10 ways to keep your kids entertained during isolation

As families stay home under COVID-19 social distancing measures, these school holidays will be a little different to usual.

While camping and day trips to the beach are off the cards, there’s still plenty of fun to be had while staying home. Here’s 10 ideas to keep children entertained in isolation:

Visit Ipswich Libraries online

Don’t worry if you missed out on visiting Ipswich Libraries to stock up on your 50 items before branches were forced to close.

There’s plenty on offer online in the Ipswich Libraries Digital collection, including audio books, movies or TV shows to stream and Story Box library, which features videos of Australian children’s books being read out loud.

Story Time has also gone virtual for the duration of the closure.

A reminder that if you do have books out, you can keep them out for as long as libraries are closed. Please do not return them to the Ipswich Libraries return chutes.

Get some fresh air while social distancing

Whether your kids are feeling cooped up or the dog needs a walk, you can still get outside for some fresh air while practising social distancing.

Take a wander around your neighbourhood or go for a stroll at Queens Park or Nerima Gardens.

If you’re stuck at home, get them out to play in the backyard and help with picking herbs or veges and watering plants or weeding.

There’s also plenty of Backyard Bingo templates online to print out and keep young minds entertained as they cross off things they find in the garden.

See some animals from a different angle

COVID-19 has forced Ipswich Nature Centre to close, but that won’t stop you from seeing some animals in Queens Park… or even your living room or garden. You’ll just have to get a little creative.

Google released a number of Augmented Reality animals last year, and with all of us staying home for a little while, the 3D animals have had a resurgence in popularity.

Think of an animal and type it into a google search. If it’s on Google’s list of selected AR animals, it will give you an option to “View in 3D” and see it in your space.

The tiger even roars.

Get them to cook for you

Ipswich Hospital Foundation is launching virtual Kid’s Kitchen classes to build your child’s cooking skills and confidence in the kitchen.

As well as learning to make a meal with just a few ingredients, it will educate children about nutrition and encourage them to make healthy food choices.

Click here to sign up to register and see when each class goes live.

Keep moving

With no school sport or after school netball, football or swimming lessons, kids will have plenty of extra energy to burn.

Keep their bodies moving with daily walks and online exercise classes for kids or through fitness apps.

Council’s Active Parks program has launched a new Active at Home series.

Keep your eye out for the videos especially for children, which are coming soon.

There’s also a video series for adults, with Dhru yoga as the first instalment to help stretch out and relieve stress.

Explore the science of colour

With the closure of Ipswich Art Gallery, many school groups missed out on visiting the exhibition on Colour, developed by Questacon.

But while you won’t be able to enjoy the many interactive parts of the exhibition, you can explore the topic of colour at home.

Discuss refracted light and how different animals see colours differently to us with the help of the Colour Exhibition’s teaching notes or have fun with younger kids with this activity on mixing coloured dyes while having a sing-along.

Explore exhibitions online


While we’re on the subject of art, many of the world’s most incredible museums and galleries have opened their doors during the coronavirus pandemic, with virtual tours.

Take a tour through history in the British Museum  or walk through the Rijksmuseum from the comfort of your couch and look at Dutch masterpieces up close or marvel at the detail of the Vatican’s Sistine Chapel with 360’ views.

Virtual play dates

Social distancing shouldn’t mean young people lose contact with their friends.

If your kids are too young to be connected to their friends via Instagram or other social media apps, set up a virtual play date with the parents of your children’s friends.

They can then see each other on WhatsApp, Skype or Zoom and play games, draw or do another activity together while hanging out.

Try something new online

If your kids are missing the VR machines and HP Sprouts at Ipswich Libraries’ MakerSpaces, encourage them to check out some of the MakerSpace challenges online.

Why not get them to have a go at the free online coding app TinkerCad and get creative in this month’s challenge to build your own Dream House.

With just a smartphone and some free apps, kids could also try making a stop motion film or editing their own mini movies using filters and special effects. Or get them to show you what the latest dance crazes and challenges are on TikTok.

Older children might like to explore learning through hundreds of courses available on Studiosity or Lynda, which are accessible through the Ipswich Libraries website.

Start singing

Chances are you’ve heard of Pub Choir, a group which started in Brisbane in 2017, bringing together hundreds of people to sing and record popular songs.

Now the group has gone online with Couch Choir, asking people to send in videos of them singing the same song in harmony.

In a sign of solidarity despite the social distance, more than 1,000 people around the world submitted videos of themselves singing Close to You, by the Carpenters.

Other online choir groups are also popping up around the world, including the weekly Sofa Singers.

Read more: 

>>> Stories of small and large acts of decency filling social media feeds

>>> Public gatherings restricted to just two people

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