25 online classes for kids during lockdown
Kids driving you mad and homeschooling not quite going to plan? Make the most of these free online classes with everything from drawing and cooking to yoga and astronomy
Trying to work from home and homeschool the kids all at once? Yep, it’s impossible! Worried the kids will go feral and you’ll go grey overnight if this goes on for much longer? Thankfully plenty of celebs and companies have come to the rescue with amazing online classes and resources for both kids and adults to enjoy during the lockdown. I’ve rounded up the best, with everything from maths and astronomy to theatre and fitness. Fire up the computer and stick the kids in front of these and you’ll have some mini Einsteins on your hands in a few weeks time. Well maybe not, but at least they won’t be driving you mad.
Sarah De-Feu is an English National Ballet School trained dancer, with her own academy. In order to make sure her students could continue lessons she’s launched some online classes for toddlers through to grannies and has suddenly taken on a lot more students! You can access her 14 weekly classes on Instagram Live and Facebook Live and soon on YouTube.
The NHS aren’t just saving lives on the front line, but keeping us housebound individuals fit with their 24 free instructor-led videos covering aerobic exercise, strength and resistance, and pilates and yoga. Classes range from 10 to 45 minutes long.
Strictly Come Dancing professional Dianne Buswell and boyfriend Joe Sugg are keeping spirits up with their fun exercise classes that’ll see members of your household cha-cha-chaing around the living room. The classes are easy enough for both kids and adults and you can find them on Dianne’s instagram account.
Yoga, mindfulness and relaxation designed especially for kids aged 3+, used in schools and homes all over the world.
Are your kids really missing the premier league and football Saturdays? We hear you! The next best thing? Every Tuesday and Thursdays at 6pm Foootball coach, Robert Francis is running Stay At Home Football Coaching on Facebook and Youtube. The lessons are for boys and girls of mixed age and ability. Don’t worry if you haven’t got a garden. Robert is also organising the coaching sessions so that kids can follow in their living room with a small ball.
Another Strictly star, Oti Mabuse, is also giving free dance tutorials on her Instagram page, alongside her husband Marius Lepure while we’re on lockdown with some fabulous themes like Frozen. We’re all going to emerge into the sunlight with some serious dance skills in a few months! Roll on the dance parties.
Former Strictly judge and Prima Ballerina Dame Darcey Bussell will be offering online dance classes for children via her DDMIX organisation’s Facebook Live at 1.30pm every day.
The Royal Opera House might be closed (*sobs*), but all is not lost if you love ballet and opera because ROH is offering online broadcasts that you can access anywhere, at any time for free! Check out their Facebook and YouTube channels for more info.
Need a bit of light relief after watching the news? Thankfully some of our most hilarious comedians haven’t lost their sense of humour during this lockdown and have clubbed together to present The Stay at Home Festival, bringing daily does of laughs straight into your homes. Everyone from Professor Brian Cox and Jo Brand to Sara Pascoe, Russell Kane and Stephen Merchant are involved and will be live streaming at least once, sometimes twice a day!
Missing your trips to museums, galleries and theatres? Thankfully the good old Beeb has responded to the coronavirus crisis with a new programme called Culture in Quarantine, a virtual festival of the arts across TV, radio and online. You can access museums virtually, be involved a virtual book festival and enjoy performances from companies like The Royal Shakespeare Company, Northern Ballet, and Sadler’s Wells. Find out more here.
Rob Biddulph is the bestselling and multi-award-winning author/illustrator and also the official World Book Day Illustrator for 2019 and 2020.
Every Tuesday and Thursday he is uploading new draw-along videos where everyone (adults included if you’ve time) can learn to draw some of the characters from his books.
Steve Harpster has been a professional illustrator and author for over twenty years & has been teaching kids to draw using his online videos. He’s now uploading free drawing videos every day onto his Facebook page.
Thankfully there’s a celebrity for everything these days, including maths! Give your brain a break and let former Countdown star Carol Vorderman teach your kids instead. While schools are shut due to the coronavirus outbreak Carol is giving everyone free access to her online school the Maths Factor – a maths tutoring site for four- to 11-year-olds – (it usually costs about £2 a week). Now you’ve got 30 seconds to work this out: “I’ll take two big numbers and five little ones please Carol…”
If you’ve got pre-school or reception children Oliver Jeffers will need no introduction – he wrote much-loved family favourites like Lost & Found.
Every weekday at 6pm UK time he is reading one of his books, and talking about some of the things that went into making it (recordings available on his website shortly after). As he says, we are all at home, but none of us are alone. Let’s be bored together.
Let the celebs do the legwork for you after a hard day’s homeschooling! Britain’s Got Talent and Little Britain star and children’s author David Walliams is releasing a free audio story every day at the moment, featuring his famous stories likes The Terrible Triplets.
Astronauts on the International Space Station have recorded themselves reading a variety of different kinds of children’s books – and as this was a pre-coronavirus project, there’s quite the back catalogue to choose from.
Oh là là, what to do when your rusty GCSE French is nowhere near good enough to teach your kids and you can only remember the naughty words? Don’t worry, trusty old Rosetta Stone to the rescue! This well-known language company is giving free access for schoolchildren to use its language courses for the next three months, (it normally costs £50). Go to rosettastone.co.uk/lp/freeforkids/ to access the courses and sit back and relax with a Sauvignon Blanc and some Brie – well, you’ve got to support the kids right?
BBC Bitesize also have loads of resources, including French, Spanish, German, Italian and even Mandarin, all aimed at KS2.
Hear Say and I’m a Celeb star Myleene (who’s also a classically trained pianist) has launched free online tutorials to help pass on her musical skills to the next generation. The new channel is called Myleene’s Music Klass (yes very clever!) and with the help of her cute daughters presents daily classes with lessons that include how to read music and how to play your name.
One side effect of kids being at home all day is that they are always hungry. Luckily, these clever classes from Derbyshire-based Three Bears Cookery Club aim to keep little ones entertained and take care of the constant snack conundrum. From Mon 26 Mar, the team will be running live classes two to three times a week over Zoom to help teach junior bakers handy kitchen skills – and you may get a tasty treat out of the bargain, too. Sign up for their mailing list for more info.
Cookery classes with Jamie Oliver
For older kids and adults, Jamie Oliver is back on the box with Channel 4’s Keep Cooking and Carry On, which will be broadcast every week night at 5.30pm. Jamie promises to show viewers how to make “easy-to-follow, super-flexible recipes” including fresh homemade pasta in case you still can’t find any of the dry stuff in the supermarket!
Visit museums and exhibitions that you might never have been able to in real-life using Google Art & Culture – you could probably look at this all day every day and not even have scratched the surface. There are museums (such as the National History Museum in London) from all over the world, art (where you can zoom in) and famous landmarks and buildings.
Astronomy with Nasa
Here’s a sneaky trick – instead of worrying about the kids spending their days playing video games, have them build their own instead! To give you a helping hand, the tech whizzes at CodeCamp have made their subscriptions free, which means you can get pre-made lessons plans delivered straight to your inbox. Your littlies will be creating games they can download to their phones before you know it.