Activity Possibilities During the Coronavirus Crisis
One website that is a hit is this live feed camera of a bald eagle’s nest, from the PA Game Commission. There are two angles to watch the nest from. The male and female eagle, take turns sitting on the nest. They have a couple eggs that are expected to hatch any day. We like to check in throughout the day and just see how they are doing. Once the eggs hatch, you’ll be able to watch them feeding and growing. The website also has a lot of educational information to explore.
Other activities to explore are:
-Baking/teaching to cook: let the kid’s be in charge of breakfast or dinner today. They’ll learn life skills and be entertained at the same time. (even if it’s just serving everyone bowls of cereal!)
-Go for a walk
-Have a picnic- even if it’s just in your yard
-For the driving teens- this is a good time to teach them to change their own oil, change a tire, or change spark plugs
-For younger kids, now that everyone is spending most of their time at home, when was the last time that you practiced your family fire drill plan? Practiced how to call 911. It may be time for a refresher.
-Have the kids help to plant/transplant flowers
-Start your indoor seedlings for your vegetable garden
-Tackle a home repair or building project together (you can never learn enough life skills!)
-Clean the house- make a game out of it:
-Mop a floor and start kids out sitting on towels at one end of the room. When you give the word, have the kids race to wiggle themselves across the floor (drying it) until they get to the other end.
-Give each kid a dust rag and assign a different part of the room to each and set a time limit. Afterword, let the kids judge each other’s work. Give an award to the best dusted.
- Have a laundry race. Ready, set, go! Blow your whistle, shout a color, and watch the children sprint off to their rooms. The winner is the first child to come back with all their dirty laundry in the requested color. It’s a fun, energetic (and slightly competitive) way to sort colors, whites, and darks.
- Film your own commercial. Get out your iPhone and start filming a pretend cleaning commercial, starring your kids. It’ll require lots of “action shots,” and the kids won’t just clean, they’ll do it with a smile.
-Freeze-dance (tidy up) game. A favorite games is the freeze-dance game. In order to make it a tidying up game, too, all you have to do is play some fun, energized music, and then let the kids dance and put away as many toys as possible until the music stops. Start and stop as many times as it takes to get the whole room put away.
- Play “Cleanup, I SPY…”. To play this game, tell your child “I spy…” then describe an item they need to find and put away. Give points for the first kid to do so, if you have more than one child.
-Have them help do your yearly Christmas cards. I know you’re thinking, Already?! But yes, this is the perfect time to work on them! Have the kids help pick out the cards for each person, sign them, address envelopes and put stamps on them. Just don’t seal them shut yet, in case you want to insert a picture or letter when the time comes to mail them. Then sit back and be less stressed trying to get things done this Christmas.
-Make a theme of the day calendar for your current time at home- maybe today all meals are related to breakfast foods, tomorrow it’s dress like the 80’s day, Wednesday, it’s Pajama day all day, etc.
-Camp in- Set up a “tent” in front of the TV, complete with sleeping bags, flash lights. Watch a movie from the tent, have snacks, tell stories, and spend the night.
-Have a candle light dinner- Adults aren’t the only ones that like candlelight! Kids love having candlelight dinners, too.
-Photography- drape a blanket across the back of a chair and onto the floor to create a back drop. Experiment with different objects, lighting, and positions, letting your kids take pictures like a professional (without the aid of self-correct apps on their phones)
-“Snowflakes”-MUST HAVE CONSTANT ADULT SUPERVISION FOR THIS- When my son was little, we used to keep all our grocery bags in two large lawn and leaf bags. The bags were white, and I started calling them “snowflakes”. I’d bring out all the squished bags and dump them on the living room floor. My son would get his dump trucks and back hoes, and plow through them “clearing the road”, like the big snow plows. The more he’d play, the more they’d expand and fill the room. He’d then bury me in the bags and then use his trucks to “dig” me out several times. Sometimes we’d have “snowball battles” with the bags. Then we’d pile them in one big pile once they were all expanded and he’d jump in the like a pile of leaves. We’d play with nothing but the leftover grocery bags for over 3 hours! It was one of his favorite activities.
-Get them moving:
- Pull up a kids yoga video or exercise video on youtube and do it with them
- Have relay races. Start at one end of the room and crab crawl, slither, hop, scoot, and roll to the other end. Let them make the rules to the movements!
- Make an indoor scavenger hunt or have them make one for their siblings. Have them hide clues all around the house- each leading to the next clue until they find the hidden object or treat.
