Tag: learning

How to Survive Staying Inside with Bear Grylls

Well-known Survival Instructor Bear Grylls has taken up a different kind of survival challenge – how to survive the boredom during coronavirus lockdowns. Along with the Scouts UK, he brings you over 100 activities that can be done at home through ‘The Great Indoors’ initiative. It encourages kids to learn new skills and try new challenges. Grylls, chief scout, is hoping the initiative with help kids channel their “huge energy in a positive way”,. He says,  “a week stuck at home for a family can be as tough as a week in the mountains”.

Activities including learning code, art, puzzles and cooking (and much, much more), will come with weekly videos hosted by both Grylls himself and ambassadors for Scouts, like naturalist Steve Backshall. The games, crafts and activities are designed to each have a positive outcome. For example, teaching them how to problem solve.

This is a great way to help your children learn in a fun and unique way while keeping them occupied. All of the activities can be done from within your home or garden. Plus, they are free and easily accessible on The Great Indoors website. You will survive! 

Read more information and coronavirus blogs HERE. 


With changes to schooling, events and activities we came up with a list of activities and resources to learn, connect and have fun at home! Here are our isolation ideas for the whole family. 


The CaPTA Group Wildlife parks have gone into hibernation until further notice.

We love the Wildlife Habitat Port Douglas, Rainforestation Nature Park, Cairns ZOOM and Wildlife Dome and the Australian Butterfly Sanctuary. We’re missing not being there in person… but they are bringing the joy to us online!

Wildlife keepers are giving all the animals all the love and care they need and you can check out their Facebook Pages for animal cuteness, interesting facts and animal information.

Check out their Koala Live Cams from Rainforestation Nature Park www.capta.com.au/live-cams  and the Facebook live streams Wednesday 10am AEST and Friday 10am AEST

And follow the CaPTA group on Facebook for Live Cams and Facebook Live Streams www.facebook.com/captagroup

Zoo to You has created a Facebook group with the aim of delivering Wildlife Education to the World. You can expect LIVE shows about Australian Animals, resources for learning both for educators and for kids, videos and first access to any online platform programs. Got a question? Ask during the live videos, or join in on one of the discussions. Join now: https://www.facebook.com/groups/627392534357876/

Cairns Museum – The museum has developed some ideas for #covidcairns in a way that will engage children of all ages. You can get involved with the time capsule or even write a journal so that the Museum can record what is what like for children in Cairns during this time. They also have resources for explaining COVID-19 to children.  Find out more at www.cairnsmuseum.org.au/covidcairns/materials-for-children-

Learn Martial Arts from home with Universal Martial Arts Cairns (UMA Cairns)– they are offering online training and private training- sign up today www.umacairns.com/contact

Get creative with Painting pARTy – offering online virtual classes www.paintingparty.com.au

Dance!!!! Whether you are 2 or 72, a beginner or about to embark on a professional career; the FNQ Dance Academy has something to offer you and during isolation, they are offering their classes online. Find out more/ enrol at www.fnqdanceacademy.com.au

Is your child interested in drama? Awaken their imaginations and dive into the creative world of The Young Company Theatre- they are offering online drama classes. Contact them to enrol in a program today  www.theyoungcompany.com.au


Try GoNoodlewww.gonoodle.com it’s a great online resource with movement and mindfulness videos created by child development experts.
Enjoy Free at-home

kids yoga lesson plans withwww.littletwistersyoga.com

Harness the power of YouTube by learning new skills through tutorials. For example: You could try learning specific stances and basic positions for karate, Taekwondo or another martial art (supervision required.)

Create an obstacle course. You can gather up old toys and things you find in storage or your garage and get creative. There’s lots of ideas online too if you’d like some suggestions.

Create a fun age-appropriate ‘circuit workout’ for the family

Try online workout videos or maybe you’ve got some DVD’s you can try together. You could even design your own exercise class and take turns teaching them. Don’t forget to create a music playlist of your favourite tunes.

Set up a tent in your backyard and go camping.

