If you're stuck on how to keep your teens entertained, engaged and educated during lockdown, look no further. Your older kids probably have very specific interests right now, so why not give them some online resources and activities based on things they'll really enjoy? Whether they're into computer programming, cinema, foreign languages or archaeology, or they're just curious about everything, you'll find the perfect activity below.
1. Learn To Code With MIT
Young tech whizzes will love programming and creating their own interactive games, stories and animations with MIT's incredible learning site Scratch. They'll be encouraged to work systematically and think outside the box - perfect for getting those creative juices flowing. Get started with your game now and when it's done, share it with your friends and family so you can all play!
2. Calling All Spielbergs And Scorseses
If your older kids are into film, this visual storytelling activity is a great way to get their movie career started. Learn how directors bring ideas to life using Into Film's downloadable activity sheet and start using their techniques in your own work.
3. Become A Stonehenge Expert
Got any budding archaeologists in your midst? The University of York has shared loads of resources on Stonehenge, meaning you can become an archaeology expert within days! Learn all about how the art and science of archaeology has led us to discover the animals that lived around Stonehenge, the food that was eaten and the festivals that took place.
4. Tour The World's Museums Without Leaving Your House
Using the incredible Google Arts & Culture feature, you can tour the British Museum and the Tate Modern without even leaving your house! You can head even further afield and check out the Van Gogh Museum in Amsterdam or even the American Museum of Natural History in New York - there are no limits! Explore the museums' collections, discover their special online exhibits and maybe you'll find your new favourite artist or artefact. It's a great substitute until you can head out and explore the museums in person.
5. Listen To University Podcasts
If your teens are into learning about super niche topics, they'll love these podcasts, brought to you by lecturers, students and alumni from universities across the country. Delve into the mysteries of maths, explore fantasy and animation films and dive into the history of rock 'n' roll.
6. Learn The Basics Of Music Theory
Are you musically minded? Have you always wanted to learn how to read sheet music? Now's your chance to get started! Learning the basics of music theory will help form better foundations and allow you to start reading music and maybe even write your own! Start by learning about clefs and ledger lines, note duration and measures and time signature - all for free.
7. Experience The Magic Of Theatre From Your Own Living Room
Theatre fans, rejoice! Theatres across the world may be closed but you can still get your dose of drama as the National Theatre is streaming some of the best British theatre on their YouTube channel every Thursday at 7pm from 2nd April. It'll be uploaded to their channel after the livestream and will be available to view for a week after. Grab a snack and settle down for a cosy night of terrific theatre.
8. Art Aficionados, We've Got You Covered
New York's Guggenheim museum has just released 200 art history books to view online for free. Independent learners will love diving into the seemingly endless choice, whether you want to study the work of the legendary Van Gogh, pop art master Roy Lichtenstein or abstract icon Kandinsky.
9. Pick Up Computer Programming Skills
Knowing how to code is a brilliant skill for teens to learn - every day we become more and more reliant on technology and it's fun to learn just how everything works. Use Blockly to learn the basics of computer programming in a unique visual way, using building blocks to represent different pieces of code.
10. Learn A New Language With Duolingo
Now you've got more time on your hands, why not do some independent study and work on your language skills with Duolingo? Duolingo is an interactive, points-based way to learn a modern language. Students will be able to choose from over 20 languages at varying levels, including French, Russian, Hindi and even Danish! You'll find it's almost addictive seeing your ranking go up every time you do your activities! Duolingo is available as a website and also as an app, which you may prefer, available to download for free from your phone's app store.
11. Find Out About Sound Fingerprints
Learn about how different sounds and musical instruments have their own 'sound fingerprint' in this innovative interactive activity. With Chrome Music Lab's Spectrogram, students will be able to see how sound can be transformed into something visual. You can even turn on your microphone and see what your own voice 'looks' like!
12. Hey Alexa! How Do You Work?
Teens and young adults are always curious and often independent learners, so why not let them learn about things they're interested in? Head to How Stuff Works and find out how things work, everything from the Amazon Echo to Star Wars, along with climate, vegetarian spiders and everything in between.
13. These Maps Of The USA Have A Twist
Future geographers, social scientists and anthropologists will love the American Panorama project. You'll see a range of different maps of the United States, all from different times and visualising different data, from migration to politics. Each map is interactive and animated, which means you can really explore the facts as you dive in, clicking through and watching the maps change.
14. You're A Poet And You Didn't Know It!
Join writer Sarah Crossan on Instagram every day for a live poetry workshop. She'll answer all your questions about writing and sometimes there will even be guests on the stream! You'll be given a daily challenge to get your poetic juices flowing and you'll be encouraged to share your work with her when you finish. If you don't catch the livestream it will be saved on Sarah's Instagram page usually as an IGTV video.
15. Thanks For Coming To Our TED Talk
You probably know TED for its famous conference talks, with everyone from politicians and actors to scientists and entrepreneurs. TED-Ed is their youth branch, with the goal to inspire children and teachers to share and celebrate ideas together. You'll find loads of short, original animated videos that answer all the questions you didn't even know you had, whether it's "how do you build a tunnel underwater?", "who was the world's first author?" or even "why doesn't the Leaning Tower of Pisa fall over?"
At Kidadl we pride ourselves on offering families original ideas to make the most of time spent together at home or out and about, wherever you are in the world. We strive to recommend the very best things, that are suggested by our community and are things we would do ourselves - our aim is to be the trusted friend to parents.
We try our very best, but cannot guarantee perfection. We will always aim to give you accurate information at the date of publication - however, information does change, so it's important you do your own research, double-check and make the decision that is right for your family.
Kidadl provides inspiration for everything from family days out to online classes, arts, crafts and science experiments. We recognise that not all activities and ideas are appropriate and suitable for all children and families or in all circumstances. Our recommended activities are based on age but these are a guide. We recommend that these ideas are used as inspiration, that ideas are undertaken with appropriate adult supervision, and that each adult uses their own discretion and knowledge of their children to consider the safety and suitability.
Kidadl cannot accept liability for the execution of these ideas, and parental supervision is advised at all times, as safety is paramount. Anyone using the information provided by Kidadl does so at their own risk and we can not accept liability if things go wrong.
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