Activities and Resources to Survive Quarantine at home with Elementary School Aged Children
An activity guide meant to help you survive days at home with elementary school aged kids!
Are you like me, currently wondering how on earth you're going to keep the kids entertained, learning, and challenged all while balancing duties of running a business, managing the household, and trying to keep everyone sane and healthy?
We're all busy, let's get to it! I've started compiling a list of activities we've tried, are going to try, or think look interesting. This post also includes resource links I've found along the way all in one place ready to share so you can pick and choose what will work for your kids!
We're super lucky our teachers have sent home lesson plans for the school portion of the day, so this list is more focused on the interactive play time the kids will need!
An easy printable bingo guide can make reading during the week at home easier! I snagged this idea from the Crafting Chicks! Grab the free download bingo sheet here.
Giant Word Search
Get creative and have older siblings help create word searches for younger siblings - easy to make at varying degrees of difficulty a word search creates a new puzzle for the week! This concept came from Susie at Busy Toddler but I really do think we could create challenging word searches at various grade levels!
IDEA 1: INTERACTIVE LEGOS
Don't just ask the kids to go play with Legos, give them a story line and ask them to bring it to life. We did that today and the kids loved the more imaginative element of Lego building!
What you'll need:
- Any box of Legos
- We own this large classic Lego builder set but there's plenty of options available to order from Target.com and have hours of fun delivered right to your door!
What to do:
- Ask the kids to tell you a story they want to create in Legos
- Suggest they start building and counting how many Legos they're using while building the story set
- Have them play out the story with their lego creation
- Bonus: If you trust them with your phone they can create a movie with their Lego creation
IDEA 2: CELEBRATE THE SEASONS
We're going to make the best of St. Patrick's Day from home! While there won't be any classroom parties that doesn't mean we can't have a little fun. My only hope is that I don't regret the little bit of extra sugar!
Morning: St. Patrick's Day Craft
Lucky for us The Thrifty Kiwi blog already collected a great list of easy St. Patrick's day crafts, instead of recreating the wheel... browse their list of 60 craft ideas and find one that looks right for the age of your kiddos and the supplies you have laying around the house! I personally liked this one because my kids need to think about the shape and plan it out before they start, plus we happen to have some green finger paint already at home!
Fun Lunch: Breakfast for Lunch
We're having green pancakes for lunch! I may regret serving anything that requires syrup during the school day but I couldn't resist the urge to have a little fun so green coloring and all we're going to give this a try. My inspiration is coming from Michelle at Crafty Morning blog, I doubt ours will look nearly as pretty since we're skipping the whip cream (my kids don't like it anyway) but I'm hoping it will be a fun surprise for the kiddos!
IDEA 3: Map the Neighborhood
What you'll need:
- a nice weather day
- a notebook
- marker, pencil or crayon
What to do:
- Venture out for a walk and ask your child to draw the neighborhood map through their eyes. Depending on age you can challenge them to be as detailed or creative as you see fit
IDEA 4: Write a note to a friend, grandparent, or neighbor you want to support
Thanks to this handy kit from the Target bullseye playground each of my children have their own packet of note cards, stencils, and stickers to write and decorate their cards, but the same activity can be easy accomplished with note cards or scrap papers from home.
With the current Corona virus protocols in place, many of us are going to miss the daily interactions with our friends and family so why not send out a few notes to brighten someone's day!
IDEA 5: Family Workout (free resources)
You tube has plenty of free family, friendly, workouts that can be completed at home and help get the energy out during some of those moments where our little ones need to refresh!
Try a simple YouTube search and find one that feels right for your family!
Prefer to keep your family off YouTube, try FitOn app! It's free and although most of the workouts are adult oriented, I've done them plenty of times with my kiddos and they've loved it! Specializing in at home workouts that are about 15-20 minutes long, FitOn is full of easy ways to get a cardio break in while at home!
IDEA 6: Virtual Field Trip
More and more sites are being added by the day but here's some recaps, I've found helpful with virtual field trips at zoos, famous landmarks, museums and more.
Virtual field trip guide (here)
IDEA 7: Design a Party and have something to look forward to
Okay I realize this is a bit expected coming form a party store owner, but I do think it's important our kids have something to celebrate and look forward during this time when many of their more fun activities are being stripped out of their routines. So pick a theme! Bring joy inside your home and think about how you can still celebrate in a way that makes sense for your family!
This might be as simple as having a dress up and movie celebration one night or a fun theme party to celebrate the first 2 weeks of homeschooling?
For other families, this might be actually having a small individual family birthday since larger gatherings are currently discouraged, for others maybe you just want to pick a fun theme and build into with school and craft projects throughout the weeks as something to build up to and have fun with!
For as long as we can, Sprinkles & Confetti will continue to ship party boxes with supplies we have on hand! So pick a theme now, and you this time to make cherished memories with your family, birthdays and all! Seek joy in ways you can control!
IDEA 8: FaceTime a Friend
While the kids may not be able to attend school, there's no reason we shouldn't still have conversations with those that are important to us.
Set aside time to call, perhaps Facetime some good friends, cousins, or classmates to say hello!
Seeing close friends will brighten everyone's day and give the kids a way to talk about what's been fun and not so fun about being home from school!
IDEA 9: Ball Straw Blower Race
It's all about asking yourself what will the kids have fun doing? And this one will be a welcome interactive game! This idea came from Hello, Wonderful and they have a lot more like this too!
IDEA 10: Family Uno Tournament
Uno is a great game for kids of all ages, I know the box says 7+ but I can vouch that we've played with kids 5 years and older and everyone was able to play along as a family, including both color and number strategy this game is a great way to teach at the same time as having some fun but whether it's Uno or another game of your choice - spending some time dusting off the board games and encouraging multiple rounds is a way to keep the fun going!
Uno comes in a variety of versions but can easily be found on Amazon or Target very affordably, so pick the set that make sense for you!
IDEA 11: Letter It
What you'll need:
- A bag of letter beads - $5.99 on Amazon
- No time to order letter beads, have the kids spend some time creating little sheets of paper with every letter of the alphabet multiple times!
What to do:
- Set a time limit and challenge each kid to come up with a certain # of words!
- Encourage them to walk around the house and come up with words for things they see? Or pick a different room each day and do a word challenge for a few minutes at a time!
- Words spelt correctly are worth a point and perhaps the winner gets an extra treat, a few minutes of screen time or a chance to pick tomorrow's fun activity?
IDEA 12: Plant a Flower
It will be officially spring in just a few days and sometimes there's nothing better than embracing the new season! This may require ordering a few supplies in advance, but it could be fun to plant some seeds and take care of them while we have the extra time around the house!
I think I'll follow the direction The Kindergarten Connection on how to get some plans started!
Additional Learning Resources:
- Podcasts for kids (link here)
- Virtual field trip guide (here)
- Lego Quarantine Challenge Facebook group
- Cincinnati Zoo Daily Facebook Live @3pm (watch here)
- Radish Kids - online cooking classes
- Art for kids hub
- Online photography class (launches 3.30 here)
Well mamas, that's all I have for now! If this homeschooling situation continues, I'll keep adding ideas as I find them, but for now I hope this gives you just a bit of inspiration on how to keep your household fun and some new resources all in one place to reference as you need them!
- Jackie Walter