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MNHQ here: random but hopefully helpful/diverting lockdown links

54 replies

RowanMumsnet · 22/04/2020 13:46


Our inbox is filling up with emails from charities and non-profits - as well as a few other organisations - flagging up free resources to help families through lockdown, so we thought we'd start a thread to bring things to your attention.

Have a browse if you have five minutes to spare and you might find something diverting to pass the time...

(And of course feel free to add your own too)

NB we haven't tested or verified the links on here, although in lots of cases they are from organisations or people who we know to be legit.


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RowanMumsnet · 22/04/2020 13:48

Free educational comics to help children with dyslexia learn at home

They say: 'Aimed at 8-12 year-olds, they teach subjects like Maths, English, French, Biology, History and Geography through funny, colourful narratives. They were created by a young Scottish illustrator who struggled with dyslexia himself at school and developed this unique method of learning to help other struggling readers.'

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RowanMumsnet · 22/04/2020 13:51

Experts from Great Ormond Street Hospital (GOSH) help families across the UK cope with isolation

They say: 'On the Power of Play online hub, we have been working with the hospital’s Play Team to offer a range of free expert tips, resources and activity ideas to help all children cope with today’s challenges. The Play Team is the largest in Europe and they help hundreds of children every week deal with their treatment and recovery through play. Now more than ever, they want to share their expertise with families across the country, to help them cope with isolation.'

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RowanMumsnet · 22/04/2020 14:02

An educational fun pack for children and young people who are into wildlife

They say: 'A new international wildlife, photography and conservation project supported by 100+ photographers, conservationists and wildlife lovers, including Dr Jane Goodall, Ami Vitale, Moby, Steve McCurry, Ben Fogle, Steve Winter, Joanna Lumley and Thomas D Mangelsen. We want the New Big 5 project to focus attention on the world's incredible wildlife and the urgent need to act together globally to save these animals, our planet and ourselves. On the New Big website, there will be podcasts and interviews, as well as articles on wildlife issues, from habitat loss to the illegal wildlife trade. The free Education Fun Pack for young people includes photos by Thomas D Mangelsen, Graeme Green, Shannon Wild and Andrea Moreno, jokes from Russell Kane, Milton Jones and others, and quizzes and challenges to keep children entertained.'

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RowanMumsnet · 22/04/2020 14:14

Free tutoring by university students from across the UK for young people in any pre-GCSE, GCSE, or A-Level subject

They say: 'The Coronavirus Tutoring Initiative was started in March on the same day that the UK Government announced national school closures. Whilst necessary, the closures risk increasing the disparity between those young people who can access private tutoring and those who cannot.

The initiative connects university students with young people who need free tutoring in any pre-GCSE, GCSE, or A-Level subject. Within the first week of launching, we had 3,000 university students express interest in volunteering with us and our tutor base continues to grow.

Any enquiries should be sent to [email protected]'

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RowanMumsnet · 22/04/2020 14:27

A new app, Maths Builders, which has been developed by the Cambridge University engineering department to help GCSE maths students

They say: 'Maths Builders helps learners develop vital problem-solving skills by setting a series of fun challenges built around GCSE-level maths questions. The free app is the brainchild of academics at Cambridge University's Department of Engineering.'

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MichaelMumsnet · 22/04/2020 15:25

This just in....

Histories of the Unexpected is already a well established podcast and live show - we explore unexpected topics and have now recording loads of specials:

Scars! - Homeschooling Slavery
Invisibility! - Homeschooling Tudor Spies
Showoffs! - Homeschooling Norman Castles
Accidents! - homeschooling Everyday Life in Tudor England
Slime! - Homeschooling the Industrial Revolution
Scabs! - Homeschooling Tudor Medicine
Darkness! Homeschooling The Blitz and WW2
Names! - Homeschooling the Domesday Book
Stench! - Homeschooling Public Health in Victorian Britain

More to come.

AnnaCMumsnet · 22/04/2020 16:35

One more....