Sneaky Cleaning; have a competition to see who can pick up the most dishes/clothes/socks/Legos/etc laying around the house (and putting them back where they belong). The winner gets to pick the next board game or activity you play.
Dance. Pick a favourite song. Choreograph a dance routine to it. You could also try having a disco in the dark. Cover all the windows, turn off the lights, turn up the music and literally dance like no one is watching- cause they can’t see you!

Have a Nerf battle.


Board games to bust the boredom! If the kids don’t know the joy of ‘Passing Go’ and collecting $200, now’s the time to introduce them.

Bust out the paint, glue sticks and the pipe cleaners – it’s craft time! There is limitless online resources to give you ideas; but one of our favourites is: www.allkidsnetwork.com for crafts, activities, mazes, dot to dots and more.

Learn the Japanese art of paper folding: Origami.

Have a toddler? Keep them busy with these indoor activities www.busytoddler.com

Storytime done differently – check out Storytime from Space- hear real Astronauts read books in orbit at www.storytimefromspace.com or head to www.storylineonline.net to hear kids’ books read by famous people.

Use that pile of unmatched socks next to the drier to create Puppets! You can also use paper bags or stuffed animals with their stuffing pulled out. Great ideas and resources on how to create your own puppet show can be found at www.micheleepuppets.org

Do your kids love comics? Why not help them create their own comic book. Check out www.comiclife.com

Hit the Kitchen; bake a cake, cupcakes and cookies. Try your hand at making pickles and jam (yum). Get competitive: have an untimed Iron Chef/ Masterchef style contest with the whole family. Choose an ingredient, and everyone makes a different dish (and dinner).

Card Games; play games you know and learn new games. If you haven’t heard of ‘spoons’ it’s awesome. Once you’ve mastered the standard version of ‘Spoons’ try ‘Ultimate Spoons’ you place the spoon across the room, or at the end of an obstacle course. You can also try building a house of cards.

Get old school with salt dough. Recipes to make your own are easily found online.

LEGO®!!! Search ’30-day LEGO® Challenge’ online – there are tonnes to choose from. You can also play a modified version of Pictionary with LEGO®. Make a list of animals and objects, write them on individual pieces of paper, place them in an empty box and draw out one when it’s |your teams turn. Set a 5-minute time limit per creation, see if your partner can guess it before time runs out. 1 point scored per correct guess.

Upcycled Art; find broken toys or things that need to be thrown away around the house. Get out the sticky tape and glue and challengethe kids to create a sculpture. (This is a fun way to spring clean).

Word Scrambles; pick a sentence from a book. See how many words the kids can make from the letters in the sentence.

Create a secret code. Once you’ve got the symbol key, write a letter to someone in code and get them to decipher the message.

Have a backyard pool? Why not have a paper boat race?

Try making your own musical instruments (there are hundreds of ideas online), then make your own band and create some songs.

Read books. Have a prize for the family member who reads the most books during a set amount of time.

Did you know your local library has online resources like e-books, audiobooks and online magazines too?

Love to act? Why not put on a family play? You could stream it to family and friends. Or you could create a home movie with your smartphone video.

You’re probably thinking about all the adventures you’d like to be having, so why not use this time to plan your next family holiday?

Watch a favourite movie or cartoon on mute and make up your own dialogue.

Put that pen to paper; everyone loves to receive a handwritten card or note. Take the time to write a letter to your grandparents or other relatives or friends. You could even make and send a Thank You card to a Community Hero.

The classics: puzzles and wordfinds. You can even create your own or play online at www.jigsawexplorer.com

Play dress-ups.

Play traditional Hide and Seek or change it up with Hide and Seek with objects: One person hides the object in the house, and everyone else tries to find it.

Try fostering an animal from your local shelter. Animals are a great way to reduce stress and maybe you’ve been thinking about getting a furry family member for a while and this is a good opportunity for your children to learn responsibility for a new pet.

Get creative: Learn to sew or knit or try making jewellery. Order a kit online or use materials from around the house.

