Academics & Fun!
Goal: Make the most of the extra time you will have during the school closures due to the COVID-19 situation.
The Adventure: Choose activities to keep your kids busy in positive ways, and learning while they are home.
Reward Ideas: For the ideas for this Adventure I want to share some of the questions asked on the SHARP survey to determine the level of protective factors in a child's life. These will help you understand the underlying concepts in determining appropriate internal 'rewards' for the many suggested activities below.
Here are the questions:
My parents ask me what I think before most family decisions affecting me are made. (What we learn: Involve kids in the decision-making processes!)
If I had a personal problem, I could ask my mom or dad for help. (What we learn: Build the relationship, and avoid over-reacting when kids come to us with information we may not want to hear.)
My parents give me lots of chances to do fun things with them. (What we learn: Spend time together as a family doing FUN things! Even work can be made fun if done the right way!)
My parents notice when I am doing a good job and let me know about it. (What we learn: NOTICE and ACKNOWLEDGE! Everyone wants to have their work validated!)
How often do your parents tell you they are proud of you for something you've done? (What we learn: TELL THEM! Let your kids know that you are proud of them, that you love them, that they matter!)
People in my family often insult or yell at each other. (What we learn: Obviously, this one is on the 'shouldn't be happening for healthy mental health' side. Refrain from the insults and yelling. There are ways to disagree and share differing points of view without insulting or yelling. Take advantage of these 'Adventures' to create opportunities to discuss and share viewpoints, and validate the viewpoint of each family member even if you don't share the same viewpoint. You can say things like "I don't necessarily share your viewpoint, but I can see that it's important to you" or "I never thought of it that way. It doesn't necessarily change my thoughts about it, but it certainly gives me a new perspective to consider."
We argue about the same things in my family over and over. (What we learn: Don't argue about the same things over and over! This will be easier to do if you follow the tip from above. Acknowledge and validate, and if necessary agree to disagree . . . and move on. And then avoid coming back to the same issue.
Fun List of Ideas for your SURPRISE BONUS TIME!!
( for quarantine, school closures, weekend social distancing, anytime!)
Do you or someone you know need internet access?
Anyone who qualifies for programs like free school lunches qualifies for Internetessentials.com and can get 2 months of free internet access during the pandemic so that everyone can get internet access. After the 2 months it is $9.95/month. They have increased speeds from 15 meg to 25 meg. Also be aware that Xfinity hotspots you find out in public are now open to everyone whether you are a xfinity customer or not.
Note that most of the resources listed below either are always free or are providing free access for a time during the coronavirus outbreak. However, it is impossible for us to keep up with all of these sites to know if they change their status. Please be aware that some of them may return to paid subscriptions without us knowing about it.
For kids with schools that aren't providing online education—and for kids too young to even do schoolwork online—here are apps and educational videos to help stay on top of the basics and learn about their world.
Waterford Upstart - Early Learning Boosts will help you engage your child in positive learning experiences during the week. They will send an email with a video and an activity teaching literacy, math, or science concepts for 3- and 4-year-olds 3 times per week. The activities are simple, age-appropriate, and designed to give your child a BOOST in their early education!
Khan Academy - A nonprofit with the mission to provide a free, world-class education for anyone, anywhere.
Scholastic Learn at Home: for grades PreK-K; 1-2; 3-5 and 6-9 -
- Free worksheets & Activities by grade, subject, theme and more
- Watch, read and explore a wide variety of subjects with TrueFlix
- SCIENCE! Choose your topic, watch a movie, and read the book. You can even dig deeper.
- Scholastic Home Base.your destination for characters, games, stories, and your fellow fans. Make new friends as you explore islands from the books you love.
NASA's website has a plethora of opportunities for kids and adults alike to learn more about astronomy and spaceflight. Whether you want to be an astronaut, kill some time learning about the universe or help the agency work on future space exploration activities, there's no lack of things to do. So, if you're looking for a little out-of-this-world escape while you're stuck at home, we have put together a Space Exploration Discovery Family Adventure that lists LOTS of free space-themed activities from NASA to keep you occupied. . . and earning more points!
