"Create a sidewalk chalk "silly walk" for neighbors and friends to enjoy! Get out sidewalk chalk and have your children create an obstacle course "silly walk" for passerbys to try out. Some sample ideas: Start out by drawing a swirl and write "twirl two times", then follow with hopscotch boxes, a zig zag line (write "hop!"), and a figure of a man (write "10 jumping jacks"). Try out the silly walk yourselves and write down the fastest completion times. Then leave it all behind and occasionally peek out the window to see who is also participating!" -Sam C
""The Week Junior" is a new weekly print magazine for kids ages 8-14 with activities, news, fun facts, feature stories. It reminds me of the "TIME for Kids" magazine we'd get in elementary school. They've made their weekly publications available online for free as PDFs. This could be a nice thing for parents and their kids to read together!"
"Talk to your baby on a play phone or an old cellphone. Be sure to remove the battery before giving it to baby. When there are two phones, you can both “talk, even though baby may only make their baby sounds or pretend to listen. Your baby will have fun carrying on a conversation just like grownups."
"With rain in the forecast, here's a simple activity to stay cozy indoors and bond with your little one. Get creative and give each other a makeover as a new person, character or animal. This will surely bring out you and your child's silly sides. Have your child paint your face, or use make-up and dress up in silly clothes. Use recyclables or other materials that aren’t typically used as clothing (think plastic bags and clothespins!) to add more creativity. For older kids, let them take the lead and give you a complete makeover, even deciding what to dress you in. If you want to keep the fun going, after the makeovers, use your imaginations to pretend to be your new characters."
"Want your kiddos to burn off a little energy? Need a movement break yourself? Use some tape (or even washable crayons) to create letters, numbers or shapes on the floor. Shout out directions like, "Jump to the letter A" or "Hop on one leg to a square," or "Crawl like a bear to number 3." Your kids will get a workout while having fun! When they’re wiped out, have the littles help you pull up the tape from the floor. It’s a great fine motor activity to give their finger muscles a work out too."
"Create a mini city with sidewalk chalk! Or, if you don't have access to the outdoors, markers and a flattened cardboard box work, too. The kids can draw roads, stop signs, traffic lights and stores. Then give your kid a bunch of toy cars and trucks to "drive through town" and explore." -Maura W
"Create a Movie Theater Experience at Home. We recently had a movie night for our four-year-old, featuring popcorn bags from the Dollar Store, a "concession stand" with her favorite snacks, and tickets we made with construction paper (she got to pick the movie, of course! Peter Pan). When we told her what was happening, you'd think she just found out she was going to Disney World. She was SO excited. This was definitely one of the best memories we've made during quarantine." -Maura W
"A fun way for kids (or adults!) to give back while learning, Free Rice is a quiz-based learning featuring various subjects and degrees of difficulty. The best part: It partners with the World Food Programme to donate grains of rice to those in need for every correct answer." -Taylor W
"Growing food at home with your kids is a great form of self-care and symbol of resilience. I recommend using Homegrown, created by Colorado nonprofit Big Green, for weekly bundles of activities, tutorials, and video lessons to keep kids learning about nutrition and growing real food at home." -Adelaide C.
"If you have kiddos who are between 5-10, they may really enjoy creating a Vlog and sending it to loved ones. You can record daily or weekly and use it as a way to document activities that are keeping them entertained. My friend's kiddos have been documenting the seedlings they are starting in their Vlog! When they're ready to share, you can create a shared album on iCloud!" -Lucy M
"Kids do not need bells and whistles. Watching my three-year-old giggle uncontrollably as she 'hides' in plain sight made me double down on freeze, hide-and-go-seek, and hopscotch. It’s kind of refreshing to do activities that are so completely basic."
"My dad has been reading to my daughter every day and it’s her favorite activity. She won’t sit through a library or bookstore story time but she’s riveted as he reads Snow White or Madeline for the umpteenth time. At first I felt bad making him do something so repetitive but it soon became clear that it made him as happy as it makes her."
"I dug out all my random and mismatched cookie cutters to use on my daughter's Play-Doh and kinetic sand (a magical type of sand that sticks to itself–highly recommend). She loves cutting out different shapes and lining them up, then mushing everything back together and doing it again."
"Claire's hub for 'fun activities, fab ideas, tutorials and cute looks to help you get through some of these extra long days' might even have some fun things that resonate with you." -Ashley S.
"I have been making paper dolls and scavenger hunts for kids to do while stuck at home." - Meg E.
"America's Test Kitchen Kids' website has 200+ free recipes, experiments, and hands-on activities for kids ages 5 and up (though, many grown-ups, including myself, cook and bake these recipes regularly). Every week, there is a new edition of 'Kitchen Classroom,' a daily curriculum consisting of a recipe or activities for kids and a tiny learning moment, to connect what they're doing in the kitchen to science, math, social studies, language arts, art, and more." - Kristin S.
"The Story Pirates are the creators of the #1 podcast for kids in the US, and now they are doing livestream lessons and online writing and music classes for kids. Entertaining and wildly creative, their Creator Club is appropriate for elementary school aged kids!" -Lauren B
"My absolute favorite Italian restaurant in NYC, Fiaschetteria 'Pistoia' is offering pasta kits with fresh dough for you to make pasta at home, and still use their delicious sauces. I am quarantining with my 7-year-old cousin, and we had SO much fun doing this. It felt great to support a local restaurant, but still have an 'activity' to do." - Community Member
Want to inspire your young reader to love lit as much as you do? Tune in for "Goodnight With Dolly" to hear stories from the singer and literacy advocate herself.
This book helps make it a little easier to understand why sometimes people we love are far away and how we can stay in touch with them through the phone right now.
Written and illustrated by Rachel Bartolo, this printable coloring book is about Fiona Fawkes, a kiddo living in DC with a lot of feelings about Coronavirus. She misses her loved ones and her daily routine, and could use some help understanding what's happening as the rest of us color our way through this tale of our times.
If your little one is learning about poetry in school, this could be a good opportunity to incorporate The Well's Mindful Poetry Moments (prompts!) into the new daily routines you're building together.
"The team at the Louisiana Art & Science Museum is working extra hard to make all the kids programming free and available virtually. It's a great resource if you want to try some art and science experiments with your kids!" -Shelby
One of our cardio dance favorites is hosting virtual dance classes for the kiddos every Sunday. Let the 305 Fitness team teach 'em how to spell, all while keeping them up and moving around!
Artist and author Oliver Jeffers hosts a story time on Instagram Live every weekday. He'll read his delightful books until it's safe to go outside again.
The Kennedy Center has 20-30 minute doodling tutorials that are super fun for keeping kids (or you too!) engaged during lunch.
It's like the movie Madagascar but BETTER. 🦓 Your kids can now watch live streams of their favorite animals on the San Diego zoo kids' portal.
Emily Schuman of Cupcakes and Cashmere shared a great activity to set up at home. Grab a large piece of paper and write the full alphabet on it to use as a game board. Then, spend the day finding items around the house to match each letter. To make it harder for the older kids, try challenges like blue items only for the letter B, or two items for the letter T.
If there are lots of kids in your neighborhood, get in touch and set up a scavenger hunt you can all participate in separately and safely on your daily walk. Have everyone set up a mini window display to a different theme each day, and leave it open for others to see. Then take a walk with your kids during the day and mark down what you find along the route.
Combine 1 cup flour, 1/4 cup salt, 3/4 cup water, 3 tbsp. lemon juice, 1 tbsp. vegetable oil, and food coloring for homemade Play-Doh!
Get your spacesuits (or rocket ship pajamas) on and explore Mars in the Curiosity Rover.
Have kids finger paint with pudding, create a self-portrait out of fruit, or build a snack-only mosaic. Extend lunch time by making it an art project, and make clean up (potentially) easy - let them eat their masterpiece!
If you don't have children that you're taking care of, help out a friend or family member by setting up a virtual playdate. Read a story, share coloring page printouts you can both do, or make funny faces together and give your parent friends an hour or even 20 minutes of time to focus on whatever they need.