The World Wide Web is a big place, full of knowledge and exciting things for you and the kids to try out at home. Whether you use the ‘net to search for the details and make a plan, or to research and participate, there are lots of ways to keep learning fun!
We hopped online and dug out a list of 15 things that you can use the web for to keep the kids busy and their minds buzzing over the break. The best bit? While they are all loads of fun, they also come with an educational spin to help those young minds flourish.
This isn’t a shopping spree! Head to the Lego Play Zone where kids can learn about their favourite characters, search the video archives, and play games on PC, PlayStation, Xbox, Nintendo and via apps on your devices.
It’s time to get active! You can jump online and do a PE class with Joe, play games to get the kids moving with Go Noodle, or mindfulness and relaxation with Cosmic Kids Yoga. You don’t need heaps of equipment and they’ll have a way to disperse all that energy!
Kids love getting dirty, so why not let them loose in the garden? The kids may like to build a herb or veggie garden, learn the art of vermicomposting (turning food scraps into plant food), grow a plant and see how big it can grow, or put a scientific spin on it and create some DIY coloured flowers and learn about how different soil environments affect plants growth.
Pick an animal, look it up on National Geographic and other websites and do a ‘did you know?’ page for this animal. There’s heaps of other amazing and interesting information on National Geographic Kids that they can explore or for a something a little different check out Switch Zoo. Switch Zoo will allow the kids to make new animals, play games and solve puzzles, build a habitat or biome, or become a zoo guide!
If you have some empty jars around the house, grab them, fill them up to different levels, add a touch of colour to make the water stand out, and play some tunes with musical jars. Once you’ve given this a go, check out Patatap. This is an app created by computer programmer Jono Brandel that you can download it on your device and let the kids create animations and melodies.
Story Box Library has over 250 stories by local authors and illustrators read by some well-known storytellers. You can improve kids language and literacy skills and help kids them excited about reading child subscribe for the family for just $4.99 a month or $39.99 a year. There’s so many stories that they’ll be immersed for hours!
Pull out the classic board games like Connect Four, Trivial Pursuit, Battleships, Scrabble, Scattergories, Monopoly or Cluedo. Once the kids have challenged their minds and had some fun, they can let their imagination run wild and create their own. Create a theme or world for the game, a couple of rules, work out how people will move through the game and then start building it!
Being social is important. If you’re unable to visit friends and family, organise a virtual chat or a no-contact playdate. There are a number of group video chat platforms such as Zoom that you can use on mobile or desktops and have up to eight people join in.
Explore dinosaur fossils by making your own! Everything you need will be in the cupboard and the steps are super easy. Then research the science behind fossils. Next give re-creating a volcano a go. Here’s the experiment for you to try in the backyard.
Calling all Harry Potter and Fantastic Beasts fans! Enter Wizarding World and bring the stories to life with e-books and educational games galore. The kids can even find out what house the sorting hat places them in! If you’re kids prefer Disney, you can check out a huge range of Disney Junior games, colouring sheets and activities on their website.
There are games online that allow kids to role-play and explore through quests, challenges and games. In Poptropica kids can create a character and travel the Islands of Poptropica, using their problem-solving skills to discover and solve mysteries on each island. Neopets, JumpStart, Club Penquin and Toontown Rewritten are a couple of other options.
DIY is an online community for kids with a huge selection of exciting projects and challenges for the kids to complete and earn badges. There are a range of courses including photography, science, drawing, Minecraft, and Lego. Try it for free!
Head into space with NASA Kids Club to learn about space, astronauts and rockets through information, games and stories. Dig a little deeper with a huge range of information on Extreme Science: Space, discover the surface of Mars with Access Mars using real footage, and join the Space Racers to learn all things space through games, videos and activities.
Encourage the young artist with drawing, colour and various art styles. If there is something they want to learn how to draw, you’re sure to find it on Activity Village and Art for Kids Hub. From animals to their favourite characters – they’re all here. Just follow the tutorials and they’ll be a pro in no time! For some online colouring in give Scrap Coloring a go and to let them create a master piece from scratch – Bomomo is a blank canvas for them to experiment.
We understand that safety is a top priority for families during the ongoing impact of the COVID-19 pandemic. For more information about having a safe and positive experience while searching online, visit https://www.esafety.gov.au/.
Do you have an exciting activity for the kids to share? Let us know in the comments below.