Friday, March 27, 2020

Resources for Kids I'm Using & Loving During Social Distancing

Resources for Kids I'm Using & Loving During Social Distancing

As many cities and states enact stay-at-home orders, we've been here for almost a week. Our schools have been closed for 2 weeks though and we've been staying home since then. Over the past 2 weeks I've been trying to balance my toddler's energy and ability level activities with my 1st grader's academic work. I'm thankful that 1st grade work isn't too hard (although that math with number bonds is something else, am I right?), but being a parent and teacher and wife and myself is too many hats to wear at times! Our first day I sat down with Claire and created a schedule with built in creative time, brain breaks, quiet time, and exercise. We try to follow it, but understand that things change. Flexibility is key! Like today, our internet was out for half the day today so instead of doing math lessons online, we had some extra worksheets. I wanted to share some resources that we have been using and loving at home so far. We try to have some fun and create memories each day!

For Kids:
  • Go Noodle - a site with cute dance and movement videos for kids, great for getting the wiggles out 
  • Scholastic Learn at Home - wonderful free resources with science focused activities by grade level
  • TONS of academic resources
  • Goldfish Swim School Printables
  • Bathtub Swim Practice - If your child's swim lessons are postponed right now, here are tips to help them maintain some skills in the bathtub or watch the video here!  
  • Art Projects for Kids - step by step drawing and painting instructions for a large variety of mediums and subjects
  • DLTK's Crafts for Kids - I LOVE this site for printables, craft ideas, and activities. I have used it for years.
  • Cosmic Kids Yoga - Cute story like yoga videos just for kids
  • Teachers Pay Teachers - Even if you aren't a teacher you can find many resources on this site and lots of them are free.
  • List of Free & Online Resources for kids 
  • Scavenger hunts for kids
  • Virtual Field Trips 
  • Other tips:
    • Cook with them! - Cooking and baking involves using SO many skills! Reading, vocabulary, following directions, multi-tasking, planning/organizing, and math are just a few. You even use fine motor skills! Cooking simple recipes with your children is a fun way to target many academic skills. 
    • Reading - This is HUGE. As a speech pathologist, reading is really important. But as they get older, take the time to read with them. Have them read aloud to you. Ask a lot of questions. And don't just ask recall question or about specific details. Ask them to make predictions and WHY they think that, have them use context clues to define unknown words, ask about how characters are feeling and how different their perspectives are. Ask about idioms and other figurative language in the text. Even about what they might do if they were in that situation. Talk about important details versus interesting details. Have them retell the main points from each chapter or a book. This is higher level language that many kids have trouble with and is really important! And I'm not just saying this because I'm a speech pathologist and it relates to my thesis or anything! ;)
    • Workout together - My oldest daughter is now running with me and can go 3 miles! I've done a round robin of things in our basement like mountain climbers, jumping jacks, and running an obstacle course. It's been fun! We are going to sign up for a virtual race soon.
    • Switch up your lunch - put their lunch in cleaned plastic eggs and they must eat the contents of one before opening the next! 
  • Spring crafts:
    • Spring painting tutorials - Get a 6 pack of canvases and make some spring decor for your house! 
    • Toddler spring crafts 
    • Stained glass 'art' - tape off a window and have your kids paint it with washable paint
    • Melted crayon art - use up those broken crayons that seem to be everywhere
    • Toilet paper roll stamps - a tongue in cheek nod to the tp shortage everywhere, at least you can make cute art with the empty rolls!
    • Easter bunny finger painting craft for toddlers
    • Chalk your sidewalks with inspiring messages. Or chalk your neighbors and friends! We did a 4 mile run and were able to write on 8 of Claire's friends' driveways on the way. It was so fun!
    • Use magnetic or magnatiles on your doors or garage doors. Create designs and pictures.
For You: 
  • Be easy on yourself - this is hard. You can't do it all and juggle it all and that is OKAY! Find time for yourself. Make the kids have a quiet time where they read in their rooms or have screen time. Seriously. You need to recharge, too. 
Sending love and virtual hugs to you all! 

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