As the schools are closed across the UK due to COVID-19, we understand that many parents and guardians will be looking for extra educational resources for their children, not least during the Spring holidays.
We’ve created this page to help those of you who are juggling working from home whilst also parenting full-time, offering our support on how to adjust with children in the current climate.
You will find lots of fun ideas, creative activities and learning resources for each age-group – all aimed at keeping children engaged and focussed during this period.
How do I explain COVID-19 to my children?
Your kids are hearing about COVID-19 and no doubt asking a lot of questions. You want to make sure they get reliable information but, in a calm, casual and light manner so they know what’s going on but don’t panic.
A free booklet has been released to help explain Coronavirus for kids, illustrated by the Gruffalo illustrator - please click here to download.
Discovery education have launched a new application called Social Distance Training. This new app, is available at no cost, to provide important education information to help children of all ages understand social distancing during the COVID-19. While in the application, users can also access the latest information on COVID-19 from the NHS website.
What online STEM resources are available?
At Amey, we strive to encourage the next generation by creating enthusiasm and passion for Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM).
We deliver and support activities that engage and raise awareness for STEM subjects to help inspire and educate young people and to create a pipeline for talent to join and grow with Amey.
To find a STEM related activity or learning resource, please click on one of the links below:
At this age group, the creativity begins! This is an important stage of life, as children will be keen to learn and will be growing and developing all the time. There is such a wide range of developmental abilities in this age group and development is very much an individual experience.
Play is one of the main ways in which children learn and develop and helps to nurture imagination and gives a child a sense of adventure. As it is the start of Spring, why not get them outside, either in the garden or outside as part of your daily walk (if you’re not self-isolating) – they can hunt for birds, plants and bugs! If you need some inspiration, take a look at the 50 outdoor activities for little ones.
Sensory activities are a great way for babies and young children to explore and investigate, it helps to build nerve connections in the brain and encourages the development of motor skills.
KS1 (5 to 7 years old)
This is the perfect age to encourage creativity and to bring out the child’s imaginative side.
At this age group children love to be arty, drawing and colouring in pictures and making things. Get creative and have an 'arts and crafts' session!
A huge teddy bear and rainbow hunt is happening around the world to help millions of you do something fun with your exercise time. Families are decorating their windows with rainbows in support of the key workers and stuffed toys are being placed in windows to give children a fun and safe game to play whilst walking around their neighbourhoods with parents – see how many you can spot on your daily walk?
This is a great time to encourage reading and to learn phonics. The following websites have some great tools and resources to support this:
- Phonics Play
- Phonics Bloom
- Letters and sounds
- Teach Your Monster to Read
There are plenty of educational resources online too – Toy Theatre offer free interactive educational games for children. Twinkl is a subscription service used by schools, and is offering free access to parents and children whilst schools are closed – you just need to enter the code UKTWINKLHELPS. You can find worksheets, PowerPoints and interactive games to support all areas of learning.
KS2 (7-11 years old)
Children will start becoming more inquisitive, asking more questions and showing a real desire to learn.
Why not use this time to get creative with their writing, get them to write a letter to a vulnerable neighbour or ask them to write a weekly story on different topics and then ask them to read it back to the family!
There are several online learning resources and educational games which are great for this age group:
- Blockley Games – a series of educational games that teach programming
- Tynker – everything needed to learn computer programming the fun way!
- National Geographic Kids - find amazing facts about animals, science, history and geography along with fun competitions, games and more!
It’s also a great time to get outdoors, explore and learn more about nature. You could help them to create a birdfeeder using recycled materials, or create a treasure hunt for them. If you can’t get outside, Scouts have pulled together some inspired indoor activity ideas, to keep kids entertained while schools are closed.
KS3 (11-14 years old)
At this age, kids are in Secondary School and would have been learning a vast number of subjects. It is important to ensure they carry on their learning and development whilst at home.
You could set them some home inspired challenges, such as; write a diary or a story, learn a new skill or get them to help teach their younger siblings. For some inspiration, more ideas can be found here.
At this age, kids have a great understanding of technology, and there are plenty of websites and apps they can use to support their learning:
- Math Score
- Drawing apps like ‘Draw it’ on your phone
- World Geography Games
- Big History Project – journey through nearly 14 billion years of history
KS4 (14-16 year olds)
This is the age group, where children are getting ready to take their GCSE’s. There are over 50 free revision resources online or at S-Cool to ensure children carry on their revision during this time – why not create weekly tests for them?
Teenagers are well-advanced in technology, so what a great way to help engage educational material with them. Get them to learn a new language using the app, Duo Lingo or take part in a Crest Award – challenging and thought-provoking real-world STEM projects.
It is vital they look after their health and wellbeing, encourage them to keep active with fun online workouts like hip hop routine or Yoga for Teens. Or you could get them to practice their cooking skills with Jamie Oliver's - get kids cooking - then challenge them to cook the family a meal!
KS5 (16-18 years old)
Why not encourage your child to sign up to an online course? The Open University are offering a wide range of online courses.
This is a great time for your child to start thinking about their career aspiration, and what options are available to them. Sit with them and talk about the many opportunities – create a self-evaluation quiz / put down strengths and weaknesses
Insert Amey career videos
Activities for all ages
These live sessions are great for the whole family to get involved in altogether:
- PE with Joe Wicks - week days at 9am but you can view the workout anyime on YouTube
- Dance with Oti Mabuse - everyday at 11.30am but children can view the class at any time
- Music with Myleene Klass - twice a week at 10am but can view anytime
- Storytime with David Williams - free story everyday at 11am
- Wildlife with Steve Backshall - everyday at 9.30am for answering all your wildlife, biology, conservation, geography and exploration questions.
- Home economics with Theo Michaels - 4pm on Monday, Wednesday and Friday
- Science with Maddie Moate – weekdays at 11am
Its important to also look after your children's mindfulness and wellbeing:
- Short audio sessions to help with mindfulness
- Yoga videos for Children
- BBC Supermovers - interactive videos to support with KS1 and KS2 in Maths, literacy, PSHE and PE learning
- Go Noodle Games - hundreds of 'brainercise', dancing, strength and mindfulness videos
- Premier League Primary Stars – videos and activities to support with Maths, literacy, PSHE and PE
- Frugal Fun – ideas for active play indoors
- BBC Newsround – keeping children up to date with the world around them, creating opportunities to talk about the news with children
- Woodland Trust – nature activities to do at home with your kids
- Youth Sport Trust – School Games Personal Challenge
Some other great resources for all ages include educational virtual tools you can take with your children, you can download a World Book eBook, a live virtual tour of zoos that offer live webcams and over 500 museums and galleries around the world. The Institution of Environmental Sciences are providing useful environmental science themed learning opportunities to keep children engaged with the outside world from home and include a mix of educational videos, worksheets and lesson plans. Or why not watch a TedEd video all about the Earth to understand and celebrate our natural world, while learning about how dependent we are on our planet.