South San Francisco, CA March 14, 2020
Here are some ideas shared by others, hoping some might help as more and more of us practice ‘social distancing’. This first one is a great reminder, as most of them are:
I wanted to share some food for thought. As we face uncertain times here in WA (and everywhere) I see many parents concerned that their children are going to fall behind as our schools head into a 4-6 week closure. But I see this an incredible opportunity. An opportunity to slow down. To sit in silence and see what makes their souls happy, what interests them. Learning literally happens EVERYWHERE, not just in school. So take a leap and watch how much growth can come from this. Do they have a love of music? Enjoy watching birds? A passion for cooking? See this as a time to deep dive with them. Learn to play the guitar, watch birds and create a nature journal, or let them cook dinner! This is not a time to fall behind in school this is a time to see what sets their souls on FIRE! 🔥 We can teach them about our community and how we can think bigger than ourselves. We can show them that they can take control over their own education and help them see just how brilliant they are. There are a ton of resources out there, many that are free or low cost I would be happy to share. One of our favorites is Outschool.com. They can take online classes that interest them and Skype with teachers and other students. It’s time we show these kids what it’s like to slow down and FEEL the ebbs and flows of life. We as a society can either continue to rant and complain about this or we can show the future generation what an incredible opportunity this is for connection. The choice is yours ❤️
Resources for those that have asked….But PLEASE, please do not try and recreate ‘School’ at home. This is already a stressful and confusing time for all of us. Use this time to connect deeper with your kids and find out what interests them. School at home doesn’t need to take place for 5-6 hours a day.Online learning:
ABC MOUSE (little kids)
storyboardthat.com (creative thinking)Websites for printable worksheets:
Additionally many Museums offer online tours. A few of our Favorites,
The Spy Museum
create a fairy garden
ART. ART. and more ART.
create a nature journal
photography (let them take and edit)
start a garden (even in a pot)
Read Aloud REALLY GOOD books (I have suggestions if you want them)
Stuck at Home? These 12 Famous Museums Offer Virtual Tours You Can Take on Your Couch (Video)
Going into a self-quarantine can have many complex issues and complications beyond having enough food and supplies for two weeks. In terms of entertainment, it also probably means you’re in for a lot of boredom, a lot of Netflix, and a lot of browsing the internet.
But there is a way to get a little culture and education while you’re confined to your home. According to Fast Company, Google Arts & Culture teamed up with over 500 museums and galleries around the world to bring anyone and everyone virtual tours and online exhibits of some of the most famous museums around the world..
Now, you get “go to the museum” and never have to leave your couch.
Google Arts & Culture’s collection includes the British Museum in London, the Van Gogh Museum in Amsterdam, the Guggenheim in New York City, and literally hundreds of more places where you can gain knowledge about art, history, and science. This collection is especially good for students who are looking for ways to stay on top of their studies while schools are closed.
How to manage having kids at home 24/7 x how many weeks?
( for: actual quarantine, school closures, weekend social distancing, anytime!)
Thanks to the Princess Awesome & Boy Wonder Community for the amazing suggestions!!
- Have each kid pick a topic they’d like to learn about and spend 30 mins each day on that topic
- Spend one day reading every single picture book we have in the house
- Go through all the old mail laying around (ok, that one’s not for kids although they do enjoy helping tear stuff up)
- Bake something every day
- Have each kid write a letter and/or emails to a different friend or family member each day
- Use all of our building toys on one giant structure
- Wash our hands!!!!
- Races of various kinds in the backyard (hopping on one foot, crabwalk, walking backwards, etc.)
- Try stop motion animation with playdough
- Facetime grandparents a lot
- watch everything on Disney+
- inventory the plants & wildlife (from bugs on up) in your yard.
- learn the parts of plants/flowers & how they function (bonus if they learn the Latin names).
- if you aren’t too squeamish & have a spare clear shoebox size tote or 5-10 gallon tank, catch some pillbugs (rolly pollies, sowbugs) & observe them (if you really do this, i can tell you how to set them up. i have about a thousand of them currently because it’s too cold here to thin the herd & they’ve been reproducing all winter. they’re pretty interesting).
- write a short story & illustrate it.
- learn how to do simple book binding.
- make paper (from your old mail!)
- have the kids help with yardwork in between playing games outside. They’re little, but they like getting dirty and “working” in the gardens.
- GoNoodle! Great for guided movement, relaxation, etc.
- Board games, card games
- We have some extreme dot to dot books (1400 dots) that the kids love, especially the 5 year old!
- Lots of reading, playing with the dog,
- Working on learning to sew using stuff we have on hand.
- Card making/scrapbooking projects (mostly for me but kids can do it too).
- Getting the garden ready, we need to weed and work the ground. I might get seeds and we’ll set up to have our own starts this year.
- Make tents and reading caves : ) flashlights, tidy snacks, books, and pillows!
- Have a shadow show in the reading tent (we used blankets over chairs or a table)
- Get binoculars and learn about the birds near your house, look them up on google and search for their birdcalls on YouTube
- Learn how to make a stuffed animal
- Play with cornstarch and water and cheap action figures
- many educational websites are waving fees if your students school is closed
- Here’s a list of all of them that are waving fees
- Collect a bunch of tape markers and cardboard boxes. That’ll keep them busy for a day or two.