Enjoy a story read by an real Astronaut!! @StoryTimeSpace offers children the opportunity to have real astronauts read them a book from the @Space_Station
450 FREE Coding Classes from Ivy League Schools!
Code.org — Online coding classes
Many educational websites are waving fees if your students school is closed. Here’s a list of some of them that are waving fees.
Lunch Doodles with Mo Willems
• Breathe, Think, Do with Sesame — A Sesame Street app that teaches kids problem-solving and self-control.
• ABCmouse.com — An online curriculum offering lessons in reading, math, science and art.
• PBS Kids — An app and website with educational videos and games.
• Khan Academy Kids — An educational app with lessons in core subjects and guided activities.
• Mystery Doug — Video and/or hands-on science lessons for kindergarten through grade 5.
• Smithsonian Learning Lab — An online collection of images, videos and audio recordings on a range of subjects ranging from space to modern art.
• Prodigy — An online math game for kids in grades 1 through 8.
• Vocabulary Spelling City — An app and website aimed at building spelling, phonics and vocabulary skills.
• National Geographic Kids — A website with games, animal facts and science experiments.
• Brilliant — Online courses in logic, computer science and artificial neural networks.
• CuriosityStream — On-demand documentaries on topics ranging from dinosaurs to nutrition.
• NASA — An app housing a large collection of NASA satellite images, mission information and videos.
• Google Art Project — Virtual art museum tours and Google Street View tours of global attractions.
• Khan Academy — Short online courses in subjects ranging from world history to economics, along with sample daily schedules to help get kids on a routine.
• Outschool — Live online classes for kids ages 3 to 18.
• BrainPop — Lessons in all subjects for kindergarten through grade 8; some school districts are supplying parents with passwords to log in free of charge.
• Epic — A digital library for kids up to age 12.
Enjoy stories read by your favorite celebrities as well as regular families across the country.
Harry Potter at Home!
Audible.com is offering free streams on a select number of children's stories across six languages to keep kids "dreaming, learning, and just being kids," its website said. The service will be available for as long as schools are closed. The books are separated into six categories: "Littlest Listeners," "Elementary," "Tween," "Teen," "Literary Classics" and "Folk & Fairy Tales for All." There is no age limit, and there are some books even adults can enjoy. Books are available in English, Spanish, French, German, Japanese and Italian.
Be sure to check your local library as well!
Also check the Scholastic programs TrueFlix, ScienceFlix, and Home Base as they provide access to LOTS of educational books for FREE.
With kids cooped up for weeks (if not months!), it is important to keep them moving so they can release some energy. Equally important: Keeping them calm and focused amid all the anxiety and uncertainty.
Playworks Recess Games
• GoNoodle and GoNoodle Games — First, there was an app with videos to help get kids moving; now there's also an app with games that require movement.
• Walkr — A space-based game that requires kids to use their "walking energy" to fuel a spaceship.
• Super Stretch Yoga — An app that allows kids to learn yoga positions from animated characters.
• Cosmic Kids — A YouTube channel and app with videos on how to practice yoga and mindfulness.
• ARrrrrgh — An augmented-reality, pirate-themed hide-and-seek app that encourages movement.
• Headspace for Kids — An app with meditations focused on kindness, relaxing before bedtime and starting the day.
• Smiling Mind — An app with daily meditation and mindfulness exercises.
• Just Dance 2020 — A high-energy dance game set to pop music that works on numerous gaming platforms including Xbox One, Google Stadia and PlayStation 4.
• Stop, Breathe & Think — An app that helps younger kids choose "missions" to find their field of calm and older ones (and adults) to practice mindful breathing.
• Calm — An app to help people sleep, relax and meditate.
Natural History Museum of Utah - Live-streaming fresh content daily.
