This article is for parents, grandparents, aunties, uncles and anyone with any sort of proximity to a little one.
As countries continue to see-saw between lockdowns and other COVID-19 related restrictions, keeping the kids entertained and productive while avoiding parental or carer burn-out is a monumental task. For most parents lockdown stopped feeling like a holiday a long (looooooong) time ago as they juggle full time jobs, kids and their own needs. That is where this url heavy article comes into play; eight excellent excuses to allow your kids to sit in front of a screen.
A lack of intellectual stimulation for kids can result in some serious blues. In addition to time outdoors, time with family and constructive play the internet is chock-a-block with great websites for kids if you know where to look! So, in an attempt to facilitate somewhat creative moments I’ve curated a short list of resources for you to explore with your little ones over the upcoming weeks.
2. We’ve all watched a good Ted Ed video in our adult lives and until quite recently I was certain that it’s the single greatest channel to exist on youtube. Then I discovered TedEd Kids. Kids have everything better (outside of a mostly carefree existence, light up shoes are my personal favorite). TedEd kids has videos on everything from an explanation of what laziness is to a tutorial on how to disagree productively. Queue in life lessons!
3. I love a good musical and while in real life they can be a nightmare with little ones needing bathroom breaks and snacks, everyone can enjoy a musical online, especially when there’s a pause button. While it’s not the same as the real life experience, it is the next best thing; I did some searching and I found Disney cruise’s tangled musical to watch on youtube for free!
4. To stick with the youtube theme, following are a couple more fun channels to browse at your leisure:
Science channel: https://www.youtube.com/user/ScienceChannel
Nat Geo kids: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCXVCgDuD_QCkI7gTKU7-tpg
5. Wide open school is a free resource packed with subject related material for kids from pre-school to grade twelve. There are videos, worksheets, articles and more so if you’re ever struggling to find new ways to engage the kiddos in learning look no further!
6. The national history museum’s website has an expansive catalogue of articles and videos pertaining to wildlife, dinosaurs, human evolution, oceans and space. The discover page is truly somewhere for kids to discover their thirst for knowledge.
7. For an endless online maze of history, art and activity check out the metropolitan museum of art’s kids page called Met Kids. Allow your children to explore over five thousand years of art from across the seven continents.
8. To end it all is a little reminder that it’s important to kick back with the kids and put on a good movie every now and again. I imagine this as a screening in a pillow fort surrounded by cushions and enveloped in blankets on a rainy day. Following are some movies with a deeper message.
Inside out : I came across Inside Out after speaking to an incredibly insightful doctor with a young son during my placement in Psychiatry. The animation takes place inside the mind of a young girl named Riley where five characters: Joy, Sadness, Anger, Fear and Disgust, interact in order to create Riley’s emotional experiences in the world. The animation is a great starting point to help children visualise and understand emotions and can result in better understanding and communication of said emotions at a younger age.
The Lorax: Based on Dr Seuss’ book published in 1971, The Lorax has become increasingly relevant as we start to feel real world effects of climate change. It’s likely that the next generation will be the one to live through the effects of the Anthropocene (https://www.nhm.ac.uk/discover/anthropocene.html). It’s important to ensure that our children are aware of the changes and are enabled to find solutions to the problems of climate change.
Brave: This is a movie many of you have probably already put on with your kids but it’s one I’d like to have on this list regardless. I watched Brave for the first time as a seventeen year old and felt entirely inspired and seen. The protagonist, Princess Merida of DunBroch, is a fiercely independent girl who breaks all gender stereotypes, rocks her locks and fights for what she believes in. We’re all about strong, fiercely independent and free spirited beings at Aviskara and Merida is definitely just that!
Shrek: The lessons to take away from Shrek are never ending but some of my favourite lessons are:
The Lady and the tramp: A final period disney twist. Based in a Midwestern town in the early 1900s a spaniel and mutt meet, unfolding a series of life lessons you didn’t know you needed. Lady and the tramp teaches you about the joys of life outside of restrictions. Restrictions such as social class. Restrictions from living in your comfort zone. Restrictions from the expectations and limitations set onto us by others. To quote from the movie ‘Open up your eyes to what a dog’s life can really be’ ‘There’s a great big hunk of world out there with no fence around it. Where two dogs can find adventure and excitement! Beyond those destined hills…who knows what wonderful experiences, and it’s all ours for the taking…’.
With that I leave you.
If you have any other recommendations you’d like to share contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org