Start a home garden (indoor or outdoor)


The World Wide Web gives a window to the outside world when we need to stay inside. Here’s some of the best resources we have found
to help you keep exploring and learning;

Get Creative with LEGO dots. Artist and designer Rachel Burke is hosting a two week series of free video craftorials in collaboration with LEGO, inspired by the LEGO DOTS play range. The first of the new range include room decor and wearables, and is focused on giving kids a blank canvas to get creative on. Unleash your imagination and watch the craftorials on her youtube channel here www.youtube.com/channel

Tiger Tribe, innovators of children’s activity sets and toys, is offering a series of free Downloadable Activity Kits. Perfect for playing with both outdoors and indoors, these kits will encourage creativity in your kids and help keep them busy. 

Learn remotely with Education Services Australia – ESA have a range of resources online to support students, teachers and parents with their education and wellbeing during isolation. This includes STEM education, cooking, art, reading, and much more. Check out these resources at www.esa.edu.au/other/online-resources

Discover more about sustainability and the environment –  ‘Crystalbrook Earth kids is an initiative  to kids with education on sustainability and responsible luxury, where they can follow the how’to guides. Little chefs can watch the cooking classes that are also available (and don’t worry, adults can learn tricks of the trade too at www.crystalbrookcollection.com/athome-with-crystalbrook

The Australian National Maritime Museum have a range of creative games, activities and learning programs for students. Learn about Australian history, science and cultural life through stories of the sea at www.sea.museum/learn/school-excursions/teacher-resources/encounters-2020  

Give STEM education a go. The collection at littlebinsforlittlehands.com/printable-activities has all sorts of activities that you can do for cheap with basic household supplies, as well as some general indoor activities for kids 

ABC Education brings you thousands of free, curriculum-linked resources for Primary and Secondary students and teachers www.education.abc.net.au you could also try www.scholastic.com/learnathome or the www.khanacademy.com

Have books read to you on Audible. They have a large collection of free audiobooks for children and teens while schools are closed, which you can find at stories.audible.com/discovery

Everyone loves Dr Seuss. Read, play games, and hang out in www.seusville.com

Learn a language with Duolingo www.duolingo.com. You could then watch your favourite movie or cartoon in the language you’ve been learning. (Most DVDs have other language options.)

Get musical; lessons and exercises for all abilities at www.musictheory.net and www.sightreadingfactory.com

Don’t have an instrument? Play online with a virtual guitar, piano, drums and more at www.virtualmusicalinstruments.com

Space science for kids www.nasa.gov/kidsclub

Learn to code with www.codeacademy.com or, www.kodable.com or even Star Wars www.code.org/starwars

Improve your typing skills while competing in fast-paced races with people from around the world. www.nitrotype.com

Take a trip to a museum: Head to London and explore Egyptian mummies at the British Museum www.britishmuseum.withgoogle.com
Love art? Head to the world famous Metropolitan Museum of Art with Metkids www.metmuseum.org/art or the Louvre in Paris, France where the Mona Lisa by Leonardo Da Vinci calls home www.louvre.fr/en/visites-en-ligne


Explore the arts, history and foreign places with Google Arts & Culture.

Explore geography and animals with National Geographic www.kids.nationalgeographic.com and watch animals (in real time) with www.earthcam.com

Melbourne Zoo are bringing the Zoo to you  at www.fnqdanceacademy.com.au You have a live stream into the animal’s homes and lives at Melbourne Zoo or Werribee Open Range Zoo. With Snow Leopard, Penguin, Giraffe, Lion and Zebra Cam you can keep the kids entertained for hours.

Taronga Zoo has also gone live … check out Taronga TV taronga.org.au/taronga-tv 

The San Diego Zoo has a website just for kids with amazing videos, activities, and games. Enjoy the tour! www.kids.sandiegozoo.org

Tour Yellowstone National Park www.nps.gov/yell

Travel along the Great Wall of China www.thechinaguide.com/destination/great-wall-of-china

Explore the surface of Mars with the Curiosity Rover. www.accessmars.withgoogle.com

Where in the World is Carmen Sandiego? You loved playing it as a child; introduce your kids to the fun www.carmensandiego.com

Building a Foundation for Learning with Kumon

For sisters Emma, Jessica and Leah, studying Kumon Maths and English is providing them a strong foundation for learning.

