LittleBird’s Lockdown List 28th – 2nd June 2020

It’s hard to keep up with everything that’s become available online. Fear not, we’ve done the hard work for you. 

From building your own LEGO® Life Forms to watching Beauty and the Beast, from exploring the new family learning platform at the Museum of Fundon (London!) to watch the live stream at the Big Cat Sanctuary. 

If you find it useful, please do share this and sign up to the newsletter. We’ll be sending these out every week.


LEGO® Life Forms with the Natural History Museum

The LEGO Group and the Natural History Museum are challenging you to predict what life could look like in other parts of the universe.

On 27 May, they’ll be introducing a new environment, inspired by a real moon or exoplanet in our galaxy.

Use your imagination to build your own LEGO® Life Form that could survive in that environment. You’ll need to think carefully about what adaptations life might need to survive in those conditions. You can use LEGO bricks or any materials you have around the house.

As all scientists do, make sure you share your ideas! Share your life forms with us and tell us how they are adapted. Use #NHMLEGO on Twitter and Instagram, and tag @NHM_Learn and @LEGO_Group on Twitter.

Beauty and the Beast Broadcast by Chichester Festival Theatre (Free until June 19th) 

You may think you know the story of Beauty and the Beast but director Dale Rooks has a few surprises in store in this brand new version adapted from the original fairy tale as they deliver a visually spectacular production.

For ages 7+ 

There’s also some activity packs, word searches and arts and crafts all based around Beauty and the Beast. You will need to submit your address to access the show. And they do ask for donations if possible. 

Makefest at Home with Science and Industry Museum (25th – 29th May) 

Your challenge, if you choose to accept it, is to join in, make something and share photos and videos of your creations. Every day there’s a new challenge – Make it..Move, Make it…Tall, Make it.. Strong, Make it..Fly. 

There’s lots of inspiration, ideas and help on hand. See more here.

Calling all young writers….Join Primary Creative Writing Club 28th May, 1pm – 2pm

If your kids love writing, here is one for them. A FREE Creative Writing Club for 8-11 year olds who are passionate about writing. Join writers and teachers from The Writers’ Block and be guided to new places with your writing.

They’ll be providing fun and inspiration packed activity sheets to complete at home alone or with family. Expect imaginative and interactive exercises to keep your writing flowing. Activity sheets will be released on our Facebook page and at on the following Thursday afternoons this June: 04 | 11 | 18 | 25 June

Live! Big Cat Sanctuary (Fri 29th 11am) 

The Big Cat Sanctuary is going to be bringing a series of Facebook Live streams! Find out all the goings-on at the Sanctuary with insights from their keepers and wonderful cats. The first live stream will take place this Friday at 11am, where the sanctuary’s handsome Sumatran tiger Nias will be the star of the show!

See here to join 

Unicorn Theatre – Free Digital Theatre in partnership with The Guardian (11am, 30th May)

The Unicorn Theatre are running their first entirely digitally created theatre experience, Anansi the Spider Re-spun for ages 3 – 8, streamed in partnership with The Guardian. There are three episodes, which are streaming for free on the Unicorn’s  YouTube channel and on The Guardian’s website. 

Inspired by their 2019 five-star hit show, Anansi the Spider, about the infamous mischief-maker and master spinner of yarns, the Unicorn has adapted these classic West African and Caribbean tales for Unicorn Online. Made with the theatre’s film partner, Illuminations, they’ve creatively responded to the current situation – the cast film themselves in their own homes so that the Unicorn can bring them to yours!

This fun online performance, featuring music, song and humour is an exciting new adventure.

For ages 3- 8 years old. One episode will be released every Saturday at 11am from 30 May, with each available on demand for the following three weeks.

Subscribe to the YouTube Channel here . Plus there’s tons of activities to get stuck into too. 

Museum of Fundon! 

Launched during half term, it’s time to explore the newly named Museum of Fundon. Each week they’ll be releasing new, exciting and easy activities to entertain and educate families of all ages. Each activity is inspired by London’s past or present – and the objects and stories the museum cares for.

With topics such as Explore The Great Fire (for 5-7 year olds) with interactive online games and fun to bring history alive!  Or Uncover Prehistory (for 7-11 year olds) with fun interactive quizzes and maps. Or what about becoming a Puppeteer (for 7+) Choose from Stinky museum card games, costume creations and a Great Fire 1666 minecraft experience too, there’s tons of ideas to explore.

They’ve got fun with digital devices and ideas for without! Check out more here. 

Cheltenham Science Festival @ Home (2nd – 7th June) 

Cheltenham Science Festival will bring together the best scientists, thinkers and writers in live & pre-recorded events, Q&As and workshops all streamed for free via their YouTube channel.

Some of the highlights:

Family Show: The Quantum Mechanical Chocolate Factory Tue 2 Jun 10:00am – 11:00am

Brian Cox and Jeff Forshaw: Blackholes Tue 2 Jun 7:00pm – 8:00pm

Bella Lack Meets Liz Bonnin Wed 3 Jun 6:00pm – 7:00pm

See here The Festival


JK Rowling publishes free new children’s book The Ickabog

JK Rowling has unveiled a new non Harry Potter story called The Ickabog. The story is going to be published in instalments for free. The original story was written over ten years ago for JK Rowling’s own children. However since the lockdown started she felt it would help children during these unsettling times. Read The Ickabog here

There is also The Ickabog Illustration competition open to seven to twelve year olds. Find out how to enter here 

All royalties are going to be donated to help victims of the Coronavirus.

When I grow up video.. From Matilda 

The Royal Shakespeare Company’s production of Matilda The Musical has released a video of some of the current young performers along with Miss Honey (Gina Beck) singing ‘When I Grow Up’ from their homes during theatreland shutdown. Watch it here 

At home…with Penguin 

This is a chance for you to connect with some of our most loved authors in their kitchens, studies and living rooms. In these isolated circumstances, authors will invite you into their homes to share how they’re spending their time, talk about the books they are turning to, and take questions from readers. 

It’s a great chance to connect with great writers and fellow readers including Anthony Horowitz Tim Peake, Marian Keyes and Dolly Alderton. 

Walt Disney Family Museum – Free Drawing Activities

Learn how to make one of the earliest forms of animation – The Thaumatrope (with downloadable guide!). And how to make and draw in a Flip book, there’s tips and techniques on creating shapes, silhouettes, colouring and more from, let’s face it – the masters of animation. 

Hour of Code Activities – Free one hour tutorial on learning code

Try a one-hour tutorial designed for all ages in over 45 languages. Join millions of students and teachers in over 180 countries starting with an Hour of Code.

BBC Arts – Get Creative at Home Activities and Masterclasses 

#Get Creative is a campaign that encourages people to try their hand at something new and creative. This year, the BBC are using the #GetCreativeAtHome campaign to highlight and promote some of the amazing participatory creative activities that are being developed to help people to express themselves creatively during a time of unprecedented change.

Check out their art activities.

Watch a masterclass from likes of  Jools Holland to Paul Smith, Antony Gormley and more. 

Earn Blue Peter badges

The Blue badge is the most iconic badge in the UK! Blue Peter aren’t entirely sure how many have been awarded since launching in 1963, but reckon the number is in the millions.Find out which Blue Peter badge suits you best by taking this quiz or commit to owning all eight. Aimed at kids aged between 6 and 15, badges can take up to 10 weeks to arrive so it’s a great project. Find out how you can own one too here

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