We are two weeks in to our new life of social distancing. It came as a total shock at first, but I’m happy to report that we have adapted to our new norm and have even embraced it (for now…!). Below I am sharing some of our favorite activities for my three elementary aged children. I am no Martha Stewart and I am far from Pinterest-y, but we are definitely having some fun… also, don’t put too much pressure on yourself. Sometimes the best education for kids comes from unstructured time where they are forced to get creative. And other times – screens are okay… so don’t put too much pressure on yourself. We are all in this together!
And the funny thing is that even after this all over, I have a feeling we will continue with some of these new habits… because maybe being forced to slow down every once in a while is okay?!
Writing Letters: Consider assigning a pen-pal to your child (maybe you have a friend in another state with a child a similar age?) or have them write letters or notes to their teacher, classmates and/or grandparents. Perhaps you can make a goal to write a letter a day!
Baking: From cookies to cake-pops, now is a fun time to try new recipes and to get kids excited about baking and cooking. Check out yummysprout.com for kid-friendly recipes.
Stained Glass Window Art: Use painters tape (or something similar) and make some shapes/abstract designs on the window. Then use washable paint (and WASHABLE paint will do!) and let the kids work their magic! Remove the tape and viola – a beautiful window for you to enjoy (and your neighbors can enjoy it, too!).
Book Club: Do your kids love to read? Set up a virtual book club for them with their friends. Assign a new book each week and then have them meet (via Zoom or Google Hangouts) to discuss the book. You can have pre-assigned questions about the book to help facilitate the conversation.
Yoga: We love starting the day with a little exercise! Go Noodle has some great exercise classes for kids, or check out Little Om Big Om for virtual yoga for kids.
Chalk Art: Same tape trick goes for sidewalk chalk; or make your own chalk (to be able to use with a paint brush); combine corn starch, water and food coloring.
Kindness Rocks: Another paint project; find some rocks and paint them. You can place them in your yard or around the neighborhood!
Nature Scavenger Hunt:
Egg Hunt: Since Easter activities were all but canceled this spring, have your own hunt in your backyard. You can either hide them; scatter a bunch and let them have a run for it; or write clues in each egg… like a scavenger hunt. You can grab 150 eggs for only $14.95 here.
Virtual Learning Classes: Tons of companies are offering FREE virtual learning classes right now. Some of our favorites are: Khan Academy | Scholastic Learn at Home | Duolingo | CodeSpark Academy | Mystery Science | Epic | ABC Mouse
Virtual Field Trips: Travel to art museums around the world through Google Arts and Culture. You can also virtually visit the San Diego Zoo, Yellowstone National Park and the Great Wall of China. Locally – be sure to check out the Henry Vilas Zoo’s Facebook page, where they are introducing the animals who live right here in Madison, WI!
Virtual Art: Author and illustrator Jarrett J. Krosoczka is hosting daily drawing classes and animator Mo Willems is hosting daily cartooning classes. The Art Sherpa has a number of painting tutorials on YouTube as well.
And when all else fails, ride bikes or go for a walk… luckily, spring is here and the great outdoors never looked so great!