A list of (mostly free) Irish resources to keep the kids entertained during social distancing
19th Mar 2020
If cabin fever is beginning to set in, don’t fear — there are dozens of Irish-born resources to keep the kids entertained while you’re social distancing
We at IMAGE have been overwhelmed at the community spirit and generosity that Irish people have shown so far during the coronavirus outbreak, as we’re sure you at home have as well. From free meals to offers of transport and shopping trips, the kindness of strangers has never been more apparent.
For those with children at home, this time is particularly difficult. Trying to strike the balance between letting your kids know what’s going on and not letting them panic or become too anxious, while being unable to visit other friends and family, is so challenging. Every little helps in trying to keep things moving and keep your kids entertained — and thankfully, the country’s generosity has extended to our littlest members too.
Educational and entertainment resources from all over Ireland have banded together to offer some amazing free resources to parents who are struggling to keep their kids occupied. From science to art to cooking to writing, every base is covered, with activities that we’re sure you’ll have fun with too.
Here are some of the best resources we’ve seen so far, but if you’ve seen others, please let us know — send an email to our Deputy Digital Editor [email protected], and we will update this list regularly with your suggestions.
Junior Einstein is an online science club that provides video sessions and classes for kids to learn about nature, the body and chemistry from their real scientist instructors. The site is offering live online classes for just €10 per family, and they also have a very special online class coming up on Monday 23 March especially for the children of healthcare workers and doctors, which is completely free.
BorrowBox is a brilliant resource for those who want to get some reading in this week — ebooks, audiobooks, online magazines and so much more that you would usually access in your local library are online for free. Simply sign up at Libraries Ireland and you’ll be able to log in to the BorrowBox app and download anything that takes your fancy.
Evans Educational, a school and educational supplies company based in Dublin, is offering home school activity packs especially created for the extended period at home. Centered around subjects like maths, arts & crafts and creative writing, the packs are just €20 each with free delivery to anywhere in the Dublin area using the promo code FREEVAN.
Bright Sparks Creative Bursts from the Museum of Literature Ireland
If your little one is hoping to become the next Shakespeare this week, the Museum of Literature Ireland has a fantastic daily activity for them to take part in. Creative Bursts, put together by their Bright Sparks project, are short writing prompts and activities to do at home with the kids, lead by award-winning children’s writer Sarah Webb. They’re designed to be fun and challenging, and take place every weekday at 1 pm, via a video posted on the Moli website.
Aisling Larkin cooking at home
Teaching your kids the basics of cooking and putting together a meal is a brilliant way to spend this time together. Food broadcaster Aisling Larkin has taken to her Instagram to show us all her Teach Your Kids to Cook classes, so that we can all join in and make some tasty snacks for the days spent at home. Just tune in to Aisling’s Instagram stories at 2 pm every Monday to watch and join in.
The teacher’s resource that you’ve most likely heard about countless times by now, Twinkl is invaluable at a time like this. The company provides teaching resources and home schooling packs to parents, and best of all, they are offering one month’s free Ultimate Membership when you use the code IRLTWINKLHELPS. I can’t possibly list the number of resources they have here, but their site is a treasure trove for this time off school.
The Family Edit
Aside from being a great account to follow for families at any time, The Family Edit has been particularly helpful during the coronavirus outbreak. Ideas of crafts, activities and ways to beat boredom all come up regularly. I particularly like their latest project, which is an Author and Book series — every day at 6pm, an author or illustrator will come onto their live stories and share a reading of their book or a showing of how to draw some of their characters. A great way to wind the kids down for bed.
Music lovers in the house? You have to sign up for Dabbledoo. This online mecca of music content for kids includes radio shows, singalongs and games linked to the school curriculum, so you can be sure they’re learning too. They’re offering a month’s free subscription to the service with this link too.
Miss Muinteoir’s Mash pack
I’d highly recommend following Miss Múinteoir on Instagram if you’re a teacher or a parent, and her mash.ie pack for kids at home this week is fantastic. Worksheets, YouTube channels and loads of activities to keep kids from Junior Infants to 2nd class occupied.
Read more: The 10 stages of surviving being stuck home with the kids (and himself)
Read more: 8 positive coronavirus stories you need to read today
Read more: Sleep, uncertainty and social media: Dr Doireann O’Leary explains how to reduce Coronavirus anxiety
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