One of the positives of life right now for many parents will be getting to spend more time with their children. But with youngsters set to be stuck at home for the foreseeable future, it can be a challenge coming up with new ideas to keep them entertained.

For younger kids in particular, being cooped up can be tough. But the good news is there's loads of tips and advice out there to help you keep boredom at bay and make the most of the extra time you've got together - from how to keep a structured but fun routine to how to keep their development going outside the classroom.

Getting them involved with activities such as cooking and crafting is a good start. But finding ways to keep them busy is set to be even more important with summer on its way and options for excursions limited.

So if you're facing the prospect of a long, hot summer with no trips to beaches, swimming pools or theme parks to distract the little ones, here's a few ideas to keep the kids entertained in the garden or the front room using the latest tech.

Keeping them fit

Kids have endless energy, so one person many of us have been thankful for in recent months is Joe Wicks, whose online fitness classes for kids have kept millions of us active - he doesn't even let a little thing like having surgery stop him.

But The Body Coach isn't the only option for keeping the young ones healthy. Cosmic Kids Yoga is another YouTube channel focused on keeping youngsters active. Aimed at those aged between three and seven, instructor Jaime Amor combines workouts with kids' classics from Frozen to Star Wars.

Keeping their minds engaged

Helping out with the schoolwork may well have got you dusting off lessons and facts you thought you'd long forgotten, but you don't have to go reaching into your own memories to keep their minds busy.

Even if the kids can't see their grandparents in person, setting up video calls to keep in touch and let gran and grandad share their own knowledge and skills can be great.

There are also a wide range of apps and streaming services out there aimed specifically at kids of all ages, which offer educational tools as well as entertaining distractions.

Check out services like BBC Bitesize or Nat Geo Kids online, which have a huge range of resources, including games, quizzes and videos to help youngsters learn about everything from nature to history and geography.

If you've got a kid's tablet, you can also find apps that can help with everything from teaching times tables to learning a new language, all tailored for specific age groups and ensuring they have fun at the same time.

Keeping them busy

If the weather keeps you indoors, streaming services like Disney+ offer all the TV shows and movies youngsters could ever want, while Netflix and BBC iPlayer also have dedicated kids' sections that keep any inappropriate content safely locked away. If you're worried about what they might stumble across online, set them up on kid-friendly search engines like Kiddle or KidRex that limit results to safe sites.

However, it's important not to rely too heavily on the TV or the tablet screen. If the sun comes out and you've got a garden, use it for activities like scavenger hunts or exploring nature. You can even set up a tent - a spot of in-garden camping is a great way to break from the routine and make youngsters feel like they're on an adventure.

Have a plan, come equipped with a range of exciting things to do, and you can make sure this summer is one to remember for all the quality time you spend together.

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