While the COVID-19 pandemic is still with us, and school is now out for the year, parents have even more of their child’s time to occupy. As you may still be working from home, it’s important to have a number of activities that are fun and enriching for your kids. Look at the list below for some ideas to keep the little, and not so little ones, occupied.
Do virtual tours – While children will inevitably be drawn to their computers, make at least some of that time fun yet educational. There are a variety of sites online that let you virtually visit museums, national parks and more, and a simple Google search for “virtual tours” can lead you to many more.
- Watch the beluga whales and other animals at the Georgia Aquarium.1
- E-visit the Louvre.2
- Start with this site to “visit” a number of National Parks3.
- Take a tour of the Great Wall of China4
- Go to outer space with a virtual visit to Mars5.
- For more ideas on virtual tours, check out Discovery Education6
Video chats: A variety of apps, such as FaceTime, Skype, and Google Hangouts, can help connect your child with friends and relatives. Just make sure you use with your child. Check out this site for kid-friendly7 apps.
Set up a treasure hunt8 – Treasure hunts9 are easy and can last for a while, depending on how many items you include. A simple treasure hunt can include 10 to 20 items around the house or outside to keep kids occupied. You can even move the treasure hunt to a park. A simple Google search for “scavenger hunt” gives plenty of ideas.
Craft projects – A variety of arts and crafts10 projects for all age levels and abilities can be found online. Parents Magazine11 offers many suggestions, but a simple internet search12 also turns up countless examples of simple, fun ideas that any kid will love. For more ideas, check out this site13.
Books to read – Instill in children a love of reading with a few recommendations for any age. Commonsensemedia.org14 lists various titles for children up to age 12, and Scholastic.com15 has recommendations for middle school students. Website Fatherly.com16 recommends nonfiction books for elementary students as an alternative for children who may not be keen on reading fiction stories.
Let the kids play outside17 – Not only is this an easy, free activity, but one that is essential for mind and body. Getting outside is not only a way to keep children healthy with fresh air and exercise, but outside play allows kids to explore their natural surroundings and burn off pent up energy.
Turn your child into a chef18 – Find fun and easy recipes that you can make with your child, and get them involved19 in a major family activity. These sites20 offer tips on kid-tested recipes and foods that are easy to make and can appeal to picky eaters.
Science projects at home – Let your kids learn some science by visiting the kitchen. Check out the Kitchen Pantry Scientist21 for ideas that mix science and fun in the kitchen. Most of the needed ingredients should already be in your house.
- Georgia Aquarium, https://www.georgiaaquarium.org/webcam/beluga-whale-webcam/
- Louvre Museum, https://www.louvre.fr/en/visites-en-ligne
- National Parks, https://www.nationalparks.org/connect/blog/take-virtual-visit-national-park
- Great Wall of China, https://www.thechinaguide.com/destination/great-wall-of-china
- Mars, https://accessmars.withgoogle.com/
- Discovery Education, https://www.discoveryeducation.com/community/virtual-field-trips/
- Techwiser, https://techwiser.com/best-kid-friendly-video-chat-app/
- Good Housekeeping Magazine, https://www.goodhousekeeping.com/life/parenting/g32050844/scavenger-hunt-ideas-for-kids/
- The Spruce, https://www.thespruce.com/indoor-treasure-hunt-for-children-1695332
- Happiness is Homemade, https://www.happinessishomemade.net/quick-easy-kids-crafts-anyone-can-make/
- Parents Magazine, https://www.parents.com/fun/arts-crafts/kid/
- Easy Peasy and Fun, https://www.easypeasyandfun.com/crafts-for-kids/
- Parade Magazine, https://parade.com/1026983/stephanieosmanski/crafts-for-kids/
- Common Sense Media, Commonsensemedia.org
- Scholastic, Scholastic.com
- Fatherly, www.Fatherly.com
- Parade Magazine, https://parade.com/1009774/stephanieosmanski/things-to-do-with-kids-during-coronavirus-quarantine/
- Food Network, https://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/packages/recipes-for-kids/cooking-with-kids
- Cooking with Kids, https://cookingwithkids.org/
20. The Spruce, https://www.thespruceeats.com/cooking-with-kids-4162214
- Kitchen Pantry Scientist, www.kitchenpantryscientist.com