Parents very enthusiastically posted a gazillion links and activity ideas at the beginning of lockdown here in South Africa. Many companies have generously come to the party with free access to usually paid-for content.
I mostly scrolled on by as we attempted to settle into a “new normal” and the kids were entitled to some holiday anyway. The weather was fabulous for garden play and swimming so the little beasts were well occupied in the fresh air and weren’t pushing too many of my buttons…yet.
Fast forward a week and it became colder, been a bit wet and it would also technically be term time. My mental health needs some sort of routine being an A-type personality and all. An entire free for all lockdown party will drive me insane and put undue pressure on my carefully rationed vino supply! The boys particularly get up to mischief and all 3 kids actually miss being at school.
Thrown into the mix is the bit about needing to keep up with some work, housework and also maintain some calm (that volatile and elusive state of affairs) as dad sits on several conference calls each day. It’s probably best to avoid his colleagues having to listen to the wild west show going on in the background as we attempt to wrangle our way through lockdown with no personal space. Did I mention we also acquired an 11 week old kamikaze curtain climbing kitten to add to the precarious situation? Hmmm.
So, there’s baking, crafts, we hooked up the old Wii and kept busy with all the usual stay at home line-up but I’ve also thrown in some informal learning and wellbeing activities to do which has proved very popular. Please note that some of the free literary links will expire.
David Walliams Audio Stories
Popular and humorous children’s author, David Walliams, is currently releasing a daily mini audio story from his “World’s Worst Children” series of books. The new story gets released daily for 24 hours at 1200 noon South African time and is about 15 minutes. I’ve found this perfect for listening to over lunch when I N.E.E.D. a break from the sound their voices and incessant “what can I eat?” begging! World of David Walliams.
Harry Potter at Home
J.K. Rowling and partners have clubbed together to bring Hogwarts and the enchanting wizarding world of Harry Potter right into your home. Audible has made the very first audio story, Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone, available to listen to for free during the month of April.
Pay a visit to the Harry Potter at Home hub to gain access to the audible link plus quizzes, puzzles and all sorts of regularly updated activities. Harry Potter at Home.
Audible Stories has made a whole bunch of kid’s stories freely available to listen to. This is fabulous as you can select from the appropriate age category for your child. Audible Stories.
Time Magazine for Kids
Time Magazine for Kids has made its digital library available for free until the end of the U.S. school year. Sign up for the grade range that corresponds with your child’s age to access the best-matched content. Time Kids.
National Geographic Kids
My kids love sourcing videos to watch on this channel which covers everything about the planet, animals, science, pets and more in a format that captures kids’ imaginations whilst quenching that huge thirst for knowledge.
I dish out random topics for the kids to search for such as volcanoes, the Amazon, Egypt, sharks etc. or l let them come up with their own ideas and have them report back to show off some facts they learned. Nat Geo Kids YouTube.
In addition to the the YouTube channel, Nat Geo Kids SA has made their digital monthly magazine absolutely free for 3 months in both English and Afrikaans. Cosy up and get browsing on all sorts of exciting content!
This YouTube channel is full of fascinating facts and has the answers to all sorts of questions on topics ranging from science, space, mysteries, puzzling riddles and more in mostly perfect “attention-grabbing” bite-size 10 minute snippets. Bright Side.
It’s Okay To Be Smart
Another exciting channel jam-packed with answers to all those endless random niggling questions kids come up with that have me wanting to say “just ask Google”! Joe Hanson’s videos cover things like how to drink coffee in space, do fish wee (amusing yet valid question and right up my boys’ alley), how your memory works and why do we itch? It’s Okay To Be Smart.
Cosmic Kids Yoga
This inspiring channel helps the kiddos from age 3 upwards with fun themed yoga sessions and also incorporates mindfulness and relaxation. Enjoy yoga sessions themed around everything from Frozen to Harry Potter, from Minecraft to Star Wars and from bedtime yoga to space-themed yoga. There is definitely something for everyone! Cosmic Kids.
This is my current round up of free access resources that my family has enjoyed. Please comment below with any entertaining links that your kids are having fun with.
P.S. For some quick easy to make boredom buster recipes to keep those ever-grumbling hungry tummies full, see these easy recipe ideas. I’m really struggling to keep up with the snacks and food!
One Stop Wanderlust showcases family travel and family-friendly outings in South Africa. Grab a coffee and stay on the blog to find more exciting wanderlust worthy ideas and tips.