Northern Ireland tourism attractions provide entertaining lessons for all the family to get hands-on and creative
Struggling for ideas to fill your time indoors? Look no further than this exhilarating list from Tourism NI that provides your family with everything you need to fire up young imaginations and escape, all from your own home.
With the May bank holiday seeing many families spend it together at home this year, a number of tourism attractions across Northern Ireland have created an exciting range of alternative ‘lesson plans’ that are guaranteed to help everyone to get creative together and stay busy.
From budding arts enthusiasts, sports fans and promising young chefs to green-fingered little ones or for those with a fascination for science, this is an ideal time to get hands-on at home and try something new. Tourism NI has put together this fun and easy to use guide to the essential list of free educational activities that will be sure to keep both young and old entertained in the days ahead:
- For Budding Scientists
Science at Home – Armagh Observatory & Planetarium
A series of fun, astonishing and safe science experiments have been created by Armagh Observatory and Planetarium, along with quizzes and fascinating blogs. From science in sci-fi movies to revealing what a vampire star is, they have it covered. You can do experiments in your home and check the science behind it all. Like Armagh Observatory & Planetarium on Facebook to follow the series or visit https://youtube.com/user/ArmaghPlanetarium
2. Titanic Enthusiasts
As part of Culture in Quarantine #MuseumFromHome Day, Titanic Belfast launched its very own Multi-Media Guide audio tour online enabling curious listeners to explore the iconic Titanic Belfast building as if they were there, guiding them through the Titanic Experience galleries from the comfort their own home. You can learn fascinating facts and additional information exclusive only to the guide. It will be released in three parts, so there has never been a better time to learn more about shipbuilding in NI from the comfort of your own home. Visit here to explore: https://tour.aiwebservices.com/c/titanic/
3. Young Historians
Armagh’s Navan Centre and Fort bring storytelling to new levels with its Iron Age Celt, Finn, telling ancient tales around the fire associated with the Fort. Young heritage lovers will delight in a new weekly video set to be launched and released each Monday in May alongside a weekly education quiz in conjunction on its Facebook page covering topics from school curriculums including World War II, the Victorians, Vikings and the Celts. For a taster, visit @navancentrefort on Facebook.
4. Get Active While Travelling the World
Usually entertaining kids at sports camps, tournaments or even birthday parties, the coaches at Actisport in County Down are posting regular fun videos to get kids active at home. With a green screen incorporated, hundreds of children have so far travelled the world from their own home, going on exciting adventures whilst enjoying a little exercise and education along the way. Check out Actisport Kids on YouTube for many adventures and activities:
5. Exciting Engineers
Budding designers and engineers can step back in time with Titanic Belfast’s great Activity Packs. This includes a fantastic range of downloadable activities and resources from word searches and worksheets, to maritime-themed craft ideas and experiments to do at home. Make a tin foil boat, or run some scientific experiments with salt water! Activities are suitable for kids aged three and up via www.titanicbelfast.com/learningresources
6. Explorers and Wildlife Spotters
Get a behind-the-scenes peek at life at the zoo! While Belfast Zoo is closed to the public, the animals still need to the cared for and the zoo staff has been busy capturing footage of feeding times, elephant manicures and lots more, to bring the zoo to you. Young David Attenboroughs and wildlife buffs will love the cute videos, pictures and fun updates, which can be found on Belfast Zoo’s Facebook, Instagram and Twitter with #BelfastZooComestoYou.
The creative team at Ulster Museum invite you to join their #PaperTrail each week to create your own masterpiece inspired by its collection of artworks on paper. Grab your pens, pencils, paints and paper and get creative making your own abstract art. Use the hashtag or tag @UlsterMuseum to share your quarantine creations. #MuseumFromHome
8. Musical Maestros
Covering a new album each week, the Ultimate Northern Ireland playlist on Spotify is packed full of NI related music and is a great way for musical maestros to learn about the local music scene, have a little dance or just listen with the family.
9. Passionate Poets
Introduce your children to William Butler Yeats with the Linen Hall Library’s activity plan. Read some of the Irish poet’s work aloud together, then answer some fun questions about their myths and legends. The activity session also includes drawing and creative writing tasks too: www.linenhall.com
10. Young at Art
Big-hearted Northern Ireland artist Aly Harte has been running live daily demonstrations on colour theory on her Youtube channel along with lots of free fun and artistic resources, including ebooks and downloadable printable prints, available from her website, Facebook, Instagram and Twitter. Aly’s wellbeing blog – www.darlingedna.com – also contains lots of tips for coping with lockdown, recipes, guest posts and fitness guidance.
11. Local Literature Buffs
Over the coming weeks the Heaney HomePlace centre will be posting literacy-based activities that kids can enjoy from the comfort of home. Children can immerse in the words of our literary giant and get creative. The latest activity is inspired by Heaney’s poem, ‘Blackberry Picking’, encouraging children to select a plant, research it and create a fact file. To follow the educational activities, visit http://www.seamusheaneyhome.com/
12 Jigsaw Giants
The team at Discover NI has put together a series of fun Northern Ireland themed online jigsaw puzzles. From farm animals, local foods and beautiful landscapes, there is something for everyone to enjoy. Visit https://www.jigsawplanet.com/discoverni to get started!
13. Creative Cooks & Chefs
The creative culinary team behind Northern Ireland’s Mash Direct have created a delicious recipe for Carrot & Parsnip Muffins and invite you to celebrate and share your family creations via Facebook, Twitter or Instagram @mashdirect:
Ingredients: 1x packet of Carrot & Parsnip Mash, 2 eggs, 100g soft brown sugar, 5 tbsp Sunflower oil, 200g self-raising flour and ½ tsp ground cinnamon
Method: 1. Preheat the oven to 190°C. 2. Put muffin cases into a muffin pan. 3. Mix eggs and sugar in a mixing bowl. Beat in the oil. 4. Add the Carrot & Parsnip Mash, cinnamon and flour and 5. Spoon the mixture into the muffin cases and bake for 15 – 20 minutes, until the muffins are firm and golden brown.
To learn more visit discovernorthernireland.com and share your NI inspired activities at home #DiscoverNI