Eight year old Emma, six year old Jessica and three year old Leah all study at Kumon Raintrees Education Centre. Emma, who is in Year 4 at primary school, studies Kumon Maths one year ahead of her school grade. She says Kumon helped her especially in multiplication and division. Emma says maths is easy for her at school and what she’s learnt at Kumon will help her later in life.

“When I grow up, Kumon will probably help me with my grocery shopping. It will help me to calculate the bill”, she says.

Emma hopes to become a singer-songwriter when she grows up.

Jessica, in Year 1 at school, says Kumon English helped with her reading. She is one year ahead in Kumon English. For Jessica, who wants to become
a doctor when she grows up, being strong in English is important.

“You need to be able to read to become a doctor. Kumon English will help me to become a doctor”, Jessica says.

Leah is only one month into Kumon English. Sarah – mum of Jessica, Emma and Leah – says Leah has already learned to trace letters and write her name.

“She enjoys writing her name on everything”, Sarah says.

Sarah says she enrolled her daughters into Kumon to not only give them extra support with their maths and English, but also to help develop a foundation for lifelong learning.

“Kumon shows our children that doing a little bit of work every day really adds up in the long run”, Sarah says. “It helps them to build a good work ethic and develop study habits for the rest of their lives.”

Kumon is an individualised after-school maths and English programme. Advanced students can go ahead to study content that is above their school grade, while those who may be falling behind can go back to practise and revise.

Kumon Maths develops calculation skills essential for the study of high school mathematics, while Kumon English builds a high level of reading comprehension ability.

Please contact Kumon Raintrees Education Centre or Kumon Cairns North Education Centre to enquire and learn more about how Kumon could support your child.


For those educating their children from home, ABC have various tools available to assist parents and caregivers, including the announcement made earlier today of extended educational programming on ABC ME; who are providing SCHOOL ON TV when term 2 rolls around.

Working with state and territory education departments and other education providers, the ABC will deliver curriculum-linked content to children of all ages. 

Featuring programs such as Ecomaths, ScienceXplosion, Numberblocks , English on the Go and of course Behind The News, you can tune in from 10am – 3 pm daily from Tuesday 14th April.  

Primary school content will be broadcast in the mornings with secondary school content in the afternoons. The schedule  will be available on the ABC TV Guide from Wednesday, 8 April.

You can also access more than 4000 free videos, resources and games related to the Australian Curriculum and related subjects with its online portal ABC Education, 

If you have a pre-school aged child, you can rely on ABC Kids, ABC Kids listen and the ABC Early Education website, for help with content and educational resources.

You can also download the ABC Kids app which houses a collection of learning content and family activities.

Happy home-teaching.


Ages: 3+
Cost: free
Get it for: iOS or Android
SkyView app is a free augmented reality (AR) app for both iOS and Android devices, that uses your smartphone’s camera to uncover different stars, constellations, planets, star clusters and other celestial bodies in the night sky. They point the device in any direction and see what planets, constellations, and even satellites are in the sky above them whether they are inside or outside it doesn’t matter.
When they see something on the screen, they can tap on it, and then read a bunch of facts about it. Kids can learn about astronomy and tonnes of sky-related factoids; from astronauts and their missions to distances of stars from Earth. They can build their research skills by tracking and recording the trajectory of their favourite planet. SkyView Universe is well-suited to give kids who are already interested in astronomy the information they seek and also to inspire kids who may not have wondered about the sky to be more curious. SkyView Universe gives loads of science information with some cool features, but the amount and depth of exploration is up to the kids.

Lightbot: Code Hour
Ages: 8+
Cost: free
Get it for: iOS or Android
Lightbot: Code Hour introduces kids of all ages
to the basic concepts of coding and the logic that computer programmers use to write code, all without having to actually code! Instead, the app has kids get Lightbot through different pathways by using functions commonly found in code. This app is a great way to get your kid interested in coding and computer programming, without overwhelming them.

Ages: 4-10
Cost: free
Get it for: iOS or Android
Make screen time active with 300+ dance videos, yoga exercises, and mindfulness activities for kids! Everything is designed especially for kids (age 4-10). The GoNoodle App only includes content approved by GoNoodle’s team of child development experts and there are no in-app purchases. You can trust your kids are safe with GoNoodle.

