Get stuck in when you're stuck at home

A series of fun and free online activities to keep residents of all ages active and busy during the coronavirus lockdown has been devised by one of our Schools and Lifelong Learning officers.

Callum Mcleod and colleagues came up with the idea of putting together activity packs for children, young people and families to use at home to keep them physically and mentally active during the lockdown.

Whilst doing their research they realised many of the top tips were websites so they created an online directory of fun activities which started increasing in size until it eventually ended up as a dedicated page on the Council website.

The top tips include a wide range of advice for families starting with babies/infants, then moving onto children up to 12 years followed by general sites for learning and sport suitable for a range of ages right up to adults.

Some of the titles include: Mummy Bubble, Busy Toddler, Cosmic Kids Yoga, Activity Village, Live Bold and Bloom, EpicDash and Ted Talks.

Callum, who is usually based in the Council’s South East Lifelong Learning office in Gilmerton, is now working from home in north Edinburgh with his family, trying out new and different ways to support each other.

He said: “It didn’t take long for us to realise that there would be families all over the city stuck in front of the telly or computer, potentially climbing the walls or bored to tears, so why not put something together for the families to keep them occupied in fun ways.

“It soon became apparent that it was far easier (and far safer in terms of the virus) to put everything online so people could pick out activities to suit their different needs.”

Every time Callum circulated a list of possible links he was deluged with replies including further suggestions - to the extent he is currently working on Version 6 of his helpful guide!

He added: “It's been a massive collective effort from many, many people working together, and putting a silver lining on what could be quite challenging times. We soon realised the potential out there for families to turn a ‘challenging time’ into some ‘quality time’.  There should be something there for everybody – so why not check out the links for yourself!

Council Leader Adam McVey said: “These top tips are a great way to keep the whole family entertained during the lockdown as we all make major changes to our daily routines so we can stay safe. I would urge anyone who’s stuck at home - and quite literally stuck for something to do - to check out some of these fun activities.”

Depute Leader Cammy Day said: “Well done to Callum and everyone who pulled all this together. We’ve all had to adapt to living at home as I can testify by the painting and clearing out I’ve been doing around the house - even my plants have come in for some tender loving care! And with my evening class being cancelled I’m also using online learning apps to continue with my Beginners’ Mandarin classes - Ju Ni Shen Ti Chien Kang, Yao How How Shay Shi Oh (wishing you good health, and keep learning)!”

Published: April 8th 2020