We find ourselves in unchartered ground as we know have a 3 week March Break due to the Covid-19 and even more challenging is that we are isolated to our homes to avoid potential germs. Whether you are social distancing, isolating or quarintining this is our new current reality in Canada for the next few weeks (#flattenthecurve). I figure why not make the best of the time we have with the kids at home and try out some programs that are offering online options. Having the kids at home for three weeks can be challeging for moms and dads so I have come up with a list of Educational and Fun Ways to Enterain Kids at Home.
It is important to let students have a break, unwind, relax and be a kid however as a teacher I know how easy it is for students learning to slide…. as often at the begining of the school year we see what is called the Summer Slide, and with 3 weeks off from school currently, the same situation could occur. So why not spend some time on these fun and educational activities that engage your child’s mind.
Here at Little Miss Kate we are always looking for ways to stay connected to our Community of Peel Region and to provide our audience with as many fun things to do with kids as possible so I have included many local businesses from the Peel Region in my list! #letssupportlocal
*** Many of the Ideas below are programs or activities I have personally used with my toddler daughter or in the classroom as I am a fulltime elementary teacher ***
What is the Summer Slide?
The Summer Slide is when students go weeks without praticing skills such as reading, math and overall academics and we see a decline in their ability. I had many students leave for last summer at a much higher academic level then they were assessed at in September. The decline in academic ability can occur when students are not practicing and using these skills. While it is not currently the summer, we want to avoid the academic slide over the next 3 weeks as we are off for March Break and Preventative Measures of Covid-19.
Explore with Online Adventures:
- Digital Escape Rooms from Breakout EDU – Kids love to complete escape rooms and solve puzzles so why not try out some of the amazing Digital Escape Rooms that exist. Open the Pool is my go to escape room that I use when I teach students in Grades 2-5, many kids can complete idependently but some will require some assistance but this is a great first Digital Escape to check out! There is a Video with all the Answers as well which is helpful. If the kids loved this adventure, find more fun Digital Escapes in the Breakout Edu Sandbox.
- Mystery Science – Hands on science lessons and videos that engage children in leanring about science and engineering. Captivate your children with short videos and discussion questions and even complete some follow up activities that use materials found around your home. The Mystery starts with a 2 minute video to engage students, followed by discussion questions and wrapped up with a hands on activity that includes all the printables. Check out Mystery Science!
- Interactive Zoo Visits: Home Safari with Cincinati Zoo: Join us for a Home Safari Facebook Live each weekday at 3pm EDT where we will highlight one of our amazing animals and include an activity you can do from home.
- Museums with Virtual Tours – Experience the Best Museums from the comfort of your own home! You can explore the following museums: British Museum in London, Guggenheim Museum in New York, National Gallery of Art in Washington, D.C., Rijksmuseum, Amsterdam and many more museum and art galleries as there are over 12 Museums with Virtual Tours.
- Lunch Time Doodles with Mo Willems: Mo Willems invites YOU into his studio every day for his LUNCH DOODLE. Learners worldwide can draw, doodle and explore new ways of writing by visiting Mo’s studio virtually once a day for the next few weeks. Grab some paper and pencils, pens, or crayons and join Mo to explore ways of writing and making together. Viewers can see each weekday’s new video at 1:00 p.m. ET.
- Art Hub for Kids: Amazing How to Draw Videos that can be used by kids of all ages. They are easy to follow along and entertaining as I have used them with Grades K-6.
Educational Apps and Programs:
- Dreambox: Parents, you can help your child’s math confidence with 2,000+ DreamBox Learning® Math lessons, designed by teachers, available for grades K-8. Sign up for a Free 90 Day Trial (Available until April 30th, 2020).
- Raz Kids: Parents you can help your child’s reading development using Raz Kids online.
- Scholastic Learn at Home: Day-by-day projects to keep kids reading, thinking, and growing.
- Teach Your Monster to Read: Create a monster and take it on an adventure through a magical world. Travel to exciting places, meet fun characters, play games and win prizes as your monster learns the first steps of reading. (APP is free until MARCH 23rd)
- Prodigy: Prodigy is a curriculum-aligned math game loved by over 50 million children in Grades 1‑8. Parents monitor and support their child’s learning using the tools in their free Parent account.