13 Museums Around the World
Yellowstone National Park
Mammoth Hot Springs
Saturn 5 Rocket on YouTube
Great Wall of China
Explore the surface of Mars on the Curiosity Rover. They are updating from WEBVR to WEBXR now, but 360 Mode offers a digital view!
Gaze into the heavens at Star Atlas, where kids can explore more than 60,000 stars, locate planets, and watch sunrises and even solar eclipses (you can’t see all that in one day at school).
Live Cams at the San Diego Zoo
Monterey Bay Aquarium live cams
Panda Cam at Zoo Atlanta
6 Animal Cams at Houston Zoo
Georgia Aquarium has Jellyfish, Beluga Whales, and more
FarmFood 360 offers 11 Virtual Tours of farms from minks, pigs, and cows, to apples and eggs.
Virtual National Park tours You Can Enjoy at home:
Acadia National Park
Arches National Park
Badlands National Park
Big Bend National Park
Black Canyon of the Gunnison National Park
Bruce Canyon National Park
Canyonlands National Park
Channel Islands National Park
Cuyahoga Valley National Park
Death Valley National Park
Denali National Park
Dry Tortugas National Park
Everglades National Park
Glacier National Park
Grand Canyon National Park
Grand Teton National Park
Great Smoky Mountain National Park
Guadalupe Mountains National Park
Joshua Tree National Park
Mesa Verde National Park
Mount Rainier National Park
Olympic National Park
Redwood National and State Parks
Rocky Mountain National Park
Sequoia National Park
Shenandoah National Park
Virgin Islands National Park
Wind Cave National Park
Yellowstone National Park
Yosemite National Park
Zions National Park
Discovery Education Virtual Field Trips:
Polar Bears and the Tundra
Social Emotional Skills
Arconic's Advanced Manufacturing Hub in Alcoa, Tennessee - learn about the exciting ways robotics and digital technology impact the skills needed to succeed in advanced manufacturing and manufacture your future!
This week there will be rebroadcast performances of Dvořák's Symphony No. 8 led by Music Director Thomas Dausgaard on YouTube, Facebook and at seattlesymphony.org/live — a gift to friends near and far.
Thursday, March 26, at 7:30pm PDT
Saturday, March 28, at 8pm PDT
Sunday, March 29, at 2pm PDT — additional matinee performance this week!
Family Programming: Meet the Tuba w/Principal Tuba John DiCesare at 11am PDT Friday, March 27. A fun, family-friendly exploration of the orchestra's biggest brass instrument.
- Coldplay Instagram @Coldplay
- Sheryl Crow is playing daily concerts in her backyard, wind and all. Check out acoustic versions of "God Bless This Mess" and "Summer Days" on her Instagram page. She is also hosting live meditation sessions.
- If you love high drama check out Rufus Wainwright's Instagram feed. Each day, he bangs out a mini opera on his home piano. Check out "Grey Gardens" and be dazzled by Wainwright’s set of pipes. He’s sharing a different song each day.
Check your favorite artists' social media sites to see what they are offering.
JUST FOR FUN
We all know that all work and no play makes Jack a dull boy. So when the kids are done learning and bouncing around, these are some good resources for them to unwind.
Most National Parks are closed until future notice. Some are open to citizens of the county the park is in. Those that are open are FREE until further notice. Be sure to check with the park you plan to visit to learn of the current status. This is a very fluid situation, so be prepared for things to change.
Arts & Crafts: JoAnn's & CreativeBug 2-month Trial
• Jellies — Curated kids' videos with no ads or inappropriate language or behavior.
• Toca Boca games — A series of apps featuring educational and whimsical games, especially Toca Life, Toca Lab and Toca Blocks.
• Pixel Art - Color by Number — A coloring app easy enough for young kids to do.
• Minecraft — A building-block game in which kids can create their own worlds.
• Yoshi's Crafted World — An adventure game featuring a dinosaur in a world made of real objects.
