Educational resources for lockdown from the Red Cross

Screenshot from Red Cross website

The British Red Cross has a series of free resources for you and your children this spring.

Starting with first aid, kindness and the covid-19 outbreak, they go on to explore the role of the Red Cross in helping people in conflict and disaster situations, and invite young people to discover why humanitarianism is so important.

World Wildlife Fund – things to do at home

More ideas for fun, education, and a dose of the natural world.

The WWF have put together quizzes, articles and craft activities,  for children of all ages!

And, they say, there’s a new nature-identification app, called Seek, available on Android and iPhones  – to make your voyages of discovery, whether in your garden or on your daily walk, a deeper investigation into the natural world.


World Book Night – 23rd April (win a free audiobook!)

Screenshot - World Book Night site

Join the world in reading between 7 and 8pm on Thursday 23rd April.

You could have a special meeting of your book club, recommend your favourite book to your friends and family, read aloud to your children, or just settle down with a book and read or listen…

Lots of resources for World Book Night from The Reading Agency:

And you can sign up there for the chance to win an audiobook download on the 23rd – sign up beforehand for one of 4 audiobooks.

Reading resources for you and your children – The Reading Agency

Screenshot from Reading Agency

The Reading Agency is alive and well and working from home!

Resources for readers, including children, and teachers. They will help you run a book club in lockdown, provide activities to do with your children, and suggest books for every taste and stage of reading prowess.

And, as in the photo above, there’s also a toolkit download of the Agency’s digital resources, and ideas on other sources of useful info.


The Conversation – a useful source of information

The Conversation

is a magazine of short articles written by experts – that is people affiliated to a university, a teaching hospital etc. In order to write, they have to state their affiliation, and disclose any funding or relationship that might affect their views.

They write for free, and they write in large numbers. Some of the most interesting conversations about the science of covid-19, the emotional, economic, political and environmental effects, and how to stay safe and sane – are happening here.

Unsurprisingly, these experts don’t always agree!

But they tend to the sane, thoughtful, and knowledgeable.

At a time when many ‘celebrities’ seem to think their role is to spread the latest gossip/rumour/nonsense, it’s good to listen in on experts sharing knowledge and ideas, changing their minds (!), and learning from each other.

I would say that the comments range from the extremely thoughtful and enlightening to the usual trolls (who for some reason think their role in life is to be as annoying as possible), but that’s comments for you. Take them with a big pinch of salt 🙂

And if you’re interested in the discussions going on elsewhere, there are also editions for other English-speaking countries, and at least one in French, and another in Spanish.

I would particularly recommend the global perspectives – at this time, it’s particularly helpful to have a sense of how other places are affected, and what they’re doing…

And of course, there are other pressing issues beyond the pandemic!

Green espresso – 20 minutes of nature as good as coffee!

Canopy & Stars (the holiday cottage, treehouse and yurt company) have some suggestions for your daily nature fix (as good as caffeine, they say):

Badgers, birds, donkeys and Lamb Cams!

And if you’re stuck in a meeting on Zoom, how about inviting a goat?

There is also good news about covid-19

Screenshot of article headline

There’s plenty of bad news about the virus and its effects, and the media do a lot to spread it.

But there is also an enormous amount going on that can give us hope.

80000hours is a non-profit that helps people decide what to do with their careers, if they’re keen to be part of solving world problems. ( 80000 hours is the time they are likely to spend on their career over a lifetime.) It started at Oxford University, and is still affiliated to them.

An interesting article, from Rob Wiblin, of the Centre for Effective Altruism, is here:

covering the beginnings of improvements in the global situation with covid-19, developments in testing, and other progress.

It’s heavily referenced, and links to other useful and interesting resources.

You may also like to look further at itself – it’s full of fascinating information about “ways of solving the world’s most pressing problems”.

it’s great for thinking about your own career, or suggesting to friends and relatives who may be taking the opportunity offered by the current crisis to think deeply about their lives.

And it’s also a fascinating window on some of the most pressing problems the world is facing, and some of the newest and most promising ways they might be tackled. Worth your time wherever in your career you might be!

Epidemic – a new podcast from the US

From the website:


EPIDEMIC is a new, twice-weekly podcast on the coronavirus (SARS-CoV-2 / COVID-19). Hear from some of the world’s leading infectious disease and public health experts. We’ll help you understand the latest science, the bigger context, and bring you diverse angles—from history and anthropology to politics and economics—depth and texture you won’t get elsewhere.

Hosted by Dr. Celine Gounder, an infectious disease specialist and epidemiologist who has worked on tuberculosis and HIV in sub-Saharan Africa, and was an Ebola worker during the West African epidemic. And co-hosted by Ron Klain, the U.S. Ebola czar from 2014 to 2015.

The COVID-19 pandemic may well be the defining moment of our times. Our lives have changed irrevocably. We need to understand the science so we can care for ourselves, our families, and our communities. And we need voices of reason to help us make sense of it all. “