Being stuck at home together is no reason to stop learning. There are endless ways for you and your kids to stay curious like our monkey friend George this summer and fall.
Here are five ways to keep your kids curious at home:
Draw together using Art Hub for Kids videos. Bake banana bread together. Paint rocks or small canvases with acrylic paint. Record the plants, insects, and birds you find in your backyard each day with a pencil and watercolors in a nature journal. Sew a simple tote bag from fabric scraps. Knit or crochet a warm scarf for cooler weather. Make a vision board by gluing clippings from old magazines onto a piece of cardboard. (Use the sides of an Amazon box.)
Create chalk art on your driveway together. Plant a vegetable and herb garden. Pick flowers, herbs, and other pretty foliage from your yard, and put them in water in a Mason jar to brighten up your kitchen with a flower arrangement. Drop off extra loaves of banana bread or jars of flower arrangements on your neighbors’ doorsteps to brighten their day.
Use free apps like Zoom, Marco Polo, House Party, Facebook Messenger, and kid-friendly Messenger Kids to stay connected to friends and family during the pandemic. Exchange old-fashioned letters with cousins or grandparents through the mail. Consider finding your kids a pen pal.
Read anything and everything you can get your hands on at home right now. Browse cookbooks, and make new dinner recipes with your kids. Subscribe to kids’ magazines like Ladybug, Highlights, or Ranger Rick. Devour a series of novels like J.K. Rowling’s Harry Potter, or listen to audiobooks together.
Some local libraries are currently closed but offering online reservations and curbside pickup for their patrons. If you have a public library card, you can also use the Libby app to borrow digital books for two weeks. Several children’s author-illustrators like Mo Willems (Elephant and Piggie) and James Dean (Pete the Cat) are doing live read-alouds and art sessions for their readers on YouTube, Instagram, and Facebook. The free Amazon Rapids app will also animate children’s books for your kids. If your children are still learning to read, you can practice sight words together using flash cards.
There are so many ways for you and your kids to learn something new each day at home! Follow your family’s interests on your path to discovery. The BrainPop Featured Movie, PebbleGo, Google Arts & Culture, and NASA apps, as well as the National Geographic Kids and Smithsonian Learning Lab websites, are fun online resources. You can also sign your kids up for a wide range of live, online classes on Outschool for around $10 per class.
Help your kids practice math by counting spaces on board games or playing dominoes or learning a new card game together. Learn the basics of a new language using the Duolingo app. Watch a familiar movie in a different language with English subtitles. Learn to play the piano or keyboard or another musical instrument using method books. Learn a few dance steps or how to do some yoga poses using free YouTube videos.
Take your kids on a free field trip from your living room each day — virtually. Tour museums, gardens, Canadian farms, historic homes, and famous buildings like the U.S. Capitol online. Watch live streams from aquariums and zoos like Monterey Bay Aquarium, San Diego Zoo, and Houston Zoo on YouTube and Facebook. Explore the great outdoors within your own yard or neighborhood with a nature scavenger hunt.
Whatever you choose to do together, stay curious and keep learning!