How is half term in lockdown any different to term time? Lessons might not be on but where can you go and what can you do? Thank goodness for online cultural activities for kids taking place over half term! Lockdown means that you can only go to your local park or tramp your local streets. Thankfully museums have moved their activities online. Read on to see my picks for great online cultural activities for kids.
1. Westminster Abbey free virtual tours
Westminster Abbey is like a living history of England. Monarchs are crowned, married and buried here. It is one of my favourite places to visit but it is usually crowded during school holidays with long queues to get in. Every February the Queen attends a service here to celebrate Commonwealth Day, this year there will be no service but the Abbey is marking the event with free virtual tours of the Abbey on February 17th and 18th. You need to book via this link for a crowd free tour.
2. Write a letter to the Postal Museum
Remember the days when we wrote letters and postcards? How about introducing your children to the gentle are of letter writing? The Postal Museum are hoping that children across the country will write them a letter telling them about life in lockdown. Some of these letters will be used in an exhibition (hopefully both in the museum and online) and all them will be used by furture historians wanting to know what lockdown was like for children. To find out about where to post your letters to and what kind of things to include check out the Postal Museum website.
3. Norwich Castle museum scribe school
Norwich Castle museumis the museum that started my love affair with all things museum. It has the lot, housed in a picture perfect Norman Castle complete with crenelations, it tells the story of Norfolk to perfection. This half term you can attend Scribe School, no need to be anywhere near Norfolk as all lessons will be online. You can write your own medieval adventure story, create comic strips or learn how to decorate your page like an illuminated manuscript.
4. Florence Nightingale interactive site
Florence Nightingale was one of the first people to recognise that importance of hand washing in health care. All manner of Florence facts, that are perfect for Key Stage 1 and 2, can be found via an interactive video on the excellent Florence Nightingale museum website. Back when the plague stalked London, the first hospitals were run by monks which is why so many hospitals are called Saint Something. You can discover the ancient links between Southwark Cathedral and St Thomas’s hospital via this YouTube video from February 18.
5. National Maritime Museum Chinese New Year celebrations
Vyki from Museum Mum has a comprehensive round up of online half term museum events in London including Chinese New Year celebrations at the National Maritime Museum.
6. Wallace Collection
Do you talk to pictures in galleries? Not out loud, of course! Scarlett from Diary of a Londoness has a conversation with Frans Hals’ Laughing Cavalier at the Wallace Collection.
7. Best online museum tours
Over on my own blog Catherine’s Cultural Wednesdays you can find a rundown of great online cultural activities with the best online museum tours.