The first full week of home-based learning is over and by now, most of us would be familiar with the schedule. You’ve created personal space for each person to work in, and avoided BBC dad moments. In fact, everything’s good… until your child completes the entire day’s HBL before lunchtime, turns to you, and says those two words — “I’m bored!”.
Joey Lim, Vice-President of Commercial, APAC at digital collaboration platform Lark has a solution. A seasoned remote worker, she suggests planning after-school activities keep your kids occupied. “There are tons of resources online to keep your child engaged once lessons are over. From learning about space to coding, and even conducting simple science experiments at home, these stimulating activities show learning can be fun,” the mum of three says. Good idea? Great idea! Here are some that we are making time for as we #stayhome during this circuit breaker period.
CARE FOR YOUR MIND, BODY, & SOUL
Manage Anxiety & Emotions with Sesame Street
If you need some guidance on how to help your child manage the COVID-19 situation, take a virtual stroll to the happiest street on TV. Let the kids learn from their favourite Sesame Street muppets. Chances are, the kids will listen better to the muppets, than to you, right? At Sesame Workshop’s Caring for Each Other website they’ll receive, and learn messages of love and kindness. In addition they can take part in learning activities, and virtual play dates. Finally, kids can get reminders on handwashing, how to cough or sneeze properly, and self-care. Enter Sesame Street here.
Specially for Kids with Special Needs
Need a little more help to adjust to this new normal? The Lien Foundation and non-profit inclusive arts movement Superhero Me have collaborated to create Takeaway Live just for that. In here are free 30-minute online sessions designed to help parents and their kids with special needs “dabao” (colloquial Cantonese; meaning to pack) tips and strategies to adjust to home-based learning, and COVID-19 circuit breakers.
For instance, parents can tap on the experience of Educational and Developmental Psychologist, Ms Pamela See (in “Navigating Emotions in Times of Social Anxiety”) to help children cope with changes. They can also learn how to use stay-home routines to enhance early intervention from developmental paediatrician and epidemiologist Dr Lim Hong Huay on Ask the Experts (Sundays, 4pm).
Finally, in Get Creative with Captains (Thursdays, 4pm), kids can enjoy interactive and inclusive craft sessions conducted by Superhero Me captains. Missed a session? Don’t worry. Catch up anytime even after the LIVE telecasts here.
Do the Baby Shark Abs Challenge
Before you scoff… it’s not as easy as you’d think it is, as this personal fitness trainer discovered. Try it out with your little ones. By the time the song is over, your abs will be aching. The kids may want to go another round though. Ready? Doo doo doo it here.
Enjoy Inclusive Play with Society Staples
SS With You is a platform of resources to help everyone get through the circuit breaker period, put together by social enterprise Society Staples. The social enterprise works to facilitate social inclusion of persons with disabilities, and even runs a dragon boat team for the visually-impaired! However outdoor sports are banned for the moment, so join in the fun online instead. See the schedule of activities for each week, from inclusive yoga to party games, and singalong sessions, or click here for more.
Have Fun with KidZania Singapore
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In today’s #KidZaniaAtHome with @kiss92fm, be a Radio DJ and go on the air from your home! Think about some of the favourite things you like to do when you’re home and share them on-air! #KidZaniaAtHome #stayhomewithKISS92 #stayhomeforSG #SGUnited #SGTogether #circuitbreaker
So you can’t go to KidZania. But you can still enjoy role-play and activities from #KidZaniaAtHome during the circuit breaker period. Check in at its Facebook and Instagram pages to find a series of home-based activities for kids and parents to do together, such as simple crafts, science experiments, cooking recipes and sports. They’re simple to do, and pretty fun too!
Build a LEGO Game
Ever thought of building a LEGO phone speaker? If the kids have too much LEGO at home and don’t know what to do with it, guide them to LEGO’s new #LetsBuildTogether site where they can learn to do that, and be inspired to get even more creative! There are plenty of entertaining and learning resources here for every age, as well as daily build challenges, and fun LEGO lessons. Start building here.
Go to Club Med… at Home!
While we can’t visit our favourite all-inclusive family resort at the moment, we can enjoy its wholesome brand of fun with Club Med at Home. Whether you’re looking for #stayhome activities to do with the kids, music playlists for the fam, culinary inspiration, workout videos, or even audiobooks and podcasts for the little ones, you’ll find them here. Dreaming of a Club Med holiday? Take this opportunity to explore the resorts online in 360° too! Get away here.
LISTEN & WATCH
ArtScience at Home
Starting 24 April, you can visit the ArtScience Museum from your sofa, your bed, or anywhere at home, as ArtScience At Home presents the museum’s learning activities online. Go on guided exhibition tours (not to be missed!) and workshops, and ‘attend’ programmes including ArtScience Late, Conversations and ArtScience on Screen, here. #ArtScienceatHome #ASMatHome
- Tuesdays: Online Talks: Feeling the Future on alternate weeks (starts 28 April)
- Thursdays: ArtScience Late at Home on the third Thursday of each month
- Fridays: Virtual Exhibition Tours (see Future World if you haven’t) and Online Workshops (like making your own space mission patche) on alternate weeks (great for kids)
- Sundays: ArtScience Late Jams on Spotify on alternate weeks
(See also: 2219: Futures Imagined at the ArtScience Museum)
Chinese Chamber Music with DingYi
If you have never attended a Ding Yi Music Company (鼎艺团) performance, do not miss this opportunity to catch Singapore’s best Chinese chamber music orchestra in action, online. They’ve rolled out a series of content under #dingyiwithyou (#鼎艺陪伴你) which includes full-length recordings of their most iconic works, bite-sized messages to uplift spirits, and social media takeovers by musicians as they #stayhomeforSG. Treat your senses to a Ding Yi performance here.
