Many countries around the world are facing a second lockdown. In the UK, the second lockdown commenced earlier this month. That means family outings, children’s activities, and anything social is a no-go. It is a downer that Lockdown 2.0 is expected only to end early December with likely chances of an extension. Nonetheless, staying indoors does not mean your kids have to miss out on new experiences and entertainment. Here are a few ideas to entertain your kids during the lockdown using simple digital tools:
1. Participate In An Art Challenge Using Free Online Art Tools
Making art helps improve young people’s visual processing and memory. It is also a fantastic way for them to express themselves. A fun way to get creative is with @stillherestilllife, a weekly still life drawing challenge on Instagram. The Instagram account provides an image of still life for participants to replicate in any art style they like. Without having to spend a penny, your kids could use free art tools like Pixelart or SketchPad to draw. These tools are pretty easy to learn. However, if you are unsure where to start, there is a tutorial for Sketch.io here and Pixelart here. We highly recommend this activity for the whole family. It is a lovely sight when you see the finished artworks side by side.
2. Take A 10 Day Tour Around The World with Google Earth
We know many of you are dreaming of your next family holiday, wondering when we will be allowed to travel again. It’s a good thing we have a way to explore the world from the couch till we can travel once more. National Geographic created a great way to use Google Earth to tour fascinating locations around the globe. They have challenged students to use Google Earth to build a tour itinerary that they would take with family or friends. The aim is to create a trip consisting of 10 locations around the world in 10 days. Your kids could use this ready-made worksheet to guide their learning and plan out the trip. I don’t think kids get the chance to plan trips for their families very often which makes this an excellent opportunity. It is a great way to learn about countries around the world and improves your children’s organisational skills.
3. Get Your Kids To Host A Zoom Family Quiz Night
It’s hard to keep in touch with loved ones who are not living in the same household. Your kids might be missing their nan or their favourite cousin, yet the usual phone call can feel a little repetitive. This idea came to mind when many of my FireTech students asked if they could make a Kahoot quiz for the class to play together. Usually, it is our tutors who make them for the class but I think it is a great idea to get kids to search up facts and form quiz questions. For a family quiz, the format could be informal and a lot more fun. All you have to do is set up a Kahoot account for them to create a quiz, make a list of the people you would like to invite, and arrange a Zoom or Google Hangouts meeting link. Remember to encourage your kids to host the night by facilitating the quiz, sharing any related facts, and congratulating winners.
4. Film A Cooking Show
Cooking is a fantastic skill for young people to learn and practice. Setting up cooking activities can be an entertaining way for your kids to practice their culinary skills. Additionally, you could get a family meal sorted too. On our Fire Tech Creating for YouTube course, many of our students love creating videos for their YouTube cooking channel. Making a cooking video is a great way to practice presentation, video editing or just to have as a keepsake. Watching it together later is a fun activity too. We recommend starting with some inspiration from YouTube channels like Messy Hands Kids Cooking or Hannah In The Kitchen. Kids could film themselves following along one of the recipes on YouTube or come up with their own recipe using a mystery ingredient chosen by the random ingredient generator. If you have more than one child in your household, they could channel their inner Junior MasterChef or Junior Chopped Champion and film a sibling cooking competition. All they need is something to film with (camera, smartphone, or iPad) and if they want to get creative with video editing they could try veed.io or the editor available on YouTube Studio. Tutorials on how to use Veed.io can be found here and for YouTube Studio Editor here.
5. Take A Virtual Roller Coaster Ride
I bet your kids are aching for a trip to Alton Towers. The rides, the sounds, and all that adrenaline. Without a long drive, queues, or pricey tickets, you could create a similar experience for them at home. It is time to make use of a few virtual reality tools! The first thing you need is a VR viewer. There are two ways to get your hands on one. The first is to make a DIY version with some craft materials. There are instructions available on instructables.com. All you need is some cardboard, biconvex lenses, magnets, Velcro, and rubber bands. If you would prefer to skip the crafting bit, ready-made VR viewers can be purchased from Amazon.
Once you have a VR viewer of some sort, all you need to do is download a free VR app, and slide your phone into the viewer. Try the following apps: VR Thrills Roller Coaster 360 (Andriod) or Roller Coaster VR Theme Park (Apple). Virtual reality experiences do not have to stop with theme park rides, there are plenty of other types available like space exploration, extreme sports, or travel tours. Your kids can even go the extra mile and build their own virtual reality experiences on Fire Tech’s Junior AR/VR course.