Here are some helpful apps, podcasts, and ideas to help parents survive as schools are closed for many globally in March, this month! If you have additional ideas, please add below.
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COVID-19 At Home Activities
2. Have an indoor picnic. Roll out the blankets and have a cozy picnic in your living room. Kids love making the bento or sandwiches.
5. Do origami. You can find good instructions here.
6. Play board games: Monopoly, Life, Scrabble, etc.
7. Dress up and act out your favorite book/movie.
8. Make Moon Sand – Moon Sand is cool sensory change to play dough. Easy to make with just flour, cornstarch and corn oil. Whip up a bunch and let the kids play – add essential oils such as mint or lavender to make it even more enjoyable. Once done playing just put in a plastic zip bag and it can last for 2-3 months. Details at wiki how.
9. Learn to sew on a button or even something more complicated.
10. Do “100 yen jobs” around the house (ask to sweep & mop floors, clean all windows, dust all baseboards).
11. Have an indoor relay race (Cotton balls on spoons, jumping with a ball and more ideas here.).
11. Create your own Lego creations. Here are some fun Lego Building Projects for Kids.
12. Warm up with a bubble bath. Kids will want to soak in the tub with their toys for hours.
13. Have an indoor treasure hunt. Make it educational by hiding letters or words around the house. Younger kids can search for letters and spell names or the alphabet. Older kids can piece together words to form sentences.
14. Collage making – Get out the old photos, magazines and some paper and glue and pens and have a collage-making session. Here are some great Collage Art Ideas for Kids.
15. Complete puzzles or CREATE YOUR OWN!
17. Science Experiments for Kids – Check out these fun Science Experiments you can do at home!
18. Make a fort – Use leftover cardboard boxes/blankets/pillows to make a homemade fort! Here are some great ideas on PINTEREST
19. Bake! – Bake cookies, bread, homemade pizza, etc. Grab a mini pinny and get baking with these great recipes from BBC good food for children using our triple-tested recipes for cookies, cakes, puddings and even bread.
20. Washi Art Wall – Let you kids get creative with Washi tape. Here are some great ideas from PINTEREST
Language Learning APPS & WEBSITES
Reading Eggs’ educational apps are designed by experts to promote real learning on the go. Their colourful and interactive learning apps teach phonics, spelling, vocabulary, maths, sight words and more – and they’re so much fun!
Starfall has been teaching children to read with phonics for well over a decade. Their systematic approach is perfect for preschool, kindergarten, first grade, second grade, special education, homeschool, and English language development (ELD, ELL, ESL). Starfall is an educational alternative to other entertainment choices for children.
The Hooked on Phonics Program uses over 200+ music videos, stories, exercises, and interactive games as a total, comprehensive reading program to keep kids interested and motivated on each lesson.
RAZ-Kids – Suitable for ages 4 – 11 – Online guided reading program with interactive ebooks, downloadable books, and reading quizzes.
Study Cat (Multi Language Apps) – Suitable for all ages (FREE in March) – Language learning apps that are designed to provide beginning language learners with an ever-increasing variety of games to ignite their natural language abilities (English, Chinese, Spanish, French & German).
FREE E-book Library
Oxford Owl Free e-book Library – Suitable for ages 3 – 11 years – Select the categories and choose from the various options including Age Group, Book Type, Level, and Series.
Amazon e-books for kids – If you own a Kindle, Amazon has a list of 100 free eBooks for kids.
The Baldwin Online Children’s Project – This is an easy list of 548 free books that you can skim through by author, title of book and genre.
Google Song Maker – An experiment in Chrome Music Lab. A simple way for anyone to make and share a song.
Digital Concert Hall – Free for everyone this month! Redeem the voucher code BERLINPHIL by March 31st and receive free access to all concerts and films in the Digital Concert Hall.
Math / Programming APPS & WEBSITES
Prodigy MATH Learning Game – Suitable for G1-G8 students – Prodigy is a free, Pokemon-style math game that has been proven to improve student scores and confidence! It is aligned to the Ontario curriculum for grades 1-6, and features content from each of the five major strands. Encourage self-paced math practice in and out of school!
Scratch – Suitable for ages 8 – 16yrs – Scratch is a programming language and an online community where children can program and share interactive media such as stories, games, and animation with people from all over the world. As children create with Scratch, they learn to think creatively, work collaboratively, and reason systematically. Scratch is provided free of charge.
KHAN Academy – offers practice exercises, instructional videos, and a personalized learning dashboard that empower learners to study at their own pace, first filling in gaps in their understanding and then accelerating their learning. Lessons cover math, science, and more. Free for learners and teachers.
Listen to English Language PODCASTS
Story Pirates – Their mission is “to celebrate the words and ideas of young people and to create confident, literate students equipped with a variety of tools for written, verbal, and artistic self-expression.” Story Pirates’ original arts and literacy programs “improve the relevancy and effectiveness of classroom and extracurricular learning, create confident children who carry their ability to express themselves into adulthood, and build strong communities that celebrate the value of young voices from diverse backgrounds.”
WOW in the World – “We tell stories about incredibly cool things happening in the world right now. Stories that inspire families to use their imagination and follow their curiosity. Stories that invite families to lean in and say “Wow!””
KidNuz – Daily News Podcast for kids – “Five minutes of today’s top stories, current events, politics, science, entertainment, sports and more — all nonpartisan and age-appropriate.”
Educational Websites for Kids
National Geographic Kids – Find amazing facts about animals, science, history and geography, along with fun competitions, games and more.
Highlights Kids – A place for children of all ages to play games and discover new jokes, surveys, answers to science questions, and fun crafts and recipes from Highlights.
Storyline Online – Streams videos featuring celebrated actors reading children’s books alongside creatively produced illustrations.
Story Time from Space – Watch Astronauts read children’s books from outer space.
Scholastic – Day-by-day projects to keep kids reading, thinking, and growing.
TIME for Kids – free digital library free for the rest of the school year.
FarmFood 360 – Immerse yourself in Canadian Farm and Food Tours (Dairy, Sheep, Mink, Egg, Pig, Apples, Oats and more)
San Diego Zoo – Animal Live cams
Museum Virtual Tours – Google Arts & Culture is offering free virtual tours of 10 of the Top Museums
US National Park Tours – Visit Yellowstone National Park, Oregon Caves National Monument & Preserve, Denali National Park and so much more.
Discovery Education – Virtual Field Trips and educational resources.
AR with Google Search – The ability to preview animals via augmented reality in Google Search. Search for a bear, lion, tiger, penguin and more on google search, then click the ‘view in 3D button’, follow the instructions to move your camera and the animal will appear.