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The Stress is REAL
Alright everyone. This is going to be one of the most difficult times in our parenting journey. NO PLAYDATES! NO SCHOOL! AND NO SPORTS! How in the world are we going to keep our kids not only socially engaged and active, but also academically engaged and active?
Go to any moms Facebook group and you will hear the chatter about “what are we going to do with our kids home for 2 weeks?!” (Brace yourselves, it will likely be much, much LONGER!) There are educational apps that you can access for free now (thank you educational companies for waiving fees). There is the obvious screen time (again, thank you Disney+ for releasing Frozen 2 early). Well, there is outside play, in your own yard, with your own family (please, for the love of all things holy, do NOT go to public playgrounds!). But parents, we are going to have to dig deeper to come up with ideas to keep our kids busy.
Building Sentences from Egg Hunts
This morning Adelaide asked me if we could do an Easter egg hunt. I’m trying to hold out on that one for a while. You know, spread out the fun activities because this is a marathon, not a sprint. And I started thinking about how I dealt with a mandate at my school a few years ago that replaced my kids’ recess with more “direct language instruction.” Fortunately that has since been overturned, but providing active learning became a critical part of my instruction. So, I created an egg hunt that required the kids to identify and match letters. For that activity I simply wrote letters on the eggs and they had to find them, tell me what the letter was, and match it to the muffin tin that had the same letter.
My kids know their letters already. So, what if I put slips of paper inside the eggs with one word on it? Then they had to use those slips of paper to make silly sentences or stories? LOVE IT! I will be doing this in the coming weeks, and I will let everyone know how that goes. Another variation would be to make it more of a Mad Libs situation where you have sentences started and they have to fill in the correct form of word to make a silly story.
Math Twist to Fun Egg Hunts
As I am writing this, I started thinking about the math side of academics. We can create math equations with an egg hunt too. Have your kids find the eggs and arrange the numbers and mathematical symbols (+, -, =, /, x).
Really, the possibilities are endless. My kids love egg hunts. They are actively running around (PE class) to find things and then they are building those sentences or math equations. Bonus, if you are like me, you haven’t bought your Easter candy yet, and you may not get any this year (sad face), but your kids can still have egg hunt fun.
Other Activities to Keep Your Kids Socially and Academically Engaged
One of the easiest items is to call family and friends. Let your kids talk with loved ones to keep their spirits high. Here are other ideas for keeping your kids active and engaged during this twilight zone world we’re living in:
♥ Go for a walk. You can even coordinate with another family. Just stay on opposite sides of the road to maintain social distancing. You can get your social fix while still being safe.
♥ Paint rocks. Hide them on your walk.
♥ YouTube brain break videos. I use KooKooKanga in my classroom, but if you search “brain breaks for classroom” you will get some fun dance videos. They are my go-to indoor recess videos. (save these for when the weather is bad or they will get sick of them!)
♥ Play board games
♥ Work on puzzles
♥ Play ball tag in the backyard (daddy throws balls to freeze the kids)
♥ Bake (kids have to measure and mix so you are getting some math in there too)
♥ Build a fort
♥ Sidewalk chalk
♥ Garden (might be a good idea to plant some veggies so you have fresh food for your family!)
♥ Paint fingernails
♥ Fly a kite
♥ Play-Doh/Slime (that’s an outside activity for us, but for many it is an inside one!)
♥ Dye eggs
♥ Color a picture (this is great for adults too!)
♥ Write a book
Share Your Favorite Egg Hunts or Other Activities With Us
What ideas do you have for keeping your family active and engaged (and sane) during this difficult time in our world? Share your ideas in the comment section or over on Facebook. We will be sure to update you on our egg hunts. Hopefully, we’ll have some funny sentences to share with you. Plus, we’ll keep thinking of ideas to share with you moving forward.
Take care, everyone.
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