37 ways to keep kids engaged at home

37 Ways to keep kids engaged during this COVID-19 lockdown

During these difficult times across the globe, many kids will be home considering the lockdown of schools – as part of preventing measures to control the spread of Coronavirus – along with offices, businesses, malls, theaters and pretty much any place with large gatherings. Are you thinking of activities for kids at home to keep them engaged?

Here is a list of online resources to help the parents keep kids busy with good stuff. As they tend to learn fast or get bored easily, the large number of options below will help parents to find something that your child likes, and is useful too.

Before we begin the list, here are some free audiobooks for kids – who doesn’t like stories? While the download is in progress, read on…

1. Brain POP

https://www.brainpop.com/

2. Byju’s Learning

https://byjus.com/

Free access to BYJUS learning program until April-end. News link.

3. Curiosity Stream

https://curiositystream.com/

4. Tynker

https://www.tynker.com/

5. Outschool

https://outschool.com/

6. Beast Academy

https://beastacademy.com/

7. Khan Academy

https://www.khanacademy.org/

8. Creative Bug

https://www.creativebug.com/

9. Discovery Education

https://www.discoveryeducation.com/

10. Crash Course Kids on YouTube

https://www.youtube.com/user/crashcoursekids

11. Science Channel on YouTube

https://www.youtube.com/user/ScienceChannel

12. SciShow Kids on YouTube

https://www.youtube.com/user/scishowkids

13. National Geographic Kids

https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCXVCgDuD_QCkI7gTKU7-tpg

14. Free School on YouTube

https://www.youtube.com/user/watchfreeschool

15. GEOgraphy Focus on YouTube

https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC8HYERScBt-e0kV0fpe0asg

16. The Brain Scoop on YouTube

https://www.youtube.com/user/thebrainscoop

17. SciShow on YouTube

https://www.youtube.com/user/scishow

18. Kids Learning Tube on YouTube

https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC7EFWpvc1wYuUwrtZ_BLi9A

19. Geek Gurl Diaries on YouTube

https://www.youtube.com/user/GeekGurlDiaries

20. Mike Likes Science on YouTube

https://www.youtube.com/user/comaniddy

21. Science Max on YouTube

https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCbprhISv-0ReKPPyhf7-Dtw

22. SoulPancake on YouTube

https://www.youtube.com/user/soulpancake

23. Scholastic Learn at Home

https://classroommagazines.scholastic.com/support/learnathome.html
Scholastic has created a free learn-from-home site with 20+ days of learning and activities.

24. Travel + Leisure

https://www.travelandleisure.com/attractions/museums-galleries/museums-with-virtual-tours
These 12 Famous Museums Offer Virtual Tours You Can Take on Your Couch (Video)

25. All-in-one Home School

https://allinonehomeschool.com/
This is the awesome free curriculum; everything from preschool activities to 12th grade is here!

List of thinking games by grade: https://allinonehomeschool.com/thinking/

26. Starfall (Free)

https://www.starfall.com/h/

27. FunBrain (Free)

https://www.funbrain.com/

28. SplashLearn

https://www.splashlearn.com/

29. Storyline Online (Free)

https://www.storylineonline.net/

30. PBS Kids

https://pbskids.org/

31. Highlights Kids

https://www.highlightskids.com/

32. National Geographic Kids

https://kids.nationalgeographic.com/

33. Cool math 4 kids

https://www.coolmath4kids.com/

34. Math Game Time

http://www.mathgametime.com/

35. Seuss Ville

https://www.seussville.com/

36. Turtle Diary

https://www.turtlediary.com/

37. e-learning for kids

https://www.e-learningforkids.org/in/home

Do you have any other resources or activities for kids at home you’d like to append to this list? Share in the comments and will be glad to add them to the article.

I’m a Team Leader alright!

In the last 10+ years many asked me what I did for a living. I proudly told them I was a trainer. Few understood what that meant and many didn’t.

Here is how a typical conversation occurred. I had one recently which gave me an idea to pen this down.

Imagine I bump into someone from my home town when I visit for a festival or a holiday.

After the initial pleasantries are exchanged, well wishers get into the career part of my life.

-So, what are you doing these days?
-I’m a trainer.

-I thought you were a Software Engineer!
-I kinda am. I’m in the IT industry.

(Anything related to IT/ Software Development/ Computers = Software. You have a tag and an ID card. If you have a cab pick and drop you from work, you’re working in a Call Center)

-What’s IT?
-Software. Software, sir. Software.

-Do you work with computers?
-Every [freakin’] day, yes.

-Where do you work?
-Hi-tech city.

(I tell most people I work in Hi-tech city, irrespective of my location. That is where many non-IT people I know relate ‘Software’ industry to.)

-Which company do you work for?
-XYZ.

(XYZ = whatever organization I’m associated with at the time)

-Not Satyam?
-No.

-I was told that Satyam is a very good company?
-Yes.

-You didn’t get a job in Satyam?
-I didn’t apply. I don’t want to work with Satyam.

