Adopting a watch-and-wait approach to heading out during the pandemic? With the threat of a fresh wave of Covid-19 cases looming, staying safe is the most prudent approach.
But if you’re still hoping to plan some special family activities during the July term break, it’s certainly possible — remember that whether you’re home or out, quality time together as a family is what counts. If you’re racking your brain and wondering what to do next, bookmark our activity guide for ideas!
5 Activities To Head Out For
- Play your favourite sports at ActiveSG facilities
Download the ActiveSG app to easily book slots for swimming and other sporting activities. If your family loves racquet sports, take note that badminton courts are currently in high demand; there are only a handful of 7:00am slots in various locations up for grabs during the July term break. You’ll have much better luck securing courts for table tennis, tennis, and squash. Do check the ActiveSG website as well for updates on opening hours and safe distancing measures.
- Visit a museum
In view of the Covid-19 situation, self-guided visits are recommended. Pick a museum of your choice, and check ahead to book or buy tickets in advance. If you intend to visit an art exhibition, use our guide to help your children engage with art.
- Hunt for street art
Prefer to remain outdoors? Try looking for street art instead. You can also take this opportunity to discover a new restaurant or cafe. Use this street art map to plan your walk.
- Go on a family hike
If you wake up early to great weather, don’t hesitate to head out and clock your green hours! To spice things up, visit a park or nature reserve that you haven’t been to before — look for downloadable walking guides on the NParks website. Before you leave home, be sure to use the Safe Distance @ Parks tool to assess the crowd situation.
Bringing your camera along? You can participate in the SPH Foundation’s photography contest, which features the theme “A Sustainable Tomorrow.” The contest runs from now till August 23 2020, and it is open to everyone, especially aspiring photographers and enthusiasts. Details here.
- Collect saga seeds
Those who grew up in the ‘70s and ‘80s might remember saga seed collecting as one of their childhood pastimes, and it’s a simple pleasure that today’s kids should experience firsthand. Use this map to search for trees and improve your chances of walking away with a good haul. As for what you can do with your saga seeds — try creating an art project! Get inspiration here.
15 Fun Things To Do At Home
- “Let’s Draw Animals” (Online, Saturday July 18 2020, 2:00 to 3:00pm)
In this free online workshop hosted by the Lee Kong Chian Natural History Museum, artist Kumuda Krovvidi will teach children to draw a turtle, a crocodile, a jellyfish, and a crab. (Parents can join in too!) Arm yourselves with pencils, markers, and drawing paper for a fun afternoon, and after the session, do share your drawings with the host via social media.
- “Ready for KidLit” (Online, July 18 2020, 10:00am to 4:15pm)
This is a free online children’s literature festival by the Singapore Book Council. It is most suitable for younger kids, but there are some activities — such as limerick making and an “illustrator duel” — that older children may enjoy too. Details here, registration required.
- “I am a Young Mixed Reality Creator” (Online, July 20 to 24 2020, 2:30 to 5:30pm)
This is a free online workshop by the Singapore Science Centre, which will run daily on weekdays during the July term break. Kids will learn about augmented reality and virtual reality, and they will get to work on a project, as well as receive an e-certificate and badge. It’s recommended for those aged between 10 and 15. Details here. (Update: All slots have been snapped up, but you can email Octave_GOH@science.edu.sg to indicate your interest and be placed on a waiting list.)
- “City in Nature Concert” (Online, Sunday July 26 2020, 6:00 to 7:00pm)
NParks and the Singapore Symphony Orchestra present the online “City in Nature Concert,” for you and your family to enjoy at home! Get details here.
Keen for your family to develop a better appreciation of classical music? Use The Guardian’s 50 Greatest Symphonies guide to truly understand the emotions and events that inspired these timeless musical works.
- Explore museums virtually
Museums all over the world have created splendid virtual tours during the pandemic, and Singapore’s museums have done the same. Something interesting to check out during the July term break is the National Gallery’s Small Big Dreamers virtual gallery, and the Asian Civilisation Museum’s Family Fun section.
