Online classes and activities children can take part in during the coronavirus outbreak
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We will be updating this list every school day to help keep children occupied while schools are shut.
Schools in the UK are shut and the prime minister has now announced that we’re on lockdown, with a few exceptions.
While these strict measures are clearly necessarily in a bid to slow the spread of coronavirus, it has left many parents struggling to occupy their children.
From cries of ‘I’m bored’ to knowing ‘do you want to draw another picture?’ is just not going to cut it, the reality of having so many hours to fill is certainly hitting home.
Thankfully though, celebrities and other digital influencers have been stepping in to fill the boredom void, offering a wealth of online classes and activities to keep kids busy in these trying times.
From Joe Wicks keeping children fit to Professor Brian Cox making physics fun, here’s our run-down of all the online resources your kids can access today and onwards.
We’ll be updating this list every school day to help keep the nation’s children occupied while schools remain shut.
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PE with Joe Wicks - Week days at 9am (but you can visit any time to view the workout)
Parents around the UK were left thrilled last week when Body Coach Joe Wicks announced he was to broadcast virtual PE classes to millions of children off school due to the coronavirus outbreak.
Live views for Wicks’ first daily online PE class for children peaked at 806,000 on Monday, the first day all schools were closed, as #PEWithJoe trended at number one on Twitter.
Commenting on the success of the first class Wicks, who will be running the classes every day at 9am via his The Body Coach YouTube channel, told The Telegraph: “Wow what an incredible start. I'm overwhelmed by the response and how many people took part this morning.
“We had millions of kids and families all over the world exercising together and starting their day with something that’s going to make them feel healthier, happier, more energised and more positive. I can't wait to do it again tomorrow and everyday over the coming weeks.”
Read more: Could fears over the coronavirus pandemic lead to a rise in home births?
Football training with Robert Francis - Tuesdays and Thursdays - 6pm
Foootball coach, Robert Francis is offering at home coaching for kids on Facebook 'Stay At Home Football Coaching' and Youtube, for kids who are really missing their usual sessions. The coaching will be for boys and girls of mixed age ability. No garden? He'll be organising the coaching sessions so that kids can follow in your their living room with a small ball.
Dance with Oti Mabuse - every day at 11.30am (but children can view the class at any time)
On a another get-fit note, Strictly Come Dancing favourite Oti Mabuse is offering online dance classes to kids to get them dancing.
Announcing the initiative on Twitter, the dance professional will be teaching little ones to get their latin and ballroom on every day at 11.30 via her YouTube and Instagram.
Kids class online on my YouTube and Instagram at 11:30am get your little ones to get up and get dancing x
— Oti Mabuse (@OtiMabuse) March 21, 2020
On a similar dance theme former Strictly judge Dame Darcey Bussell will be offering online dance classes for smalls via her DDMIX organisation's Facebook page at 1.30pm every day this week.
Don’t forget to tune in to the DDMIX Facebook page tomorrow and join a member of the DDMIX for Schools team for a LIVE kids shake up just after lunch at 1.30pm! Dx 🕺 https://t.co/qxNHvRLJNk
— Darcey Bussell (@DarceyOfficial) March 22, 2020
Dance with Kimberly Wyatt - Wednesdays and Fridays at 10am
Kimberly Wyatt is hosting live Stay Home and Dance sessions on Instagram for little ones who want to channel their inner Pussy Cat Doll.
Ballet with The Ballet Coach - 14 classes a week (sessions for different ages)
If your kids are missing donning their tutus and tights for their regular ballet classes, here’s a way they can keep perfecting those pirouettes during lockdown.
The Ballet Coach, aka Sarah De-Feu, is an English National Ballet School trained dancer and teacher who's now offering 14 classes a week, all streamed for free on Instagram and Facebook Live. You can also watch them back on YouTube.
Music with Myleene Klass - Twice a week (next one Friday 27 March 10am, but can view any time)
Singer and mum-of-three Myleene is also a classically trained pianist and has offered to step into the music teacher role by offering free music lessons for children via YouTube.
