Keep the family occupied whilst Social Distancing
It is incredibly important that during the COVID-19 pandemic, we socially distance ourselves in order to keep our families, friends and colleagues safe.
We are lucky enough to live in a world where we can go out and do pretty much what we want, when we want so this is a massive change for us all.
I decided that as well as offering support for home working to our clients, that I would also have this page to share ideas on passing the time and staying busy. Hopefully with a little help from my daughters, the page will grow as time goes on.
Stay in contact with Friends & Family
Phone, text and email your friends and family, connect with those who you haven’t spoken to for a while as well as those who you would normally see through your day to day activity.
Use a video calling app through your smart phone, tablet, ipad or computer – there are lots of free options to choose from:
FaceTime: If you have an Apple device such as iPad, iMac or iPhone then you can FaceTime anyone who also has an Apple device.
Whatsapp: Whatsapp is an app mainly used for texting but which also provides the video calling facility. Whatsapp is on Smartphones only. https://www.whatsapp.com
Skype: Skype is an app that can be used for video calling to anyone who who also has a Skype account / app. https://www.skype.com/en/
Zoom: Zoom is generally a workplace video calling app but can also be used by anyone else and includes group video calling so you can see more than 1 person at the same time. https://zoom.us/
HouseParty: Houseparty is a group video calling app, similar to Zoom but without the workplace features. https://houseparty.com
Games you can play over Video Call, Phone or in person
If you both have the same board game, then you can essentially play any game over video call. Here are a few other suggestions to get the fun going with family and friends.
Song Association Game
We saw celebrities playing this game on YouTube and decided to make up our own version.
We have put together a list of words that you can print out, cut up and use – we have left spaces so that you can add your own too.
- Either take turns to say a word, or print them out, cut up and shuffle them
- Everyone must quickly sing a song that contains that word within its lyrics.
- You have to sing it, no cheating and just saying the song name!
- Works great for FaceTime or Skype calls to family and friends too.
- You can decide how long they get for each word, we usually do 30 seconds.
- You could add a forfeit or dare if they don’t get sing a song in time.
Print the words here: Free Printable Song Association Game Words
We all know what Charades is, who knew it would take its turn to come around again as a fun game to play over a group video call with friends and family.
Heads up is a fun game that you download on to your smartphone – Similar to other games where you are given a word, an item or person and the other team members have to give you clues to help you to guess the word within the time limit: https://www.warnerbros.com/games-and-apps/heads/
Online Pub Quizzes
You would have to provide your own beer and snacks for this but there are suddenly an abundance of online pub quizzes available to join. Here are a few:
- Spectacular Pub Quizzes have a different themed quiz each night at 6pm – themes include Harry Potter, Friends and Disney: https://spectacularpubquizzes.com
- Gooses Quizes, Edinburgh based daily online pub quizzes: https://www.goosesquizzes.com
- Brewdog Online Bar (still in the building stages): https://www.brewdog.com/blog/coming-soon-brewdog-online
Many universities and companies are offering free or low cost online courses. It doesn’t matter what age you are, whether you are learning to further your career or just for knowledge / fun, there is a course out there for everyone.
OpenLearn: Open University have a permanent free section called OpenLearn, their are a massive range of courses available on OpenLearn with study times anywhere between 30mins and a year. https://www.open.edu/openlearn/
British Sign Language: BSL were offering this course free but due to very high demand on their servers, are now asking for a small donation of at least £3. https://www.british-sign.co.uk
Learn a new skill on YouTube: We all know that YouTube is full of teenagers telling us every aspect of their lives – but it is also a great place to learn a new skill. YouTube is full of tutorials on everything from sewing and knitting through to building your own coffee table.
Learn to sketch: There are lots of tutorials for budding artists, especially on YouTube but this drawing tutorials website specialised in sketching and has fantastic easy to follow projects: http://rapidfireart.com/free-drawing-tutorials/
Museum & Gallery Virtual Tours: Many museums are running these tours via their own websites however Google Arts & Culture provides a faster way to navigate your favourite museums from around the world: https://artsandculture.google.com/search/streetview?project=streetviews
Online Stage Shows, Plays, Musicals & Opera: Many theatres are live streaming archived footage, most available for only a few days at a time so keep checking the link if you are hoping to see a favourite. This week Andrew Lloys Webber joined in with the streaming of his musicals, one each week: https://www.whatsonstage.com/london-theatre/news/stage-shows-musicals-opera-free-stream-online_51198.html
The Skills Toolkit is a new initiative from our Government to encourage Furloughed employees to further their skills online, whilst at home. Courses run at beginner, intermediate and advanced levels and include subjects such as Maths, English, Online Safety, Using Social Media, Digital Marketing, Computer Skills, Video Calling and many more… https://nationalcareers.service.gov.uk/find-a-course/the-skills-toolkit
Kids and Home Learning
My daughter was obsessed with the Panda Cam a few years ago so this immediately sprung to mind for younger children.
Zoos around the world have set up Animal Cams to enable those at home to watch the animals day or night. Here are a few:
- Edinburgh Zoo have Panda, Penguin, Tiger and Koala Cams set up: https://www.edinburghzoo.org.uk/webcams/panda-cam/
- San Diego Zoo have Baboon, Penguin, Panda (archive), Polar Bear, Ape, Koala, Giraffe, Burrowing Owls, Elephant, Tiger and Condor Cams set up: https://zoo.sandiegozoo.org/live-cams
- Earth Cam lists many more live feed animal cameras from around the world: https://www.earthcam.com/events/animalcams/
Learning Packs & Resources
Many online companies and websites have made all or a selection of their home schooling and teacher resources free during the pandemic. Here are a few:
- English and Media Centre have made many resource packs free: https://www.englishandmedia.co.uk/publications/
- Chatterpack has a huge list of free resources: https://chatterpack.net/blogs/blog/resources-list-for-home-learning
- Twinkl have made many of their printable resources free: https://www.twinkl.co.uk/resources/keystage3-ks3
- The Science Museum have lots of science resources available: https://learning-resources.sciencemuseum.org.uk/resources/?keystage=ks3
- This blog has a huge list of free online resources for parents: https://freddiesmummyuk.com/homeschooling-websites-uk/
- BBC Bitesize is always free however they are adding tons of new information and resources every day: https://www.bbc.co.uk/bitesize
- Education Quizzes has interactive learning quizzes available: https://www.educationquizzes.com/ks3/
- World Games has many educational games including a massive Geography section: https://world-geography-games.com/world.html