Working from home? what are the kids going to do?!


#WFHWK – The “what should the kids do?” edition. Not only are parents working from home in unprecedented numbers we are also trying to figure out how our kids can share that space. And also how to make that time and those activities be meaningful to their growth – both socially and academically, at least some of the time.  Oh yeah, and make it fun. Whew. It’s exhausting just thinking about it. As a mom of three (ages 3, 5, and 8) who has worked from home (with kids underfoot) for nearly a decade and has also spent the past year+ homeschooling my eldest  I wanted to offer up some of our favorite resources and activities that we’ve used to keep people playing well with others in our home during times of work, school, and play.

Screen Time:

Let’s face it. All bets are off on screen time limits right now. But, we also know that not all screen time is created equal. These are some apps and websites we use to help encourage learning through play:

Learning Apps Ages Topic
Hungry Caterpillar Play School 2+ Early learning through play
Tiny Hands 2+ Sorting, matching, building
Puzzingo 2+ Educational puzzles
EduKitty 2+ Early learning through play
TinyBop 4+ Science
Thinkrolls 4+ Logic puzzles
Todo Math 4+ Interactive math
Twelve a Dozen 6+ Math
Barefoot World Atlas 6+ Geography, also people, animals, and other world topics
Monument Valley 6+ Logic puzzles
Libby 6+ Online library books
Helpful Websites Ages Links specifically for Covid-19 Response
Education.com PreK+ Assets for transitioning to home learning during school closures
Outschool.com 3+ Free classes offered for school closures
Khan Academy 2-19 Remote learning with Khan Academy
PBS Kids 2+ Daily newsletter with activities for kids to do at home
We Are Teachers K-5th grade  
Wide Open School PreK-12th grade
This is a website powered by Common Sense Media as a response to Covid 19’s impact on schooling

Art, Reading, Movement, and More:

Podcasts Topic
Story Pirates
Stories written by kids adapted into sketch comedy and musical theater
Little Stories for Tiny People
Original stories for toddlers and young kids
But, Why
An NPR podcast for curious kids – kids ask the questions and the show does their best to answer
Short and Curly
This podcast asks curly questions about animals, technology, school, pop culture and the future.
Website Topic
Cosmic Kids Yoga Interactive, short yoga videos for kids to help build strength and mindfulness
KIDZ BOP Daily Dance Along Dancing with the kids from KIDZ BOP to some of their most popular songs
GoNoodle Animated videos that encourage a variety of movement
Website Topic
YouTube: Lunch Drawings with Mo Willems Drawing prompts from Mo Willems where he draws along with the viewer.
The Kitchen Table Classroom Printable crafts, painting classes, and tutorials for kids
Thrive Art School Art classes for beginner and intermediate artists
Website Topic
Storyline Online Celebrated actors read children’s books alongside creatively produced illustrations
Story Time from Space Exactly what it sounds like. Astronauts aboard the ISS read stories for kids

Potential Projects:

Link Topic Age Set up/time investment
Rain Cloud in a Jar Science, weather 2+ with parental help Pretty easy
Calm Down Jars Social-emotional 2+ with parental help Medium
Color Changing Milk Science 3+ with parental help Pretty easy
Magic Mug Cake Science all ages Pretty easy
Fizzing Ice Cubes Science 2+ with parental help Medium
Alka Seltzer Rockets Science 3+ with parental help Pretty easy
Super Science Bubbles Science 2+ with parental help Pretty easy
Woodworking Kits Woodworking 4+ with parental help depends on child’s age
Kiwi crate Science, geography, others 1+ with parental help depends on child’s age

For the babies/littles:

Fill a low drawer or cabinet with tupperware or other kitchen items they would be interested in. Let them empty and fill it to their heart’s content.
Make a treasure basket or box – talk any box or basket you have and fill it with things from your home that are baby-safe and have a variety of textures, colors, shapes and so on. Think: an old boa in a costume area, a new sponge, an unused toothbrush, metal spoons and a small bowl they can bang together.
Bathtub painting: If your baby likes the water let them get in more than once a day. Include some version of edible bath paint (whipped cream or yogurt with food coloring is an easy version to make) before you turn on the water for extra fun.

Activities for All Ages:

Treasure Hunts. Find something your kids will find valuable (stickers, bubbles, coins, candy, coupons for extra video game time, you know what they like) and hide it in the house. Give your kid(s) a clue (or a map if you’re feeling adventurous), and let them run wild trying to find it.
Rainbow ice painting. Freeze water with food coloring or liquid watercolor overnight. Let kids paint with the ice cubes on fabric or paper. Hang to dry.
Host a bridge (or boat or any kind of building you’d like) competition. Set out materials (legos, cardboard, whatever you have on hand) and let your kids compete to see which is the sturdiest, or longest, or tallest, or best sailing vessel. Or maybe all of the above.

View original article here.