Keeping kids healthy at home
Useful resources for parents and carers, children and young people during the Coronavirus pandemic.
The Health Improvement Team produced the Healthy kids at home daily enews during school closure to help parents structure their child’s school day. It includes learning ideas, a daily exercise and recipe to try, evening entertainment ideas and mental health tips. See the most recent issue and access past issues here.
Healthy kids at home newsletter
Produced monthly and includes the best ideas from our daily enews. This monthly newsletter for parents includes indoor and outdoor entertainment ideas, recipes and exercise ideas, mental health and emotional wellbeing tips and positive parenting strategies. This newsletter is produced by the Health Improvement Team in collaboration with the School Partnerships and Enrichment Team.
Health, wellbeing, entertainment and education resources for parents
Below we have compiled some resources which you may find useful, including how you can speak to children about coronavirus, educational activities and more
- Mental health resources
- Physical activity resources
- Healthy cooking resources
- Evening entertainment ideas
- Education and learning ideas.
Mental health resources
- Place2Be: Helpful information on how to answer questions from children and talk to your child about coronavirus. If your child is worried or anxious about coronavirus, here’s our Parents Helpline experts’ advice on what you can do.
- Good Thinking: A collection of top apps and online resources, with activities to do with your kids to help them manage their wellbeing.
- Headspace: An online app that can support you with mindfulness. Use this link here for free access to the app, which includes meditations, sleep, and movement exercises to help you out. Headspace has a collection called Weathering the Storm, which includes meditations, sleep and movement exercises. The app is available for iPhone and Android, or you can access some of the content via the Headspace website .
- Calm is offering 'soothing meditations', a 'calm masterclass', 'calm kids' and mindfulness resources. They're available via its website – see Calm's free content.
- London Grid for Learning Bereavement Support: Supporting school communities faced with bereavement. You can access support for anyone who has experienced a bereavement and would like help with coming to terms with their loss. You can sign yourself up via the SLaM website. National organisations such as Cruse and The Good Grief Trust also provide bereavement helplines, and you can find excellent online resources on their websites.
- For more activities, guidance, apps and helplines, please visit the wellbeing and mental health support during the coronavirus outbreak EGFL page.
Physical activity resources
Being outdoors in green spaces can improve your mood. Currently our parks are open. Find your nearest park but please do remember to follow social distancing rules while you’re outdoors. There are many activities that you can access online to get you started, and keep you motivated. During the COVID-19 crisis, we are all encouraged to be physically active each day. Exercise is important for your health and wellbeing, even if you can’t leave your home. Look for the #stayinworkout hashtag on social media to find great examples of how to move more while indoors, or even showcase your own efforts.
- Sport England: Sport England has a lot of information on its website about staying active whilst at home. There is information about walking, sitting exercises, strength exercises and balance exercises. There is also a section with online home workouts.
- NHS England: As well as containing the most up to date information about coronavirus issues, the NHS website has information about looking after your health and well-being. This includes Get Fit with Strength and Flex through five podcasts and Every Mind Matters advice about keeping active with a positive mental outlook.
- This Girl Can: This website has lots of information about getting and staying active. This includes fun Disney Dance Alongs, home exercises and other exercise opportunities.
- ‘P.E. with Joe’ (the body coach): Currently a very popular free workout for children that is live every day at 9am on Joe Wicks’s YouTube channel.
- Cosmic Kids Yoga: fun yoga workouts for kids and the whole family. You could also try an NHS yoga workout, designed to improve strength and tackle stress
- The GoNoodle YouTube channel is packed full of fun ideas and dances to keep kids motivated to stay active.
- Change4Life Indoors has loads of fun ideas and resources for parents.
- Disney Dance-a-longs This Girl Can is all about celebrating women getting active, no matter how they like to do it. Partnering with Disney and real families across England, they have captured some of the ways mums and kids get moving to the songs they love. You can learn their moves or put your own spin on their routines.
- Change4Life: Find out how to keep your family moving with Change4Life. Try out their 10 Minute Shake Up games or take the Disney inspired quiz with your children to match them to a sporty super skill.
- #StayInWorkOut - Daily workout activities for young people organised by the London Youth Programme to support young people’s physical and mental wellbeing
- Daily Mile: The Daily Mile would like to introduce all families across the UK to the #DailyMileAtHome. It’s an easy and fun way to keep fit and maintain good health and wellbeing for you and your children, with 3 new challenges per week.
- Get dancing with Strictly’s Oti Mabuse. Join Oti for live dance classes for kids at 11.30am and adults at 7.30pm.
Healthy cooking resources
- Change4Life recipes: Flexible breakfast, lunch and dinner ideas with step-by-step instructions to help you make a quick, healthier family meal, and it’s easy to see which ingredients are "swaptional", so you know when you can switch up, or leave out ingredients – perfect for when you need a quick dinner with the food you have to hand.
- Jamie Oliver 5 ingredients recipes from Jamie’s Quick & Easy Food, as seen on Channel 4. Super-tasty, incredibly simple recipes with beautifully short shopping lists.
