BC Children lockdown
Online fun to fill lockdown afternoons Image Credit: Supplied

If you’re looking for something to keep the children occupied (that isn’t just cartoons) once home learning is over (or once they’re over home learning), then these online tutorials are all led by seasoned show biz types who know what they’re doing in front of a camera and are imparting the sort of expertise and entertainment that would cost you a pretty penny were it to be in real life.

Here’s a timetable of celeb-led classes that’ll shake up their afternoon routine and get them learning a new skill, with no glazed-over-eyes in sight.

12 noon Monday to Friday: PE with Joe Wicks

If you haven’t already heard of Joe Wicks, aka The Body Coach, and his free daily PE lessons, then have you been living under a rock? (although that would probably be quite an advisable habitat at the moment, all things considered).

Serving up half an hour of high-intensity and kid-friendly workout routines, tune in daily Monday to Friday for some endorphin-releasing, family-friendly fun.

12.30pm Wednesdays – Wildlife Q&A with Steve Backshall

Naturalist Steve Backshall hosts a wildlife series for the BBC and is answering all of your child’s weird and wild questions about the natural world every Wednesday across his social channels.

1pm Mondays and Fridays Music with Myleene Klass

A former member of British pop band Hear’Say, Myleene Klass is also a radio presenter and classically trained musician, and is now going live on Instagram to teach musical theory and techniques (without the need for any instruments) in a fun and accessible way, aided by the help of two of her children, Ava and Hero. With past lessons always available on her YouTube channel, this may be the way you discover you’re raising a mini Mozart.

2pm Daily for one month Audio Elevenses with David Walliams

Best-selling children’s author and comic actor David Walliams (aka the modern Roald Dahl) is releasing a free audio story from his short story collection World’s Worst Children every day absolutely free for a month.

These comic cautionary tales about appallingly behaved children are brilliantly read by Walliams himself and may strike a chord with many parents, but are certain to have your little ones chortling cheekily along.

2pm Daily Science with Maddie Moate

Children’s TV presenter and Edu-tuber Maddie Moate is broadcasting her quirky brand of science program every day, covering a plethora of topics that might pique your child’s curiosity, from learning about the body and the immune system, to discovering creepy crawlies and making dinosaur soap.

2.30pm Dance with Oti Mabuse

Being stuck in an apartment or villa homeschooling can make it hard to keep kids active, but let them be inspired by the moves of celebrity professional dancer Oti Mabuse, star of TV shows Strictly Come Dancing in the UK and Let’s Dance in Germany. She and her husband are devising kid-friendly dance routines set to musicals and Disney movie music and broadcasting classes from their living room. Aimed at beginners, they’re perfect for teaching kids dance basics that should get them sashaying from the sofa in no time.

4pm Maths with Carol Vorderman

Celebrity mathematician from cult UK gameshow Countdown fame has a successful online maths school The Maths Factor, aimed at four to 11 year olds, which she is making free during the Coronavirus lockdown. Packed full of fun challenges, videos, games and motivating rewards, the sophisticated graphics of this numerical virtual world are all geared towards helping improve children’ maths confidence.

4.30pm Daily Dance with Darcy Bussell

World-famous ballerina Darcy Bussell is broadcasting her dance company DDMIX’s Daily Shake Ups for Kids live on Facebook every day at 4.30pm UAE time. Tune in for ten minutes of toe-tapping fun to get children off the couch and moving their bodies.

8.30pm Keep Cooking and Carry On with Jamie Oliver

The charismatic celebrity chef uses store cupboard staples to whip up imaginative meals with flexible easy-to-swap ingredients and easy-to-follow methods to get us through these troubled times. Although this airs on UK TV at 8.30pm UAE time every night from Monday to Friday, the recorded programmes are viewable online for free any time over the next month.