Everyone who knows anything about education seems to now be running a livestream from their room, and the explosion of home-schooling resources can be enough to send a busy parent into lockdown meltdown. That's why we've created a check-list of some of the books and sites that could help. It’s not all about BBC Bitesize and the Khan Academy – it can be all the more fun when you go a little off the beaten path.

Good Ideas by Michael Rosen

Michael Rosen’s Good Ideas: How To Be Your Child’s (And Your Own) Best Teacher was published back in 2014 but feels as if it was made for lockdown, particularly that section where it tells you how to get learning experiences out of almost every room in your home, from the bathroom to the kitchen, as well as all the pests that might be living in them – moths, spiders, mice, beetles and the like. Those parents who aren’t juggling work with schooling and have the energy to think will get the most out of it. But even for frazzled folk like me it's worth harnessing a bit of magic from the man whose videos frequently have my kids in stitches. The ten commandments at the start of his book might be useful to any family in terms of sheer quarantine survival. It also says a lot that his very first chapter is titled Talk, and calls on the need to “make times when we just talk”. Sad to see that at time of writing, following his Covid-19 infection, he was still not tweeting again. Get well, Michael.

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Marley’s School Of Garden Magic

You don’t actually have to be lucky enough to have access to a garden or allotment to be drawn to Marley the Botanic Garden’s cat’s world of curiosities. You can use his inspiration even on your daily visits for exercise at a local park. Marley, the black cat who really does live at the Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh is an online guide to the wonders of dandelions – flower form and function – as well as snails. The site has a fully interactive guide to the lifecycle and survival of these everyday molluscs. Older kids, already into things horticultural, might enjoy the garden’s Plants Fight Back guide to botanical defences from predators or, for those aged over 13, their Keep Edinburgh Buzzing course about pollinators. These, and Marley, can be found at propagatelearning.rbge.ac.uk.

The Beano

It’s the laughs that are going to get us through this, and the big lure of beano.com is, of course, the jokes and mischief of Dennis the Menace and friends. But, once you’re on the site, there are plenty of activities to keep the children busy: maths, history and geography quizzes, science jokes and puzzles, coding class, and a “stuck at home gym guide”. There are even, for when boredom truly strikes, an array of Dennis-style pranks. Just don’t blame us when your little darling serves you up a cup of gravy tea. Alternatively, you could sit them down to read all your old copies of the Beano. Blam.

Self-isolation Nature Livestreams with Chris Packham and Megan McCubbin

Chris Packham and his step-daughter Megan McCubbin happen to be holed up together at his cottage in the New Forest and their daily 9.30am YouTube show makes for a kind of compulsive lo-fi Springwatch. For any child who is into birds or nature, this is addictive daily viewing, and a great connect to the growing world outside our windows throughout the blooming of spring. There are even regular glimpses of Sid and Nancy his poodles, and the tension of waiting for a peregrine falcon’s eggs to hatch. If your kids enjoy this they might also want to try EarthLivelessons with Lizzie Daly, which streams daily 20-minute talks with inspiring scientists, conservationists and wildlife presenters, including Packham himself. EarthLive is also a good access point into some of the other interesting wildlife vlogs like Steve Backshall’s weekly live Q&A.

James Dyson Foundation challenges

No, the kids don’t have to dismantle the vacuum and put it back together again – though this website does have such a project available for secondary schools. Rather, what's useful in lockdown, is its 44 challenges designed to get your kids’ brains racing and make them think about science. Make an egg fit into a bottle without breaking it, get two ping-pong balls to float in the air from a hairdryer at once, push a wooden skewer through a balloon without popping it, measure the speed of light using chocolate and a microwave oven or construct a Golden Gate Bridge out of spaghetti. And who could resist my favourite, the “build a chair from cardboard, that’s strong enough to support your weight” challenge? So long as the kids don't get you to sit on it... All available at jamesdysonfoundation.co.uk

Ten Pieces by the BBC

The great thing about the BBC’s Ten Pieces, which aims to get children fired up by classical music, is that you don’t need to have an instrument to get caught up in it. Week two of the course, for instance, featured body percussion and storytelling, all taught via an exploration of minimalist Steve Reich’s Music For 18 Musicians. It’s finger-clicking, foot-stamping, endorphin-releasing stuff that could deliver an energising start to the day. If your kids are particularly keen on singing and body action then NYCOS is also running a series of video workshops around cup and other action songs.

Glasgow Science Centre At Home

Every day at 10am the folk at Glasgow Science Centre are delivering a short, and often hugely entertaining, lesson in some aspect of science. From the big laughs and bigger bangs of science educator CJ’s physics and motion experiments to gems like “how to extract DNA from strawberries”, you need look no further for a daily science fix. Follow @GSCAtHome.

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Art Is Where The Home Is

The genius idea conjured up Colchester’s Firstsite gallery was to get a bunch of big-name artists to come up with ideas to inspire youngsters (and adults) to create art at home. The result is two free Art Is Where The Home Is activity packs, including inspiration pages from Antony Gormley, Jeremy Deller, Mark Wallinger and Grayson Perry. Available at firstsite.uk, their projects include Sarah Lucas sewing inspiration, Cornelia Parker’s project to make a rainbow out of objects in different colours from your home and Ilona Sagar’s “eye extender” made out of toilet rolls. 20,000 of these packs were downloaded in just two weeks and the results shared under #artiswherethehomeis. Contemporary art, it seems, is where the hope is.

V&A #DesignBusters

The V&A may be closed but the Dundee design museum is out to inspire children to create by issuing design challenges every week. A cool twist is that not only can you read these challenges online, but you can also ring up to listen to a recorded message that tells you what your mission is. Listen carefully, they only repeat it twice.

The Book of Hopes: Words and Pictures to Comfort, Inspire and Entertain Children in Lockdown

“For the last few weeks, I have been hunting for hope,” writes Katherine Rundell in her introduction to The Book Of Hopes. “One of the places I have been looking in has been books … And I have found that with each book I read, I have felt a little tougher: a little bolder, a little more ready to face the world.” This free downloadable book, a collection of writing and artwork pulled together to help children through the lockdown, began as what she described as “a hope project”, started during the early days of lockdown when she emailed the children’s writers and artists she loved and admired to ask them to write or draw something that would make children “laugh or snort or smile”. Her hope was that the imagination could be “a place of shelter for children in the hard months ahead”. With Lauren Child, Anthony Horowitz, Greg James and Chris Smith, Michael Morpurgo, Liz Pichon, Axel Scheffler, Francesca Simon, Jacqueline Wilson and others all in there, it has something for almost every young reader.