Her lockdown parenting Facebook group went viral. And now Claire Balkind is publishing a new e-book inspired by the flourishing online community – in aid of the children’s charity Barnado’s.
The secondary school history teacher from Barnet is the author of the 59-page ebook, Family Lockdown Tips & Ideas: 20 Easy & Fun Activities, published by Bluebird on 17 May.
The ebook contains 20 ideas to keep children busy at home inspired by entries posted on the Family Lockdown Tips & Ideas Facebook group set up by the mum-of-two in March amid looming school closures.
The Facebook group, which began as a way to keep her two young children busy at home, has now grown into a community of 1.1 million members, who regularly share mindfulness routines and advice about age appropriate activities.
The e-book, she said ahead of its launch, is intended to exist as a record of the Facebook community.
Speaking to Jewish News on Wednesday, Balkind, who is 36, said: “The ideas are all things that I’ve done in one way or another. I’ve written them up inspired by the group, and people have said it’s really helpful.
“Rather than having like on other not-to-be-named social platforms really beautiful glossy images that look aspirational, I think what has happened in this group and what this book hopefully does too, is it makes ideas achievable and realistic and doable and manageable for people at home.”
She added: “The book is not about having money or lots of fancy crafts equipment or anything like that. It’s about doing something with what you’ve already got and using your imagination and so hopefully the book has tapped into that.”
Reactions to the book launch have been positive, she said. “I’ve never done anything like this before. I’ve never written a book. It was totally nerve-racking.
“I’ve had loads of personal messages from people who are saying how much the group has helped them, they’re so pleased that it’s for charity,” she said.
A full-length paperback, entitled Great Family Days In and containing 75 activity ideas, will be published by Bluebird in the autumn.
Family Lockdown Tips & Ideas: 20 Easy & Fun Activities, published by Bluebird, is available on Kindle and the Kindle app for £1.99.