Last week, I noticed that my flowers have started to bloom. I can see bits of green grass sprouting up, and we are starting to have days where we can leave coats behind and just grab a light jacket.
Yes, spring is in the air … and apparently so is the coronavirus. So if you are looking for fun activities to keep your kids engaged, entertained, occupied, and on pace over these next few weeks, I’ve got you covered.
Pinterest is, of course, of wealth of ideas. Here are some of our favorites, and most can be created from items you should already have around the house – I’m looking at you empty toilet paper rolls. Or you can always stock up on craft kits while making your Target run for supplies.
• Coffee Filter Dolls – Pipe cleaners, coffee filters, and markers are all you need to make these precious ballerinas.
• Toilet paper paint rollers – Use foam stickers to create fun patterned rollers out of empty cardboard rolls.
• Salt Paint – Using just glue, salt, and watercolor paints, create a unique and fun masterpiece.
• Monogram Yarn Art – Take all those yarn and string scraps and some cardboard to create an adorable art piece for their wall.
• Learn a little while having fun making homemade geodes, silly putty, and math manipulatives.
• Create a sidewalk chalk mural on your driveway. You can even make your own puffy sidewalk chalk paint.
Many kids may be looking at an extended time away from school. This means many parents may be looking for ways to keep our kids on pace with their learning and keep them engaged so that whenever this never-ending spring break ends, they are still ready for statewide tests and haven’t lost any skills. Thankfully, there are lots of online learning options that are available to help.
• Learning A-Z is providing free access to Raz-Kids and Headsprout, giving a digital library of leveled readers.
• Scholastic has daily learning activities to keep kids learning.
• Prodigy is an interactive and fun math game.
• Khan Academy allows students to learn at their own pace and covers K-12.
• National Geographic lots of great videos, games, and ways for kids to explore.
• Typing Club makes learning to type fun and easy.
• History for Kids print coloring sheets and worksheets on history topics from around the world.
• Math Playground kids can play lots of fun math games.
• Greg Tang Math offers unique challenges and fun games.
• Mystery Science is providing lots of mini-lessons on everything from who invented pizza to how hand sanitizers kill germs, which seems incredibly relevant at this moment.
• Squiggle Park can help build reading skills and enhance comprehension.
• Storyline offers lots of great children’s books read by some famous faces.
• Virtual Museum Tours allows you to take a virtual visit to 12 fabulous museums worldwide.
• Virtual Field Trips take a field trip courtesy of Discovery Education or go on a Google Expedition.
• Dreambox is offering a 90-day free trial to their online math lessons.
We may be encouraged to practice social distancing, but that doesn’t mean we have to be stuck inside on the couch. Get outside or just get up and move.
• Go for a bike ride.
• Make up a game, a dance, or a new workout.
• Go for a nature walk around the neighborhood.
• Use YouTube for good. Visit channels like Go Noodle, Jack Hartmann Kids, or The Learning Station for some brain breaks to get kids up and dancing.
• Just Dance – CLI Studios is live streaming dance classes (beginning March 16th).
While the whole world might be hoarding toilet paper and hand sanitizer, it is important to make sure we are teaching our children how to do “the next right thing,” to quote one of our favorite Frozen princesses.
- Make cards for those in nursing homes/hospitals. Right now a lot of our local nursing homes and hospitals have restricted visitors. This is sure to make many feel isolated and alone. Sending some cards, drawings, and letters is sure to help brighten their day and help them feel less forgotten and alone.
- Check-in on elderly neighbors or those who are medically fragile. Make sure that those who are at the highest risk have everything they need. If that means sharing the toilet paper you managed to score at the store or picking up some extra groceries or their prescriptions, let’s help keep them safe by keeping them at home.
- Donate non-perishable food to a local food bank.