Activities for Young People during COVID-19

Covid-19 has caused a lot of disruption to our daily routines. This can cause increased anxiety and stress, especially in young people.

However, there are so many free activities available to help young people have a structured routine, learn and have fun. These activities will help your child to build resilience and get through this difficult time.

Talents and interests

Investing time in your child’s talents and interests can help young people to build resilience. Why not motivate them to join in with some of the following activities:

  • Languages – There are free fun apps available such as Duo Lingo to help young people practice their language skills, or even learn a completely new language!
  • Wildlife – Steve Backshall is running a Facebook live every day at 9:30 am to answer any questions about wildlife, conservation and geography
  • Science – At 11 am on weekdays Maddie Moate is hosting a YouTube video discussing science and nature
  • Dance – Weekdays at 11:30am Oti Mabuse is running a Facebook live dance class
  • Maths – There is currently free access to Carol Vorderman’s maths website
  • Maths and other educational resources are available at BBC Bitesize
  • Try playing board games. They require concentration, impulse control and mental flexibility. They also provide an example for you to model resilience, when you lose a game.
  • The National Theatre are live streaming popular theatre shows on YouTube Thursday’s at 7pm
  • Explore the Girl Guides Adventures At Home pack. There’s a range of activities available including Activities for Wellbeing.
  • The Scouts have similar online activities
  • The Department of Education has worked with the BBC to create an online educational package, which includes wellbeing content via BBC Bitesize and social media channels which you can check out here.

Friendship

Having positive friendships is a great way for young people to build resilience. Encourage your child to spend time maintaining their friendships during isolation:

  • Ask them if they have checked in on their friends today. If they say no, encourage them to send their friends a message.
  • Let them video call their friends for a certain amount of time each day. You could set them a time limit and make sure they are using an app that you are okay with. You can find out more about child safety online here
  • Encourage them to do things the ‘old school’ way. They could write their friends letters or postcards, or simply phone them once a day.
  • Even streaming channels like Netflix are allowing you watch films or episodes as part of a group – you could encourage a Friday night movie night with your child’s friends.

Emotions and behaviours

It’s natural to feel worried at this time and young people are no exception. Be aware that this could affect their emotions and behaviours.

Try these tips to help young people cope with how they are feeling and to build resilience:

  • Allow them to be creative with how they express their emotions. You could help them create a ‘lockdown scrapbook’ or a diary about what they are feeling during this time.
  • Encourage your child to talk about how they feel. Talking to someone about your feelings helps to build resilience. If they are reluctant to talk about it encourage them to keep a verbal diary of voice notes.
  • Suggest they try mindfulness or meditation. You can find more information on mindfulness on the NHS website  including a free breathing tutorial from Every Mind Matters . There’s also lots of free meditation videos on YouTube.
  • Rise Above is a free website for young people, which includes guidance on how to cope with your emotions and fun interactive games.
  • Public Health England has provided resources and advice in the context of the pandemic including guidance on mental health and wellbeing during the pandemic for adults and on supporting children and young people.
  • The MindEd website provides free resources and information about how to support young people’s mental health for parents, carers and professionals who work with young people.

Health

Making healthy lifestyle choices is an important part of building resilience. Check out the following online activities to help your child focus on their health and build resilience during lockdown:

  • PE with Joe Wicks – Joe Wicks is hosting a live PE lesson on his YouTube channel every morning at 9am.
  • BBC Good Food have been sharing healthy, easy recipes that you can create with short supplies. Find out more.
  • Jack Monroe shares recipes that you can cook on a budget or using items you may already have. Find out more.
  • CorePower Yoga do a Yoga livestream everyday which is available on their YouTube channel

Virtual Activities in Kent

There are still activities happening in Kent, they have just moved online rather than face-to-face.

  • Tunbridge Wells Youth Hub are hosting an online youth group. To get involved message their Instagram page
  • Medway Youth Council are doing livestream sessions on their Instagram page every Tuesday, Thursday, Saturday and Sunday at 6pm.
  • InfoZone Youth Hub in Maidstone are running a virtual group on Thursdays which includes talent shows and a disco! Join their Facebook group to find out more
  • Sk8side Youth Centre can process AQA Units for young people. There may be an activities young people can do at home (like art) which could become a qualification when Sk8side re-opens. Visit their website to explore the units that can be processed.
  • You can find other online youth club activities by area on Kent County Council’s website

If you know of a local activity which we can help to promote, please email [email protected] we’d love to hear from you.