From colouring to crafts, painting to producing movies – fun-loving youngsters from across the north-east have been keeping busy at home in inventive ways.
Since schools closed on March 20 due to the coronavirus pandemic, children have been finding ever more inventive ways of showing off their talent and learning new skills – with the help of their resourceful parents.
Evening Express readers from across the north-east have been getting in touch in their droves to share what they have been up to – and here are just some of their productive pastimes.
Dawn Howell, of Donside Village, Tillydrone, has been keeping her two youngest children entertained by helping them shoot their own Lego-themed movie.
Sisters Darcy, five, and Layla, 10, teamed up to create their own Lego film set and used their iPads to act out a scene.
Mum-of-four Dawn, 37, said: “They’ve been doing really well – I actually think the kids have adjusted to being at home better than I have. They have been doing so many creative things and focusing on a good mix of schoolwork and fun things.
“It helps that I used to be a childminder so finding stimulating activities comes naturally.”
She said her oldest children, Caleb, 16, and Deacon, 13, have been studying hard and she has been sharing activity ideas with other parents.
“They have all been doing so well. Next week will be Easter so they would have been on break in normal circumstances and it will be nice to have that break still,” added Dawn.
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Gordon Meldrum, of Inverbervie, said his boys – Logan, eight, and Rory, four – have been enjoying the great outdoors in the family garden.
“When the weather is good we are outdoors as much as possible. We are lucky to have a garden that spans right round the house so both boys get good use of it,” he said.
The 32-year-old added: “Except from trying to get a little schoolwork out of them, we have been trying to amuse them in other ways.
“We had a campfire in the garden and had toasted marshmallows.
“There are so many activities and jobs in the garden to keep them busy just now. We also have our seven-month-old pup Boomer who we get to take out for a walk.”
Julie-Ann Henderson said she has been teaching her nine-year-old daughter Olivia to be green-fingered.
She said: “Olivia has Down Syndrome so we have limited options but she needs occupying more than other children her age.
“When the weather was dry she worked in the garden with me.
“While inside, we have started making papier-mache bowls to give as thank-you gifts to those who have helped us stay isolated for the past three weeks.”
Meanwhile, Laurencekirk siblings Callan and Eilidh Forbes – aged nine and seven – have been getting crafty, building their own theme park out of household items.
Their mum Elise said: “We made a plan and a map and then they set about designing and building a rollercoaster model.
“It is made out of bamboo, cardboard from toilet rolls and glue – they did really well.
“Apart from that, they have been getting lots of exercise in the garden and I got them to do their times table while playing Jenga. They are still doing a lot of schoolwork.
“From my point of view, it’s nice to see more of them; usually they come back from school and just want to play on their computers but now they are wanting to be more active at home.”