Ideas for keeping the children entertained

We don’t know about you, but now that we’re a few days into home schooling we have an even greater respect for all the teachers out there – maths seems an awful lot harder than we remember it being and we really struggled to remember what a digraph is!

Schools might have sent out home learning packs and online resources for the nation’s children, but flexibility is encouraged, as is a healthy dose of fun.

There are some amazing free resources that have appeared on the internet over the last few days to help us all educate, enthuse and inspire children (and adults alike) in new and creative ways of learning. We’ve gathered together some of our favourites, with a healthy dose of music and literature, and hope that these resources help you on your home educating journey.

Dance with Oti Mabuse

The queen of Strictly Come Dancing and The Greatest Dancer, Oti Mabuse is bringing the power of dance directly into your home.

Shake off those worries, and your excess energy and learn a new dance routine each day with Oti. This week is themed, and we thoroughly encourage you to catch up with the Shrek  dance from this morning – you’ll have great fun, exercise and laugh at the same time.

Oti live streams on her Facebook each morning at 11.30am, but you can catch up at any time.

Let’s Go Live: Science with Maddie and Greg

Maddie Moate is an EduTuber and BAFTA winning presenter, passionate about curiosity and science. Children might recognise here from Maddie’s Do You Know and adults from Earth Unplugged.

Packed with videos about animals, plants, travel and technology, Maddie’s Youtube always has something new to learn and explore.

Every weekday at 11am join Maddie for ‘Let’s go live, with Maddie and Greg‘, if you miss it don’t worry, you can catch up at anytime and remember, #staycurious!

The Maths Factor

Many a parent will remember Carol Vorderman from her stint on the children’s science and maths show How, and of course her long-term stint as the maths genius on Countdown.

As queen of the numbers Carol is the perfect teacher to guide your children through the often tricky (for parents) world of school maths. With every lesson matched to the National Curriculum this programme is usually a paid for service, but for the duration of the school closures it has been made absolutely free for all.

Explore maths with Carol at The Maths Factor.

P.E. with Joe Wicks

Joe Wicks AKA ‘The Body Coach’  has got children up and down the country keeping fit in the comfort of their own home.

Given the current advice to stay at home it would be easy to spend three weeks sat on the sofa, but we all know that children need exercise. Not only will it stop them climbing the walls but exercise has been proven to help the brain and body engage in school work. These sessions will  “get your kids moving, feeling energised, positive, optimistic” – the perfect way to start the day for the whole family.

Join P.E. with Joe every morning at 9am on his YouTube channel, or catch up at anytime.

Classical Music with David Walliams

Did you know that Mozart loved a good fart joke, and was only 8 when we wrote his first symphony? That Beethoven was so scruffy he was once arrested for being a tramp? Or that Queen’s Bohemian Rapsody was inspired by Liszt’s Hungarian Rhapsody?

If you’re looking for a way to add music to your home learning schedule (which we would thoroughly recommend), make sure you include the podcast series, ‘David Walliams’ Marvellous Musical Podcast’ aimed at introducing children to the wonderful world of classical music with a hefty does of Walliams trademark humour.

You’ll learn and laugh whatever your age. Listen to the podcast here.

Coding classes (I.T.)

Why not explore digital learning, think of it as I.T., and help your children to learn to code their own interactive, stories, games and animations.

The online programme ‘Scratch’ helps children to learn computer programming language, to think creatively, and logically, and to work collaboratively. Best of all it’s delivered in helpful and easy to follow step by step instructions with only a small amount of parental support needed.

Scratch is free to access and is perfect for any budding computer programmers.

Myleene’s Music Klass

Did you know that Myleene Klass is a classically trained pianist? Well now she’s moving from pop star to the nations favourite music teacher as she shows us the tricks she used to get her own children into music and helps to keep our children entertained – through music.

Children will learn from the beginning so it’s perfect even if your child hasn’t learnt an instrument. They will explore the difference between major and minor keys, rhythms and patterns, what different notes mean and how to read simple pieces of music.

Perhaps you have some mini mozarts on your hands, well now is the time to find out. There are two completely free classes per week on Myleene’s YouTube Channel these are uploaded on a Monday and Friday at 10am.


Storytime with David Walliams

The nations favourite storyteller makes our list for a second time, but with good reason.

Every day for the next few weeks David Walliams author of Gangsta Granny, The Boy In The Dress and many other tales will be sharing an audio story from one of his best-selling World’s Worst Children story collections.

Whether your children are already firm fans of the author or not, this is a sure way to add some fun and laughter to their mornings. The daily treat is nostalgically named ‘Elevenses’, and children can tune in for a tale elaborately told in his signature style. And, yes, he does all the voices.

A new story is released at 11am each day on David Walliams’ website, where you can also find a host of activities, clips, books and more. 

Passionate Teachers with Grove Road

Not content with simply sending home packs of homework, one local Harrogate School has gone above and beyond in their dedication to continue educating, enthusing and inspiring our children during this time.

Using their own YouTube Channel Grove Road School have recorded a host of lessons; challenges; phonics and maths support and book read-alongs, from picture books to R.J. Palacio’s Wonder. With each lesson delivered by trained teachers this is an excellent way to keep on track over the next few weeks. They will be adding new content every day and best of all they are happy for everyone to use it – go #TeamGR

Grove Road School’s YouTube Channel can be found here.

Art with Scott Naismith

Art was always one of our favourite lessons at school and is a great subject to continue at home.

Perhaps you could draw views from your window; decorate your window with artwork and writing to make your own classroom display board and brighten the smiles of the house across the street; or join in with one of Scott Naismith’s art lessons for all the family. Scott is a professional artist who is passionate about allowing children to explore – it will be messy, but it’s totally worth it.

Wildlife with Steve Backshall

Every generation needs their own wildlife presenter to enthral and impassion them about the world around them. Steve Backshall is certainly that for hundreds of thousands of children across the UK.

As the host of Deadly 60, Exploration and Blue Planet, Steve brings with him a wealth of knowledge and each day he’ll explore the world around us, and answer questions on wildlife, conservation, geography and exploration.

Join Steve Backshall every morning at 9.30am on his Facebook or catch up at anytime.

Audible Stories

For as long as schools are closed, Audible Stories have pledged to be open.

Completely free and with no subscription needed, children everywhere can instantly stream an incredible collection of stories, including titles across six different languages, that will help them continue dreaming, learning, and just being kids.

Explore the collection using your desktop, laptop, phone or tablet, select a title and start listening.

It’s that easy.