The weather is terrible. The kids are stuck inside -- and they’re going stir crazy. You need something to keep them busy for a while, and ideally, progress their education a little bit at the same time. Don’t worry -- below, you’ll find a list of activities that will improve your kids’ health, expand their minds, and most importantly, keep them occupied! Read on to learn more.
It’s much easier to grasp scientific concepts if you can see them happening in the real world. So, if you don’t mind a potential bit of mess and you can supervise, a great way to teach kids about science is to let them conduct an experiment. You can find plenty of instructions online for kids to follow -- Earth Science Jr. has a good selection, such as the rainbow milk experiment, for which you’ll only need food coloring, dish soap, and milk. Alternatively, you could set them up with some educational science games. PBS Kids has a large range of games which cover many different science topics, including physics and biology. The best part is that these games are fun, so they won’t even realize they’re learning.
The rate of childhood obesity in the United States has tripled since 1970. Of course, the main reason for this is increased calorie intake through processed food, desserts, and sugary drinks. However, activity level also plays a big role, and today, children live more sedentary lives than ever. According to the World Health Organization, children aged between 5 and 17 should get a minimum of 60 minutes of exercise each day -- even on bad weather days! When the kids are stuck indoors, they can still be active. Look up dance or exercise videos aimed at children on YouTube. Such videos are usually around 5-30 minutes long and have different themes, so they can try a few out to see which ones they like.
Once the kids have got some energy out of their system, you can sit them down to do some creative activities. This will help calm them down after the exercise; plus, art has a whole host of benefits for kids, including increased creativity, motor skills, and brain development. Besides, you’ll probably want a break from the noise at this point! There are plenty of free art tutorials on YouTube aimed at kids -- for example, they might learn how to draw superheros, cartoon characters, or animals. Art for Kids Hub has a collection of videos here which cover a range of different art forms, including drawing, painting, and sculpture. For older children who show promise, you might also look into online tutoring.
Kids naturally enjoy counting, separating, sorting, and looking for patterns. But mention the word “math,” and suddenly they hate all that! This is largely because math classes tend to be very abstract -- there might not seem to be a reason to learn it. Online math games are a good middle ground, because they help children build basic math skills while giving a context to the learning, such as helping momma raccoon share food evenly among her children. This can help them see how math skills are useful in daily life. You can also find a range of educational, real-world math lessons online -- like this collection from HomeAdvisor, which integrates math applications into home design and construction lessons -- and videos on sites like YouTube that are aimed at children of different ages.
Choose activities that your kids gravitate toward -- for problem solvers, try the math puzzles; give creative kids some art lessons; and let hyperactive children burn off excess energy with exercise videos. When it comes to education, there’s no substitute for live, in-person teaching. But if the kids are stuck indoors anyway and you want them to do something beneficial, you’ll have a much better chance of success if it’s also fun.
***This submission was was generously provided by Jenny Wise***