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National Museum of Singapore
Photograph: National Museum of Singapore

The best things to do online for kids in Singapore

Staying at home doesn't have to be boring during school holidays

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Written by
Cam Khalid
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Stuck indoors with the kids? Now that the school holidays are here, the kids will need more than the telly to keep 'em engaged and entertained while staying at home during the circuit breaker. From virtual tours of space and Walt Disney World to roleplay activities and interactive games, here are some fun things to do online that can hold the attention of the teens while being easy enough for the tykes to join in too.

RECOMMENDED: The best online edutainment for kids in Singapore and the popular myths and legends of Singapore

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  • 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.

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  • City Life

The kiddos can get their art fix with National Gallery Singapore's Gallery Kids, the online platform bursting with interactive games, masterclasses, storytelling video sessions and art tutorials. Highlights include Ink-credible Adventure Interactive Game where children can explore abstract expressionism in a colourful and playful manner, artists masterclasses where local painter Yeo Shih Yun guides teens through building their own unconventional painting tools from household items, and I-Spy Game kids under nine can wear their detective caps, searching for clues to identify items, colours and patterns.

 

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If your child's thirst for knowledge is strong, there are plenty of brilliant picture books and educational titles to choose from NLB's Mobile App. NLB also recently introduced the new Kids! Skip the Line! collection of books, featuring specially selected copies of fictional titles. More popular books have been uploaded for children as part of the book collection, including popular series such as Geronimo Stilton, Captain Underpants, and Fancy Nancy. The collection is updated regularly so that it remains fresh for the lil' ones. To keep the 'em 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.

Collect 'em Young Scientist Badges
Photograph: Facebook/Science Centre Singapore

Collect 'em Young Scientist Badges

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.

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Discover the world with Skyscanner
Photograph: Skyscanner

Discover the world with Skyscanner

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.

Join a Sesame Street playdate
Photograph: HBO

Join a Sesame Street playdate

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 norm 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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Have some digital fun with Apple
Photograph: Apple

Have some digital fun with 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.

Enjoy some screen-free entertainment with Audioplay
Photograph: Audioplay

Enjoy some screen-free entertainment with Audioplay

While the adults immerse in the podcast of their choice, the kids can have their share with Audioplay. Now available on Singapore's App Store (available on Google Play in June), the podcast-meets-audiobook-meets-creative-play app lets kids aged six to 12 tap into their imagination, playing out the story IRL with simple household items and toys at home. The kids can also play pretend and be the characters themselves. Rope in the blanket forts and cushion rafts for the extra fun. While there are no screens involved, the trick here is to pay close attention to the instructions. The first episode is free to download and is based on Mick Elliott’s book series The Turners, a secret species that morphs from human to animal.

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Explore the world with National Geographic Kids
Photograph: Unsplash/Brett Meliti

Explore the world with 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 to do with the kids

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