- Play a game of charades- there’s nothing kids like more than seeing the adults act silly!
- Teach or learn together how to do a dance. Maybe it’s the electric slide, the Macarena, or learn to swing dance together- just remember- it’s not about doing it correctly, it’s about having fun! So don’t feel like they have to do it perfectly. Or have them teach you a dance- maybe you CAN learn to “floss”…
- Play music and have a family dance off! When my son was little, I would play random music and we would take turns making up dances to go with it. Most times we’d be laughing to hard to dance, but it was the thought that counted!
-Sewing- teach them to make a drawstring bag, a pillow, or patch quilt. You can use anything you have around the house, old clothes that are too small or stained, rags, old bed sheets, towels. When we were kids, my mother made us both a quilt using squares cut from old clothes that we had outgrown or worn through. After we got them, we loved looking through the photo albums and seeing if we could identify what outfit the squares came from!
-Teach them cross stich
-Make a countdown calendar for Easter. Take an empty cereal box, open the top and bottom and squish the box flat. Put white paper over the outside and have them number the doors. Cut however many 3-sided doors there are remaining, and have the kids (or you) make or put, a picture or message behind each door. Have the kids make them for each other or you for them, so it’s a surprise what they see each day.
-Speaking of clothes, this is the perfect time to get a start on having the kids try on all those summer clothes from last year, to make a list of what they’ll need for this year!
-Combat fear: Children are bombarded with emotions, whether from their parent’s stress, the news playing in the back ground, changes in routines or living situations, even having a parent home all the time can be a constant reminder that things aren’t normal.
-Have them make memory books of their time off. Take pictures of the activities they’re doing and have them glue them to blank pieces of paper. Have them decorate the pages. At the end of this time, use dental floss to “sew” the pages together so that they have something to show their own kids one day, of this memorable event.
-Make plans for the future. As simple as this is, for those that are especially sensitive to change, it can give them a sense of stability and normalcy to be making concrete plans. Don’t make plans for the near future, as times unpredictable and plans might have to be canceled. Instead look ahead. Maybe start planning your family get together for Christmas, Birthdays that make happen in the fall or next winter. Things far enough out that they will have a greater chance of happening.
-Plan the meals for the upcoming week together. As mundane as it sounds, being involved in the decisions of what to eat each day for the entire upcoming week, can give them a sense of control over a situation that they don’t have any control over.
-Start their Christmas wish lists. Yes, it’s early, but again, planning for the future can be really calming for them. Maybe let them look through Walmart’s website at the toy department. Have them write down everything they’d like. The point of a wish list is that it’s a WISH list, not a “I’M DEFINITELY GOING TO GET IT” list. It gives them something to take their mind of the present (and by Christmas, they aren’t going to remember what they asked for now, anyway).
-Play the “Glad game”. Remember Pollyanna? Each night at the end of bedtime prayers, say one thing about the day that your thankful for. I.E. “Tonight Lord, I am thankful for the game we played this afternoon.” It’s important that they hear you say something you’re thankful for, also. It not only comforts and reassures them that those they love are still having good things happen to them, but it helps them to be more sincere and generous about their own thankfulness.
-Jigsaw puzzles! Get out a large jigsaw puzzle (500+ piece) and nonchalantly set it up on a table, where it can stay for a couple weeks, for anyone to work on. Walk away and leave it there. Over time, even those that claim they hate puzzles will be drawn to it at odd times of the day- looking to see if they can find just one piece, which inevitably turns into two, and so on. To make it more fun, make it a group competition and each time a piece is found, the victor gets to do a “happy dance” and put a point on the score board.
-Card games- teach them the old school games that they may not know, Rummy, Hearts, Pinochle, King in the Corner, etc.
-Set up an email “pen pal” with someone else, to stay connected during this time.
-Design a dream bedroom with your child. Search books and the internet together, to find ideas of what their dream bedroom would look like and make a collage. You might find that some of their ideas are quite doable and can either be a project for now, or for when this is over.
-Introduce them to “culture”. Play movies that you grew up with or that were before their time. Turn it into an educational experience by pointing out all the time relevant details.
-Get them into an old TV show. Pick an old TV series and watch one episode each night before bed. (If they aren’t already familiar with it, try the Muppets Seasons 1-3. Mixed in with the humor, are all the older celebrities that they may not know. Afterward you can research together, where those stars are today and other shows that they may know them from.)
