Perhaps you need to get some work done or get a few minutes of peace, and you’ve got kids looking to you to keep them entertained. There is nothing fun about Spring Break or extra days off when kids are bored, right? If your kids are missing school, you’re right to be worried about what they might be losing with school out. Luckily, there are many great ways to make time at home educational and fun, too. Here are some of my best tips for keeping your kid educated and entertained at home.
Start with a Schedule
While you may be able to get away with more flexibility in your adult life, kids will do better with a schedule than having endless free hours. They’re used to it at least. This will also reduce fights over when screen time is, and keep your children from asking what’s next. I’m loving this schedule that went viral last week.
Schedule Guided and Project Based Learning Time Every Day
For Guided Learning:
ABC Mouse has a full online core curriculum for children ages 2 through 8.
Scholastic is currently offeringfree Learn at Home lessons, featuring day-by-day projects to help kids continue reading, thinking and growing. Just choose a grade level starting from pre-k and kindergarten and going past students ages six and older.
For Project Based Learning:
Udemy offers online courses of all types, even for kids! Kids can learn anything from coding to drawing to yoga. This mystery writing course is taught by a National Board Certified teacher! Help your kids design a project of their own interest and give them the materials to complete it. Perhaps they would like to create their own movie or design the perfect road trip. You’ll have to guide them a little, but just the problem solving aspect will be important for their learning.
Get creative and work with their curiosity with crates from KiwiCo. Find science and tinkering, art and design and geography and culture crates for babies and toddlers all the way up to kids age 14 and up and even adults. Plus, you’ll get a 30% off KiwiCo coupon code when you sign up for the newsletter.
Maybe you can’t get to the library or a bookstore very often, but there are many online resources for ebooks and audiobooks. Audiobooks by Rakuten Kobo has books starting at $1.99. These children’s books that have just debuted this year are some of our favorites and a great starting point to find in audiobook versions.
Give your kids a few choices for independent quiet time. Provide headphones for podcasts (I recommend Pants on Fire or Tumble for kids!) or drag out a box of LEGOs to let their imaginations go wild.
If you can, schedule time to get outside every day for a long walk or a trail for riding bikes. This will be as good for you as for your kids. If you’re restricted by the weather or otherwise, search YouTube dance videos (even if you can’t dance) or yoga videos (even if you aren’t flexible).
Art and Music
Don’t forget the arts. Here’s a list of 80 art projects for kids including Fairy Wands and Robot Faces (and you can get supplies Blick and Michaels). Kiwi Crate offers plenty of art and music boxed projects that can be mailed to you, like this one, and, at the time of writing, you can get 7.5% Cash Back with Rakuten!
Chores and Daily Routine Activities
Even if you have a very little one, simply talking through a chore as you do it, essentially modeling for your child, can add to their vocabulary as they learn to mimic you. Ask your children to help you complete chores and assign independent ones during a designated time each day. Meal planning and preparation can be the perfect project for your kids, and we love these recipes for money-saving healthy kids’ snacks!
After all is said and done, kids need to let their imaginations roam free and have fun. These little balls of energy appreciate little more than having a great time. Check out these fun staycation ideas for a good time all around.
Let your kids know when and how they can interrupt you if you’re working, and how you’ll guide them through the schedule of the day. Every evening you can do some planning together for what is happening the next day and let them give you a recap of their projects and discoveries.
Mariko is a high school English teacher who has three children, illegible handwriting and an obsession with mail-order artisan ice cream. She lives in Hawaii, but she makes a point to eat her way through big cities as often as she can.