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Learning Activities

Activity ideas and inspiration to help families learn anywhere.

Activities you can do at home

Looking for things to do? On this page you'll find an ever-growing list of fun activity ideas to help stave off boredom and fuel your learning at home! We'll be adding to this list every single weekday with a new Challenge of the Day. And every Friday, you'll find a new Family Learning Challenge packed with even more activities for you to enjoy.

Find the full range of Children's University downloadable activity sheets here.

If you have an Aspire account, you can collect credits for the activities you complete. Don't forget to share your challenges online with us and your school community (instructions can be found at the bottom of the page).

CotD 10

Challenge of the Day #11 - Laser Maze

Use pieces of paper or string (separate pieces) and stick them across a hallway. These are lasers, protecting a special object! Now use your superhero (or super villain) skills to sneak through and reach the object on the other side without setting off your paper lasers.  We’d love to hear what you thought of this Challenge of the Day! If you’d like to share what you’ve been doing for Challenge of the Day with the Children’s University Scotland team, ask an adult to get in touch with us. You could share words, pictures, a video or a voice recording.

You can reach us by:

Email: contactus@childrensuniversity.scot

Twitter: Tag us @ChildrenUniScot and use the hashtag #CUSChallenge

Facebook: Tag us /ChildrensUniversityScotland and use the hashtag #CUSChallenge

Psst…All families are welcome to use our Challenges of the Day, weekly Family Challenges and our free activity sheets! If you’re a CU Scotland member, don’t forget to head to www.CUS-Aspire.com  where you can collect 1 CU credit for taking part in the Challenge of the Day. 

Family Learning Challenge: Poetry Week

Our series of fun Family Learning Challenges continues!

This week's theme is: Poetry Week! 21st March is World Poetry Day. Discover a love of poetry, rhythm and rhyme with our fab poetry themed activities!

How to take part. Each Family Learning Challenge is a mini themed project packed with fun activities ideas for you to explore together. And at the end, we'll set you a final family challenge that you can complete and submit to Children's University and to your school community online to share your amazing work.

If you are a member of Children's University, you can collect 2 credits for completing the final family challenge and submitting it to us. Log the activity on Aspire to claim your credits! (Search for 'Family Learning Challenge'.)

Download

CotD 10

Challenge of the Day #10 - Science in a Spin

Fancy trying something a bit different? Try making these cool paper spinners and see how science works in action, with this fun worksheet from our friends at Primary Science Teaching Trust (PSTT) and Science Sparks!

You will need:

  • paper
  • paper clips
  • scissors
  • a few different types of paper or card

Follow the instructions in the worksheet to make your spinner. You can download it by clicking this link: pstt.org.uk/application/files/7415/8577/0703/2._Spinner.pdf

How many of the questions below can you answer?

What happens when you let the spinner go? Can you slow the spinner down? How? What happens if you use different sorts of paper? Does tissue paper fall fast or slower than cardboard? What happens when you make the wings longer or shorter? What if you make a giant one? A tiny one?

There are two spinner designs to try on the sheet, one for indoors and one for outdoors. If you want to challenge yourself, try making both of them!

Read about the amazing science of the paper spinners on the worksheet. Can you learn it off by heart and teach it to someone else without looking at the sheet?

 

If you're a CU member in Scotland, you can claim 1 credit for completing this activity. Head to Aspire and search for 'Challenge of the Day' to claim your credit.

 

Challenge of the Day #9 - 20 Second Songs

We've all heard lots recently about how important it is to wash your hands. Did you know, it should take 15 - 30 seconds to wash your hands properly?

Write a 20-second song to sing or hum while you wash your hands, to help you have fun while you stay healthy. How can you make your handwashing anthem fun and memorable? Perhaps the lyrics will be all about why it's so important to wash your hands, or maybe they're totally silly and fun! Don't forget to set a timer while you practice your song to make sure it's 20 - 30 seconds long.

Why not teach it to others at home or friends or family living elsewhere through a phone call or video call? 

Have you completed your masterpiece and feeling really proud? Why not record it and ask an adult at home to share the recording with CU Scotland? We'd love to hear it!

Check out this helpful poster made by the NHS, which shows how to wash your hands properly: www.nipcm.hps.scot.nhs.uk/appendices/appendix-1-best-practice-how-to-hand-wash/

 

If you're a CU member in Scotland, you can claim 1 credit for completing this activity. Head to Aspire and search for 'Challenge of the Day' to claim your credit

 

 

Challenge of the Day #8 - Triumph Through History

During the time of the ancient Roman Republic and Roman Empire (509BC - 476AD) a triumph was a huge celebration held in the ancient city of Rome to celebrate a great victory. There would be a parade through the city, music, plays and poetry recitals and religious ceremonies celebrating the success of Rome.

