School holiday stay-home activities: What to do with kids this May 2020

May 12, 2020
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    The traditional June school holidays have been brought forward and starts now in May! We share ideas on how you can keep your kids busy and happy at home, when overseas vacations, staycations, amusement parks and play dates are out.


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  • Improve Chinese with fun cartoons
    2 / 13 Improve Chinese with fun cartoons

    Improve your child’s Chinese while you stay home together. Check out our curated list of Mandarin cartoons on Youtube channels. These animations include familiar favourites that are translated from English, such as Peppa Pig and PJ Masks, as well as cartoons from Japan, Korea, Russia and, of course, China.

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  • Get busy in the kitchen
    3 / 13 Get busy in the kitchen

    Bake a yummy chocolate cake or cute bear pizza with your kids. They would love the experience! No oven? Try this no-bake cacao and almond butter tart or make matcha popsicles. Check out Young Parents‘ trove of kid-friendly recipes, contributed by chefs, dietitians and parenting influencers.

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  • Boost your kids' creativity
    4 / 13 Boost your kids' creativity

    The National Gallery now has a dedicated site Gallery Kids! to help you occupy your children during the school holidays.

    Activities including interactive games, art-inspired storytelling video sessions, artist masterclasses and art tutorials will be introduced weekly on the site. Templates for colouring and drawing will also be available for you to download and print out.

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  • Make Science experiments
    5 / 13 Make Science experiments

    Every Friday this month, Science Centre Singapore welcomes wannabe astronomers, alternating between a live stargazing session and a live vodcast discussing topics such as whether it is possible to live in space.

    Every Wednesday morning, primary school pupils can tune into Science O’Clock and do their own experiments, including using forensic techniques and making their own “rainbow” overnight.

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  • Have fun with Chinese
    6 / 13 Have fun with Chinese

    Looking for more Chinese content to improve your kids’ language skills? This May holidays, you’ll find free videos on Thumbs Up’s Facebook every day. In the first half of each hour-long episode, SPH Chinese journalists and Han Language Centre teachers will share news snippets relevant to primary school children. For the second half, your kids can look forward to storytelling, art and craft activities. Watch one of the episodes here.

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  • Watch free Netflix documentaries on Youtube
    7 / 13 Watch free Netflix documentaries on Youtube

    Netflix, which previously allowed teachers to screen its educational documentaries in schools, has put them on Youtube now that schools are closed and kids are at home.

    The documentaries on the Netflix US Youtube channel include nature series Our Planet and films like Period. End Of Sentence, which looks at efforts to dispel the stigma surrounding menstruation in India.

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  • Keep fit, stay healthy
    8 / 13 Keep fit, stay healthy

    Do not let circuit breaker restrictions on exercising outdoors stop the kids from keeping fit. ActiveSG has compiled workouts for the whole family, including circuit training and games.

    Try Passaball, where the aim is to throw and pass along items, like balls or bottles of water, without dropping them.

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  • Have Zoom playdates
    9 / 13 Have Zoom playdates

    “Have the kids say Hi to one another on Zoom,” suggests Dawn Fung, founder of Homeschool Singapore, a community of homeschoolers. The kids can also play games like Pictionary or Taboo on Zoom.

    Engage with other holed-up families. “Share tips on how each family is coping. Make a date to meet regularly for 15 minutes each time. At the end, get everyone to post a ‘I survived the siege’ presentation,” Dawn adds.


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  • Design a reward chart – for you
    10 / 13 Design a reward chart – for you

    A reward chart typically involves awarding a child star-stickers when he meets certain objectives set by his parent, such as doing household chores or hitting academic or personal milestones. Dawn recommends flipping the script.

    When your child designs a reward chart for you, the goals he wants you to work towards may be different, she says. He may want you to earn stars by spending more time playing with him, for instance.

    Dawn says: “It can be a humbling experience. You may rethink how realistic your goals for your children are. Perhaps you will exert less pressure on them afterwards.”

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  • Tear up old assessment books
    11 / 13 Tear up old assessment books

    Artist and illustrator Gracie Chai suggests involving the kids in decluttering the home and using the discards for craft projects. Shredding past years’ assessment books to make collages could spark joy – not only of the Marie Kondo kind – for kids out of school.

    If the clean-up unearths old photographs, your children may get a kick from posing and recreating photos of you when you were their age.


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  • Try out new educational apps – App Store
    12 / 13 Try out new educational apps – App Store

    Put the family’s iPad to good use with Apple’s 30 Creative Activities For Kids, which features apps that are free to download from the App Store.

    Build and knock down a Leaning Tower Of Pillows in slow-motion using the Camera app, or draw emojis with crazy eyes and moody eyebrows using the Keynote app. Older kids may enjoy dissecting a life-like virtual frog using Froggipedia, a cost-efficient alternative to dissecting lab specimens.


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  • Try out new educational apps – Google Play Store
    13 / 13 Try out new educational apps – Google Play Store

    Android users can try apps from the Google Play Store such as Epic! Kids’ Books, Audio Books, Videos and eBooks, which provide multiple modes of engagement for children, says Poh Yeang Cherng, principal consultant at Kingmaker Consultancy, which specialises in cyber wellness.

    Even a commonly used app like Google Earth can keep the kids entertained as they revisit memorable holiday spots or explore new destinations, he says.

    A version of this article was first published in The Straits Times; additional reporting by Young Parents.


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