Let’s face it, the world is crazy and not just a little bit scary right now. If you are stuck at home with kids who thought they’d be on spring break somewhere, we feel your pain. We’re here to help turn your quarantine into family fun-time and shine a positive light on stay at home activities you never had time to do as a family. Take advantage of this time – and do it by staying healthy and safe!
Nature walks while social distancing
This may be bird watching from your backyard with an app like Merlin Bird, or becoming a citizen scientist through the Zooniverse platform. Whether you can get to a forest or pond and document nature happening, or you have to stay closer to your house and camp in the backyard, getting outside with your kiddos will help everyone expel some extra energy, have fun and learn all at the same time! GARDENING WITH KIDS: check out our previous blog post for more outdoor inspiration with the littles.
The We Are Teachers website says it best: We’re all going to get through this together…online. It’s also one of the two websites we’re mentioning in our quarantine guide. There are so many resources out there – it’s a treasure trove and hard to maneuver.
- Free Online Learning Resources from We Are Teachers is a great place to start. Knowing what’s out there and finding lesson plans and other resources for learning at home = a sigh of relief from parents heard around the country. They’ve broken their resources down into elementary, middle and high school, K-12 and Remote Learning and Virtual Classroom Platforms to help you navigate through all that information as easily as possible.
- Kate Messner is an author and former teacher who has spent a lot of time gathering a “library of resources for kids, families, teachers and librarians to make sure that reading and learning can happen anywhere this spring.” She’s constantly updating this site and if you don’t already know it exists, you should.
Bedtime stories haven’t gone away, but with the quarantine there’s a list of authors and actors reading their books (or favorites) online. It’s a nice supplement to reading time and may help you get through a spreadsheet or conference call of your own.
Try some of these:
- Oliver Jeffers reads one of his books every weekday on Instagram Live and then posts the videos to his website. You can follow him on Instagram with #StayAtHomeStorytime
- Josh Gad, the acclaimed actor and voice of Olaf, reads to us every night with hashtag #GadBookClub
- Mac’s Book Club Show: Chapter Books After Dark with Mac Barnett. The author reads from his chapter books – a chapter a day on IGTV and then posts those videos.
- SAG, the Screen Actors’ Guild produces Storyline Online where some of your favorite actors read their favorite picture books! Readers recently added: David Harbour, Rami Malek and Oprah Winfrey.
Virtual Field Trips
Like online learning sites, the list of museums, zoos, theme parks and amazing tourist sites turning virtual is outstanding. There are a million lists out there and lots of links. Search for a favorite or choose one of ours below:
- The San Diego Zoo has plenty of live cams and a website dedicated to kids with videos, activities, games and stories.
- The Smithsonian Museum, because it’s the worlds largest museum and research complex and it just has so much to offer all age groups.
- The Great Wall of China is awe-inspiring, steeped in history, big and far away. Kids will love to visit and then try to build their own bridges and walls as a follow-up project.
- Coloring after the virtual field trip as a follow-up learning activity? Why yes, there’s a hashtag for that. #ColorOurCollections, an initiative started in 2016 by the New York Academy of Medicine is hitting its stride during COVID-19 distancing and quarantine. Over 100 museums and libraries worldwide have provided free color pages for download!
- Lunch Doodle with author Mo Willems. A Livestream Lunch Doodle every day at 1PM EST, posted here on the Kennedy Center’s Website. Kids can send their questions that may be answered in the next video to firstname.lastname@example.org. MORE DAILY DRAWING: Draw every day with author and illustrator, Jarrett J Krosoczka on his YouTube channel.
There are so many different options! Find a theme and make a day of it. Incorporate what you are learning, watching or reading as a family. Use what you have available in the house and have FUN!
- Pick a country, state or city and find out everything you can about their culture, including what food they eat and when they eat it. Decide what sounds good, come up with a menu and ingredients, then find recipes and cook those items together.
- Nailed it! Challenge (or another favorite cooking show). This can be done as a competition between members of your family (single or in teams), or just as one big family challenge together. Search your cupboards for all things dessert – sprinkles, boxed cake mix, decorations left over from holiday cookie decorating–whatever you have in the pantry. Lay out these ingredients on the counter and then search for Pinterest recipes you’d like to try to recreate. Set a time limit and get baking!
- Pick a favorite book or movie and pick a menu based on food that fits the book or film. Perfect for a family dinner and movie or book night together.
- Quarantine Cooking with Joe the Baker – Dallas, TX chef Joe Baker cooks kid-friendly food daily with his 6-year-old son. Weekdays at 3pm CST via Facebook Live. You can watch the videos on his Facebook page, website or YouTube.
Family Game Night
Board games, video games or DIY games from common household items. Really, the list is endless. We like the DIY Minute to Win It games on Pinterest. Anything that makes you laugh hysterically as a family is great for a quarantine escape. Here’s our blog post on Family Game Night for more ideas.
Family Movie Night or Watch Party Play-date
- If you want to do a family movie night with extended relatives; or a virtual screen time play-date, try Netflix Party which makes it possible to watch movies and TV shows with friends and family. Sync up a movie with others—including a text chat to the side of your screen for real time conversations.
At Snip-its, We Speak Kid™. We hope our quarantine guide for staying home with kids has a few ideas to help get you through two-weeks or more of social distancing and home school e-learning. Our salons may be closed for now, but our Kids Hair Experts miss their customers every single day. We can’t wait to see you after the quarantine for the best, and much needed in some cases, haircut adventures ever! Please stay safe and healthy.