Schools are closed and exams cancelled so what happens next? Parents and carers up and down the Country are asking themselves that very question and while the Internet is buzzing with ideas, advice and free resources, it can all feel a bit overwhelming. To help we’ve put together some practical hints and tips in this five-minute guide for parents and carers at home with their children.

Find a routine

This won’t work for everyone but having a routine is a great way to structure not only your day but your whole week. Try to stick to your routine during the week and reserve your weekends for doing the things you normally would (where possible!). So if you stay in your PJs watching TV on a Saturday morning then the good news is you can keep doing that but make sure Monday to Friday you get up at the same time as you would for school and work.

There are lots of great suggestions online for routines but we like the one below for its  balance of study and “free” time and it can be easily adapted for different age groups. Our teachers are sending home lots of resources to keep pupils and students on track so try to use the ‘academic time’ to look at some of these activities.

Stay active

Physical activity is important to maintain a healthy body and mind. There are lots of things you can do to stay active and they’re all free! YouTube is full of video tutorials whether your kids are into yoga, dancing or just like working out there’s something there to suit everyone. Our top three are:

1.  Joe Wicks – five-minute workouts for kids

Joe Wicks aka The Body Coach has a playlist on his You Tube channel just for kids. These five-minute home workouts are a great way of injecting some energy into your day!

NEW: Joe is doing a live PE session every morning at 9am on his You Tube channel.

2. Cosmic Kids Yoga – relaxation and mindfulness

These routines take children on a journey using yoga to tell a story. This is a great opportunity to practice relaxation and mindfulness at home with your children big or small.

3. Go Noodle – fun videos to get you moving

For a bit of fun we really like Go Noodle. You can sing, dance or just nod your head along to these upbeat three-minute music videos for kids – and the songs from popular films are sure to be a hit.

Go outdoors

If you’re not self-isolating then the great outdoors is still open! Taking the necessary precautions to maintain a sensible distance from other people is essential but otherwise there’s nothing stopping you from enjoying your garden or outdoor space.

Spring is a fantastic time of year for exploring the outdoors as nature starts to wake up and dare we say we might even see some warmer temperatures as we look to April. Getting some much-needed fresh air is a good opportunity to talk to children about seasonal changes, the weather, animal lifecycles and our eco-system. The Woodland Trust’s spring activities cover much of this and more – download them for free here.

Embrace technology

Lots of educators online are offering free access to their resources and some are even streaming their classes live for us to watch at home. We’ll keep you updated on this as we compile our list but for now a quick flick through Facebook or Instagram will give you a good idea of what’s out there. And in the meantime, you could consider using technology to access something a bit further afield like the tiger enclosure in San Diego or maybe the Van Gogh museum in Amsterdam. Lots of iconic museums and galleries have virtual tours on their websites and many zoos have live camera footage of their most popular animals.

Most importantly let’s use technology to keep in touch with one another. Isolation shouldn’t have to mean loneliness, and as parents and carers we can make sure our children stay connected with family and friends. Whether you choose to Skype, Facetime or hangout with Google, it’s important to keep talking.