So your kids’ schools are shut down, you are a few days into social distancing, and you have run out of ideas for entertaining your offspring, outside of listening to Frozen 2 on repeat.
Thankfully I’ve got an abundance of experience in the realm of taming rowdy kids (I’m looking at you, 8 years of being a camp counselor). Not to mention I am used to wrangling kids for family photography. Here are some ideas for you when the days seem to be getting longer and longer:
Scavenger Hunt. Break out the Easter eggs a little early and have the kids fill them with treats, toys, what have you (that’s right…make them do the work). Then when they are taking a nap or are otherwise preoccupied with Disney+, hide those babies all over the house and yard. And don’t make it easy. Gotta stretch out the activities during these dark times.
Build a Fort. This timeless activity starts out wild, then kids will magically calm themselves as they read by flashlight under the canopy of Star Wars sheets. In the biggest room of the house, remove all valuables and gather all of the sheets, blankets, pillows, chairs, and binder clips that you can find (binder clips are like the gold of fort building). If your kids tend to squabble, have them build separate forts on either side of the room. Pull out the Christmas lights to make it extra magical inside their new fortress, and let them play with their iPads, read a book, or even eat dinner in their forts!
Draw on the Walls. Cover the walls in butcher paper and give the kids some crayons to go crazy. Just steer clear of markers that will go through the paper and stain your walls! As the days get warmer, you can even lay some paper or poster board on the grass and let the kids get messy with some finger painting!
Write Letters. There are a lot of people stuck in facilities that won’t allow visitors during this time, like nursing homes and hospitals. Have your kids work on handwritten cards to send to these folks, which is a great way to keep them busy while teaching them some life lessons (and working on their spelling!).
Online Resources. In the midst of the madness of COVID-19, some organizations are looking for ways to support parents at home with their kiddos. Here are some of my favorites:
Scholastic is offering free educational programming to keep your kids learning at home. Separated by grade level, the site will lead your child through a themed lesson including a video, book, and activity.
Josh Gad on Twitter. The actor that plays Olaf in Frozen is reading books on Twitter to entertain children worldwide. He even does all of the voices. I’m in love with this.
Podcasts. The New York Times compiled this list of podcasts for children ages 2-6 with categories like music, education, and storytime. Podcasts aren’t just for NPR and true crime anymore!
Hope this helps and feel free to comment below with any other ideas you might have. Happy homeschooling!
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