Keeping children busy and active at home

Published: 20th Mar 2020

We've made a list of free activities to help keep children busy and learning at the home.

With all schools closed to most pupils across the UK from Friday 20 March 2020, we know that a lot of Birmingham families will be worried about keep their children occupied and learning at home.

Be kind to yourself

Although we have compiled a some activity suggestions below, the most important thing to focus on is getting into a new family routine that prioritises everyone feeling safe, calm, relaxed, and connected.  Watch Adoption UK's video for tips on how to structure your day.  

Don’t be too ridged in your expectations, or get too stressed if things aren’t getting done. Right now, we all need to step back & breathe. The school work and learning will come later, when we are all in a slightly better emotional place and have adjusted to this new, temporary, way of life. 

With that said, here are some of our activity suggestions... 

Get reading!

Birmingham library offers free e-books, including children’s books, to library members. You can become a member for free online

Early years

The National Day Nurseries Association (NDNA) has plenty of great ideas for things to do at home with little ones! 

Early years and childcare activity guides by topic is the NDNA's central page for activity ideas. 

Science and maths

If you're looking for ways to get young children into science and maths it might be easier than think.

  • 5 ways to spark a love of STEM by Tula Tales suggests five simple, everyday activities that will set children up to enjoy science and maths for life. 
  • The Maths Factor by Carol Vorderman offers free maths lessons whilst the schools are closed. Carol's website has resources for children aged 4-12. 
  • Django Girls works to inspire girls and women to fall in love with coding. Their free online tutorials, teaching Python and Django, are available to everyone. 

Virtual tours

Did you know that you can visit museums online from your own home? Google’s arts and culture website lets you search for any artist, artefact or museum and browse a selection of their exhibitions. The quality of the results is a little variable so here’s our pick of museums and heritage sites that have interactive digital displays:

Keeping active

Keeping active can boost your mood and help to manage stress as well as keep you fit. If your household is not self-isolating, you are permitted to take some exercise outside once a day, so long as you all follow government advice on social distancing

If your household is self-isolating or you prefer to stay indoors, here are some at home work-outs you can try with children:

  • Fitness Blender offers free at home workouts for all abilities which require little to no equipment. They are a husband and wife team who do the work out along with you. You can search for a workout based on your ability, the equipment you have and the time you want to spend. Try their workout with children to exercise together.
  • Joe Wicks, Body Coach on Facebook. Joe Wicks, known for his recipe books Lean in 15, is offering free, live “PE lessons” for all children. The lessons will be live streamed at 9am every weekday from Monday 23 March 2020 and will last for 30 minutes.
  • DownDog. DownDog is a yoga app which guides users through yoga sessions. You can select a female or male teacher to copy and the length and difficulty of your session. In response to UK school closures, DownDog is offering free use of their app to all UK students and teachers until July 2020. 

Help and support for you

We know that COVID-19 (Coronavirus) and the uncertainty of the current situation may be causing you additional stress and anxiety. As always, our post adoption support team and fostering service is here to support you.

Read our recommended resources for talking to children about COVID-19 and managing related stress.

Support for adoptive parents

Our Adoption Support Duty Line is available as usual by emailing:

  • Monday–Thursday: 9am–5pm
  • Friday: 9am–4pm

Keep up to date with COVID-19 news for adoptive parents

Download out latest COVID-19 communications to adoptive parents

Support for Foster Carers

If you require any additional support please contact your social worker or team manager in the first instance.  

All Trust Foster Carers should be receiving daily email updates. If you are not, please contact your Social Worker.

Please note: Following government advice, our guidance for Foster Carers is that the children you care for should remain at home wherever possible. If you think that your family circumstances or the needs of a child mean they need to attend school, please discuss this with your social worker. The child’s social worker will then complete a risk assessment to confirm the most appropriate arrangement. 

Out of hours Support

Birmingham Children’s Trust Out of Hours Emergency Duty Service: 0121 675 4806