- Bond with your kids through a conversation game
A made-in-SG app called Bramble has gamified conversations between parents and children, to promote greater understanding and ultimately build stronger family relationships. The Bramble app is free to download and use; for first-timers, you’ll be asked to watch a walkthrough video to get a sense of how Bramble works. Essentially, it’s a game where you and your child will take turns to choose different conversation prompts, and be guided to develop positive communication skills.
- Gaze out of someone else’s window
Feeling cooped up? It might help to look at life from someone else’s perspective. To beat their lockdown blues, a creative couple from Singapore dreamed up the WindowSwap project, where you can “open” a window from a random location in the world to soak in the view. If you’d like, you can submit the view from your window too!
- Draw with Rob
During Singapore’s “circuit breaker” days, some local parents had started following picture book author and illustrator Rob Biddulph for his kid-friendly “Draw With Rob” tutorial sessions. Thankfully, Biddulph is still releasing new drawing tutorials for now. His videos are about 20 minutes long, his instructions are clear and easy to execute, and you can post the finished product on his page, as he will select random pictures to feature on his “grid” — this gives kids quite a thrill!
- Read a book and listen to an audiobook, at the same time
Have you heard of “immersion reading?” It’s a term for reading a book while having it narrated to you. To let your children try immersion reading, look in your own book collection, identify any print or e-book titles that your children have been unwilling to pick up, and purchase or borrow the accompanying audiobook. The big advantage of immersion reading is that children may find reading less of a chore, and in fact, they may even enjoy the process.
If you prefer not to purchase audiobooks, you may rely on library resources or check Audible Stories — this is Audible’s free audiobook collection, which will remain open for public use while US schools are closed due to Covid-19. Use our immersion reading guide to select interesting free stories for your kids!
- Gain current affairs exposure with free Netflix documentaries
To help kids with their learning during the pandemic, Netflix has made some of its documentaries available on YouTube for free. These include popular series such as Explained and Our Planet, as well as standalone titles such as The White Helmets (about the Syrian civil war). Netflix has also prepared educational resources such as discussion guides for these videos, and you can find them here.
- Learn new skills at #CampYouTube
YouTube is bringing the fun of summer camps to families at home with #CampYouTube. Check out the STEM, arts, sports, and adventure activities to learn new skills together. Families can also download #CampYouTube bingo boards (scroll to the bottom of the #CampYouTube index page) and cross off camp activities that they complete.
- Beat the blues with MehGoWhere
If your kids are feeling meh (bored) staying at home, ask them to check out the National Youth Council’s site MehGoWhere. It’s a resource portal designed to help youths cope better with the Covid-19 situation. What the site aims to do is help youths understand the situation, assuage their concerns, and even rally them to do their part while having fun. The site provides news and information on the Covid-19 situation, as well as an engaging line-up of videos and stories to keep youths occupied at home.
- Join the Youth Corps
The Youth Corps provides volunteering opportunities for youths in Singapore, with a focus on causes such as education, special needs, the environment, and heritage. You can contact them to enquire how they’re managing their volunteering efforts during Covid-19, but in the meantime, there are online activities that families can sign up for via their website, including conversational Malay classes.
- Be more socially aware
To gain knowledge about some of the major social issues faced by those in Singapore, you and your kids can watch “Today I Learnt,” an informative series by digital video publisher Our Grandfather Story. There are currently four videos in the series, on topics such as migrant rights and inequality. (Note: The series also includes a video on the LGBTQ community, which some parents may not be ready for their children to view. As with all online resources, please exercise your own discretion.)
- Celebrate local youth talent
The Singapore Youth Festival has gone online for 2020, and for the entire July, they will be regularly updating their Facebook page to showcase student efforts. Do pop in to show some love and appreciation for the work — if your child is interested in the arts, this could be a source of inspiration and motivation.