Help your kids stay engaged with these Fun Activities for Kids During Quarantine.
School has officially been canceled for the rest of the year here in Massachusetts in response to COVID-19. Like many parents, I am left scrambling to find daily activities to keep my children busy and active.
Being stuck at home can still be fun. From lessons and games to live demonstrations and science experiments, there are so many educational and entertaining activities available to you right from your own home. Let’s dive in!
Nature and Animals
Do you love butterflies? Then check out the San Diego Zoo’s live butterfly cam. And they also have instructions to start your very own butterfly garden. If you are wondering what butterflies eat, check out The Nature Museum in Chicago. They have all sorts of nature videos and activities.
We LOVE ocean animals! The Monterey Bay Aquarium has 10 live animal webcams. Watch some jellyfish float around in MeditOcean. Take a virtual dive into ocean habitats with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. You can see coral reefs, ocean species, and even explore a shipwreck.
The San Diego Zoo has 11 animal webcams, the Smithsonian’s National Zoo and Conservation Biology Institute has four animal webcams, and there are six webcams at the Houston Zoo.
Crafts and Art
Make dinosaur shadow puppets and act out a dinosaur show.
If your kids love to color as much as mine do, then print out these free PDF coloring pages from Color Our Collections and color to your hearts’ content. These coloring pages were created from art in collections at museums all over the world. How fun is that?!
Do you happen to have a 3D printer? You can print miniature 3D space models from NASA and take a trip to space in your living room. No 3D printer, no problem. Use your regular printer to print and build space probe models.
Doodle and illustration lovers can check out daily Lunch Doodles at 1 p.m. EST with artist and writer Mo Willems. And don’t forget to also download the accompanying activity page.
Children in grades 3 to 12 can learn to write their names in ancient Egyptian hieroglyphs, in this step-by-step guide from the Royal Ontario Museum in Canada.
Books and Reading
If you live in New York City you can use your public library card to check out over 300,000 e-books using the SimplyE app. You can do this through many other local libraries as well so check out the website of the library in your town.
Story Time from Space. Say What?! Yes, you read that right. Astronauts on the International Space Station are reading books from space as they orbit above the Earth. How cool it that!
Josh Gad (the voice of Olaf in Frozen) is reading bedtime stories on Twitter every night. This is a treat for Frozen movie-loving kids.
If you are tired of fighting with your kids to read, then why not mix things up a bit with an audiobook. Audible is offering streaming of kid stories for free for as long as school is closed. All free to stream on computers, tablets, or phones.
This one is my personal favorite. Hullabaloo Book Company has people like doctors, pilots, firefighters, and many more read children’s books every Tuesday and Thursday at 3 p.m. EST.
San Francisco’s Exploratorium offers activities to help kids understand how viruses work and how they affect the human body.
Teens can explore all kinds of scientific topics at Nova Labs like renewable energy and ecosystems.
NASA’s Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex Facebook Live videos include all kinds of topics like living in space and building rockets. They also have a free hands-on activity download each day that you can complete with materials you already have at home.
Ranger Rick, the children’s magazine of the National Wildlife Federation, is making its website free to all visitors through the end of June.
Learn some basic physics in the Physics Classroom. There is plenty to discover there.
stemCONNECT brings together students and experts in science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM).
With all of this eating we have been doing we need to find creative ways to stay active. Get moving with fitness instructor Joe Wicks in his series P.E. with Joe, daily 30-minute workout that kids can perform at home.
New members to Tone It Up can participate in free fitness classes for one month. Peloton is offering a free 90-day trial membership. No Peloton equipment is required to perform classes like yoga and strength training.
Online Learning Resources
Scholastic has a Learn at Home website with daily lessons. Grade levels range from pre-K all the way to grades 6 and up.
Crash Course is a YouTube channel for high school students. The channel features a wide range of subjects, from anatomy to world history.
ABCmouse is offering a free 30-day trial of its learning academy for children aged 2-8 and includes educational games and activities designed by teachers.
Subscriptions to Time for Kids for elementary and middle school students are free for the rest of the school year.
Duolingo is a free online language learning program that’s built to feel like a game. You can learn over 30 languages in as little as 5 minutes at a time.
Other Miscellaneous Resources
Speaking of Disney, you can learn to draw your favorite characters with their free drawing classes taught by Disney artists and animators.
Since everyone is home trying to navigate cooking every meal, why not take a cooking class? Delish has an Instagram Live weekdays at 1 p.m. EST that teaches you easy recipes you can make with your kids in the kitchen. They are fun, kid-friendly recipes like pizza waffles that everyone will love.