• Super Mario Party — A four-person Nintendo Switch game that also can be played with others in person or online. (Online play requires an additional subscription.)
• Monument Valley 2 — A visually stunning puzzle game about the journey of a mother and child that feels like something out of an M.C. Escher drawing.
• Abzu — An ocean exploration game available on PlayStation 4, Steam, Xbox One and Nintendo Switch.
• The Turing Test — A challenging puzzle-based videogame set on Europa, one of Jupiter's moons, available on Nintendo Switch, PlayStation 4, Xbox One and Steam.
• AI Dungeon 2 — A text-based, artificial-intelligence choose-your-own-adventure game that can be played on a browser or downloaded as an app.
• The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild — A sweeping epic adventure game for Nintendo. (Single player.)
• Disney+ — A streaming service for Disney, Pixar, Marvel, Star Wars and National Geographic movies.
• Lunch Doodles With Mo Willems — The writer and illustrator of such classic children's books as "Don't Let the Pigeon Drive the Bus!" and "Knuffle Bunny" is posting YouTube drawing tutorials every day for the next couple of weeks to give kids something to do at home.
- Have each family member pick a topic they want to learn about and spend 30 mins each day on that topic
- Try new recipes!! Bake something new every day
- Write letters or make homemade cards for homebound neighbors, friends or family members
- Use all of your building toys on one giant structure
- Build a tent with blankets. Include flashlights, snacks, books, and pillows!
- Races of various kinds (hopping on one foot, crabwalk, walking backwards, etc.)
- Build a playdough city, zoo, racetrack, whatever . . .
- Facetime with grandparents, cousins, maybe even friends . . . a LOT!
- Set up a scavenger hunt
- Learn the parts of plants/flowers & how they function (bonus if they learn the Latin names).
- Write a short story & illustrate it.
- Have the kids help with cleaning up the house or yard work. Organizing can be FUN!
- Have a Lego competition.
- Playing with the pets.
- Sew something.
- Get the garden ready, weed and work the ground.
- Have a shadow show by using blankets over chairs or a table.
- Pull out a bunch of tape, markers and cardboard boxes and let the kids use their imagination to create something.
- Family puzzles.
- Team up and really clean and organize each kid's space, making a donation box for each. Parents are included.
- Make up your own games! Board games, card games, you name it!
- Write a progressive story. One person picks a character and the other picks a setting and then go gangbusters together.
- Any and all art or craft: beading, painting, drawing, play dough or kinetic sand, sewing, etc. when my daughter was young we could do art all day.
- Yoga, Zumba or Dance-along. There are kid-friendly YouTube videos.
- Draw self portraits on blank faces
- Make maps and then write directions from one place to another to see if someone else could follow it.
- 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.
- Learn how to write code. Check out the videos here
- Build a house out of cardboard boxes, including the furniture.
- Science! There are a few easy "kitchen chemistry" type science experiments that are easy to do, like making slime, baking soda and vinegar reaction, etc. Check Pinterest for ideas.
- Wash and clean the car
- Play with sidewalk chalk outside
- Have a glow stick party
- Grab some popcorn + watch a movie
- 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.
- Pull out all the activity books, presents, etc that never got played with, and use those!
- If the kids need to get out of the house try a new hiking path. 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.
- 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.
- Make homemade ice cream
- Paint with washable paints outside
NOTE regarding children's play
- Move “open-ended toys” to the front. Toys with lights and batteries that sing and talk won’t hook your child into play as well as simple toys. Make the blocks, cars, dolls, kitchens and building toys the most easily accessible.
- Limit adult involvement: play is the child’s job, not the adults. Accept play invitations from your child, but don’t feel guilty about letting your child play on their own at other times. Kids need to play independent of adults to exercise their full creativity. Of course, independent doesn’t mean unsupervised.
Ready to take it to the next level?
You can't really involve the neighborhood in this one at this point, but you can share this list with them. Share with 3 friends for an extra 3 points!
by School Closure Resources: