Schoolwork can only keep kids busy for so long. At some point, parents will have to find other things for them to do. Without the ability to send them to the park, take them to a movie or even arrange a playdate, parents need a much bigger bag of tricks. Here are a few activities that will keep them occupied and you sane.
Learning Can Be Fun
Just because the kids have completed their assignments doesn’t mean learning has to end. Explore outer space with the help of NASA’s At Home Website. Turn your kitchen into a science lab. Explore the arts, history and foreign places with Google Arts & Culture.
Turn Your Home Into a Kids’ Gym
Kids need to burn off energy and letting the run wild outdoors while you are working isn’t always possible. You can create a great indoor gym. Place couch cushions on the floor and allow kids to jump across them like stepping-stones or use them to practice cartwheels. Use tape on the floor to outline a balance beam challenge kids to walk along the line with stuffed animals or books perched on top of their heads. Stream a kid’s yoga class.
Go On a Field Trip
You don’t have to leave home to visit the new or tour a museum. Do it virtually and for free. Discovery Education offers free virtual field trips complete with companion guides and hands-on learning activities. Monterey Bay Aquarium offers 10 live cams where viewers can sneak a peek at the sharks, do a little birdwatching in the aviary, and they can even check the goings-on in the open sea. Explore the Houston Zoo via webcams. The Smithsonian Museum offers virtual tours of their current and permanent exhibits.
Take Part in Virtual Story Hour
You can’t go to the library for story hour but you can bring story hour to you. Storyline Online streams videos featuring celebrities reading children’s books alongside creatively produced illustrations. The #OperationStoryTime tag on social media will bring you to a growing collection of children’s book authors, celebrities and illustrators reading books. Audible has made hundreds of children’s audiobooks for free.
Make an Imagination Box
Fill a box with broken toys, old clothes, small boxes, used paper towel rolls, egg cartons and anything else you might be donating or throwing away. Give the kids tape, glue, pipe cleaners and rubber bands. Challenge them to create art sculptures.
Alternatively, mix and match pieces from different board games and challenge them to create their own game.
Write Letters to First Responders
Help your kids write postcards or thank you cards to local doctors, nurses and first responders thanking them for their help and diligence.
Have a Virtual Slumber Party
Work with other parents to set up a virtual slumber party. Kids can put on their pajamas and meet up through Google Hangouts. Have everyone do the same craft project while chatting. Play slumber party games. Then watch a movie together via Netflix Party.