Evening entertainment ideas
- Disney+ free 7-day trial: Discover the best stories from Disney, Pixar, Marvel, Star Wars and National Geographic in one place. From hit movies to timeless classics and new originals - there's something for everyone.
- INTO films: With cinemas closed and many children at home, young people may be in need of some quality films to watch. INTO have a wide range of films available to stream for free within the UK. All films come with recommended viewing ages and talking points, and many have additional educational resources too.
- Amazon Prime Video: Sign up for a free 30-day trial where you can watch unlimited streaming of movies and TV.
- Book trust Hometime: Enjoy storytime with free online books and videos, games and book-themed quizzes, or even learn how to draw some of your favourite characters.
- Julia Donaldson Story Videos: One of many children’s favourite authors, Julia brought us the Gruffalo and Room on the Broom and is now sharing stories and art on her Facebook page.
- Story time with children’s authors A wonderful resource for nap time courtesy of We are Teachers.
- World Book Day resource selection: Fun ideas, crafty activities, and free book resources you can enjoy together.
- Goodnight with Dolly: Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library is a book gifting program that mails free, high-quality books to children from birth until they begin school. Join her for some classic story readings online.
- Kids Art Sport: Making it easier for you to foster your children’s creativity through simple and fun art activities you can do at home.
- Story Time Playlist: Watch and interact with fun stories for children such as 'The Tiger Who Came to Tea', 'Kipper’s New Pet' and more.
- Free guitar lessons with Fender: Get that instrument out of the attic and dust it down for this 3-month offer for free guitar, bass and ukulele lessons.
- Picasso on Paper Exhibition at the Royal Academy: Enjoy this world class exhibition in virtual form from your sofa.
- Royal Albert Home: Artists present exclusive sessions from their homes to yours
- Virtual tours: The British Museum, National History Museum, The Guggenheim in New York, National Gallery of Art and Uffizi Gallery in Florence are some of the many museums and galleries offering free virtual tours.
- Learning to draw by video with Rob Biddulph: A series of twice-weekly draw-along videos designed to help parents whose children are at home during lockdown. Look out for a draw-along video every Tuesday and Thursday at 10am that parents could watch with their children.
- Disney Theatrical Productions: Free downloadable creative activities for educators and parents based on the West End shows The Lion King, Mary Poppins, Frozen and Aladdin. Ages 6 to 14.
- Shakespeare’s Globe: Digital content, six free films, and Mark Rylance's “Shakespeare Walks” among other materials.
- Duolingo: An app for adults and children which allows you to learn a new language or improve your language skills for free.
- Free audio books: Audible are now offering free audio books for children in over six languages.
Education and learning ideas
- British Council: Choose from a wide range of resources to give your class a glimpse into other cultures and provide a base to develop international partnerships. With the British Council's classroom resources, you will be able to enhance the classroom experience, explore different cultures, discuss international issues and carry out joint projects. These resources are easily accessible and tailored to meet your needs. The topics covered are applicable to all age ranges and can be used by teachers regardless of their location.
- Adventures in History with the Imperial War Museum: This new weekly video series will introduce real life experiences like those of Kitty Baxter who spent nights in a communal bomb shelter in Camberwell with her family.
- BBC Teach: Curriculum linked videos, resources and advice for teachers and parents.
- My Online Schooling: A variety of free learning resources to support your child from KS2 to A level.
- Twinkl: Instant access to inspirational lesson plans, schemes of work, assessment, interactive activities, resource packs, PowerPoints and teaching ideas, plus lots of activities you can do at home.
- Coder Dojo and Digital making at home from Raspberry Pi. Fun coding challenges for beginners. You’ll need to download the free programme Scratch onto your PC, and then away you go!
- Khan Academy: A non-profit organisation providing free high quality maths, science, arts and humanities, and computing and economics, online learning resources.
- BBC Bitesize: Created with teachers and other educational experts and features a mix of videos, animations, practice activities, quizzes and games for children of all ages. Why not revisit your GCSE French or have a go at sharpening your maths skills?
- Kitchen Science: Collection of science activities that you can do from home, produced by the Science Museum.
- MathsChase: Games to test your times tables (primary school age)
- Oak National Academy: Online classroom and resource hub covering various subject areas.
- Amazon Future Engineer (free virtual coding programme): Available for students, teachers and parents for two months from 3 April to 3 June 2020, these resources cater for students aged 12 to 17 to help build computer science skills for students learning at home.
- STEM Learning: To support parents and carers with home learning, subject experts have put together a selection of activities and materials, all of which are completely free for everyone to access. Launching free home learning support for children aged 4-19 with a video from Tim Peake and guidance for families. Resources for home learningGuidance for families.
- Food a Fact of Life: The FFL Classroom is a remote learning hub, and between the 30 March and the 1 September 2020, they will be posting activity ideas and resources to support remote learning at home. These are for parents/carers, teachers and pupils.