Storytelling by NLB Librarians
The National Library Board (NLB) has launched weekly storytelling sessions for children in English, Malay, Chinese and Tamil. Each session lasts approximately five minutes, and is hosted by librarians, volunteers and local authors. Watch and listen in English, Chinese, Malay, and Tamil.
Attend a classical music performance
Missing the sound of classical music? Watch and listen to the Singapore Symphony Orchestra’s performances, including chamber concerts, digital premieres, and pieces by local composers at the new SSO Play On! page. What’s more, you can join conductor Jason Lai for a meditation session accompanied by music performed by the SSO! Get classical here.
Watch shorts by local filmmakers
Thanks to COVID-19, the plight of the marginalised and the needy has surfaced in our consciousness. The 15 shorts by established, and upcoming filmmakers in Singapore explore these and other emerging issues in Singapore. There’s Chai Yee Wei’s Sister, which delves into the 1981 Toa Payoh ritual murders, and Boo Junfeng’s Plague, about health worker Iris Verghese who gave comfort to AIDs patients. Watch them here. #15Shorts #CityofGood #SGCares
Join #FFLShareTheCare on FB
There’s something for everyone in the family at #FriendsofFFLShare on Facebook. Think strategies for parents to balance work and kids, to playtime ideas with siblings Zach and Sara Edwards of Lil’ Brushes — all created by volunteers. Over at the #ASKFFL video series on Facebook Live, new parents can get tips from doctors on how to cope with their newborns, and more. See programme updates here.
(See also: 10 Time- and Sanity-Saving Tips for Busy Mums)
Engineer seriously-cool projects with Dyson
The James Dyson Foundation is Dyson’s charitable arm, and it has a fabulous website full of science and engineering activities for children. Kids can find out about design processes, develop problem solving solutions, and attempt cool STEM challenges designed by Dyson engineers. Watch the engineers themselves attempt the challenges, which range from skewering a balloon without popping it, racing balloon-powered cars, and building a spaghetti bridge. Then try them out yourself here! #JDFChallenge
It’s called Girls4Tech™ but boys can have fun here too. Created by Mastercard, the site engages kids aged eight to 12 years with STEM activities. For example, kids can explore algorithms, cybersecurity, data privacy, and even cryptology. Sounds ‘cheem’ (Hokkien for deep, difficult, profound)? Don’t worry. We tried them out and they’re definitely do-able. What’s more, they’re pretty fun too! Get techy here.
Download STEM lessons
Want more? Scholastic (yes the ones who publish those great readers for kids) has a Tech For Innovation site. Here, you can download lessons to help kids learn about STEM topics. Get them here.
GET FUN ENRICHMENT
Go Bilingual with the Dim Sum Warriors
Singapore-based edtech startup Yumcha Studios, which created the popular Dim Sum Warriors series of bilingual comics, has a free online quiz on 10 Ways Kids can Fight the COVID-19 Coronavirus. It’s available in 11 languages — including Singlish! :)
Furthermore, kids can also download the Dim Sum Chums bilingual apps (free for now) to enjoy the audio read-along in English and Mandarin. In addition, they can record themselves reading, explore vocabulary, and play games. Download the free bilingual app here.
Become a Sustainability Champion
Usually, kids who want to earn Young Scientist badges have to subscribe and pay to join the programme. But this one, launched in collaboration with the Temasek Foundation, is free! Through it, children aged 7-12 (Junior) and 13-16 (Senior) can learn about renewable energy, and responsible food consumption. As they complete tasks and activities, they will earn their online certificate and badge. Watch the vodcast on 22 April (4-5pm) to find out more, and sign up here.
Get Free Online Lessons with Geniebook
Register (for free) to access Geniebook’s online live stream lessons, which follow the MOE syllabus and topics currently taught in schools. Each hour-long video is accompanied by a standardised worksheet. In addition, each student will be given 10 free smart worksheets. Did you know that these smart worksheets are generated using Geniebook’s unique AI technology? They personalise questions according to the student’s strengths and weaknesses. Hence each is custom-made for every child. Available till 4 May 2020. Register for free here.
Space out with the Science Centre
The Science Centre’s Educators hold an Astronomy 102 Live Vodcast and Stargazing Series every Friday and it’s quite a thrill. After all, you get to explore the night sky up close through their telescopes! In addition, you’ll learn about “out-of-the-world” astronomy topics such as Living in Space, Asteroids, Life in Space, and Exploring the Universe. Who wouldn’t want to know about these? Watch the vodcast (4.30pm) and stargazing (8pm) sessions live every Friday (alternating weeks) here.
We’ll be adding new activities as they come in, so do keep checking back for more!
Header and featured images: Sesame Workshop