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.
LOCAL ONLINE ACTIVITIES
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
WAYS TO GET ACTIVE INDOORS/YOUR OWN BACKYARD
Try GoNoodle – www.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 with – www.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.
FUN THINGS TO DO AS A FAMILY
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 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)
THINGS TO LEARN ONLINE
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
TRAVEL THE WORLD (AND BEYOND) ONLINE
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