It's hard to believe we're over 5 weeks into sheltering-in-place here in California. It's been a challenging time to navigate through, particularly considering that many parents are trying to work from home while schooling their children at the same time.
If you missed our latest 2 posts they are full of other great resources for kids and parents during this time. But if you're like me, you're now looking for some new ideas to keep your kids busy (and you're crying inside that Mo Willems Lunchtime Doodles is over). Here are some ideas and links, some educational, some just for fun, some screen and some no screen. Add any we missed in the comments!
Games & Activities
- PBS Kids - Visit the website or you can download the app that's full of fun games and videos from shows kids love like Wild Kratts, Daniel Tiger and Dinosaur Train. Don't miss the new Wild Kratts Movie on Monday, April 20th.
- Mo Willems Pigeon Presents - My kids were OBSESSED with Lunchtime Doodles with Mo. If you missed it, you can still stream them all here. You can still get your Mo Willems fix on pigeon presents. Full of fun facts about your favorite Mo characters, free printable activities, and screen free games and activities you can do.
- Seussville - This site is perfect for planning activities, crafts and even recipes that all go together with Dr. Seuss books you probably already own. Earth day is coming up next week so the site is full of Lorax themed ideas including truffula tree bookmarks, a truffula tree cake and a Lorax printable mustache. So fun!
- Fat Brain Toys - Check out their fun learning activities that will be posted twice a week. There are printable scavenger hunts, science experiments, recipes and more.
- Think Fun - Now available on their website are free downloadable games for kids of all ages. They also make great board games and logic games you can buy. We have their Rush Hour car game and both my kids and I love it.
- Hooray Heroes - There are 10 different free coloring books you can personalize and download for your kids. We just printed out the sibling one for our boys.
- Nick Jr. - With all your favorite characters like Paw Patrol, Peppa Pig, and Dora the Explorer, this site is overflowing with fun games and videos for kids of all ages. Games range from Finding Feelings to Music Maker, which means your kids are still learning while they're playing!
- Spanish Cartoons - Feeling a twinge of guilt that your kids are watching more TV than usual? You're not alone but give yourself some grace during this time, especially if you're a parent who's working from home AND in charge of your kids all day. Now you can easily switch some of the best loved cartoons on Netflix into Spanish. Even with older kids, they pick it up super quickly. Spanish Mama explains how to do it and recommends shows in her blog.
- Babble Dabble Do - Holy Moly, this site is the mother load of art, engineering, design and science activities to do at home with your kids. There's so much on here it can almost be overwhelming so make sure you have a chunk of time to explore if you're going to check it out.
Bring the Arts into your Home
- Crayola - Crayola is now offering virtual crafting events on Facebook Live using arts and crafts supplies you probably already have in your home. Their website also has resources for parents and educators including some great create-to-learn lessons.
- Explore Disney - Now you can learn how to draw Mickey Mouse and other Disney characters.
- Storytime From Space - There are a lot of great story times available right now, but how many are read by an astronaut in space?? My kids and I really enjoy these fun and inspiring space and science story times.
- Jam With Jamie - For younger kids, this is a fun chance for them to get musical with other little ones around the country. Their virtual jam sessions are happening daily!
- Delish Cooking Classes - I am legit bummed that I am just now learning about this. Delish launched a kids cooking show on Instagram Live that airs every weekday at 1 pm EST. They post the ingredient list the day before (and they are trying to move that up to a week before). I checked out the previous recipes and they all look simple, delicious and made with common ingredients.
- Audible - I was pumped to see this. For as long as schools are closed, audible is streaming all kids' titles for FREE (in multiple languages). Just click the link and start streaming, no signing up or anything.
- Disney Story Time - There are tons of story times available to choose from right now but what could be cooler than having the real life Moana or Rey read to you?
- The Met for Kids - Met Kids is a cool website for kids to explore the Met. They can click around on the map and high quality images of the art there or they can use the time machine feature to chose a time period, location, or topic to explore.
- Dave Pilkey Friday Fun - For some of the older kiddos out there, Dave Pilkey (author of Captain Underpants and Dog Man) is doing Friday Fun Day videos on his Dave Pilkey at home website. Draw along with him, discover new actvities, and more!
- California Academy of Sciences - We are lucky enough to live close to San Francisco and be members at Cal Academy. One of the best things about the Academy is how it isn't an overwhelming experience for kids. There are a handful of well done, varied, thorough exhibits that kids of all ages can do a deep dive into and really learn a ton from. Their at home learning is no different. You can meet their animals, try one of their preschool nature play activities, learn the story of poo (yep, you heard me right) or take a virtual dive into the kelp forest.
- Nasa at Home - It's Nasa at home! Need we say more??
- Steve Spangler Science - If you're looking for at home science activities and lessons make sure you check out this site. You can also order science supplies and at-home kits.
- Hand2mind - Amazing and easy to execute daily STEM lesson plans for grades K-5. Examples of STEM projects outlined include building a sled, building a dog shelter, and designing and making your own puzzle.
- Exploratorium - This is another absolutely incredible science museum for kids in San Francisco. They now have their own learning at home resources on the website.
- National Geographic Kids - Your kids can explore science, geography animals and more through games, activities and videos.
- Lego - If your kids are into Legos you have to check out their site. Full or games, activities and all the instruction booklets you can imagine! You can build anything!
- Check out our previous blog post for more STEM and animal activities and learning opportunities.