Covid-19 - Coronovirus - Learning Resources and Activities


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Section: Coronavirus

Learning Resources and Activities

With schools now closing to most children due to the COVID-19 situation, take a look at the articles on this page to get ideas for learning and activities to do at home.

Disability Sports- Home-based PE and Physical Activities

Please see the following Physical Activities Sheets that Rob Paget, Disability Sports Development Officer has put together.

They contain information on a number of home workouts people can do either in the house or garden whilst the weather is nice and all of us are stuck at home!

There are a range of activities on the sheets that are suitable for all ages and abilities including inclusive activities, dance activities and live daily workouts:



For more details or further information please contact Rob Paget, Disability Sports Development Officer on 01722 434770 or email

Online Learning Resources to Support Children with SEND

The Department for Education (DfE) has developed a list of online resources and apps to support home learning.

On their website, there is a section of resources and apps specifically for children and young people with SEND: [SEND Home Learning]

Specialist SEN Support Team (SSENS) Information Resource Pack and Newsletters for Parent Carers

Please see our website for information on resources available to parent carers from the SSENS team during this challenging time: [Resource pack for Parent Carers]

May 2020 - New SSENS Team Newsletter
Wiltshire Council's Specialist SEN Service are going to be producing a newsletter every couple of weeks with a specific theme. See below for May's edition which has a focus on learning during school closure including information and ideas on learning through play, outdoor learning, technology and visual timetables.
SSENS Newsletter May 2020

To see previous newsletters please [click here]

South Wilts Mencap (SWM) Facebook Group – Online Activities

SWM would love to hear from you, share activity ideas with you and generally keep in touch, so they have created a group on Facebook for you to join: [SWM Facebook]

Activities lined up already include Zumba and a sing –a –long.

The Facebook group is private and SWM will moderate the members and content to ensure it is a safe online environment for everyone involved. If you don’t use Facebook but would like to join in the Zumba or sing-a-long they can send you the link to the zoom session.

Email Emma: for the details.

Barnardo's Short Breaks Activity Books

Have a look at the activity books designed by the Barnardo's short breaks staff based on the activities they do with young people in the clubs:-



Space Activity Pack

Activity Pack 4 from Barnardo’s: [Let's Get Messy]

Home Learning Resource Pack

ONLINE Music workshops for children with SEND - English Touring Opera

The English Touring Opera (ETO) have recently started Inclusive weekly music workshops for children with SEND led by Bradley - English Touring Opera's Head of Learning & Participation. The first session aired on 29th April (link to past session – [HERE]) and will run at 11.00am every Wednesday. There has been an overwhelmingly positive response. Here are some comments from parents:

"He really loved all of it. It was great that there were ways of joining in that didn’t just involve singing. He was really keen to join in with the singing"

"The session went really well, it was easy to follow and the concept was well planned and carried out."

"it was noticeable how he responded particularly well to the voice of the presentation at the start, and continued to be excited and engaged"

Watch past and future workshops [HERE]

Here are the links to the live sessions (Wednesdays 11am) on the following dates:
13th May 2020 –
20th May 2020 –
27th May 2020 –
3rd June 2020 –

Head2Head Inclusive Theatre Group - Interactive performance of “Come Trot to Camelot”

As Head2Head cannot tour with their latest production of 'Come Trot to Camelot', they have been working hard to come up with some new ways to entertain you during the coming weeks:

On [Twitter] they have jokes, snippets of rehearsals ... with Makaton signing and captions.

Facebook videos: [HERE]
If you click 'Following' after you have viewed the video, you will automatically be linked to all their other videos.

On [YouTube] they are offering some other fun activities with craft and baking ideas that you can try out at home.

Shortly they will launch an interactive version of their latest production, 'Come Trot to Camelot'. Due to social distancing and as a temporary measure, this will be filmed in the home of two of their actors. It will be a lot of fun as you can have a treasure hunt around your home for items that you can use as props when watching the video to make it really interactive. Once social distancing is lifted they will film the full production with three actors and a professional videographer.

