Life as we know it has dramatically shifted over the past few days, and we are all trying to settle into our new normal. School closures have greatly affected the way we are living our lives day-to-day, and for many parents and caregivers, it can be hard to know where to start to help kids continue their education while also providing comfort, yes, even fun. In order to help ease some of the stress and uncertainty you may be feeling at this time, we’ve compiled a list of fun and educational activities to keep you and your kids active and entertained over the coming weeks.
Cosmic Kids Yoga: Yoga has long been shown to develop body awareness, manage stress through breathing, build concentration, and increase confidence and positive self-image. Cosmic Kids Yoga is available on YouTube and provides mindfulness and relaxation tools for kids ages 3+.
Family movie time: Movies are a great way to provide comfort, entertainment and a welcome distraction during uncertain times. PopSugar Family has compiled a list of 23 feel-good movies to help lift your spirits.
Metropolitan Opera: Like so many cultural institutions the Metropolitan Opera has been forced to close its doors, but the show isn’t over just yet. The famed opera house will be stream handpicked past performances each night right from the organization’s website. This is a great activity and cultural resource–especially for older kids involved in theater and music.
Music for inner peace and calm: Studies have shown that any kind of relaxing, calming music can contribute to calmer moodsn. With rapidly changing news, economic worries, and stressors about the health and wellbeing of family members, turning to a playlist of calming music might be just what is needed at this time. Many people are creating playlists to help relieve feelings of stress and anxiety–like this Calm Kids Music playlist from Spotify.
PBS to the rescue: PBS has created a daily newsletter that will offer activity ideas and tips for learning activities at home. PBS Kids also offers a 24/7 channel with education series, a video app with educational videos, a games app with 200 games and a parents website with information and tips for parents.
Old School Favorites: The Internet is bringing us together in more ways than ever imagined, but there are also a variety of offline activities for your kids to enjoy during this time. We’re talking bubbles, sidewalk chalk, coloring books, puzzles, and scavenger hunts! These activities can help inspire creativity and problem-solving skills. Check out our Quarantine Activities board on Pinterest for inspiration.
Online Learning: With schools closing across the nation, many parents are at a loss for how to educate their kids from home. However, education companies from across the country are offering free subscriptions to online lessons focused on math, reading, and more.
Outdoor Activities: Spending time outside (within the ever-changing safety guidelines) can be a great way for kids to boost their energy and exercise their brain power. Outdoor Families has compiled a list of 130 free outdoor learning activities to help encourage free play with your kids as well as structured outdoor learning.
Save with Stories: Two of Hollywood’s favorite women, Jennifer Garner and Amy Adams, have teamed up to help kids impacted by school closures amid the Covid-19 outbreak. The initiative has its own brand-new Instagram account, @SaveWithStories, where they’ll be sharing videos of celebrities reading children’s books aloud to entertain, educate. Storyline Online, from the SAG-AFTRA Foundation, also features celebrities reading children’s books, you can browse from a wide collection and see age recommendations.
Scholastic Learn at Home: Even when schools are closed, you can keep the learning going at home. Scholastic set up a Learn from Home website with four categories: PreK and Kindergarten, Grades 1 and 2, Grades 3-5, and Grades 6+. Each section is already equipped with one week of content for students with 15 additional days on the way. Each day of content is filled with exciting articles and stories, videos, and fun learning challenges.
Virtual Field Trips: Take your kids on a virtual field trip to some of the nation’s premier zoos, from the San Diego Zoo to the Cincinnati Zoo & Botanical Garden. Kids can take virtual safaris and participate in a variety of online activities.
Virtual Museums: The Minneapolis Institute of Art (Mia) is offering many opportunities to explore the art collection, listen to their hit podcast, and watch online videos to learn about art. You can also (safely) hop across the pond to Europe and explore the Louvre in Paris, the Van Gogh Museum in Amsterdam, and the Tate Modern in London. For a comprehensive list of museum activities, check out the Google Arts and Culture page – which includes over 2,500 museums and galleries around the world currently offering virtual tours of their spaces.
Need more ideas? Parade Magazine has compiled a list of 125 activities to keep kids entertained and beat cabin fever over the coming weeks.