- Math Playground: Free, online math games! Problem solving, logic games and number puzzles kids love to play.
- You Cubed: At youcubed, we inspire, educate and empower teachers of mathematics, transforming the latest research on mathematics learning into accessible and practical activities.
- Math Before Bed: 180 Math prompts to spark amazing math discussion.
- Coding: Students can learn basic computer science principles through these amazing coding activities.
- Online Ballet Classes: Cleveland Inner City Ballet Virtual Online Ballet Program has launched and is open in our Parent Portal. There are Ballet Guides up and available now at clevelandinnercityballet.org. Don’t forget our FIRST Ballet Class will be Wednesday at 12 Noon. Reminder emails and other Bonus Materials will go out to those who are registered through the Parent Portal.
- Go Noodle: Movement and mindfulness videos created by child development experts.
- Fit Kids Club: Diamond Beachbody Coach Jennifer normally brings us bootcamp, and mama and mini park sessions in the Spring and Summer. Now her and Beachbody are working to help support movement in kids. Checkout my review of her Fit Club Bootcamp programs in Mississauga. These 10 minute videos are an excellent way to workout with your kids at home. Jennifer has launched a 14 day Virtual Fit Club for Parents (I already completed the first 3 days), daily home workouts with a group at 2PM through ZOOM, Meal Planning Ideas, and Kids Movement Ideas.
- Salsa Babies: Salsa babies offers latin dancing to mommy bellies, moms and babies, moms and tots, and kids. Salsa Babies classes will be going online this spring so you can still enjoy the classes from the commort of your own home while social distancing. Checkout our review of Salsa Babies in class.
- Family Groove – A playful dance workout presented by teacher and instructor Michelle Hillier that offers movement, dance and fun for the whole family. There is a 30 day free trial for all Body Groove On-Demand content.
Online Reading Programs/ Reading Supports
- Storyline Online: Reading aloud to children helps their reading, writing and oral commuincation while inspiring children to be readers and writters while loving literacy. Storyline Online provides Books that can be viewed online.
- Sqiggle Park: Personalized reading-skills games push learners to succeed at the pace that’s right for them.
- Starfall: Children have fun while they learn – specializing in reading, phonics & math – educational games, movies, books, songs, and more for children K-3.
For the Younger Kids: Toddler and Preschoolers
- Sensory Play: Sensory development can be fostered through curiosity, exploration, and discovery of new textures, smells, sounds, tastes and sights, all of which can be done through play in a sensory bun. Sensory development focuses on the development of the five senses through crafts for babies and sensory bin ideas. Research shows that kids that have the opportunity to engage in sensory bin play have a larger vocabulary, and simply we know Messy Kids are Happy Kids with Messy Play Ideas!
- Outdoor Activities: In Ontario the weather is only really nice enough to play outside for a couple months a year so we really try to fit in as much outdoor time as we can. Here are 10 Fun and Easy Outdoor Activities for Toddlers (while written for Summer there are many ideas we can use now in March).
- Music Activities: Rainbow Songs – FREE live streaming Instagram family sing alongs everyday at 10AM. Great for Toddlers and Preschoolers as the sign alongs focus on sign language, repeat after me songs, fine motor and gross motor actions, and more. They’re now offering free live streaming Instagram family singalongs, every weekday at 10 a.m., starting today (March 20).
- Busy Bags: Easy activities that you can make at home to entertain your toddlers.
- Sight Word Activities: The key to teaching reading to a child who is struggling is to make it fun and seem more like a game then work, so why not check out Sightword Bingo. Kids feel encouraged when there is lots of positive reinforcement as well, so make small attainable goals with your child and celebrate those little successes! Teaching sight words is a great way to build the confidence of struggling readers. Sight words can be taught through a variety of fun games which encourages children to be engaged in the activity.
- Goldfish Alphabet Mats: Fish Cards are a perfect addition for a quick learning break while also creating wonderful memories with my family. The Fish Cards focus on letters, numbers, colors, counting and basic math skills the the Fish Cards.
- Sensory Bin Letter Recognition: As we took each letter out, we identified the letter names and their sounds. Then we placed each letter on our alphabet worksheet. This was such a hit. What I love the most about this activity is that you can differentiate it for any level of reader!