Activity Ideas for Children with SEND

Veryan Cranston is an experienced Special Needs Teacher and has kindly put the attached information together for any parent carers wanting some ideas on fun and cheap activities to try at home, including free apps! Click here to take a look.

Veryan is also happy to offer support and advice over the phone. If you would like to make contact please call/text Veryan on 07769 228572.

Home bucket activity

See Gina Davies doing a simple bucket type activity for home - [click here] to view.

Here are some other ideas to go with it:

  • Anything you can spin (plates, balls, saucepan lids)
  • Anything that flashes (torch, running lights)
  • Things that turn on and off (an old phone that you can set different alarm sounds on, electric toothbrush, toys belonging to big brothers and sisters (as children can look but not touch)
  • Old leftovers from Christmas/birthdays(party poppers, a balloon, crackers, birthday candles to light and blow out)
  • Small electric fans, Hand fans or even a newspaper that you can flap to make a breeze
  • Things that make a good noise (drop rice/pasta etc into a saucepan, jangly keys, a stiff brush that makes a noise when you brush it on carpet, a bike bell or horn,)
  • Things you can drop with good effect (flour sprinkling through a sieve, a floaty
  • Scarf, spoons onto a baking tray)

Other resources/ activities for young people with SEND

[BBC Newsround]: helpful information for children about the coronavirus, including explainer videos. They also have a 'happy news' section to brighten the day

[Childline] has a 'calm zone', with videos, activities, games, and calming activities to help children who are worried about anything

[Calibre Audio Library]: UK charity that lends audio books and streams books online for anyone who struggles to access print, including children.

[Living Paintings (UK)]: Free postal library supporting blind and partially sighted adults, children and young people. They make tactile versions of pictures that come to life when fingers feel them.

[BBC CBeebies for special needs]: Resources and help for children with additional needs from the BBC, including Mr Tumble!

[ITV Signed Stories]: Signed Stories help improve the literacy of deaf children from infancy upwards. The website also provides useful advice and guidance for parents, carers and teachers of deaf children, and for the deaf parents of hearing children.

Twinkl has lots resources and ideas to stimulate and entertain children of primary school age. And the [Twinkl SEND resources] are worth checking out for fun stuff to do at home.

[Singing Hands on YouTube] has videos of songs signed in Makaton. And they will be doing live sessions on YouTube at 10.30am.

Bumble bee physio London are doing live physio for children who are wheelchair users at 10am on their [Facebook page].

[David Walliams] is releasing a free audio story every day for 30 days!

[Storyline Online], streams videos featuring celebrated actors reading children's books alongside creative illustrations.

If your children are into animals and the natural world, [National Geographic Kids] on You Tube has lots of fantastic, interactive videos.

[Khan Academy Kids] is an educational app for children aged two to seven. Animated characters guide children through educational materials. It's an American app but lots of relevant activities.

And here is an [article with tips for games and activities] to do with children with special educational needs, that are not screen based - many of them indoors.

Summer Reading Challenge

Wiltshire libraries won’t be able to run the regular Summer Reading Challenge in libraries this year but the Reading Agency (who manage the challenge nationally) have created a digital version as an alternative. The theme for the digital challenge will be ‘Silly Squad’ and it will launch on Friday 5th June.

The digital challenge platform will include a safe sign-up process, a personal profile area where children can set reading goals, review books, view book recommendations and access guides to e-lending. There will also be a forum to chat to friends, play games, download and print activities, as well as family activities with rewards and unlockable content to keep children and families engaged throughout the summer months. The platform will be free for children and families to use.

There are plans to buy Silly Squad medals to give to children who complete the online challenge, which will hopefully be available from the autumn subject to availability. The service has lots of children’s eBooks and will be buying more over the next few weeks for those who may have difficulty accessing books. They will also be offering online activities throughout the summer to link into the challenge via their Facebook, Twitter and Youtube channels. Click [READING CHALLENGE] to find out more.

9am PE Lessons with Joe Wicks

Catch up on this week's online [PE lessons] with Joe Wicks. You can access the recordings at any time.

Free Les Mills Workouts

Thanks to Five Rivers Health & Wellbeing Centre, you can access free workout videos by [Les Mills]. The videos also include yoga, breathing and mindfulness for those seeking some tranquillity and ‘Born to Move’ children’s workouts for 4-16 year olds.

Thrive activities

Here are some creative activities that you can use with your child to support their emotional development at home. Play releases lots of feel good chemicals that help us feel calm, steady and connected. If possible, look to do these activities for as much as 20 minutes or more each day.

Thrive activities for children

Message and activity resources from Aiming High, Swindon

Good afternoon,

In light of the current outbreak of Covid-19, we will not be issuing the Aiming High Spring Newsletter as it stands. Since collating the information, many of the planned activities and events have since been cancelled or postponed until further notice. As you will know, the picture is changing every day, however we are currently seeking the latest information and will send an email with any updates.

Please see the Social Distancing Timetable from Active & Inclusive Swindon. This timetable is a little bit different, it offers activities for the 7 days of the week but offers suggestions for activities outside of physical activity.

Kind regards,
Kylie Cohen, Inclusion & Outreach Officer

(This timetable supports the ‘5 ways to wellbeing’ by using activities that look after your mental wellbeing at what might be an anxious or lonely time. We will be staying active, learning new things, connecting with nature, ourselves and others, giving our time to others and taking notice of how we are feeling.)

Free Online Maths Test Games

Maths Chase are offering their online maths test games free of charge. Maths Chase have a number of tests in game format suitable for year groups from Reception to Year 4. Find out more by visiting the [Chase website].

Lots more learning resources and things to do!

[Blockly] - Learn computer programming skills – fun and free.

[Scratch] - Creative computer programming.

[Ted Ed] - All sorts of engaging educational videos.

[Duolingo] - Learn languages for free. Web or app.

[Mystery Science] - Free science lessons.

[The Kids Should See This] - Wide range of cool educational videos.

[Crest Awards] - Science awards you can complete from home.

[Paw Print Badges] - Free challenge packs and other downloads. Many activities can be completed indoors. Badges cost but are optional.

[Tinkercad] - All kinds of making.

[Cbeebies Radio] - Listening activities for the younger ones.

[The Artful Parent] Facebook page - Free art activities.

[Red Red Art] - Easy arts and crafts for little ones.

[The Imagination Tree] - Creative art and craft activities for the very youngest.

[Toy Theatre] - Educational online games.

[DK Find Out] - Activities and quizzes.

Online Computer Skills Activities for Children

Earth Games are now offering free live-streamed lessons every Friday morning during this home learning period. Whilst they do not offer specific SEND support their resources for the Hedgehog game in particular are in a variety of formats (slideshows, videos and live-streamed lessons) so students can access it in the best way for them.

They have two learning opportunities this term both starting on Thurs May 7th, then every Friday from the following week:

  • The Hedgehog Game - this covers almost all of the primary computing curriculum for KS2 through creating a game in the block based programming language Scratch. Free slideshow tutorials, videos and live-stream lessons. Aimed at 8-11 yrs old.
  • The Insect Game Competition - this is a competition, in association with the charity Buglife, to create a board game or game in Scratch. Aimed at 6-11 yrs with live-streamed lessons and resources to support the creation of the students projects. Excellent prizes including trail cameras, bug houses, trips to London.

More details are on their website [HERE]

Chatter Pack - Online Resources While You Stay at Home

[Chatter Pack] have compiled a list of resources from virtual tours of museums to free concerts to maths tests to health and wellbeing guides and much more. A bit of a one-stop-shop to dip into when you need some inspiration.

Scouts - The Great Indoors

As the experts in developing skills and bringing adventure to young people, the Scouts want to do what they can to help.

While they normally love the great outdoors, they’ve pulled together some inspired indoor activity ideas. Keep your kids learning new skills and having fun (and avoid hearing ‘I’m bored’ every 30 seconds) all in #TheGreatIndoor -

Interactive Road Safety Modules for 11-18 year olds

Dorset & Wiltshire Fire and Rescue Service have now released all four modules of their interactive road safety workbooks for students’ home-learning during the coronavirus pandemic.

As the Road Safety Team have been unable to deliver their usual programmes in schools due to social distancing, they’ve created interactive workbooks about road safety during and after the Covid-19 pandemic for Key Stages 3, 4 & 5). The modules are vibrant and engaging, with various forms of media to include public health messages, activities, assignments, and quizzes, as well as exercises to help mental health and promote interaction with family members. Each module covers a different topic – essential travel, drivers, pedestrians and using two-wheelers.

Road safety manager Christine Sharma said: “The modules have been created for 11–18-year olds to complete at home, with the aim of encouraging them to consider the impact of risky road behaviours on the community and, of course our NHS. We also signpost for other issues like mental health and other safeguarding concerns which may be affecting families at home. We’re thrilled with how successful the workbook has been so far, with numerous educational professionals having downloaded the modules nationally. The fourth and final module was released on Monday 11 May and we hope to see this success continue.”

By completing the course, students will have a better understanding of what essential travel means and why it is important; what could distract road users in the current climate and how they can help; social distancing and the impact this is having on the use of roads; and finally, protecting the NHS and other emergency services.

The workbook is a free resource, aimed at KS3, KS4 and KS5. The modules are aligned with the PSHE curriculum, encompassing elements from Health & Wellbeing, Relationships and Living in the Wider World.

The workbook can be found [Here] and can be used by anyone.

Free Book Explaining the Coronavirus to Children – illustrated by the illustrator of the Gruffalo

A free information book to help explain the coronavirus to children, illustrated by Gruffalo illustrator Axel Scheffler, was released on 6th April.

Axel Scheffler has illustrated a digital book for primary school age children, which is free for anyone to read on screen or print out, about the coronavirus and the measures taken to control it. The book has been published by Nosy Crow, and written by staff within the company, the book has had expert input: Professor Graham Medley of the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine acted as a consultant, and the company also had advice from two head teachers and a child psychologist.

The book answers key questions in simple language appropriate for 5 to 9 year olds: -

• What is the coronavirus?
• How do you catch the coronavirus?
• What happens if you catch the coronavirus?
• Why are people worried about catching the coronavirus?
• Is there a cure for the coronavirus?
• Why are some places we normally go to closed?
• What can I do to help?
• What’s going to happen next?

Simply click [BOOK] to access it.

Corona Virus Social Story

Social Stories are a social learning tools that supports the safe and meaningful exchange of information between parents, professionals, and people with autism of all ages.

Take a look at the below Corona Virus Social Story by The Autism Educator which may be helpful to children with Autism but also other children with hidden disabilities such as ADHD/Speech and Language Difficulties: [Social Story - Corona Virus]

Corona Virus Stories by ELSA Support

Take a look at the below two stories to share with your children. They are from the [ELSA Support] website which has a wealth of information and resources for parents and schools:

[Corona Virus - Children's Story]

[Story - Why is my school closed?]

A Social Story - Pandemics and the Coronavirus

A social story that you might find useful - social story

Free Online Autism Course

The University of Bath is offering a free online autism course for parents and professionals. The course will run for four weeks, starting on Monday 30th March, and will benefit parent carers and educators working with children and young people with a diagnosis of autism. The first online course begins with a forum for people to share tips with each other on being at home with a child or young person with autism.

[Click here] to find out more.

Spectrum Live - The Coronavirus Series

Many autistic people and their families have concerns about the current situation with coronavirus also known as COVID-19.

The National Autistic Society (NAS) are pleased to announce a series of Spectrum Live Episodes which will be pre-recorded and hosted on their Facebook page.

Take a look to find out how it works and how you can join in: [Spectrum Live]

Top Tips for Families and Adults from the National Autistic Society (NAS)

This unprecedented period of change and disruption is very difficult for many autistic people and families. NAS have created some tips that they hope will help you. Remember it’s not forever and there are lots of things you can do that may make things easier: [NAS Top Tips]

Please also see the poster I Can Control

Autism Tips

Helen Eaton is a parent of a child with autism and delivers leadership and management training, as well as writing books to help the understanding of autism.

Helen has recorded her first podcast about Autism and you can listen to it on her [website]. Helen says: “It was an 'interesting experience' making, as I'm no tech genius or voice artist! I hope you find it useful, I will be releasing more very soon, and please do share them with friends and family.

These are difficult times for everyone, and autistic adults and children may find their anxiety levels are much higher than usual. Helen offers a few suggestions which may help: -

  • Recognise that you are feeling anxious. It may be making you more irritable, sad, impatient and lots of other unhelpful emotions!
  • Fill your 'anxiety time' with an activity. Focus your mind on doing or making something and then there is less time and head space to worry.
  • Share your worries so that others understand how you're feeling. You might want them to help find some answers or to simply listen.
  • Think about what you can control. You can't control Covid-19, but you can control things such as how comfortable you, staying hydrated, the TV shows you watch and the news you read.
  • Recognise that nobody has all of the answers yet, and worrying about the unknown is a less constructive use of your time than looking after yourself.
  • Every day recognise people and things that you're grateful for.

MENCAP TV Launches

On Monday 13th April 2020, MENCAP launched its own TV YouTube Channel with fun and helpful videos for anyone with a learning disability. The channel aims to connect people to a range of videos for people with a learning disability, by people with a learning disability.

Watch: [Introduction and Launch of MENCAP TV]

Watch: [Keep Moving with Andrew] - a fun and simple exercise routine from the amazing Andrew Self.

Watch: [The Perfect Tuna Sandwich] - watch and follow Harry's simple step by step guide on how to make a tuna sandwich.

Beating the Coronavirus – Support to Help Young Adults with Learning Disabilities

Books Beyond Words have produced some short wordless stories to help people to understand what to do if they have Coronavirus and how to keep themselves and others safe. The stories also show how to safely help others who may be self-isolating, and explain social distancing, lockdown, and support with mental health and daily routines suggestions. Supplementary text at the end of the stories give information on where people can seek help if they are unwell, and signposts to other useful resources.

There are several titles available on the Books Beyond Words website including:

[Beating the Virus] and [Good Days and Bad Days During Lockdown]

All titles are FREE to download from the Books Beyond Website, and a free video of the Beating the Virus book is [available on YouTube here].

AutonoMe app - FREE support for anyone with a Learning Disability

In response to the recent escalation of our Government’s Coronavirus strategy and the challenging months ahead there is now a FREE version of AutonoMe available to any person with a Learning Disability in the UK, 14 years old or older.

[AutonoMe] will provide, through their App, free access to their online library of instructional videos and reminders to anyone with learning disabilities. All of their videos demonstrate skills for independent living and fall into 4 categories; cooking, cleaning, personal hygiene, safety and security including how to properly wash your hands. They are available 24/7 and work across iOS and Android smart devices.

Access to AutonoMe can support people with learning disabilities and their carers through the Coronavirus Pandemic. Please follow the link to find out more: [AutonoMe]

Learning Disability England - National resources that might help

Learning Disability England has produced a comprehensive list of online resources that might help during the Coronavirus pandemic. Some of the information includes: -
• A webpage for people and families to help share useful links, practical tips and ideas, including information about what people who manage their direct payments have put in place for themselves and their PAs.
• Photosymbols: a new website just for Coronavirus information called Keep Safe with lots of useful resources.
• Resources for any families who are trying to home educate through the Coronavirus outbreak, including useful multi-media resources for anyone about Covid19.
• Guidance that has been given to GPs about how to support their most ‘at risk’ patients.
• Advice around supporting people with sensory loss, learning disability and autism.
• A ‘Coping Calendar’.

And lots, lots more. Visit: [Learning Disability England’s website].