As social distancing is forcing kids throughout the country to stay home and avoid most of the activities that would normally keep them occupied when out of school, many parents are struggling to figure out how to fill all of the new free time.
CEAM has been scouring the internet for the best ideas on how to keep kids entertained and learning at the same time (check out our list of free online learning opportunities here).
Check out some of the best suggestions we have found below:
Kidsactivitiesblog.com did a great blog on how a wide variety of actors and other famous people are taking to social media to post videos fo them reading children’s books. All you have to do is search for #OpperationStoryTime on Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, or Instagram to find lodes of celebrities sharing their favorite children’s books. You can also check out Librarian Bookends for a great list of live readings on different social media channels as well a whole ton of other reading-related resources! This is a great way to get your kids interested in reading during the break!
Many schools are officially on spring break this week and they deserve to enjoy the break by sleeping in and goofing off, but next week, when they would normally be in school if not for the coronavirus, it is important to get them on a schedule that makes sense and includes both physical activity and learning time. This will help them fill their time and also alleviate some of the stress they may be feeling in these weird times. Huffington Post has a great article sharing tips on setting a schedule and examples of schedules other parents have developed with their kids. Here is a great online resource that will help you build a schedule for your kids.
As scary as the coronavirus is for you and your kids, it is even scarier for the elderly who have the highest coronavirus mortality rate. And with the outbreak, visitation to nursing homes is being severely limited so elderly residents are receiving even fewer visitors than they normally do. Writing letters (real or electronic) is a great way to connect with the residents and let them know that people care and are thinking about them. It is also a great way to teach your kids compassion and letter writing skills. If you want to do this, call a nursing home in your community before you send any letters to find out how they would like you to interact with them.
Thanks to virtual reality, 360-degree cameras, and all kinds of other innovative technology just because you are trapped in your home does not mean that your kids can’t explore the world. Check out all of these amazing virtual tours available online:
You can also explore the world through virtual road trips here.
Art and creative projects are a great way to relieve stress, fill time, and create something that can be used as a gift in the future. There are a TON of sites offering ideas for art projects for kids, but we have curated a collection of YouTube channels that teach basic art techniques and provide instructions on how to complete a wide variety of art projects with your kids. Check out these sites (just click on the image) for some great ideas:
Our friends over at the Fordham Institute point out a stark reality: as much as we want to keep our kids off of screens, chances are they are going to be spending more time in front of them during the coronavirus break. But, as Micheal Petrilli points out, that does not mean that they cannot be learning while watching. Check out his recommendations for the most educational things to watch on different channels below: