to printable phonics posters, and flashcards and even tabletop phonics games.
For children in KS2 Roblox is a free app - This collection of online multiplayer games and virtual worlds, has a Learn & Explore option to point parents – and children – towards games that educate in a way that’s fun. Children can explore the Roblox History Museum with their friends, learning as they go about everything from mammals to human psychology. If they brave the Digestive System Adventure, groups of budding scientists can discover the ins and outs of the body’s waste disposal system. And there’s more, with time on their hands, children can learn how to code and even find out how to design their own games.
Orchard Toys, who make children’s games, have a section on their website dedicated to providing free things to do, from recipes and craft ideas to activity sheets and literacy sheets.
I thoroughly recommend sensory play, a lot of people think that sensory play has to be messy but if you have a child that hates to get things on their hands then it can be as simple as playing with dry rice (which you can colour if you like by placing some in a bag with a few drops of food colouring and spreading out on a tray overnight). Water play is always popular and can be made more exciting with the addition of some glitter or toys.
If you fancy something a little messier then mood sand can be made at home with just flour and baby oil (8 cups of flour to 1 cup of baby oil) and can be kept and reused for several days. There are also a number of easy make your own slime recipes floating around on the internet that are fairly cheap to make. Play sand can be a great option but if you don’t have much or any outside space kinetic sand is a fantastic alternative.
If you are not really into DIY there are also some affordable options you can buy in and enjoy at home. Zimplii Kids are well known for their sensory play products including Slime play and Gelli play which can also be bought in larger quantities and used in the bath.
There are also some fake snow products on the market:
Something a little different is Crazy Soap – it is very affordable at just £2 a bottle and can be picked up online, in some supermarkets and shops like Superdrug and boots. This soap can be moulded and manipulated into lots of different shapes.
For children who are no longer putting things in their mouths giant water beads can be a great source of entertainment and can be purchased on eBay and Amazon relatively cheaply.
If you are looking for affordable crafting options Hobby Craft and Baker Ross are both still doing deliveries and have some fantastic and very affordable craft kits and of course the all-important crafts supplies
BBC Bitesize have expanded their range of resources and are offering free games and resources to support home schooling for all ages.
These are just a few of things that we have found to keep you and your young ones entertained while learning and being creative. But the internet can be a wonderful place full of cheap or free ideas and we at Liberty would love to see you trying out these ideas or see what you have been up to keep yourselves busy. So why not go ahead and tag us in photos on Facebook so we can keep up to date with you.
Lots of Love