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Young Scientist Online Badge Scheme
Photograph: Facebook/Science Centre Singapore

The best online edutainment for kids in Singapore

From earning the Young Scientist Badges online to joining a virtual playdate with Elmo and his Sesame Street friends

By Cam Khalid
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As you would've known by now, the internet is a treasure trove of knowledge. It's a wonderful tool to learn anything and everything about the world. And just because schools are closed during this circuit breaker, doesn't mean your little Einsteins can't do some schooling. Harness in the power of technology and learn new skills and information through interactive lessons, brain games, and other fun activities at home. There are dozens of online resources that challenge and entertain your kids – and even you – while they learn.

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Young Scientist Online Badge Scheme
Photograph: Facebook/Science Centre Singapore

Young Scientist Online Badge Scheme

Remember those days when you have to complete the Young Scientist Badges? Well, now it's your kids' turn (feel old yet?) Within the comfort (and safety) of your home, the little Einsteins can immerse and explore the worlds of science, technology, engineering and mathematics at their own pace with the Young Scientist Online Badge Scheme. There are more than 10 series of curated activities and Young Scientist Badges to collect across the board. Plus, they can even earn the latest I am a Young Sustainability Champion badge by learning more about renewable energy and responsible food consumption.

Skyscanner
Photograph: Skyscanner

Skyscanner’s Play Packs

While flights and holidays are put on hold, families everywhere are grounded – but not without Skyscanner's Play Packs. The global travel company has created free, downloadable play packs where families can still share travel experiences, discover other cultures, and teach children more about the different countries around the world. The creative packs encourage kids from five to ten years old to be curious about travel while keeping themselves company with craft projects and fun activities such as destination discovery quizzes, travel-inspired colouring exercises, and continent-themed word searches.

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NLB App
Photograph: Daria Nepriakhina on Unsplash

National Library Board Mobile App

News City Life

Did you also know that you can borrow from over 725,000 eBooks and audiobooks from the National Library Board (NLB) digitally for free? Since its launch in 2016, the app (available at the App Store and Google Play) has made it easy for anyone with an NLB card to download an ebook and read on the go – or at home. If your child's thirst for knowledge is strong, there are plenty of brilliant picture books and educational titles to choose from. To keep the little ones engaged, NLB is also offering weekly storytelling sessions in English, Malay, Chinese, and Tamil. The sessions are around five to 15 minutes long and are hosted by librarians, volunteers, and local authors via Facebook.

My Messy Box
Photograph: Facebook/My Messy Box

My Messy Box

What's more exciting than a surprise box that your little one can play while developing their cognitive skills? While it's not an online edutainment game per sé, My Messy Box is a local monthly sensory play subscription that you can order online and it features up to four educational activities for tots ranging from one to five-year-old. All you have to do is select the suitable My Messy Box plan for your kid, and wait for the customised box to arrive in the post. For more educational fun, check out My Messy Box's free videos on sensory play, story-book activities and craft ideas, as well as the #MMB14DayChallenge worksheets where both parents and kids can enjoy at home.

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Scribolo
Photograph: Facebook/Scribolo

Scribolo

While it's small on educational, Scribolo is definitely big on entertainment. Its endless sheets of colouring paper (145-centimetre-wide and 58-centimetre-tall at $32) can be ordered online, and once delivered, it will keep the kids busy for hours. But don't expect any random animals and shapes on the papers – the giant roll-out poster sheets feature more than 40 of Singapore's iconic landmarks which the kids can bring to life with their vibrant colour pencils, crayons and markers. Grab your favourite colours and join in the fun in rediscovering Singapore with the whole fam. Plus, colouring is also therapeutic, so win-win for everyone in the house.

