You can now watch a live zoo cam online – just one of many free ways to keep kids happy at home

Although the new term has officially started, with kids being stuck in the house finding new ways to keep them entertained can be a challenge. Here are some free ways to keep both their minds and bodies active:

Encourage your kids to keep active even when at home. Photo by Valerie Ushakova

Keeping kids active at home

We know that as parents when our kids have been active, they feel better and sleep better. The more we can keep them moving during social distancing the better. Now that parks and beaches are closed, we’re having to get creative.

Child-friendly workouts

If your kids have been inspired by watching you complete workout videos they now do their own on Neo Kids. Each class is 10-20 minutes in length and has a focus on either cardio, flexibility or strength via fun and child-friendly exercises. Created by the professional fitness instructors at popular app Neou Fitness, parents can download a 30-day free trial and access both the adult and kid classes. Ages 4 to 12 years

Get them dancing

Dance teacher at Arabesque Ballet Center, Lesley-Anne Vose suggests encouraging children to move to music, “For younger children try putting on some music and giving them household props such as napkins and scarves to perform a dance with.” For children who are already into their dancing, “ask them to create a show for you to their favourite songs and using moves they already know,” suggests Lesley-Anne.

Encourage them to use their screens for educational games. Photo by Igor Starkov

Educational games for kids

Although E-learning has now kicked off you can help subsidise their education by encouraging them to play games that get them applying and expanding their knowledge.

For early readers

Teach Your Monster To Read is an award-winning game created with The Usborne Foundation to support children with It engages children with a fun storyline that unfolds as they progress through the phonic related games. You can play it on your computer for free or pay to play it as an app. Ages

Work on maths and literacy skills

Primary school teacher at Dubai English Speaking School, Laura Charles recommends “the maths and literacy activities on UK-based website, Oxford Owl.” Along with the educational games there’s a library of free e-Books for 3-11 year olds.

Don’t feel bad about letting them have more screen time than usual. Photo by Sven Brandsma

Child-friendly tablet activities

Don’t beat yourself up for allowing them to be on their screens more than usual. Instead look for ways to make sure that some of the content they’re engaging with is thought provoking.

Story time

Dubai-based influencer and radio host Helen Farmer (@themothershipdxb) is doing daily story times for kids over on her Instagram account. At 9am each day she takes to Instagram Live to read both her and your children a story.

The Great Indoors

Over in the UK, Scouts have created a host of activity ideas for children of all ages. Usually ones to encourage children to explore ‘the great outdoors’ Scouts have cleverly titled their series ‘The Great Indoors’. Each task has an estimated time length and age recommendation along with detailed instructions on what to do. From creating a real storm in a teacup to writing postcards to your future self, there’s a range of activities to spark different interests at a variety of ages.

Live animal webcams

Across the world zoos and aquariums have webcams set up in their exhibits where they stream live footage of the animals on their websites. Edinburgh Zoo in Scotland have a panda, penguin, tiger, koala and Rockhopper penguin cam which you can watch for free on their website. Meanwhile Georgia Aquarium let you take a peek at their otters, puffins. Beluga whales and jellyfish.

Finding it to stay productive in your home office space? Follow our tips for creating a dreamy office space that will inspire you to work at your best

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