Best #stayhome activities to keep kids – and parents – happy

June 26, 2020
  • Singapore Heritage Festival – till July 5
    1 / 21 Singapore Heritage Festival – till July 5

    The annual Singapore Heritage Festival, into its 17th year, has gone online – with the focus on the neighbourhoods of Tanjong Pagar, Kallang and Pasir Ris. Besides joining virtual tours, there’s also plenty of activities for both kids and adults. Download free craft and colouring sheets (pictured) for your little ones at this dedicated section here, while you can also pick up traditional pastry-making and belachan-pounding skills from online workshops. Get the programmes and schedules here.

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  • #SmallBigDreamersAtHome – till March 28 next year
    2 / 21 #SmallBigDreamersAtHome – till March 28 next year

    National Gallery Singapore has taken its biennial offering online, with lots of interactive activities to help make abstract art more accessible to kids. This is the second edition of the gallery’s biennial Small Big Dreamers festival, which first took place in 2018.

    In one game based on Singaporean artist Georgette Chen’s work Tropical Fruits (pictured), kids can arrange pieces of fruit in a bowl and play around with shadow. Explore the website and have fun here.

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  • Get busy in the kitchen
    3 / 21 Get busy in the kitchen

    “Cooking is always appealing to young children, especially when they can enjoy the spoils of what they have created in the kitchen such as cakes or cookies”, says Matthew Scott, head of Pre-school Courses at British Council Singapore. “They can learn the practical skills from kneading pastry to measuring the right amount of ingredients.”

    Bake a yummy chocolate cake or cute bear pizza with your kids. 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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  • Sanrio characters x @Susanne.DecoChiffon online baking class & kits
    4 / 21 Sanrio characters x @Susanne.DecoChiffon online baking class & kits

    Now you and your kids can bake amazingly cute chiffon cakes like Instagram-famous baker Susanne Ng (@susanne.decochiffon). The mum of three has teamed up with Sanrio Singapore to launch online baking classes and kits. The latter includes pre-weighed ingredients and design templates, which will be delivered to your door step.

    Sign up for her first online tutorial and learn to make this My Melody Sweet Chiffon (pictured). Prices range from US$39.99 (S$55.60) to US$109.99. Get the details here, and to know more about Susanne here.

    Look out for other baking classes and kits featuring beloved Sanrio characters like Hello Kitty and Little Twin Stars.

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  • Lego Monkie Kid premiere
    5 / 21 Lego Monkie Kid premiere

    Who’s Monkie Kid? He’s the protagonist of this hour-long mini movie, which is based on the theme of a new Lego line inspired by Chinese legend Journey To The West’s Monkey King. You’ll find other iconic characters too, such as Pigsy, Princess Iron Fan and Demon Bull King.

    Young Parents caught a preview of the animation and we’ve to tell you that it’s a highly entertaining production. You can catch it on Mediacorp’s Mewatch here. The Chinese version will air on Channel 8 later in the year, starring Hong Kong actor Dicky Cheung as the voice talent for its lead character Monkie Kid  and singer for its theme song.

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  • Hey Duggee Series 3 – from June 29
    6 / 21 Hey Duggee Series 3 – from June 29

    Hey Duggee returns with Series 3, premiering on June 29 at 7pm. Big loveable dog Duggee welcomes the little Squirrels as they’re dropped off by their parents at the start of each day. Their often comical adventures encourage young children to get active and solve problems. Watch it on CBeebies (StarHub Channel 303) and BBC Player (on a bigger screen with Chromecast and Airplay).

    Also, play this special Hey Duggee Hand Washing song for your kids here.

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  • Improve Chinese with fun cartoons
    7 / 21 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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  • Watch free Netflix documentaries on Youtube
    8 / 21 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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  • 9 / 21

    Gardens by the Bay has put together free e-books and craft activities – with a plant theme, naturally – to keep your kids busy at home. From making 3D paper tulips and orchirds to colouring fun, there’s plenty to choose from. You can also play them videos featuring its team of horticulturalists showcasing parts of the Gardens, and e-mail questions to the Plant Doctor. Find out more here.

     

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  • Turn trash into treasures
    10 / 21 Turn trash into treasures

    Make use of any old packaging that is destined for the recycling bin, Matthew from British Council Singapore suggests. “For example, I have fond memories of fashioning a castle out of old cereal boxes and toilet rolls! For older children, the complexity of the tasks can be escalated to tasks like origami crafts, or even a friendly competition to see who can make the best paper aeroplane.”

    And if you found bits and pieces of leftover crayons that your kids can’t use, transform them into crayon craft ideas, like this one here.

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  • Place your kids in charge of their schedules
    11 / 21 Place your kids in charge of their schedules

    Empower your kids to take charge of their learning and play time. Teach them to establish clear routines through a template or chart. “Tasks can be separated into categories such as ‘Must do’ and ‘Want to do’, and then divided into the different times of the day: morning, afternoon and evening,” Matthew from British Council Singapore shares.

    Encourage them to think of different topics such as art, play, or even simple housework. This way, kids will be able to balance a sense of responsibility with fun.

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  • Have fun with Porsche
    12 / 21 Have fun with Porsche

    If your kids are crazy about cars, this website by automaker Porsche is perfect for them. You can also find a wide selection of child-friendly games and activities for free. Check out the link here.

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  • Visit museums around the world
    13 / 21 Visit museums around the world

    Google Arts & Culture is an educational website with fun facts, awesome activities and surprising stories for families to explore together. Visit museums, learn simple recipes and discover the great masters of the art world. Check out the link here.

    (Also read: 5 ways to save more money when you have kids)

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  • Take part in free art lessons
    14 / 21 Take part in free art lessons

    Do your kids love to draw? Adobe and Time magazine have collaborated on an online art lesson series. Each weekly episode includes a new drawing assignment and participants get to vote on the following week’s assignment. Best for kids up to eight years old. Check out the link here.

    (Also read: Where to buy twinning outfits for Mummy, Daddy and kids in Singapore)

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  • Keep fit – in your neighbourhood
    15 / 21 Keep fit – in your neighbourhood

    Too much screen time for your kids? Take them out for a walk, jog or cycle – you’re allowed to do so in your neighbourhood. Sadly, the beaches at East Coast Park, Changi Beach Park, Pasir Ris Park, Punggol Point, Sembawang Park and West Coast Park remain closed.

    Remember to wear a mask when the family sets out.  Remove the mask when doing strenuous exercise but everyone should put it back on once that is done.

     

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  • Keep fit – at home
    16 / 21 Keep fit – at home

    All sports facilities such as the pools are still shut, as well, but ActiveSG has compiled workouts for the whole family that you can do at home, 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.

    (Also read: How every parent can better control stress and anger at kids)

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  • Have Zoom playdates
    17 / 21 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
    18 / 21 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
    19 / 21 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
    20 / 21 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
    21 / 21 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.

    Ideas and information by Young Parents and The Straits Times

    (Photos: 123RF and The Straits Times)

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