We are living in an unprecedented time, when physical distancing, quarantine, and health are at the forefront of everyone’s minds. These changes to a “new normal” can be challenging, but they are especially disruptive for children and families. As childcare centers, schools, and libraries are no longer options for many families, parents are being asked to parent… a lot. Our parents are becoming full-time teachers, providers, and entertainers, while many still continue to work. And that can be very stressful.
We want to provide parents with options as they search for ways to spend the days indoors, with squirmy four-year-olds and bored elementary school kids, without just plopping kids down in front of an iPad with games. Below are some online story time, online learning, and low-screen time activity ideas for kiddos and families to help quarantines pass quicker, and hopefully provide a little more connection. We are with you during this time, and parents, we think you are doing a great job.
Online Storytime Resources:
Children’s book author Peter H. Reynolds (The Word Collector, Say Something) hosts a daily read-aloud story time at noon Boston time. These can be watched live or found any time of day on his Facebook page @PeterHamiltonReynolds
Beloved Gerald and Piggie author Mo Willems hosts Lunch Doodles live every day at 1pm ET, with episodes saved online to watch any time of day. Kids to draw and write along with Mo, as well as learn more about his characters: https://www.kennedy-center.org/education/mo-willems/
Diane Alber provides “a little spot of brightness” to your day with her Facebook LIVE story times, each day at 10am PST. Schedules posted for the week on her Facebook page: www.facebook.com/DianeAlberArt/
Tucson nonprofit Make Way for Books provides daily bilingual story time for kids, 10 am Arizona Time. You can sing songs and read stories with them by joining in at www.facebook.com/groups/makewayforbooks.
The Make Way for Books app allows families to download free books to share together with their young children, find educational videos and literacy activities to do with children and help children build their early reading skills. It is available free for Android (bit.ly/33DhMQb) and Apple (apple.co/2UrFivc).
Take kids on a nature walk around where you live! Look for insects, plants, or fun colors on the houses you see. Getting a little bit of exercise and sun will make days move by quicker.
Do a scavenger hunt in your home. Hide a few objects around your house and give clues to find them. This activity will allow children to look at their surroundings in a whole new way!
Make something together! Whether baking a favorite treat or combining random ingredients close to expiration date, this will give kids something to do with their hands. Measuring and counting out ingredients also help to establish early math and science skills.
Build a fort! There’s nothing better to do on a day cooped up indoors then to transport yourself to somewhere new with a little imagination. With some sheets and pillows you can make your living room into a secret hideaway.
Have a dance party! Put on your favorite tunes and shake your wiggles out.