With COVID-19 causing schools to close and many companies asking employees to work from home, parents around the country have suddenly found themselves trying to keep their little ones occupied and learning all day. That's no easy task, especially when trying to balance caretaking with a full-time job. To help, we rounded up some ideas for how to keep kids occupied and engaged using free educational resources.
Get them moving
It's important for adults and kids to remain active even during quarantine. Try starting each morning with a yoga session from Cosmic Kids Yoga. Or check out GoNoodle, which as hundreds of dance-alongs, mindfulness videos, and much more, all geared toward kids. Hello, Wonderful is posting tons of activity ideas on Instagram, too.
Get them reading
Libraries may be physically closed, but there are still plenty of ways to keep kids reading. Several libraries and companies are hosting regular virtual storytimes for kids. Brooklyn Public Library is hosting a virtual storytime weekdays from 11-11:30 a.m. PST, plus a bed time version weeknights from 7-7:30 p.m. PST. HarperKids is hosting storytime every weekday at noon EST on Facebook, Youtube, and other outlets. For a huge range of read-aloud options, search #OperationStorytime on Facebook to see the growing list of children's book authors reading their own works.
Get them "traveling"
If you can't go to an actual museum, take a virtual tour of one! NASA's Access Mars lets kids (and adults) explore Mars' surface using recordings made by NASA's Curiosity Rover. The National Museum of Natural History lets you travel through the many rooms of animals, fossils, and more. The San Diego Zoo's live cams let you peek in on animals whenever you please. National Aquarium live cams let you check out footage of Black Tip Reef, which frequently has shark and sting ray sightings, and the Pacific Coral Reef.
Get them cooking
Involving kids in cooking is a great way to keep them active and teach them important life skills. Kids cooking club Raddish has tons of free resources to help parents get their children in the kitchen, including cook-along classes and easy-to-make recipes. And we've got plenty of kid-friendly recipes your little ones will love making and eating.
Get them experimenting
Science experiments are always a fun, educational way to keep kids occupied. For parents who aren't science experts, Kiddie Science is a great place to find activities, experiments, online lessons, and more. Club SciKidz is posting simple experiments on their blog every day. And now is a great time to return to our favorite science guy, Bill Nye, and his entertaining videos and experiments.
Get them crafting
The internet is full of craft ideas for kids, but you can start following a couple accounts on Instagram if you want daily ideas. Recycle and Play (@recycleandplay) has lots of crafts that use everyday materials. I Heart Crafty Things (@iheartcraftythings) is full of paper-based crafts. Raising Dragons (@raisingdragons4) is a solid place to go for science-y activities.
There are tons of other resources out there to help parents keep kids busy. Share your favorites in the comments!