-Rearrange bedroom furniture- Give them something to celebrate, to make this time exciting.
-Take a virtual field trip.
✅The San Diego Zoo has a website just for kids with amazing videos, activities, and games. Enjoy the tour! https://kids.sandiegozoo.org/
✅Tour Yellowstone National Park!
✅Explore the surface of Mars on the Curiosity Rover.
✅This Canadian site FarmFood 360 offers 11 Virtual Tours of farms from minks, pigs, and cows, to apples and eggs. https://www.farmfood360.ca/
✅Play games and learn all about animals
✅Play with favorite show characters and learn too https://pbskids.org/
✅Travel to Paris, France to see amazing works of art at The Louvre with this virtual field trip.
✅This Virtual Tour of the Great Wall of China is beautiful and makes history come to life.
✅Math and Reading games https://www.funbrain.com/
✅Phonics skills https://www.starfall.com/h/
✅This iconic museum located in the heart of London allows virtual visitors to tour the Great Court and discover the ancient Rosetta Stone and Egyptian mummies. https://britishmuseum.withgoogle.com/
✅ Read, play games, and hang out with Dr. Seuss https://www.seussville.com/
✅300,000+ FREE printable worksheets from toddlers to teens https://www.123homeschool4me.com/home-school-free-printabl…/
✅Geography and animals
✅Math practice from counting to algebra and geometry http://www.mathscore.com/
✅Fave kids books read by famous people https://www.storylineonline.net/
✅Crafts, activities, mazes, dot to dot, etc, https://www.allkidsnetwork.com/
✅Math and reading games https://www.abcya.com/
✅Math and language games https://www.arcademics.com/
✅Hands on Elem science videos https://www.backpacksciences.com/science-simplified
✅Voice based learning... learn through Alexa https://bamboolearning.com/resources
✅Fun games, recipes, crafts, activities https://www.highlightskids.com/
✅ClickSchooling brings you daily recommendations by email for entertaining websites that help your kids learn. https://clickschooling.com/
✅Math as a fun part of your daily family routine http://bedtimemath.org/
✅Games to get "into the book" https://reading.ecb.org/
✅Online history classes for all ages preteen through adults https://school.bighistoryproject.com/bhplive
✅ Elem Math through 6th grade https://boddlelearning.com/
✅Educational games K-12 https://www.breakoutedu.com/funathome
✅Digital archive of history https://www.bunkhistory.org/
✅Test Prep for SAT, ACT, etc. https://www.bwseducationconsulting.com/handouts.php
✅Resources for Spanish practice https://www.difusion.com/campus/
✅Chinese learning activities https://chalkacademy.com/
✅Music is for everyone https://musiclab.chromeexperiments.com/Experiments
✅Science, Math, Social Studies https://www.ck12.org/student/
✅Grammar practice for middle grades https://www.classroomcereal.com/
✅Daily free science or cooking experiment to do at home.http://www.clubscikidzmd.com/blog/
✅Reading passages for grades 3-12, with reading comprehension and discussion questions. https://www.commonlit.org/
✅Vocabulary, grammar, listening activities and games in Spanish, French, Italian, German, Portuguese, Korean, and Latin. https://conjuguemos.com/
✅35,000 pages of online content on the cultures and countries of the world. https://www.countryreports.org/
✅K-5th Science lessons https://mysteryscience.com/
✅Tons of free classes from leading universities and companies https://www.coursera.org/
✅Free printable K-8 Reading and Math activity packs (available in English and Spanish) https://www.curriculumassociates.com/supporting-students-aw…
✅Digital learning content for preschool through high school https://www.curriki.org/
✅A wide range of math content from middle school through AP Calculus. https://deltamath.com/overview
✅Day-by-day projects to keep kids reading, thinking, and growing. https://classroommagazines.scholastic.com/…/learnathome.html
✅3 Free Weeks of Maker Stations to keep your children creating at home! Each challenge includes simple instructions using materials around the house, QR code video resources, and a student recording sheet. bit.ly/freemakerstations
✅Classes for older teens or adults https://www.thegreatcoursesplus.com/lp/t1/freemo…
✅Online homeschool platform & curriculum for Pre-K to 12th grade. All main subjects are covered, plus extra curriculum courses. http://discoveryk12.com/dk12/
✅Printable board games, activities and more for phonics and reading all using evidence-based methods. Can be customized to any student's needs including creating flashcards for other subjects. https://dogonalogbooks.com/printables/
✅K-8 online math program that looks at how a student is solving problems to adjust accordingly and build a unique learning path for them. https://www.dreambox.com/at-home
