With most of the country in isolation mode, many parents are struggling to find fun, inexpensive, educational activities to fill their child’s days. Even when things are normal, having a handful of ideas on how to entertain your little ones is never a bad idea! Are you unsure where to start? Don’t worry! The Breakie Bunch is here to help!
Games and Activities for Children
Take advantage of the downtime right now to explore history lessons, games, and more. These websites offer a variety of information for children of all ages.
- Take a crash course on a variety of topics with Crash Course on YouTube! This show provides a quick glimpse into notable historical events and is perfect for older kids. Don’t let younger kids miss out, though! The creators of Crash Course have a second channel for younger kids, too!
- World History Matters offers a portal to historical people and events, including the Amboyna Conspiracy Trial, women in world history, and more.
- BrainPOP is an excellent resource for families with children who are currently learning from home. Choose from different grade levels and enjoy games, movies, and activities to help keep your children on track during this challenging time. Click here to request free access.
- Arcademics is a website that provides a fun and engaging learning environment through free educational games. Children in first grade through sixth grade can learn about shapes, multiplication, time, spelling, typing, and more.
- If you have an Alexa, Bamboo is a no brainer. Bamboo is the leader in voice education and has won three national awards for its e-learning capabilities. Open your Alexa app and enable the Bamboo skill to start learning today!
Educational Nature Activities & Live Cameras
Traveling can be expensive. Many families don’t have the time or money to travel across the country whenever they want to explore something new and exciting. Thankfully, organizations across the world are stepping up to bring the world around you into your living room. The websites below are just a few of the hundreds of examples of live cameras and nature activities to explore with your child!
- Have you ever heard of an osprey? Learn about these fluffy birds and explore how an osprey builds its nest and watch the hatching of baby ospreys thanks to a camera at the Boulder County Fairgrounds in Longmont, Colorado. There is also a camera showcasing Tom and Audrey, a pair of osprey living at the Chesapeake Bay in Maryland.
- Panda bears are delightfully awkward. You can watch the adorable residents of the Shenshuping Gengda Panda Center in China’s Wolong Valley as they roll around, munch on bamboo, and snuggle up with each other thanks to a camera through www.explore.org.
- In October of 2013, the Kansas City Zoo in Missouri opened the Helzberg Penguin Plaza. The zoo’s live penguin camera showcases the plaza’s cold-weather exhibit, consisting of 100,000 gallons of saltwater that the zoo keeps at a cool 40 degrees. Each morning at 10 a.m., the zoo feeds the 68 penguins in the exhibit, including king penguins, gentoo penguins, and macaroni penguins. The Kansas City Zoo also offers an underwater penguin camera and a giraffe camera for you to explore!
- Another organization giving children a live look into their exhibits is the Georgia Aquarium in Atlanta. The Georgia Aquarium features eight live cameras that provide an incredible behind the scenes look at the interactions of the animals, including Southern Sea Otters, Piranhas, and Beluga Whales.
- The bald eagle is a symbol of our country. However, most people will never get the opportunity to see one of these majestic birds up close. The Raptor Resource Project in Decorah, Iowa, and Explore.com are working to fix that with their bald eagle camera. Watch as these bald eagles enjoy their nest and hatch their young.
- Bees are an essential part of the life cycle of the foods we eat, the plants that bring us oxygen, and the beautiful flowers and trees we see outside. Watch as Carniolan honey bees enter and exit their hive in Buchloe, Germany, as well as take a look inside the hive with the live infrared camera.
Hands-On Activities for Children
Reducing the amount of time that children spend in front of all types of screens is essential to their growth and development. Discover dozens of activities that you and your little ones can do at home with our list of hands-on activities.
- Learning to cook with your child can be a fun way to experience bonding time while also teaching essential life skills. Nomster Chef has activities for children of all ages and includes a section to sort by dietary needs as well. Learn how to create almond pesto green beans and mushrooms, banana pumpkin pancakes, and even Mexican hot chocolate.
- KiwiCo is a subscription box service that delivers science and art projects straight to your home. In addition to its delivery service, KiwiCo’s website features dozens of hands-on activities that you can do with your kiddos. The projects are broken down by age and are a great way to keep your children occupied and engaged.
- Busy Toddler is a blog by Susie, an early childhood advocate, and former teacher. The blog features a list of activities to do with your children at home, including this selection of the 40 best indoor activities.
- If you have plastic or paper cups sitting around, you can easily challenge your child in building the best cup tower. Stacking cups across in a row and then staggering the next line — like you would create a pyramid or a house of cards — helps build skills in hand-eye coordination, dexterity, and engineering!
- Collect a variety of dishes and help your child practice their basketball skills. Ball up a piece of paper and have your child stand or sit a few feet away from different plates, bowls, or pots and pans. Encourage them to toss the ball of paper into each container and see how hard it is.
