A list of (mostly free) Irish resources to keep the kids entertained during social distancing

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.

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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 science club

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.

Libraries Ireland

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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

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

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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

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Let’s take this opportunity to teach our kids some new skills we have always wanted to while we are #workingfromhome with them. I have been teaching children how to cook for 15 years,ran my own children’s cookery school @cliffatlyons (formerly Village at Lyons) & cook family recipes each week on @VirginMedia_One @sixoclockshow. Join me & my troop every Monday for the next couple of weeks and we will learn to cook, super simple , nourishing & delicious recipes together with you & your kids Our very first “Teach Your Kids To Cook” class starts this Monday at 2pm Live with Scone Swirls - Savoury & Savoury Raspberry Swirl Pizza Swirls Ingredients in images - just screen grab See ya there for the madness 😬💋

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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.

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Twinkl

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We're here to help in your planning and preparation for school closures. Our teams have been working hard to put together free Home Learning Packs for each primary class group. Each pack contains resources to help with distance learning. They can be accessed at the following links or by clicking link in bio 🥰🥰 Junior Infants 👉 https://www.twinkl.ie/l/iq3p7 Senior Infants 👉https://www.twinkl.ie/l/17pvoq 1st Class 👉 https://www.twinkl.ie/l/eqsfp 2nd Class 👉https://www.twinkl.ie/l/e0g9y 3rd Class 👉https://www.twinkl.ie/l/1luyi5 4th Class 👉https://www.twinkl.ie/l/141u0n 5th Class 👉https://www.twinkl.ie/l/m3vub 6th Class 👉https://www.twinkl.ie/l/jsgka Sign up for an account for a free Ultimate Membership for one month by using the following link www.twinkl.ie/offer Enter your email address, create a password and enter the code IRLTWINKLHELPS

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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

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AUTHOR AND BOOK SERIES... . Every day at 6pm we will have an author or illustrator on here .. 🌿sharing a reading of their book 🌿an activity linked with their book 🌿or a showing of how to draw some of their wonderful characters . All these amazing authors and illustrators have agreed to come on board to bring the love of books and escapism of a story, and it’s characters, to kids everywhere who are living an unprecedented life at the moment. . We are so grateful to everyone for being involved. . Who knows how long it will need to go on, but go on it shall until we get to the ‘after’ phase. . For now, let’s make the present as wonderful, imaginative and loving for the kids as we can. . Please feel free to share with as many families as we can, so kids everywhere can enjoy. . 💕💕📚📚 . @marymurphykidsbooks @rbiddulph @katetparker @johnnymagoryworld @timothymknapman @wonderfullyweatherybooks @theachopsbooks @yuvalzommer @nicolakinnear @emilyhaworthbooth . #thefamilyedit #thefamilyeditbooks #thekidsbookedit #juniorbookclub #kidsbooks #picturebooks #bookswelove #bookreading #picturebooks #childrensbooks #readingnook

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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.

Dabbledoo

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

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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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