✅Engaging reading game for grades 2-8 that combines strategy, engagement, and imaginative reading passages to create a fun, curriculum-aligned literacy game. https://www.squigglepark.com/dreamscape/
✅Higher level math series... online video series with detailed solutions to more than a thousand publicly-released College Board SAT Math, Subject Test Math Level 1, and Subject Test Math Level 2 problems.https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCbQoCpvYRYRkRRvsObOPHaA…
✅Foreign languages https://www.duolingo.com/
✅Interactive video earth science based curriculum supplement. https://www.everyday-earth.com/
✅A safe research site for elementary-level readers. They are offering -- free 24/7 access
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✅Educational brain breaks to help students review essential literacy and math skills, while getting in some exercise. Find over 900 videos to help your child keep learning at home and burn off some extra energy. Our site is best used for ages 4-8. https://fluencyandfitness.com/register/school-closures/
✅Movement and mindfulness videos created by child development experts. https://www.gonoodle.com/
✅7,000 free videos in 13 subject areas https://hippocampus.org/
✅Carmen Sandiego videos, stories, and lessons for all subject areas https://www.carmensandiego.com/resources/
✅Math Videos with lessons, real life uses of math, famous actors https://www.hmhco.com/math-at-work
✅Entertaining & educational videos for all levels and subjects
✅Free Printables for PreK-2nd Grade https://www.teacherspayteachers.com/…/Lite…/Price-Range/Free
✅Free printables library with activities for children 0-6 https://www.littlesparkcompany.com/printables-library
✅Free at-home kids yoga lesson plans https://littletwistersyoga.com/online-store/
✅Magic Spell is a carefully crafted spelling adventure. https://brainbox.games/
✅Resources for AP students https://marcolearning.com/
✅Enter your math problem or search term, press the button, and they show you the step-by-step work and answer instantly. 2nd grade through college. https://www.mathcelebrity.com/online-math-tutor.php
✅Elem Math games, logic puzzles and educational resources https://www.mathplayground.com/
✅Poetry and music https://www.thewell.world/mindful-mu…/mindful-poetry-moments
✅3D printing projects and Coding projects, involving math and other K-12 subjects https://www.instructables.com/…/EdgertonCent…/instructables/
✅Introductory and intermediate music theory lessons, exercises, ear trainers, and calculators. https://www.musictheory.net/
✅Scads of free resources, games, learning resources, and lesson plans for teaching personal finance https://www.ngpf.org/
✅Improve your typing skills while competing in fast-paced races with up to 5 typers from around the world. https://www.nitrotype.com/
✅Illustrated recipes designed to help kids age 2-12 cook with their grown-ups. Recipes encourage culinary skills, literacy, math, and science. https://www.nomsterchef.com/nomster-recipe-library
✅Online curriculum that builds better writers. https://www.noredink.com/
✅80+ do at home science activities https://elementalscience.com/…/n…/80-free-science-activities
✅Daily lessons and educational activities that kids can do on their own https://www.superchargedschool.com/
✅Adaptive curriculum in Math and ELA for Grades K-8
✅Novel Effect makes storytime a little more fun for kids (and grown-ups too!) As you read out loud from print books (or ebooks!) music, sound effects, and character voices play at just the right moment, adjusting and responding to your voice. https://noveleffect.com/
✅Quick & easy at home projects curated for kids 2 and up
✅Teaches students how to write a paragraph through interactive online tutorial http://www.paragraphpunch.com/
✅PreK-12 digital media service with more than 30,000 learning materials https://www.pbslearningmedia.org/
✅Curricular content hub specifically designed for K-3 students.
✅Science and math labs and simulations https://phet.colorado.edu/
✅An online physics problem and video bank designed for conceptual, standard, honors or AP1 physics. https://www.positivephysics.org/home
✅Prodigies is a colorful music curriculum for kids 1-12 that will teach your kids how to play their first instrument, how to sing in tune & how to understand the language of music! 21 for free https://prodigiesmusic.com/
✅Free videos from around the world from grade 3-12
✅QuaverMusic is offering free access to general music activities to all impacted schools, including free student access at-home https://www.quavermusic.com/info/at-home-resources/
✅For students to practice and master whatever they are learning. https://quizlet.com/
✅ReadWorks is an online resource of reading passages and lesson plans for students of all levels K-12. https://www.readworks.org/