- Encourage your child to learn more about nature by building a bird feeder out of some materials you have around the house. Great Stems, a blog by Texas Master Naturalist and Habitat Steward Meredith O’Reilly, teaches you how to build a milk jug bird feeder with cute photos and instructions.
Virtual Tours for Children
In addition to taking advantage of the live cameras that organizations are offering, there are also dozens of virtual tours that you can take that will expose you to people and places from across the world.
- Your children can take virtual tours of museums, art collections, cities, and more thanks to Google Arts & Culture. The possibilities are truly endless. Explore dinosaurs, Monet, museums, and murals across the country.
- Explore the happenings of The Kennedy Center, in particular, Lunch Doodles with Mo Willems of the Pigeon series!
- Take a self-guided virtual tour of the National Aquarium in Washington, D.C.
- Nature Works is a website from The Nature Conservancy that features 11 virtual field trips for kids to take. Explore the secret life of corals, canoe down a river in the rainforest, learn about renewable energy, visit the deserts and grasslands of Africa, and more!
- Yellowstone National Park features a variety of virtual tours you can take without ever leaving your couch! Explore seven different locations in the park, including Yellowstone in 3-D.
- Explore a variety of ecosystems with this virtual field trip from Great Lakes Now. Each video only lasts five minutes, so it’s great for younger learners.
- Take an in-depth look at Boston’s Children’s Museum with their immersive virtual tour! You’ll get an all-access pass to all three floors of the museum — no waiting in line.
- Even though you can’t leave your house, you can still explore the Smithsonian’s National History Museum thanks to the museum’s virtual tours. You can also see past exhibits and other Smithsonian tours within the site.
- Where does your family come from? Explore Ellis Island, home to the Statue of Liberty and home of the former immigration inspection station in New York Harbor with this virtual field trip.
- 360 Cities is a website that showcases panoramic images from across the world. There are more than 100 to choose from locations from around the globe, so you’ll find something for everyone.
- Visit The Great Wall of China without ever stepping foot on a plane thanks to The China Guide.
Physical Activities for Your Family
If you’re trying your best to stay indoors, you’re probably in need of a way to burn the extra energy off that your children are accumulating. You can take a yoga class, dance to your favorite songs, or take on an at-home workout thanks to these videos. Clear out some space in the living room and get those wiggles out!
- Cosmic Kids Yoga is for children ages three and up to help provide mindfulness and calming time for your little ones at home. These activities are a great way to start and end your day with meaning.
- If you’re looking for workouts to do with your kids at home, these videos are a great option! Each video is between five and eight minutes long and will get your heart pumping to release some pent-up energy!
- Moovlee is a collection of videos that offer tips on relaxation and calming techniques for children. The videos also provide options for active movement and yoga.
- Get in shape with this Kids HIIT Workout from Moe Jones. The workout will help with endurance, timing, coordination, and strength.
- Dance along with your favorite songs with KIDZ BOP Dance Along videos. This playlist contains 55 videos, so you won’t have to listen to the same song over and over again!
Science Activities For Children
- Thanks to Star Atlas, you and your little one can explore over 60,000 stars and planets. The site also features sunrises, solar eclipses, and a way for people to enter their location to see your local constellations.
- Monitor volcanoes across the country with the United States Geological Survey. Click on each icon to learn more about each volcano!
- Did you know that anyone can garden? Explore My First Garden, a resource by the University of Illinois Extension that features gardening fundamentals and information on how to create your garden!
- The awesome folks at Elemental Science are offering more than 80 free science activities you can do at home with your little ones, including games, activities, and teaching tips to help get you through the next few weeks. Be sure to check out their article, “But I don’t have all the experiment supplies.”
Math Resources for Students
Whether your little one is learning to count on their fingers, or your child is older and looking for something more advanced, these website and activities are a great way to keep up with essential math skills at home.
- Keep your children’s math skills on point without using screen time! Bedtime Math has adapted after-school activities for you to enjoy at home with your children.
- Practice everything from counting to geometry and algebra with MathScore.com. MathScore aligns with Common Core and features resources for younger children as well as middle and high schoolers.
- Boddle is offering its platform free for educators and parents who are utilizing homeschooling during the COVID-19 outbreak. The site features interactive and educational math games for children in grades 1-6.
- Practice math with Prodigy! This site features 100% free content for children in grades 1-8.
Keeping Clean and Healthy
When you’re not playing games and engaging in exciting activities, it’s important to remember to wash your hands, cover your mouth, and practice social distancing. One of our favorite videos to help teach children how to wash their hands is Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood: Germs Germs Go Away, by PBS.
In addition to practicing good hygiene habits, remember to address any anxiety your child may be experiencing right now. Seattle Children’s Hospital has a resource guide on helping children and teens cope with their uncertainty, as well as information for parents who may be feeling the same stress differently.
The Breakie Bunch, our staff is always here to answer your questions and concerns. As always, we’re committed to ensuring your child feels valued and secure. If you have questions, please call us at 248-674-9543, or use the Contact Us section of our website.