Recreate a mini Roman triumph parade at home! Play the role of a victorious Roman leader who wants to celebrate your success with your city's subjects. You could even make a toga and a Roman headdress!

Starting at the city gates (or your front door), plan a route through your home stopping by some famous ancient Roman sites. Perhaps you'll recite a poem about your victory at the Colosseum, pay tribute at the Pantheon temple, or address your subjects on the banks of the Tiber. You'll need to plan your route and decide which areas of your home represent the landmarks you will visit as part of your parade. Finish your triumph with a rousing victory speech at the Senate building. Get your family involved, maybe they want to perform songs, plays or poems too!

Want to learn more about the ancient civilisation of Rome? Check out these links to help you learn more at home!

www.bbc.co.uk/bitesize/topics/zwmpfg8/articles/z2sm6sg

www.historyforkids.net/ancient-rome.html

Many libraries offer access to ebooks and audiobooks from home. This link will help you find out if you can access these resources online: www.gov.uk/search-library-catalogue

If you're a CU member in Scotland, you can claim 1 credit for completing this activity. Head to Aspire and search for 'Challenge of the Day' to claim your credit.

 

 

Challenge of the Day #7 - A Message to Future You

We want you to write or draw a message to yourself in the future, and describe what your life is like now.

Write or draw something about what you did today and how you're feeling. How is life different now while we're spending more time indoors? Have you noticed anything that hasn't changed much, or found a different way to do something that helped things feel 'normal'? 

Is there anything you're enjoying about spending more time at home? Are you finding something challenging or difficult? 

If it brings up some difficult feelings, it might be helpful to talk to someone you trust about it.

Fold up your message in an envelope and store it somewhere safe. Then, set a reminder for yourself to open it in a year's time. 

If you're a CU member in Scotland, you can claim 1 credit for completing this activity. Head to Aspire and search for 'Challenge of the Day' to claim your credit.

 

 

Challenge of the Day #6 - Host your own exercise class

Today's challenge is all about showing off your enterprise skills and staying active at home.

Have you been feeling inspired by Joe Wicks' online P.E. classes? We challenge you to plan your own exercise routine to do in your home or garden.

Step 1: Plan it Ask yourself these questions. You might want to write down your answers to help you plan:

Where will your class happen? How much space do you have? How many people might take part at home? Do you need to gather any equipment? How can you make sure objects in the room are safe from damage? How long will your class be?

Who will be taking part? Are you doing your class for yourself, or leading the class for other people at home (or even over video call for friends or family living somewhere else)? Do you or they have any special requirements (e.g. your friend who does Joe Wicks' workouts every day might be more confident trying the exercises than a friend who has never tried them before)? How can you make your class suitable and enjoyable for you and any others taking part? 

How will you share it? Are you doing your class live from your home or garden? Maybe you'll livestream your workout by video call to a friend or family member? Write it down or draw it and send it? You could even record your voice, speaking the instructions for others to listen. Think about what works best for you and your audience. 

Step 2: Design your class

Now, spend some time designing your exercise routine. Try to build in something that makes YOUR class unique. Maybe you wear a silly costume to make others laugh while they exercise, build in some moves from your dance, gymnastics or football club, or perform your routine as a made-up character. 

Step 3: Share it

Share your amazingly unique class with your chosen audience however you like. Well done! Now you've planned, created and performed your very own exercise class. If you asked others to join in, why not ask them for some helpful feedback? Find out what they enjoyed most about your routine, and if they have any helpful suggestions.

If you're a CU member in Scotland, you can claim 1 credit for completing this activity. Head to Aspire and search for 'Challenge of the Day' to claim your credit.

Family Learning Challenge: Autism Awareness Week

Looking for fun activities to keep you busy while schools are closed? Look no further! Check out this week's Family Learning Challenge...

This week's theme is: Autism Awareness Week! Develop your understanding of what it means to live with autism. With our activities you will explore your own special interests and talents, and learn to appreciate what makes us all special and unique.

How to take part. Each Family Learning Challenge is a mini themed project packed with fun activities ideas for you to explore together. And at the end, we'll set you a final family challenge that you can complete and submit to Children's University and to your school community online to share your amazing work.