New, free water safety online course from the Royal Life Saving Society

They say:

"The Royal Life Saving Society UK (RLSS UK) has released a short online water safety toolkit which teaches families how to enjoy the water, safely.

"The ‘Lifesaver-Lifechanger’ toolkit, gives people the confidence to keep themselves and others safe around the water by providing instruction on safe land-based rescues. With the current lockdown laws in place, enjoying the home and garden safely is more important than ever and so is staying safe around water especially as our incredible emergency services are under increased pressure at this time.

"Every year across the UK and Ireland, around 700 people lose their lives in water-related incidents, with most of the incidents being completely avoidable. A recent RLSS UK survey indicated that around 43% of people would jump into the water to save somebody, an instinct that is often life-threatening and has led to many further heart-breaking deaths.

"Go to RLSS UK’s website to access the toolkit. For more information contact [email protected] for more information."

RowanMumsnet · 22/04/2020 16:51

An online survey from Oxford University's Departments of Experimental Psychology and Psychiatry, tracking child and adolescent mental health over the next few months, to investigate what is helping and to identify what families need

Plus advice from Oxford and Reading universities about parenting children who have worries about COVID-19

They say: 'The study is an online survey that takes parents (of 4-16 year olds) about 15 mins to complete, and then there is an optional linked short survey for adolescents (11-16 years) if they want to and if their parents agree. We feel really strongly that this survey has the potential to make a difference to a lot of families so are really keen to work with influential organisations such as Mumsnet to help spread the word and encourage participation so the study is as helpful as it possibly can be.'

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FamilyOfAliens · 22/04/2020 21:58

This is great, Rowan, thanks. I’ll make sure the relevant ones go out in our weekly update for parents Smile

AnnaCMumsnet · 23/04/2020 15:13

The DCMS have advice on keeping your children safe online.

They say,

"You'll find tips and advice around how to stay safe online during lockdown. We're reminding people to stay connected, stay safe online, check the facts and remember to take a break, including useful links for parents and carers with more detailed information about parental controls and how to talk to your children about online safety. "

RowanMumsnet · 24/04/2020 09:44

Home-based science activity packs for 5-18 year olds from the British Science Association

They say: 'The British Science Association is proud to announce it has created a new library of science-based activities for children to do in line with the national curriculum during the lockdown period. The library, which includes packs of Star and Superstar-level activities for children between five and 11 years old, has been created to help parents support their children with activities that have a focus on science. Among the activities in the pack are projects based on chemistry (cheese-making), chromatography (ink investigations) and physics (bridge-building).

The library also includes a collection of 10-hour activities for children aged 11-18, including making bath bombs, fizzy drinks and uncovering what causes bread to rise.'

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BojanaMumsnet · 24/04/2020 18:14


The House of Commons Library and Parliamentary Office of Science and Technology have sent over some materials on household finances, domestic abuse, impact on SEN and other topics during COVID-19 - please see below.


Coronavirus: Support for household finances

How is Covid-19 affecting household finances and the cost of living? What support is available? Our briefing covers: Employment, finances, food, housing, travel and transport, utility bills, welfare and benefits and more.

Coronavirus: Domestic abuse

This Insight looks at what the new regulations say about staying at home, and how they, alongside coronavirus more generally, could affect people at risk of domestic abuse, and domestic abuse services.

Coronavirus: Impact on special educational needs in England

Examines the impact of school closures on the education of children and young people in England with SEN.

Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme FAQs

The Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme offers eligible employers a grant to cover 80% of ‘furloughed’ workers’ wages (up to £2,500 per month). This briefing answers FAQS on who counts as a furloughed worker, how will wages be calculated, and more.

Coronavirus: Self-Employment Income Support Scheme

The Government’s new income support scheme for self-employed people affected by coronavirus will pay cash grants worth 80% of profits up to £2,500 a month, for three months. This impartial briefing looks at who’s eligible and what the response has been.

