So, Your Kids Are Done With E-Learning at 11:00am. Now what?
Let’s be honest. If you have young children at home, your life is complete chaos these days. With schools closed and students taking an e-learning approach to their assignments, parents are doubling as teachers – spending their days trying to make sense of confusing math worksheets and abstract essay prompts. And without set class times and extracurricular activities to burn off some energy, the phrase “I’m bored,” has become all too common. Here are a few ways the kids can keep busy while you sort out your responsibilities.
Watch Livestreams of Zoos and Aquariums
Even though they are closed to the public, many zoos and aquariums across the country are sharing livestreams of their exhibits. The Brookfield Zoo is bringing the zoo to you with daily videos on their Facebook page, where kids can watch Quilbert the porcupine eating his favorite snacks or the Nigerian Dwarf goats doing rollcalls and getting their weigh-ins.
The Shedd Aquarium has live cams of the Underwater Beauty exhibit and regularly updates their Facebook page with their most viral (and adorable) sensation to date, the penguins.
The best part about this activity? The kids aren’t limited to just local zoos and aquariums. They can explore species in Washington D.C., Cincinnati, San Diego, and St. Louis.
Take a Trip to the Louvre
Okay, we know that hopping on a plane to Paris and going to the Louvre isn’t an option right now. But the iconic museum has online tours that make it easy to visit the exhibition rooms and galleries from your couch.
Google Arts & Culture also offers visual tours of the Van Gogh Museum in Amsterdam, Musée d’Orsay in Paris, and the National Gallery of Art in Washington D.C.
Keep kids’ minds stimulated by having them ditch their phones and video games for an hour or two and encouraging (or forcing) them to read a book instead. They can read books from around the house or download electronic versions on Amazon’s Kindle app. Paper books are still available to order through Amazon.com, and many local independent book sellers can ship purchases.
Complete Household Projects
There is no time like the present for kids to take on some chores around the house. Whether these include cleaning the play area and their room or walking and feeding the dog, there are plenty of household projects that are kid-friendly and productive. Plus, they’ll check off some things on your to-do list and get out of your hair for a bit.
Schedule in some exercise in lieu of P.E. classes and after-school sports. P.E. With Joe helps kids release their pent-up energy and adds structure to their day with no-equipment, 30-minute workouts. The YouTube series is hosted by health expert Joe Wicks who leads kids through jumping jacks, mountain climbers, and other exercises that they would normally do in school. Kids can also get active by going on a walk, riding a bike, or hiking. Just be sure to follow social distancing guidelines!
Have Virtual Playdates
Even though they might not admit it, most kids are missing school right now and, more importantly, their friends. Connect with other parents and set up a one-on-one or group playdate on Zoom, Skype, or Google Hangouts. This will give them the face-to-face contact they so desire with their pals and give you a free moment to yourself.
A more nostalgic approach to the aforementioned video calls, writing letters is a great way for kids to practice their penmanship and writing skills. Whether they are writing a letter to a friend or family member, sending snail mail can keep them in contact with anyone outside the home.
Great ideas Arianna, thanks!
The Shedd live cam is amazing and we are heading the Louvre today! (via online tours :-))