If you are a member of Children's University, you can collect 2 credits for completing the final family challenge and submitting it to us. Log the activity on Aspire to claim your credits! (Search for 'Family Learning Challenge'.)

Download

Challenge of the Day #5

Challenge of the Day #5 - Feed the Birds

Today's challenge is about bringing nature to your windows so that you can enjoy the outdoors from indoors. 

Design a bird feeder that is suitable for the area where you live. Sounds easy? Well, there's plenty to consider, including the types of birds in the area, the food they need, how high and how far they fly, how far from the ground they eat, and even if you need to keep the feeder away from other predators. Draw and label your design showing the materials you need to build it and the food you would add to bring nature close to your home. Keep a copy in case your teacher asks to see your design.

If you'd like to take things further, why not try to build your bird feeder over the weekend as a bigger project?

If you're a CU member in Scotland, you can claim 1 credit for completing this activity. Head to Aspire and search for 'Challenge of the Day' to claim your credit.

Challenge of the Day #4

Challenge of the Day #4 - The Relaxation Zone

Sharing a home with other people isn’t always easy. Different people need different amounts of time and space to be alone in order to stay healthy. Talk with people in your home about when and why you all might benefit from time out from each other even though you may all be at home. Agree on a plan so that people in your home try to respect each other’s need for space and quiet time as much as possible. If it’s helpful, you could prepare a comfy chillout zone or make a sign to put up when you need some space. If your first set of ideas don’t work the way you expected, it’s ok to talk about them some more or change things round. This is a great way for us to support each other to stay healthy and happy.

If you're a CU member in Scotland, you can claim 1 credit for completing this activity. Head to Aspire and search for 'Challenge of the Day' to claim your credit.

Challenge of the Day #3

Challenge of the Day #3 - National Intergenerational Week

Although you may not have heard about it, this week is National Intergenerational Week, and encourages people from different generations to interact and inspire each other. We can’t talk in person with friends and neighbours right now, but it’s still a great opportunity for young and old to find new ways to connect with each other. If you know an older person who may enjoy some social contact, send them a message! If they use technology, write a text or email to say hi. You could write a postcard and take a photo to send as an email attachment. If you have a neighbour or older friend across the street, why not create a poster or window display to bring a smile while continuing with social distancing. Of course, encourage them to write back if they can! It's a tough challenge, but a great way for communities to stick together.

If you can think of an even more inventive way to stay in contact with people, please let us know! We'd love to share your ideas with others and you may even help other communities to stay connected in this unusual situation.

If you're a CU member in Scotland, you can claim 1 credit for completing this activity. Head to Aspire and search for 'Challenge of the Day' to claim your credit.

Missed any CU Scotland challenges of the day? Don't worry! We'll keep adding to the full list on this page. 

To see the past challenges, just scroll down 

Challenge of the Day #2

Challenge of the Day #2 - Shadow Puppet Show

 

Ever made a rabbit or butterfly shadow with your hands? Great! How about taking your art a step further? Create a setting or stage for a spectacular shadow puppet production to entertain others at home or just yourself. You could draw or sculpt patterns, design a landscape or make a set on the floor or wall for an amazing backdrop for your scene. Experiment with shapes and gestures to make your shadow puppets move around the stage. If you run out of natural light from outside you can always use a lamp or torch to continue your performance. Perhaps the changing light is part of the story…

If you're a CU member in Scotland, you can claim 1 credit for completing this activity. Head to Aspire and search for 'Challenge of the Day' to claim your credit.

Challenge of the Day #1

Challenge of the Day #1 - Every Drop Counts

Today’s theme is: World Meteorological Day!

World Meteorological Day is a day to think about issues relating to water and natural resources. Water is a precious resource: every drop counts! The UN says that the minimum amount of water a person needs every day is 4 litres. But how much water do we actually use in a normal day?

Your challenge is to measure ALL the water you use in a single day (tip: including drinks, washing hands, preparing food, brushing teeth, doing laundry etc.). Before you start, how much water do you think you’ll use? After 24 hours, work out the total amount of water used. How does it compare with your estimate? Finally, what can you do at home to make sure water isn't wasted?

If you're a CU member in Scotland, you can claim 1 credit for completing this activity. Head to Aspire and search for 'Challenge of the Day' to claim your credit.

Share your completed challenges

Share your work

 

Don't forget to share your completed challenges with our online community! This will keep us all connected and help others to be inspired by the challenges you have completed at home.

You can submit your challenge entry in the following ways. Make sure you ask an adult for help, and please include your name and age if you are happy to do so.