The circuit breaker may have put a dampener on your family’s school holiday plans, but it doesn’t mean that you can’t plan for some fun at home with the kids.
COVID-19 has truly disrupted our lives in more ways than one. Non-essential shops have closed, office workers are now working from home and the academic year for school-going children has changed drastically. Due to the ongoing COVID-19 circuit breaker, the Ministry of Education announced earlier in April that this year’s June school holidays will be brought forward to May, and the academic year will resume on 2 June 2020.
While this means that you no longer have to help your kids with their Home-Based Learning assignments, you now have the all important task of keeping their minds occupied and entertained. And, if you’re not too sure where to start, here are a few free kid-friendly online activity ideas to keep the little ones engaged while you focus on working from home.
Free online activities to keep kids entertained
|Channel/Website||Activity||Skills Kids Pick-Up|
|Popsicle Play||Learning about colours through play||Colour recognition, reading, fine motor skills, imagination, problem solving skills|
|Free Colouring Pages||Learning about colours through colouring pages||Colour recognition, fine motor skills, patience|
|Busy Little Chefs||Learn to cook with kids via YouTube||Counting, measuring, sorting, fine motor skills, hand eye coordination, problem solving|
|Best Ideas For Kids||Make handmade slime with kids for sensory play||Sensory play, problem solving, creativity|
|FunBrain||One-stop entertainment FunBrain for games, books and math||Reading, math skills, problem solving, creativity|
|Science At Home||Be a young scientist with your child||Problem solving, science knowledge, fine motor skills|
|Skyscanner||Skyscanner’s travel play packs let you travel the world with your child while at home||Reading, imagination, drawing, creativity|
|National Library Board App|
iOS | Android
|Pick up the habit of reading with NLB’s Libby app||Reading, imagination|
|Cool Math Games||Teach your kid about money from online games||Math, money management, cognitive development|
Play with colours
Colour recognition might sound a simple task, but identifying and choosing different shades can be rather complex — one that also helps in your child’s cognitive development. One colour play activity that caught my attention is this easy set-up by Popsicle Play. All you need are some food dyes, containers, cardboard and ink droplets. The goal is simple. Mix and match primary colours in order to achieve secondary colours. This activity will encourage the development of fine motor and problem-solving skills as they experiment through trial-and-error.
Colour me beautiful
An oldie but a goodie. Colouring is one of the oldest activities in the playbook, and all you need is a colouring book and a box of colour pencils or markers to keep your kid engaged for 1 to 2 hours. Colouring hones their fine motor skills, colour recognition, focus and patience. If you can’t get your hands on a colouring book, just Google ‘colouring pages for kids’. There are a tonne of free colouring pages featuring cartoon characters like Disney Princesses, Winnie the Pooh, Frozen, Peppa Pig, Paw Patrol and more.
Put on your aprons and whip up a storm together
Ask anyone who has children and they will tell you that YouTube is one of the only things that can keep their kid seated for hours. As a parent, YouTube has been nothing short of a blessing, especially when you have an important Zoom meeting to attend and need something to keep them occupied.
It’s okay to encourage them to watch edutainment videos like the kid-friendly cooking videos by Busy Little Chefs. With a little help and supervision, kids can learn to make pizza (from scratch!), smoothies, cupcakes and more. Not only would these kitchen adventures help develop their fine motor and communication skills, but they will also learn to count, measure and recognise ingredients needed for the recipe.
Slimey DIY fun
Sensory plays are activities that stimulate your kid’s five senses — touch, smell, taste, sight and hearing. Many childhood experts believe that they are important to a kid’s development because they help them explore and make sense of the things around them. Plus, kids learn best and retain the most information when their senses are triggered.
One such activity that I do with my own kids is to make slime! Yes, that gooey and sticky substance that sparks immense joy. This particular recipe from Best Ideas For Kids is my personal go-to for slime recipes.
Here’s a pro tip — give your kids the autonomy to try out different colour combinations to make their own unique slime!
Travel the world from your living room
While we are nowhere near our pre-COVID-19 travel days, it doesn’t mean that we can’t let our imagination run free! Skyscanner has designed five fun packs that will let you and your kids explore the world without leaving home. Activities in these fun packs include drawing a favourite memory and recreating a travel experience in your living room. Who knows? It might even give you some travel inspiration for your next family trip.
Pick-up the habit of reading
Research has shown that reading not only improves a child’s cognitive development, but also general wellbeing and mental health. Which is why you should consider using this circuit breaker to help your child pick up the habit of reading.
A good way to do that is to get your hands on the National Library Board’s free Libby app. Through their app, you can download any eBook from NLB’s vast collection of books and magazines. With thousands of books including Harry Potter, Geronimo Stilton, Percy Jackson and magazines like National Geographic for Kids, you’ll definitely be able to find something that would pique your kid’s interest.
Hours of edutainment
As parents, we are often worried about our children spending too much screen time on frivolous videos. If that rings true for you, give FunBrain a try. Filled with educational and entertaining games, books and videos for kids aged 4-14, rest assured that your kid will be kept engaged for hours. For example, your child can learn animal anatomy and quirky fun-facts through an interactive ‘Mammals’ game.
Stimulate their interest and curiosity
Singapore Science Centre has a #StayAtHomeScience video series that encourages children of all ages to ask questions, experiment and explore the world around them. From creating a cloud in a jar to magnetic cereal, the video series is filled with educational and fun science experiments that you can explore with your child at home. If you have an aspiring astronomer at home, you can even join Singapore Science Centre’s Live Stargazing series to explore the galaxy from the comfort of your home.
Learn the value of money
Money management is an important life skill that should be cultivated from the moment your child is able to count. A good way to introduce the concept of money is through games, in this case, playing online games that impart the basic values and concepts of money. There are many available online, but my personal favourite would be the old school lemonade stand game as it also touches on the concept of pricing and planning. The goal of the game is to sell as many lemonades as possible and to earn the most amount of money within a certain period of time.
Keeping your child entertained with free online activities isn't the only way you can save money during this circuit breaker period. With the right credit card, every purchase made for the home can earn you instant cashback, air miles or points that can be exchanged for vouchers. Apply for one using our comparison tool today and get rewarded with cash or prizes*.
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