Kid-Friendly Activities During A Pandemic

Stuck at home with the kids and not really sure what to do? There are tons of fun crafty activities or educational opportunities to be had at home. Here are some of the top ideas for young children:

Get Crafty

Watch this fun DIY using upcycled materials to create a quaint little cardboard cactus decoration you can create at your home with your little ones!

My former elementary school from Goose Lake, Iowa has been posting activities everyday for students to perform at home.

The art teacher suggested an activity that might take a lot of time for some students, and is almost like an advanced I Spy game! Students create their own color wheel using found objects from the home.

If you have multiple children make it a competition: Whoever finds the most items for their color wheel is rewarded with a sticker, ribbon, cookie, or just a big kudos.

One of the science teachers suggested using food dye and paper towel as wicks. If you dip the towels in two separate colors and drape the opposite end in another cup, the dye will bleed into the empty cup creating a new color. Try different combinations and let them explore the various color combinations. Blue and red make purple; yellow and blue make green; white and red make pink; black and white make grey; the sky is the limit. Try some wonky combinations and see what you get!

Play Games and Turn them into Educational Opportunities

Christopher and Jealaine Marple have a daughter, Ellen, in first grade. At the governor's recommendation in Iowa, her school closed for at least four weeks. During this break, parents are concerned about continuing education and have turned to some creative methods.

Chris shared on his Facebook, "This is how we are using our Phase 10 game to help with daily math games. Northeast First Grade 2019-2020 Mom chooses plus or minus, but with a Wild card, Ellen gets to pick."

Monopoly is another great game to play with your kids. It helps keep your kids engaged and entertained, yet it's a great way to introduce budgeting and counting. I am a bit of a nerd, and monopoly is one of my favorite games! I want to try and collect the different variations. So far, my favorite is the Lord of the Rings edition. I picked up from a small game store at the mall in Iowa a few years back for less than $50; I have only played it a handful of times, but it's definitely top of the list. One of the reasons it is so great is the edition has a short-game option. Monopoly, with a twist. Use the One Ring of power and move it after everyone has gone each round. The game ends when the Ring makes it to the start again.

Reading Inspires Imagination

My favorite book as a kid (and I must admit, even now I love reading it) is Thomas Taylor's "The Loudest Roar."

Fun Fact: I performed this book at All-State Individual Speech my sophomore year of high school. One of my proudest achievements! All of the younger kids on my school bus loved to have me read it and perform it to them as practice before the competition.

There's a time and a place to roar . . . even in the jungle. Clovis loves roaring and making a lot of noise! After all, he's the fiercest most roaringest tiger in the whole jungle. He roars at the parrots picking their fruit, the wildebeests wallowing happily, and the elephants sunning themselves peacefully. But the other animals are sick of being roared out of their peace and so they devise a strategy to show Clovis that it takes more than being the best to get along with others.

There are loads of benefits to reading with your kids too. Reading with your kids can help strengthen not only their listening skills, but identification of letters, numbers, shapes, colors and their imaginations. Promoting a longer attention span, promoting increased communication, reading has also proven to reduce stress and restlessness among young children.

Reading shouldn't be a chore. Jazz it up make it fun! Roar like Clovis and leap through the pages with pose and passion. In addition books have taught critical thinking skills, and a study published in a Perspectives on Psychological Science in January in 2013 concluded, "reading to a child in an interactive style raises his or her IQ by over 6 points."

Some of my other favorite books:

Honestly, the list could go on. What are some of your favorite books?


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