PARENTS! How’s home schooling working out for you?! 😬 If you want me to take over a lesson for you, here’s my gift to you! FREE music lessons which stick to the curriculum and are actually fun! https://t.co/zviNGXDrbA you’re welcome! #staysafe pic.twitter.com/14EQ1oernq
— Myleene Klass (@KlassMyleene) March 23, 2020
“PARENTS! How’s home schooling working out for you?!” she wrote on Twitter.
“If you want me to take over a lesson for you, here’s my gift to you! FREE music lessons which stick to the curriculum and are actually fun!”
Read more: How to talk to children about the coronavirus
Maths with Carol Vorderman - log on in your own time
Former Countdown host and maths whizz Carol Vorderman is offering to bring kids up to speed on their fractions by giving them free access to her online maths school until they're back in the classroom with their teacher IRL.
My maths school https://t.co/EO8lwRzGs7 is usually about £2 a week.
I want to help ❤️ so it's now FREE for children age 4-11 😁 until schools open.
We're uploading massive server capabilities, pls bear with us.
With all my love ❤️#HomeSchooling @themathsfactor @PearsonSchools pic.twitter.com/1jQShe0zcU
— Carol Vorderman (@carolvorders) March 23, 2020
Home economic with Theo Michaels - Monday, Wednesday, Friday at 4pm
There’s only so many cupcakes parents can make during lockdown, but if children are looking to grow their culinary skills chef Theo Michaels’ is hosting a live cookalong every Monday, Wednesday and Friday at 4pm streaming on Instagram and YouTube.
Read more: Coronavirus sees 2000% surge in 'I Don't Want To Wash My Hands!' book
Science with Professor Brian Cox - Times TBC
If Professor Brian Cox can’t get children interested in science, no one can. The 52-year-old scientist is joining other rookie science teachers to provide Q&A sessions where “science students of all ages” can pose questions for the experts to answer. More details to be released soon.
This is one of several great initiatives I’ll be taking part in over the coming weeks. As things get organised I’ll let you know. https://t.co/uKgUtU1VWP
— Brian Cox (@ProfBrianCox) March 20, 2020
Take a virtual field trip - In your own time
They might not be able to visit a museum for real, but more than 2,500 museums around the world have made their collections accessible online through Google Arts and Culture.
Little ones can take virtual tours of museums and galleries, including the British Museum in London and the Guggenheim in New York City.
Visit Chester Zoo - 10am Friday 27 March
You might not be able to see the animals in real life, but you can see them virtually. Chester Zoo are doing a virtual tour of the zoo at 10am Friday.
🐘🎥 LIVE: A virtual zoo day at @chesterzoo! 🎥🦒
As you can’t come to #TheZoo right now, we’ll bring it to you!
Join us on our @Facebook page tomorrow from 10am and enjoy a whole day of animal antics, LIVE from your sofa 🙌#StayHomeSaveLives pic.twitter.com/rNsMpCpnXk
— Chester Zoo (@chesterzoo) March 26, 2020
English with Mr Walliams - New story released daily
Kids’ fave David Walliams is doing his bit for locked down parents by releasing a new audio story every day, narrated by the author himself, for the next 30 days for free.
Here’s another audio story from ‘The World’s Worst Children’ to entertain your little ones. Today’s child is: Spoiled Brad. I hope you enjoy. It’s FREE! x
Click here to listenhttps://t.co/Azfp8zFPbt pic.twitter.com/Pjsl9awQLa
— David Walliams (@davidwalliams) March 24, 2020
Storytelling with other authors
Dermot O’Leary - Every day 6.30pm
The much loved radio and TV presenter and children’s author will be soothing the nation’s kids by reading them a chapter of Toto the Ninja Cat &the Great Snake Escape every evening live on Instagram.
Oliver Jeffers - Week days 6pm
On Sunday, author Oliver Jeffers announced he would be reading one of his books every day until people are able to leave their homes.
Readings take place at 6pm UK time and are broadcast via Instagram Stories.
Ade Adepitan - Every day 2pm
Paralympian, TV presenter and children’s author Ade Adepitan will be reading a chapter of his Cyborg Cat series books every day at 2pm on Instagram Live.
James Mayhew - Week days 3pm
Children’s author James Mayhew will be reading a daily story on YouTube week days at 3pm.