Recent points of interest: Workers dismissed after 28 Feb can be re-hired and furloughed; foreign nationals are covered by the Scheme; new starters are unlikely to be covered.

Coronavirus: health and social care key issues and sources

What are the key Covid-19 issues facing the NHS and social care services? This briefing covers: Funding, temporary workforce measures, hospital capacity and ventilators, personal protective equipment and testing, vaccine development and more.

Patient health records: Access, sharing and confidentiality

Last month Health Secretary Matt Hancock issued new guidance temporarily allowing NHS England and NHS Improvement to share confidential patient information if it’s for a ‘Covid-19 purpose’. This briefing covers access to patient health records, electronic patient records, NHS data security, and the use of confidential information by the NHS.

PennyMix · 24/04/2020 23:28

Parental Engagement Network are releasing a free set resources each week of lockdown.

These fun, inclusive home learning resources are for families with children in the Early Years, Key stage 1 and Key Stage 2. The activities do not require huge levels of preparation so can fit easily into home and family life. The idea is that this will be something that can be done together as a family, or which children could also do independently. Hopefully, they will spark an interest that catches your child’s imagination leading them to explore further if they wish.

IrritableBitchSyndrome · 25/04/2020 10:41

For free audio entertainment, // has made all it's audio dramas and audiobooks free to download. They have kids stuff on Audioboom too, and some audio drama podcasts on Spotify. They make radio plays for Radio 4 and Audible, so their stuff is super high quality.

IrritableBitchSyndrome · 25/04/2020 10:48

Also, where I live, I can use my library membership to get free ebooks, audio books and magazines online through r b digital. I think this is usual for libraries so might be useful to others.

Cheeseismymiddlename · 25/04/2020 13:06

Thanks. I’ll be looking into some of these.

happykid · 26/04/2020 15:47

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eleventy3isthemagicnumber · 26/04/2020 15:50

A lovely podcast if you want some children's book recommendations:

ssd · 26/04/2020 15:51

Thanks for this

LondonHasEyes · 26/04/2020 18:42

Parrot Learning for secondary English resources.

esmeril968 · 27/04/2020 03:20

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OhioOhioOhio · 28/04/2020 07:37

This is great thanks.


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BojanaMumsnet · 29/04/2020 15:49

Children’s digital library App, Fonetti, has shared its latest book, Our World Needs a Clean, by Nicky Nash - an explanation for children, in story form, of the Coronavirus situation.

They say:
"This story is free of charge and every time the story is read, 10p is donated to NHS charities.

"Author, Nicky Nash, is a primary school teacher who was concerned about how to explain the constraints we are all having to live under, to her young children. She decided to use the platform of storytelling and, having been inspired by a poem sent to her by a friend, set about writing, Our World Needs A Clean."

BojanaMumsnet · 29/04/2020 16:13

Here's another resource from the House of Commons Library team:

Free learning resources online

"Available for primary, secondary and post-16, our free online resources include activities, videos, games and downloadable books. They cover topics across the UK curricula, including elections, debating, British Values and the work and role of UK Parliament in our democracy."

AnnaCMumsnet · 30/04/2020 13:55

Here's one to help with your wellbeing from Atrium.

They say:

"We know that you might be struggling right now with your role as mum, worker and all the worries of isolation, job security and concerns about what will happen next.

"We provide parent coaching to support you emotionally and help you cope better with the problems you face. We are early help specialists and have been supporting people to improve their wellbeing for over 20 years so you can feel better sooner.

"Atrium therapists and psychologists are also family practitioners and provide our family coaching services. We are offering FREE online groups to parents who want to attend a session with others, facilitated by our trained practitioners.

"We are also offering a Coronavirus Parenting checklist for every parent through the website. Call us on 01702 332857 to book your group session attendance or [email protected]. Find us on Facebook

"Our best wishes to you and your families at this difficult time
Dr. Sara Ireland, Clinical Lead Atrium Clinic and wellbeing centre."

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