Sesame Street: Elmo’s Playdate
Photograph: HBO

Sesame Workshop's Caring for Each Other

Got a Sesame Street fan at home? With a knack for bridging many cultural and educational gaps with a fun program and an even fun cast of characters, the famous children's TV series is taking over the virtual space with the Caring for Each Other initiative. It helps kids adapt to the 'new normal' with all sorts of playful learning, ranging from games and singalongs to colouring and activity pages and free e-books. There are also adorable videos on schooling the kids on the current sitch and the importance of washing their hands. And since we're all stuck at home, join the furriest virtual playdate with Elmo and his famous friends in Elmo's Playdate on HBO GO until mid-June.

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James Dyson Foundation Challenge Cards
Photograph: Facebook/James Dyson Foundation

James Dyson Foundation Challenge Cards

News Kids

With schools closed and the great outdoors being off-limits to a certain extent, Dyson engineers have designed a fun and engaging home-based learning kit for children. It comes with 44 easy-to-follow challenges that introduce them to the world of engineering and science without leaving the crib. Challenge them to pierce a balloon without popping it or make raisins dance. All you have to do to get started is to download the challenge cards online and complete them with your mini engineer. There are also video tutorials to get guide you along. Check out three of the challenges here.

NASA at Home
Photograph: Unsplash/NASA

NASA at Home

Things to do Singapore City,

Take your mini space ranger to infinity and beyond with NASA's virtual and augmented reality (AR) tours. Through NASA at Home, you and your mini astronaut can explore the galaxy via 360-degree virtual walkthroughs of the space stations, visualisations of other planets, e-books about the solar system, and informative videos and interesting podcasts discussing all things space including past Apollo missions too – and it's all for free. With Earth at a standstill right now, embarking on a trip to the final frontier could just be family fun you need.

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kids, online
Photograph: Unsplash/Annie Spratt

Geniebook

Just because schools are closed, doesn't mean its a holiday. Your primary and secondary schoolers can now be homeschooled with Geniebook. The edutech start-up provides free live-streamed lessons that are based on the latest syllabus from the Ministry of Education (MOE). Its topics also include those taught in schools island-wide which is ace if your junior needs a refresher. Subjects include English, maths and sciences. Loaded with worksheets and lessons, Geniebook helps students in learning and practising – prepping them up for when schools reopen.

Duck Learning
Photograph: Facebook/Duck Learning

Duck Learning

Keep the kiddos busy and engaged with STEAM activities via Duck Learning. Interactive lessons such as the ones by Lego Education introduce the little ones to the world of engineering and design, while Scratch coding courses introduce them to programming. The site is easy to navigate and the kids can try their hands at creating cool animations and playing edutainment games through guided tutorials. Not only does Duck Learning helps in skill development like creativity and critical thinking but it also helps them discover their passions. Plus, they'll receive a certificate of completion after finishing a course.

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Helpsters, Apple TV+
Photograph: Apple

Apple

If your little tyke is glued to the tablet, download interactive apps for some educational fun. The Apple App Store Collections for pre-schoolers, primary school kids and secondary school teens are loaded with apps to assist in your child’s learning and development, as well as exploration in science, the natural world, and creativity. There are also cool augmented reality (AR) apps for learning to check out. Froggipedia allows you to dissect a frog using the Apple Pencil, while Apollo's Moon Shot AR allows you to play pretend at with NASA’s daring space missions of the 1960s.

Alternatively, your little one can enjoy Apple TV+'s Apple Originals for Kid such as Helpsters, a live-action pre-school series featuring vibrant, friendly monsters that love solving problems – and the kids can join in too.

Nat Geo Kids
Photograph: Unsplash/Brett Meliti

National Geographic Kids

Now, here's a fantastic resource for kids to explore their interests and feed their curious minds: Nat Geo Kids. Learn more about animals, science, history, and geography through informative videos, fun quizzes, and colouful factsheets. Adults can also join in the fun by testing your memory, delve deeper into Greek mythology, design your own window art, identify the different dinosaur species, and more. There are also useful bite-sized information for kids to better understand the global crisis too.

More things you can do with the kiddos online

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