From Monday 23 March, I'll be posting (or even trying live if I can figure it out!) videos on Youtube at 3pm - #StoryTime4HomeTime. Whether you're in school or at home, it's great to end the school day with a story. See you there! pic.twitter.com/UInVojcbFI
— James Mayhew (@mrjamesmayhew) March 20, 2020
History with Dan Snow - In your own time
Getting kids interested in history is a struggle at the best of times, but in these strange pandemic-laced days, they might show a little more interest in which case TV presenter Dan Snow is here to offer some encouragement.
Heading to Twitter, the history buff advised parents can access documentaries on everything from Jack The Ripper to D-Day via his History Hit streaming service.
It was a delight to revisit HMS Victory for the millionth time last October to film this @HistoryHit doc. Remains one of my favourite films to date! Subscribe today with code 'twitter' and get 30 days free + your next month for just £1 👉 https://t.co/9DwVKLFq0e pic.twitter.com/mKekEisOS9
— Dan Snow (@thehistoryguy) March 20, 2020
Art with Mo Willems - Daily 5pm
Artist and author of Don't Let the Pigeon Drive the Bus! is hosting daily Lunch Doodles video sessions every weekday at 1 pm EDT (5pm UK time) .
Read more: Best apps to help you stay connected to loved ones while practicing social distancing
Art with @Arthubldn - Tuesdays and Fridays - 2pm
Art Hub are providing brilliant interactive art lessons for children and parents every Tuesday at 2pm.
Drawing with Steve Harpster - Daily 6pm
The artist is offering a live drawing even on Harptoons Facebook page. Ever day he will draw with parents and children who are staying safe at home.
Drawing scary monsters with Rob Biddulph - Tuesdays and Thursdays 10am
Author and illustrator of children’s books such as Blown Away, Rob Biddulph is showing kids how to draw creations from his stories via Twitter, YouTube and his website.
Hi. I’m Rob and I will be posting a brand new #DrawWithRob video for you and your kids every Tuesday and Thursday at 10am GMT for as long as you need me to. And they will all be available permanently as a free resource right here 👉https://t.co/07mAdoeAx6 #isolatedbutnotalone pic.twitter.com/3SXqgjxxQy
— Rob Biddulph (@RobBiddulph) March 21, 2020
Geography with Steve Backshall - Wednesday 25 March 9.30am (more dates TBC)
Wildlife expert Steve Backshall will be giving virtual classes via Facebook, Instagram and YouTube on his specialist subject starting this Wednesday March 25.
“From habitats to holotypes, parasites to pademelons, I’ll do my best to bring the wild world into your living room, from... my living room!” he tweeted.
NEW TIME! 9:30am (GMT) Weds 25th March I’ll be live on Facebook, Instagram AND YouTube.
From habitats to holotypes, parasites to pademelons, I’ll do my best to bring the wild world into your living room, from... my living room!
Post any Qu's or topics below:
📷: @Dominiquegorton pic.twitter.com/ZiohZIuvG3
— Steve Backshall (@SteveBackshall) March 23, 2020
Football, netball and gymnastic with Rising Stars - Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays from 1pm
Streaming live on YouTube, Rising Stars is offering free lunchtime football skills classes three times a week.
Sessions are aimed at primary school age children, from reception all the way up to year six and all you need is a football, with skills able to be performed in the garden or inside.
Though the focus is on football, the YouTube channel also has videos covering basic netball and gymnastics skills.
Online Yoga Classes - Mondays 12pm (but view any time)
Northern Ireland-based yoga instructor, Anne Monaghan, is hosting Facebook yoga classes for children while schools are closed.
“Kids don’t need anything to take part today and adults can join in too,” she told Belfast Live. “It’s important to stay busy and focused in these times and yoga promotes mental and physical health and resilience and concentration primarily working on our parasympathetic nervous system - the one that reduces stress and keeps us calm.”
For more information visit Anne's Facebook page.
Downtime with Disney+ - In your own time
After all those online classes, no doubt kids will need a little down time. Thankfully Disney+, a new streaming service to rival Netflix and NowTV, has now launched in the UK.
Featuring all the TV shows and films produced by Disney since 1937, including the major franchises Disney, Pixar, Marvel, Star Wars and National Geographic, as well as new exclusive content, a monthly subscription costs £5.99, or £59.99 to sign up for a year.