Many people now suddenly find themselves working from home due to the COVID-19 pandemic. What’s more, they have their kids at home with them while schools are closed. It may take some time for families to adjust to this situation.
What is important is that when your kids are not working on school activities, you find ways to keep them engaged and learning, both for their continued development and for your own ability to get work done at home.
Here are some ideas of some learning activities you can have your children participate in while they’re at home during the duration of the pandemic.
- Virtual field trips: There are a lot of platforms online that allow you to take virtual tours or field trips of certain locations. You can go to the website of your favorite museum to start, or check out some of the National Geographic or Discovery Education videos or virtual tours, and explore some really cool sites at your leisure.
- Podcasts: Podcasts aren’t just for adults! There are a lot of great podcasts geared toward children that are entertaining and educational. Check out the Kids Listen website to find some your child might be interested in.
- Educational websites: There are a lot of free educational websites specifically meant for kids that provide all kinds of learning opportunities. Examples include Highlights Kids, the Nasa Kids’ Club, Seussville, the Sesame Street website, Funbrain, KidsReads, National Geographic Kids, The Magic School Bus website, PBS Kids, Science Bob, the Smithsonian Learning Club and so many more. A quick Google search will open up so many opportunities for virtual, kid-friendly learning.
- Books: What could be better than books? Encourage your children to spend time reading on their own. While libraries might be closed right now, you can still find plenty of children’s e-books for free on Amazon, Kindle, Overdrive or Open Library. Or, of course, purchase physical copies through online retailers.
- Video chats: It’s going to be hard for your children to be cooped up for long periods of time without a lot of interaction with others, so make sure you carve out some time regularly for video chats with grandparents, other relatives and their friends. They’re going to miss having the opportunity to see these special people in their lives face to face and in person, but it’s better than not getting to see them at all.
- Special subscriptions: Education companies are offering free or discounted subscriptions to parents right now while they have their children home during the pandemic. One great one to check out right now is ABC Mouse, which is offering a major discount. Other options include Circletime and Scholastic.
- Encourage creativity: Get your kids exercising their creativity by encouraging them to draw, paint, color or chalk. There are plenty of resources online for you to find creative outlets for your kids as well.
Hopefully, some of these ideas provide some much-needed relief during what is truly an unprecedented time.