-I was told all good Software Engineers work in Satyam?
-Umm, well, uh, …

-You were a clever student all through your schooling/ college, right? You passed ‘first class’ all along!
-Well, yeah.

-Then why didn’t you get a job in Satyam?
-As I said, I didn’t approach Satyam for a job!

-Why not? It’s a good company! How about Infosys, Wipro?
-Didn’t apply!

-Oh okay. Those are good companies, you know. Software companies!
-Well, yes.

-So, what do you do?
-Training.

-You ‘take’ training? Or, ‘give’ training?
-Yes, I provide training. I train employees on certain aspects.

-What training?
-Well, there’s technical training, product training, soft skills and much more.

-Like C and C++?
-Not exactly, but yeah, something close.

-So, when will you become a Team Leader?
-What?

-I was told Team Leaders get more money than others.
-Okay.

-So, are you a Team Leader?
-No. I’m a trainer.

-When will you become a Team Leader?
-I won’t. It’s two different streams!

-So, you’re a normal Software Engineer?
-Trainer!!! I provide training to employees and clients!

-Team Leaders have 8-9 people working for them, you know!
-I know!

-Why didn’t you become a Team Leader?
-Apples and Oranges, sir. Apples and Oranges. Both are different streams!

-Do you have any employees working for you?
-Not really! I do have employees attend my training sessions.

-So, you ARE a Team Leader!
-Well, umm, …

-You’ve been working in Hi-tech city for a long time now, aren’t you?
-Well, yeah.

-I was told Software Engineers get promotion after 2 years and become Team Leaders?
-Well, in some organizations, yeah.

-So, you should be a Team Leader now!
-Well, thank you! 🙂

-Good to see you become a Team Leader man! You were this little when I first saw you, remember?
– 🙂

(Most probably, they are indicating with their hand that I was at their knee level or waist level when they say “this little”)

-But I hope you get a job in Satyam! That’s a big company!
-!@#$%^&*()

-Anyway, am still happy that you’re a Team Leader!
-I’m a Team Leader alright!

A treadmill from Facebook

It was television some time ago and now it’s the Internet. It’s making us sit for long durations and is causing harm that we might not even realize immediately. For some, it’s both; TV and Internet.

Sounds like a fair argument, right? You’ve heard this before, multiple times. And you agree too!

If you spend 50% of the time you currently spend on the computer on a treadmill, imagine the benefits! But again, Facebook is fun; email is essential and Internet is useful. We should find a way to access these without getting obese.

I remember a viral status share on Facebook some time ago that made me go ‘wow!’

Here is the summary: “Internet should be integrated with treadmill. It should stay connected only as long as you keep walking. Even better- the download speed should be directly proportional to the jogging speed!”

Now, how soon do you want that latest flick? 😉

I seriously like the idea. You should be rewarded for all the time you spend on Facebook. You should be getting slimmer and fit as you browse through your friends’ pictures. You should be burning out the calories from that birthday cake you had in office, as you watch a recent Bollywood item number on YouTube. If you want to download a movie for leisure Saturday night, you should workout for an hour or so to even get it. Or even longer if you want it in HD! 😀

I like the idea so much that I would like to extend the dream! Seriously! Wouldn’t it be a breakthrough?!

While we run on the treadmill, it should actually generate power. May be to run a laptop. Or at least enough power to charge a mobile phone. As you anyway work hard, why not channel it into something useful? Considering the current design where you use electricity (loss) to get fit (profit), why not generate electricity (profit) while you get fit (profit) and browse through the web (profit and fun!)? Isn’t this what is called a win-win-fun situation?

Imagine the same with other machines. When you want to check your email, you head straight to the workout bicycle (or cross-trainer) and start pedaling. 60 secs and you generate enough power to light up a screen. Pedal for another 60 secs to connect to Internet. You pedal for as long as you want to spend in the Inbox. Would you still open email from unknown sources? And am sure you’ll warn your friends about sending those large attachments then! 😛

We now have program modes on these machines that say Cardio, Fat burn, etc. You would then have modes that might say ‘email’, ‘download’, ‘music’, ‘Facebook’, etc. Oh, and ‘Chat’ too! 🙂

I know it’s not possible, at least in the immediate future, but I’m really excited to even think about it!

If somebody has a design to make this work, can you make one for me, please? 🙂

I hear Facebook is planning to launch a phone. We already have plenty of smart phones in the market. It would be wonderful if they can make this treadmill instead. Many of the Internet users are always on Facebook anyway! 🙂

Hyderabad City needs to Kill Car demand to decrease Traffic Congestion

For traffic solution road widening’s are temporary though we may require in lot of area’s for widened-ed roads, create cycle lanes and Pedestrian Zones.

When it comes to Vehicles on road, We are growing city and vehicular traffic will only double in next 5 years. In that scenario, no road widening will help. What we need is a comprehensive plan. My suggestion incorporates 2 major world cities which decreased car usage.

In London city, the city implemented toll to enter major city areas (excepted for electric cars) that itself made a big difference. For a growing city such as Hyderabad this alone is not sufficient.

In Singapore, city with same population density manages traffic very well. Thats because every year Singapore allows limited amount of cars on city roads for which they have buy 10year Licence board permits and price’s of open Auction and this is only valid for 10years. So every year, if one wants to buy a car they have to spend at-least 50,000$ on Licence boards for 10years. All this money goes to spend on Busses, trains, priority lanes for busses. This makes singapore roads very empty with regular bus services (including Air-conditioned). Still Taxis permits are cheap and readily available. This makes taxi rates lower and comparative to world cities. The argument here is people coming from offices don’t spend 30$ on taxi while the Air-conditioned bus cost 1$. Such a system eliminates large traffic conjession, pollution and sound.

We are not a city state, so we should have Singapore model together with London model on vehicles coming to city. Some road widening’s may require but it is not a long term solution. Long term solution is to kill the demand. All real estate and businesses get advantage with this solution, because lower cars mean lower parking space. Parking space is an important expenditure for houses and offices. Together with this allowing electric cars without such a licence requirements (non polluting still are expensive, limited mileage) , pedestrian and cycle friendly.

We need a transport system which works. That is immediately, our roads need to take more buses later on we have build in much wider scale a metro and sub-urban transit systems together Pedestrian zones and Cycle’s area’s. We have to decrease cars on road by at-least half. And replace existing Motor cycles with cycles or electric power cycles. Then our city can be made beautiful with walkways, clear roads, trees and greenery.

To Zoomin, with love

Dear Zoomin,

Thank you for taking care of all my printing needs for the past year or so. If it weren’t for you, I seriously wouldn’t have printed these many photos, flipbooks, photobooks, photos on coffee mugs etc. May be one or two as gifts, but not these many for fun for sure.

I’ve made use of many offers you rolled out, starting with the initial free 6″X9″ free flipbook, to less than half of regular price 8″X10″ matte/ luminous/ glossy prints, to XX% off on photo mugs etc.

I printed for myself, my family, my friends and my colleagues too.

We even bought a Canon Digital IXUS Camera on Zoomin Online Camera Store. I think a few of the goodies we received with the cam are still valid. (free shipping coupons, etc.)

I even printed a complete set of pictures for a photo exhibition. You sent the shipping a day late, but it eventually worked out anyway.

I’ve also introduced more than a dozen friends to Zoomin and few of them are addicted now. It might be hard to believe for you when I say people call me, ping me on chat and send me email once in a while with questions about zoomin. I only get back when I can, but still.

With this relationship between you and me, I think I can take the liberty of making some recommendations:

  • Affiliate marketing: The referral program you currently have isn’t a proper affiliate. The least you could do is provide a personalized link and track new introductions through that source. It shouldn’t be very hard to implement that. I’m thinking you can penetrate into the market even more with the right affiliate program. You’re doing good now, but I seriously think you can do better.
  • Business cards: I see you have greeting cards too, good. I should try those sometime! Can you also print business cards? I love the way http://uk.moo.com/ or http://us.moo.com/ do this. May be you can start something similar here, um? Take a look at those amazing ideas and designs when you get a minute.
  • Shopping bags: I was discussing about making these few recommendations to you and a friend jumped up at the idea of a shopping bag. Can you print a photo on a shopping bag? Or a collage may be! A paper bag to actually present gifts could be a brilliant idea, don’t you think? It works like a personalized gift wrap. Sounds exciting to me!
  • T-shirts: I see mouse pads, magnets etc as gifts but not T-shirts; one of the very popular personalized printing merchandise. Is dealing with size the concern?
  • Monthly coupons: You promise to reward the spends with points and then convert them into money. I like the fact that this money can be used as a discount in the next order. However, I don’t like the way you convert it (all points, ever month, mandatory) and the duration it is valid for (generating a coupon and expiring in a couple of weeks). I would like more control on when I want to use it and how.
  • moo: Are you both related? Now, there is a difference of color but earlier even the color (along with the layout and template) used to be same. This is not a recommendation point, just curious! 🙂
  • Photo frames: They are too expensive, I think.
  • Offline builder: For some reason it takes me more than a few hours to even design a simple flipbook of 20 pages. I would appreciate the idea of an offline builder. Similar to the desktop photo uploaders you use. We can install the application on PC and use it to design photo products offline. We can upload the resulting ‘project’ when done, for printing. I’ve heard there are applications and vendors that do this. Why not Zoomin?
  • Tracking: It almost never works. Every time I click the link to view status, the resulting site either shows “no info” or “invalid number”. I know your FAQs address this by dropping the ball in vendor’s court, but it would make me comfortable when things work as expected when I branch off a link from your website. Actually, when I contacted FEDEX with my most recent order, they told me they had no clue what I was referring to! 🙂

When I unpacked my recent flipbook, I saw that ‘thank you’ card asking for feedback. So, I thought I’ll send you few of my thoughts.

Now, if you’ll excuse me, am off to prepare the new zig zag mini. As I have to do it online-only, I need more than an hour.

Cya!

Update:

Read the response from ZoomIn here.