Spelling Stage
Ages: 4+
Cost: free
Get it for: iOS
Kids may usually find
spelling words difficult.
This is one of the greatest spelling apps created for educational and family entertainment, perfect for users over the age of 4. Whether you’re the next spelling bee champion or just learning the alphabet, this spelling game can help you become the ultimate speller of all time!

Ages: 10+
Cost: free, optional ad-free Duolingo
Get it for: iOS or Android
Learn a language. Duolingo is a great app to learn a different language. Japanese, Spanish, German, French, Italian, Chinese, Korean, Hindi, or Indonesian to name a few. Practice through audio, word identification,
and oral exercises for over 30 languages. It’s a great way for your family to learn a new language together.

Quick Maths Jr.
Ages: 7-11
Cost: free
Get it for: iOS or Android
Quick Math Jr. is an award-winning app that covers the essential foundations of mathematics, including counting, addition and subtraction, place value, writing numbers and much more! From the creators of the award-winning Quick Math series, Quick Math Jr. is a fun way to develop mathematics skills and confidence.

Kaspersky Safe Kids
Ages: 7-11
Cost: free or premium is $19.95
Get it for: iOS, Android, Mac, PC.
Is an online wonder tool for parents to be able to safeguard and monitor their children online. It allows you to block access to adult websites and content, block harmful YouTube search requests on topics like drugs and alcohol and helps you manage access to games and inappropriate apps and websites. It even lets you manage their screen time by device, so it shuts down after their time limit has been reached. You can add the app on multiple devices, and your phone can manage at the click of a button to see what they are up to online, or cut short their internet time.
The app also uses a GPS tracker so you can locate your child’s whereabouts on a real-time online map, and if you like, you can also define a safe area for them to stay in and the app alerts you instantly if they step beyond it. If that’s not enough, it also tells you when they’re running low on battery so you can warn them to plug in. 



Learning another language will help you gain a worldwide mindset. So, why do so many people who speak English as a first language, feel the need to not learn another language? Many of us start to learn a second language during our schooling years, but drop it as soon as we’re not doing it for a grade anymore. Simply put, there are many benefits of learning another language.

Even though we all know most countries have their own language, we visit their country assuming they can speak English too, sometimes visiting knowing a basic greeting. Although English is the unofficial language of the world, it is still a very important skill to learn another language and it is becoming the norm to be bilingual.

1. Deeper cultural understanding.

Hello. こんにちは. dzień dobry. Olá. Talofa. Haye. مرحبا. ਸਤ ਸ੍ਰੀ ਅਕਾਲ. Salut. Learning a language helps to really immerse yourself in the country. Going to a country and being able to understand the language helps you converse with locals and immerse yourself in the atmosphere.

2. More work opportunities. 

It gives you the opportunity to work is multiple countries and work places which speak multiple languages. Speaking multiple language also makes you a valuable asset to the workplace.

3. Able to communicate with more people. 

Learning a new language opens the door to speak to millions more people. Whether it be making a new friend while travelling or being able to have a conversation with your French waiter, these are all great ways to immerse yourself when visiting a country or having tourists visit yours.

4. Travel is more interesting. 

When knowing the language of the country you are visiting, you can truly experience and understand the country. Not being able to worry about whether there is an English tour or having a family laugh after hearing a conversation people didn’t think you could understand will bring you a lot of peace of mind.

5. Less chance of early dementia. 

Studies have shown that learning a second language helps decrease your chances of getting dementia due to the memory side of the brain being actively used.

6. Improves memory and listening skills. 

When learning and listening to a new language, your brain is constantly active and trying to pick up words and even sentences. This helps you to piece together meaning from your second language content by using your memory and listening brain parts.

7. It’s fun. 

Although the thought of failure scares most adults away from unknown things, learning a language is a whole new experience. Making mistakes when learning a new language is inevitable and a part of the process which can be scared for adults with the fear of ‘looking stupid’. The thought that people are judging you when you try to speak an unfamiliar language is mainly in your head; even if you make multiple mistakes when speaking your target language, people will always try to understand what you are trying to say. You trying to speak in their language instead of just blurting out in English is a great way to show you are putting in effort.

How many languages can you speak?