Fun and Educational Indoor Activities to Do With Kids
As schools close around the world and families practice social distancing to help stop the spread of the coronavirus, many parents now find themselves with the daunting task of finding fun and educational activities for their kids to do while home.
Here are a few helpful ideas to keep kids learning and entertained while engaging their growing minds.
1. Science Experiments
Whether it’s making erupting baking-soda volcanoes or rock-candy crystals, there is no shortage of at-home science projects to dazzle kids of all ages. Not only will kids learn about chemistry and science, they get to brush up on practical skills likes following directions and measuring ingredients.
The internet is full of simple at-home science projects, so do a simple search to explore age-appropriate options. But if you need help getting started, here are 10 experiments courtesy of Learning Liftoff.
2. Sensory Boxes
Engaging the five senses is a great way for kids to learn. As kids touch, smell, listen, see, and taste, they are exploring and learning without even realizing it. That’s why making sensory boxes is a good educational tool to consider while hunkering down at home.
A sensory box is a container filled with any kind of tactile material that allows kids to explore with their hands, using their sight, touch, and smell to experience their environment in new ways. Not only are sensory boxes a great way for children to engage their senses, they also help kids relax.
Feel free to get creative with the materials you use. In fact, there’s a good chance you can use objects found around the house, such as dry pasta, rice, popcorn kernels, flour, cotton balls, pom poms, pebbles, marbles, beads, buttons, soil, sand, vegetable or fruit peels, leaves, or seashells.
Whether it’s measuring a cup of flour too add to chocolate-chip cookie batter, or cracking eggs for a for a breakfast omelet, inviting kids into the kitchen to help with cooking is a tasty educational activity.
Under the right adult supervision, helping out in the kitchen allows kids to engage in tactile learning and problem solving while also boosting practical life skills that promote independence and responsibility.
Following a recipe, measuring ingredients, and safely using kitchen utensils and appliances touch upon a range of educational subjects like reading, math, and science. Consider talking about the origins of food to also include a geography and history lesson.
4. Treasure Hunts and Scavenger Hunts
Indoor treasure hunts and scavenger hunts are a great way to get kids up and moving, while also engaging their curiosity and strengthening their problem-solving skills. Best of all, you can use your imagination to retrofit these “hunts” with an educational twist.
For example, consider hiding “treasures” attached with random numbers or letters of the alphabet. Draw a treasure map of the room where the objects are hidden and have your child follow a dotted line to X-marks-the-spot. Once all the treasures are found, have your treasure hunter put the numbers or letters in order for a reward. Or, consider adding sight words or coins to the hidden treasure to design reading and math games.
5. Virtual Classes and Field Trips
In the midst coronavirus closures, schools, museums, and artists around the world have embraced the virtual world like never before to offer a multitude of lessons, games, science experiments, live demonstrations, and virtual tours.
Whether it’s learning how to draw characters from Mo Willem’s popular series of kids’ books during his Lunch Doodles on YouTube, or touring New York’s Museum of Modern Art via Google’s Arts and Culture Collections, young learners of all ages can find a new hobby or destination to explore.
For more fun and educational online resources, check out this growing list courtesy of Live Science. But also remember to take inventory of your child’s interests. There’s a good chance that a simple online search can yield educational activities that cater to their favorite things.