The emergence of COVID-19 in Colorado has challenged every person to change their normal routines for the well being of the community. Schools are closed and kids are home, and many parents need to work while caring for their littles. If it was a snowstorm, we might meet our pals for a play date or a group outing, but in this case social distancing is imperative to keeping our healthcare system from being overwhelmed. So, I thought I’d put together a list of things to do to help keep our kids busy. A quick PSA: there are going to be quite a few ideas that include technology. Please supervise your kids while they are online. Families who need assistance with food, check out BVSD’s Emergency Food Distribution Plan here.
Have some more ideas? I would love to add your ideas to the list, especially ideas that can support local performers and small businesses during this trying time. Feel free to email me at: firstname.lastname@example.org or leave a comment.
#1 FaceTime/Google Hangouts/Skype with Friends
Kids can start to feel lonely away from their peers. Use technology to bring them together, minus the germ-swapping. Kids love to see their friends and family on the screen, and it can be a great way to catch up and to give the kids a few minutes with their pals.
#2 Watch and Learn with Jeff and Paige
We love our local performers, Jeff and Paige, who put on fun, educational science and nature performances for kids. Did you know Jeff and Paige have a YouTube Channel? Your kids can sing along and dance to all of the duo’s most popular songs right at home. If you’d prefer a non-screen option, you can purchase Jeff and Paige CDs on their website or download digital albums! It’s a great way to support our local artists and keep the kids engaged and having fun.
#3 Boulder Public Library Online Resources
Boulder Public Library offers a ton of online resources that you can access while the library is closed (and it is closed until further notice). Also, if you have books checked out, go ahead and keep them — all books borrowed from the Boulder Public Library are now due on April 30. Each library has its own closure/online resource info, so if you live outside Boulder, be sure to look into what your library is offering.
#4 Learn Spanish With Your Kids Online from a Local Mom
#5 Take a Walk
Get outside and take a walk. Your dog will thank you. Social distancing means steering clear of unnecessary human contact, but it doesn’t prohibit you from being outside in the fresh air. Just keep your distance from any crowded spaces. A good rule of thumb is maintaining a distance of 6 feet from others.
#6 Check Out NCAR’s Online Learning Resources
How does a cloud form? What’s a sunspot? Why is climate changing? The UCAR Center for Science Education’s Learning Zone, lets your kid explore these questions and more.
#7 Take a Virtual Museum Tour
Need something for your older kids? Check out these virtual museum tours! Even young kids will get a kick out of it, and its intriguing for adults alike.
#8 Keep Learning with Khan Academy
Khan Academy is an excellent resource to keep kids learning at home. It offers practice exercises, instructional videos, and a personalized learning dashboard that empower learners to study at their own pace. Topics include math, science, computer programming, history, art history, economics, and more.
#9 Family Game Time
Dust off those board games and that deck of cards. Playing a game together is a good way to loosen up and have some fun.
#10 Cosmic Kids Yoga
A fun way to keep the kids active, Cosmic Kids Yoga is a YouTube channel dedicated to teaching kids yoga.
#11 Scavenger Hunt
Make a list of things for the kids to find! You can do this indoors or outdoors.
#12 Search for Things on Google Earth
This is a fun way for kids to discover new places, and to get a taste of Geography. Make a list of things for them to find! Not sure what to look for? Use this worksheet as a jumping off point!
#13 Take Free Virtual Art Classes from McHarper Manor
McHarper Manor is offering virtual art classes starting Monday, March 16. The studio will be going live daily with free art & craft tutorials to create at home with your kids. More info here.
#14 Go Inside the Deep Sea
#15 Work on a Craft
Kids love to learn new crafts! This video shows a few different ways you can learn a new craft with things you (probably) have at home.
#16 Scholastic Learn at Home
Scholastic is offering special cross-curricular journeys for kids to learn at home. Every day includes four separate learning experiences, each built around a thrilling, meaningful story or video. Kids can do them on their own or with their families.
#17 NASA Kids Club
NASA offers a fun place for kids to learn about space online! The site includes games, stories and more.
#18 Listen to a Kid-Friendly Podcast
Kid-friendly podcasts including news, what-ifs, stories and more!
#19 Animal Planet – Pets
If your kids love pets, have them check out the Animal Planet pets page. Learn dog and cat facts, breed information, puppy and kitten videos and more!
#20 National Geographic for Kids
History, science, animals, space and more! Kids can learn and play at National Geographic Kids.
#21 Teach Kids Anti-Racism at Home
Click here for a small collection of anti-oppressive, anti-racist homeschool curriculum ideas and resources for families.
#22 Download FREE Coloring Books from over 100 Museums
Something for all ages (yes, even adults) to color on this list of coloring books from over 100 museums.
#23 Watch Live Animal Videos
Live cams of animals! Here are some links: Apes, pandas, tigers and penguins (and more) at the San Diego Zoo, live stream of all kinds of birds’ nests, honey bees, brown bears, oceans, animal sanctuaries, and more.
#24 Take a Virtual Field Trip
Check out this very cool list of virtual field trips to all kinds of places including zoos, national parks and more!