Ten Things to Do with Your Grade Schooler During the COVID-19 Pandemic

I’m guessing you probably weren’t prepared to be a homeschool teacher. Over the course of the next three weeks as we hunker down to flatten the curve of the Covid-19 virus, it’s now our jobs to keep our kids educated, entertained and sane. Thankfully, the internet and some very active moms-groups have got your back. Check out these 10 activities your grade schoolers: 

Get CreativeYou’re probably trying to avoid plopping your kids down in front of a screen, but this one is one you are sure to approve. Check out the Kennedy Center’s Artist-In-Residence, Mo Willems, lunchtime doodle daily at 1pm ETYou know Mo from his acclaimed Pigeon series. Join in as Mo invites you into his studio for the next few weeks. https://www.kennedy-center.org/education/mo-willems/ 

FaceTime/Skype. My kids have family in Illinois and Tennessee, so we’ve started reaching out via video chat to check in. It’s great way to have face-to-face connection while social distancing and seeing how other areas are handling the pandemic. It also works well as a social and mental wellness check on loved ones. It’s nice for friends too, with permission, of course. Don’t forget your kids are social creatures and not being at school and seeing friends is hard on them too! 

Write a Letter.  Along the lines of the above mentioned 21st century check-in, we’re implementing an old-school version as well. Why not write a letter to an elderly grandparent! My Grandmother is in a facility that is no longer accepting visitors, and since FaceTime and Skype aren’t her cup of tea, I asked my kids to write her a letter. You could also have your kids write their teacher a letter, wouldn’t it be fun to bring back pen pals? 

STEM Projects. Let Pinterest be your friend! There are so many fun and educational STEM projects just waiting to be explored on Pinterest, and often I find I have the items needed to try them out. Two words – elephant toothpaste – it was a huge hit at my house.  

https://fromabcstoacts.com/elephant-toothpaste-science-experiment/ 

Animal Cameras. Sometimes you just need a little quiet downtime. Take the small wins for what they’re worth, but kids love to watch animals and live cams are no exception. You might just find enough time to take a shower or get dinner started when you bring up one of these live feeds. 

Mystic Aquarium’s Penguins & Beluga Whales https://www.aquarionwater.com/community/aquarium-cameras 

Live Cams at the San Diego Zoo https://zoo.sandiegozoo.org/live-cams 

Monterey Bay Aquarium live cams https://www.montereybayaquarium.org/animals/live-cams 

Panda Cam at Zoo Atlanta https://zooatlanta.org/panda-cam/ 

6 Animal Cams at Houston Zoo https://www.houstonzoo.org/explore/webcams/ 

Georgia Aquarium has JellyfishBeluga Whales https://www.georgiaaquarium.org/webcam/beluga-whale-webcam/  

Or my daughters favorite is checking in on the baby eaglets at https://nefleaglecam.org/ 

Kids Yoga. Help your kid find their Zen and keep his or her cool throughout the day with yoga. Cosmic Kids Yoga offers free yoga classes for kids on their YouTube channel. It’s fun for big kids too, if you’re missing your regular yoga class. 

Learn Coding. Why not use all this bonus time to learn a new program or skill. Take coding for example, it teaches problem solving in a fun, engaging method. Talk about a beneficial life skill; and best yet, it’s taught with various learning methods for all ages. As they say, it’s never too early, or too late to learn coding. Check out this useful link to coding resources.   

https://www.generationcode.com/blogs/news/top-6-free-resources-for-coding-with-your-kids  

Assign a Chore. Okay, so the kids WON’T love this one, but if they are home cleaning out your Coronavirusagedon rations, they might as well take on some additional responsibilities around the houseDusting, emptying the dishwasher, wiping high-traffic surfaces down with those coveted Clorox wipes are all easy chores they can tackle around the house. Dig out that old Barney ‘Clean Up’ song if you have to, and tell them you’ll play it on repeat until their chores are done. You’ll be amazed how quickly things are completed. Side note: invest in earplugs. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=whrNJH8S-Ys 

ReadYour public library might be closed, but there is a world of eBooks at your fingertips. Set aside some time in your day for your kids to have quiet time for reading. You don’t want your kids to lose critical reading skillsand better yet, there are no late fees or lost books to fret about. Your local library should have a link on their website to set up a free account if you don’t have one already.  

Play. Don’t forget that your kids are kids and need time in their day to get their energy out. Play outside, create a blanket fort, build a Lego masterpiece; just play. These are uncertain times, and building time into their day for them to have fun and be a kid is important. Same goes for Mom & Dad; let it be your mental health break, we certainly could all use one! 

Feel free to share your ideas with us, and your fellow socialdistancingstuck-athomewithkids’ friends too. Email me anytime, I’m happy to chat at cathysummers@ccb-media.com. 

About Cathy Summers

Cathy Summers is the Midday Host on 99.9 The Q and Afternoon Host on Cape Country 104.



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