- Watch all the hand washing videos & vote on your favorite. Discuss why each good, helpful, funny. The Holderness parody one is hilarious, the Vietnam Tiktok one is great choreography, some have good songs etc.
- Also pick your favorite song with a 20 second refrain or verse perfect for hand washing length of time.
- Family puzzles. Ones that are 500-1000 pieces and a challenging but not frustrating picture
- We homeschool (4 kids) and honestly, just have fun!!!!!
- Team up and really clean and organize each kid’s space, making a donation box for each. Parents are included.
- Have a board game day
- kids can also make their own games! Board games, card games, you name it! My daughter spent a lot of time this winter creating soccer and football games played with cards for moves and pieces made out of legos
- Write a story cooperatively. One person picks a character and the other picks a setting and then go gangbusters together.
- the folding picture story one! We called it “eat poop you cat” one person draws a small picture across the top of a paper the next person writes a sentence that describes that picture and folds Over the paper top of the paper hot dog style to cover the picture. So the 3rd person only sees a sentence and they have to draw a picture. They fold over the sentence.
- Any and all art is fun at home: beading, painting, drawing, play dough or kinetic sand, sewing, etc. when my daughter was young we could do art all day.
- Massive board game tournament with all the (mostly forgotten) board games we own!
- Stolen from “growing up global fb page”
- If your school is going on #quarantine and running #schoolonline, get #GlobalKids for the special price of just $10.98. Take a screen-free, curiosity + creativity boosting, global empathy + engagement trip around the world, from comfort of your home
- My daughter (6) has enjoyed doing yoga at home. There are kid-friendly YouTube videos and printed cards with poses.
- Zumba or Dance-along videos on YouTube
- We home school exclusively and the best advice I have is check out Pinterest. There are tons of ideas for activities, games, etc.
- Draw self portraits on blank faces
- color coded different interesting places on a map.
- I’ve had them draw maps of places and then make directions from one place to another to see if someone else could follow it.
- We’ve done scavenger hunts, indoor treasure hunts where they follow clues through the house to a “treasure” at the end (could be candy, a movie, whatever), and a lot of charades.
- I made videos with my 3rd grade daughter teaching kids how to write code. Check out the videos here
- My daughter wanted a doll house for her 18″ dolls. We saved cardboard boxes and got more from Dollar general and got to work. The closets and couch are cardboard as well.
- There are a few easy “kitchen chemistry” type science experiments that are easy to do, like making slime, baking soda and vinegar reaction, etc.
- we put food coloring under the baking soda in a mini muffin pan and used Pipette to drop vinegar in and then you can see the color!
- Last summer we did an experiment to learn what each ingredient did for a cake (so we made one following the recipe, one without eggs, one without milk, etc.). We then compared and contrasted the different cakes … Then we ate a lot of weird cake.
- There are a bunch of ideas on the lab section of our webpage! And we have letters from women in STEM around the world!
- give the dogs a bath and brush
- wash and clean out my car (mostly their food trash and dirty socks)
- mow the lawn (my 11 year old just learned!)
- play sidewalk chalk outside
- glow stick party
- popcorn + movie marathon
- Listen to kid podcasts – we love story pirates and smash boom best.
- Declutter toys!
- Have an Olympics with a bunch of events competitions – funny ones, helpful ones like cleaning and really fun ones like minute to win in style.
- Learn new card games
- We’re going to learn to make sushi!
- Lots of art projects!
- Dig up all the activity books, presents, etc that never got played with, and use those!
- There’s always time tested building a tent in the house with blankets and chairs. Great for just before nap time.
- We are going to bust out our hiking gear and try new hiking paths. As long as you stay away from over populated areas you will naturally stay a safe distance from others and sick people generally don’t hike!
- Do a study on planets, then have the kids create their own planets- how big is it, where in the universe is it located, atmosphere conditions, can it sustain life, how long is a day/year, name it, etc.
- you could even spread the planets out around the house to show “approx.” distance from each other.
- Watch this to learn about relative distance
- Design a new space craft, draw plans, then create out of legos or household items. Spend some time pretending you’re on different planets with different gravity, you could seriously spend a whole week on just fun space activities.
- But that’s not limited to space- these ideas would work for animals, geography, body systems, historical events/time periods, etc. Beyond that, do some fun physics experiments like making a bridge out of straws, egg drop protectors, paper airplanes, etc.
- PuppetMaster: an app where you can animate anything from a drawing to a stuffed animal.
- Practice spinning poi – my daughter is just learning how to spin and it’s been fun practicing together.
- Puzzle races: put several puzzles (20+ piece puzzles) in a paper bag and shake it up. Pour pieces out and give each person the puzzle box they are to put together. Go! (Cooperation tends to be a result as pieces are traded.)
- Dig through cabinets and figure out recipes for that thing you got at the grocery store and thought “this is interesting surely it can be used for something!” And then make it!
- Water play
- Make ice cream
- Make and play with Play dough
- I let them “paint the fence” with washable paints outside
- My mother used to let us put on swimsuits and get out our beach towels and have a pretend beach party on rainy or snowy days, complete with Beach Boys music.