Free kids activities at home: what’s on TV and online while they’re off school

Here's your new school timetable: from PE lessons to reading sessions

Joe Wicks

Schools may be closed, but that doesn’t mean studies have finished. As parents across the country get to grips with home schooling their children, we’ve got good news for you – some famous faces are on hand to help you out with a lesson plan…

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Thanks to the wonders of modern technology, famous folk are broadcasting live from their posh living rooms and fancy home offices, sharing their wisdom with us all.

So here’s your new school timetable:

9am – PE with Joe Wicks

Fitness expert Joe Wicks
Fitness expert Joe Wicks

Joe was one of the first celebs to offer his services to the nation. His half hour morning workouts are just what we need to get the blood pumping at the start of the day and are suitable for parents and children to do together, just search for ‘PE with Joe Wicks‘ on YouTube. His trademark enthusiasm should be just the ticket to get everyone in a good mood ahead of a day of learning.

Where to watch: Youtube

9.30am – Geography with Steve Backshall

From habitats to holotypes, parasites to pademelons, BBC presenter Steve Backshall will bring wildlife into your lounge – mess-free. Each Wednesday he’ll host a live classroom across his social channels.

Where to watch: Youtube

10am – Science and Maths with Konnie Huq and Carol Vorderman

Konnie Huq Blue Peter presenter

Time to sit down and learn something. Carol Vorderman has a successful online maths school, which she is making free during the coronavirus outbreak. Log on any day of the week for lots of useful maths lessons for a wide range of ages and abilities.

If your child prefers science, former Blue Peter presenter Konnie Huq will be releasing videos at 10am every Monday, Wednesday and Friday through her official YouTube channel, which she promises will be “educational but entertaining, low tech but fun.”

Where to watch: Youtube

10.30am – Literacy with David Walliams and JK Rowling

Best David Walliams Books
Amazon

Two of the UK’s biggest-selling children’s authors are doing their best to keep everyone reading. David Walliams is releasing a free audio story from The World’s Worst Children every day at 11am (he’s calling it ‘Elevenses’ – you can listen to it the next day), available via his website. Meanwhile, JK Rowling is relaxing copyright restrictions on her books, to allow teachers to conduct live readings via the internet.

Where to watch: Worldofdavidwalliams.com

11am Gardening and nature with Maddie and Greg

BAFTA Children's Awards - VIP Arrivals

Serving up lessons on the great outdoors indoors are Cbeebies favourite Maddie Moate (Maddie’s Do You Know?) and BBC science journalist Greg Foot. Each weekday they’ll be dropping a live half-show at 11am on Youtube, delving into everything from daffodil Dissection to how to make a bird feeder from a plastic bottle. Thanks to YouTube comment features, kids will also be able to ask their teachers questions in real-time.

Where to watch: Youtube

11.30am – Dance with Oti Mabuse

Oti Mabuse (Getty)

Strictly favourite Oti Mabuse is a brilliant choreographer, so it’s no surprise that she has managed to come up with some fun routines for kids. Dancing with her husband Marius, both in animal onesies, their aim is for everyone to have a great time – so no complicated steps, just high energy happy moves with great music. Oti will be live-streaming her kids classes every day at 11.30am via her YouTube channel and Instagram account.

Where to watch: Youtube

12pm – Food tech with Jamie Oliver

Jamie Oliver

We’ve been impressed with Jamie Oliver’s Keep Cooking and Carry On series over on Channel 4 – and it’ll teach the small ones a thing or two as well. The show airs daily at 5.30pm but is also available on demand.

Where to watch: All4

1pm – Music with Nick Cope and Myleene Klass

Myleene Klass is joined by her daughters Ava and Hero for ‘Myleene’s Music Klass’ (see what she’s done there?), teaching children the basics of classical music. The next video will be released on Friday at 10am via her YouTube page – but thanks to the wonders of the internet, you can enjoy it at any time.

Meanwhile, musician Nick Cope is performing online concerts for families. The next one will livestream at 3pm on Thursday 26th March via his YouTube channel and Facebook page.

Where to watch: Youtube

1.30pm – Dance with Darcey Bussell

Darcey Bussell

Yes, that’s the Darcey Bussell from Strictly Come Dancing. A 10-minute children’s dance fitness programme from the ballroom queen and former BBC judge is being broadcast live on Facebook every 1.30pm on weekdays from 30th March.

Where to watch: Facebook

2pm – History with Dan Snow

dan-snow

From D-Day to 1066, a whole host of programmes from historian and presenter Dan Snow are available to watch entirely free for a whole month (!) over on HistoryHit.TV.

Where to watch: HistoryHit.TV

3pm – Science with Professor Brian Cox, Robin Ince & guests 

Professor Brian Cox At "Sightgeist"  Charity Event

The first man of BBC science Brian Cox will be joined by comedian (and fellow host of hit podcast The Infinite Monkey Cage) Robin Ince to front The Stay at Home Show on YouTube. On each episode (airing almost daily) they’ll be joined by guests including  Josie Long and Reece Shearmsith for a special science-based Q&A session. You can see an upcoming schedule of their shows here.

Where to watch: Youtube

4pm – Home Economics with Theo Michaels

View this post on Instagram

OK everyone, I have no idea how this is going to go! I’m hosting a live cook along every Monday, Wednesday and Friday @ 4pm (GMT). UPDATE: ingredients list now up – link in my bio!! . I’ll publish a list of (easy, quarantine friendly) ingredients the day before each cookalong and feel free to message me if you have any questions or want to swap an ingredient you don’t have or for dietary reasons. Listen, we’re in this together. I can’t promise this will be pretty, but we’ll have a bit of fun, maybe learn something and ultimately end up with dinner! I’ve said this is a kids cookalong but in reality it’s for everyone. This Monday we’re making homemade flatbreads (two ingredients) with various toppings so the idea is at the end of it you’ve all got dinner aswell! Anyway, let’s have some fun and cook some stuff! Please share with anyone who might like to join in. Theo xx PS. I take no liability for anything my kids say or the amount of mess caused.. #theocookswithkids . . . . . . . . . . . . . #theocooks #cookalong #kidscooking #activityforkids #lockdown #lockdown2020 #kidslockdown #lockdownwithkids #thismorning #homeschool #homeschooling #isolationinspired #cookingwithkids #familycooking #livecooking #quarantinelife #quarantinecooking

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Theo Michaels: semi-finalist on Masterchef in 2014 and now your kids’ new teacher. The cooking maestro will be serving up simple recipes (think gnocchi and flatbread) live on Instagram at 4pm each Monday, Wednesday and Friday. He’ll handily post the (very short) list of needed ingredients the day before.

Where to watch: Instagram

4.30pm – English with Julia Donaldson and Friends

The writer of The Gruffalo is launching a new Facebook series, featuring a live book reading (or song), followed by an art tutorial by illustrators Axel Scheffler, Rebecca Cobb, Lydia Monks, David Roberts and Nick Sharratt. New episodes will be broadcast last from her home at 4pm each Thursday.

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Where to watch: Facebook