1. Lesson Time
As schools across the country begin to close for the remainder of the school year, many parents are wondering how their children will be able to access education. While both local and federal governments are hard at work creating programs to continue education, there are things you can do at home in the meantime to keep your children stimulated and ensure the learning never ends.
Diary of a not so wimpy teacher
Jamie Sears is the creator of the website Diary of a Not so Wimpy Teacher, which provides both free and for purchase services for students. Take a look at Sear’s “At-Home Learning” resource guide for writing, reading, and math exercises you can practice at home with your children.
Parents, Jamie also hosts a podcast you can tune into to hear about her strategies in the classroom to get her students engaged.
Wow in the World
Speaking of podcasts, why not listen to an episode or two with your children. NPR hosts a podcast, Wow in the World, which explores fun and fascinating topics in the world of science and technology. There are dozens of episodes at about half an hour each that you and your family can listen to and learn together.
Has it been some time since the last time you were in a classroom? If you’re not sure where to begin with at-home learning or you simply do not have time for it, Match Fishtank offers free materials for both English language arts and math based on the curriculum used by the Match charter schools.
2. Game Time
So, whether we like it or not, we are all stuck at home for the greater good. Rather than fall victim to complete and utter boredom, why not play a game with your family? For some families, game nights are a no-brainer -- but for others, they can lead to tension and breakdowns. Below we have outlined a few fun yet low-stake games you can play with your family to pass time at home.
This game is all about observation and logic. You and your family will be able to really use your brains while also having fun trying to narrow down the identity of your opponent's secret someone.
While many board games ask players to move their pieces, square by square, Labyrinth lets its players move as much or as little as they see fit. The trick is that the maze is always changing. This game is all about strategy. Figuring out the right way to approach the game is half of the fun.
This is a great game to get your children to hone in on details because they have to spy a specific item on the board to move ahead. It is also a perfect game for young children to learn how to play a board game and cooperate with other players. Plus, who doesn’t love the charming little Richard Scarry creatures?
3. Play Time
Once you’ve run through lessons for the day, it is equally as important to encourage playtime for and with your children. When a child is imagining, creating, building or inventing, they are often doing the most important work. We’ve laid out a few tactics and tips for playtime below.
Build a fort
Spending so much time inside can become boring quickly. Why not build the fort of your childhood dreams with your children? Gather some blankets, pillows, and whatever materials you choose to use for the structure and get to work. If you want to take it to the next level you can see how an interior designer chose to build a fort here.
Teach your kids about the essentials to camping
If your kids are new to the great outdoors, now is the perfect time to practice for summer adventures. Pitch a tent in the backyard, or even inside your home. Let your kids hang out in it and sleep in it. Teach them about the essentials you need to bring into the outdoors. Show them how to build a first aid kit. REI put together a great list of ideas and you can access them here.
Tune in to Wendy Macnaugton’s Instagram
Wendy Macnaughton is a New York Times bestselling Illustrator and your friendly quarantine art teacher! Monday through Friday, Wendy hosts, “Draw Together with Wendy” at 10am PST via Instagram Live. If you cannot make the live stream, the stories stay up on her Instagram for 24 hours post recording. This is a great way for your children to flex those artistic muscles.
4. Movement Time
More than ever, we have very good reasons to be exercising. Working out contributes to good health, which in turn helps us maintain sturdy immune systems. Making moves seems more beneficial than ever before. To keep you and your family in tip-top shape, consider these at-home alternatives to going to the gym or accessing the outdoors to exercise.
Cosmic Kids Yoga
Yoga is not only great for the body but also great for the mind. While you and your family are stuck inside, practicing social distancing, why not check out some online yoga classes? Cosmic Kids Yoga offers free videos and gear lessons to children.
If yoga isn’t your child's speed, why not check out some at-home dance classes? SamCam is a Youtube channel dedicated to bringing short dance lessons to your home. If your children are itching for some movement this may be the perfect option. They also occasionally post at-home workout videos as well!
Fitness Card Deck
We found this awesome resource for encouraging movement with your children designed by a physical education teacher. The idea is to create a deck of cards that will be used as a traditional card game, however, there are physical activities associated with the cards, and all participants must perform the activities
5. Relaxation Time
If you are feeling extra anxious during these days of COVID-19, you are not alone. This pandemic has many folks facing more stress and uncertainty than ever before. Here are a few recommendations parents and children can turn to for some relaxation.
Save With Stories
Celebrities are coming together to read books for children who are currently home from school due to the coronavirus and sharing the videos on social media. Tune in to the Save With Stories Instagram to hear celebrities such as Ellen Degeneres, Amy Adams, and Josh Gad read a host of children's books.
Meditation for Children
Headspace is a place for folks of all ages to learn more about meditation and mindfulness. They have a specific guide on their website dedicated to Mediation for Kids. Now more than ever is a great time to introduce your kids to meditation.
Journaling is a great way for small humans to process their feelings in this uncertain time. We suggest setting aside some time for you and your children to journal alongside each other. This can be a fantastic way to document emotions and revisit them with your children in the future.
Here is another fantastic article on the benefits of journaling with submissions from therapists and others who keep journals.
With kids being cooped up at home while school is closed, finding structure and fun activities to keep them occupied is important. As we all navigate these uncertain times, it is important to remember that we are not alone. We can lean on each other -- at a distance -- for helpful tips and tricks to get through it all. If you find yourself wearing more hats at home than you’re used to, consider a few of our tips above to help ease your daily schedule.
Header Image: Exploring Domesticity