This week we have gathered together some of the best links to home learning resources that you can use in your own programs, or share with families.
Sharing learning resources provides educators with an opportunity to discuss the importance of play. When you share a link, identify what and how children can learn from this experience. Suggest additional activities so families can extend the learning, if their children are especially interested.
1: Taronga Zoo
Even though zoos are closed, children can learn about animals from home. Taronga TV has 24/7 live-streaming cameras for tigers, seals, elephants, meerkats and more – if animals are hiding or sleeping, check back at another time of day or night. Also watch talks from zoo keepers, animal shows and antics, and behind-the-scenes videos.
2: Cosmic Yoga
Cosmic yoga offers yoga, relaxation and meditation videos especially for children three years and older. These are interactive and entertaining classes that build strength, spatial awareness and coordination. This is a fun, physical experience that children can do indoors with their parents and siblings.
3: Questacon’s Early Learning Adventures in Science
Questacon is The National Science and Technology Centre in Canberra. They offer outreach programs and have produced a series of YouTube videos to teach 3-6 year olds about science. Learn about silkie chickens, guide dogs and rockets to the moon.
4: Play School – Coronavirus specials
ABC Kids and Play School provide extensive online resources for early childhood educators and families. Highlights are the special episodes Wash Your Hands, which explains coronavirus to young children, and Mindfully Me which helps children slow down and breathe.
5: Nature play resources
Nature Play is a national organisation that helps educators and families connect with nature. They have published a free online guide and a poster with 35 nature play ideas for self-isolation, including stargazing, birdwatching and growing edible vegetables.
6: Australian Ballet
YouTube videos from The Australian Ballet provide instruction on basic ballet techniques, so families can learn to dance at home. This channel will help children challenge gender stereotypes while learning about ballet, through videos of performances and behind-the-scenes moments.
7: National Gallery of Victoria
NGV, the National Gallery of Victoria, is temporarily closed. To keep children engaged in art and creative experiences, their website offers printable worksheets with activities and games. Visually interesting ebooks teach children about different artists and their artworks.
8: Authors reading books out loud
Popular children’s authors are reading their own books in online storytimes. Children can listen and read along if they have the same books at home. Oliver Jeffers is known for Lost and Found and The Day The Crayons Quit. Mem Fox wrote Possum Magic and Where is the Green Sheep? Eric Carle, the author of The Very Hungry Caterpillar, regularly posts stories and performances to his Facebook page.
9: School camp at home
The NSW Office of Sport have released School Camp at Home, an activity book to keep children exercising and participating in outdoor activities, while adhering to social distancing restrictions. Children will follow sensory paths, make art from nature, walk with a blindfold and bake ANZAC biscuits.
10: Learning potential
Learning potential is an Australian Government website and app with general learning activities for children. Parents can search for learning experiences that are age-appropriate and related to specific areas of learning, including numeracy, play, creativity and life skills.
11. Little Scientists at Home
Make your own chalk paint or build a marble run. STEM education providers Little Scientists have set up a channel where families can enjoy the wonder of STEM projects from their own homes.
12. ABC Kids Early Education
The ABC Kids early education team have pulled together an amazing range of resources to engage all the senses.
13. Early Start Discovery Space Discover at Home
Take the cardboard box challenge or make a set of pan-pipes using nothing but sticky tape and straws. The University of Wollongong’s Early Start home learning portal has lots of fun projects and inspiration for children and parents.