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Fun At-Home Activities for Kids (and Adults)

Belén Raventós

Customer Success Manager @ AdRoll

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From the lack of structure to feelings of isolation from the team, working from home (WFH) can be challenging. Add kids to the mix, and the frustration is real — it can be difficult to create some sort of routine for the little ones while you're distracted with work most of the day. 

That’s why we’ve put together some resources to help. In this post, we explore different activities to engage the whole family during quarantine. 🤗

Activities and Resources for Kids

Who says museums and zoos are off the table during shelter-in-place restrictions? Check out this list of fun activities that you can do with your kids:

  • Virtual Museum Tours: Google Arts and Culture offers online tours and exhibits of hundreds of museums around the world, including local museums such as the Isabella Stuart Gardner Museum and the Museum of Fine Arts. Children may also enjoy a virtual tour of The Boston Children's Museum and the Massachusetts State House
  • San Diego Zoo Live Cam: Explore animals in their habitats at the San Diego Zoo. From penguins to pandas, there’s something for everyone. 🐼🐧

    Image: San Diego Zoo

  • The Brooklyn Public Library: Regularly check the Brooklyn Public Library's Calendar to see virtual programming via Facebook, including books, songs, and online games for kids and teens.
  • Online coloring: You don’t have coloring books or access to a printer? Have no fear — you can color virtually here
  • Other Goose Curriculum (Ages 2-7): For a limited time, Other Goose is offering its 3-week charter school-approved curriculum for ages 2-7 for free.
  • Curriculum Associates: Find printable activity packets for grades K-8 here.
  • Go Noodle Channel: The Go Noodle Channel offers tons of dance and yoga lessons for kids to get active.

    Image: Go Noodle

  • Big Activities: Click here for all sorts of printable worksheets and activities. 
  • Taronga Zoo Tour: Want more animals? Get an exclusive look at the Taronga Zoo in Sydney, Australia.
  • New South Wales Playgroup: Playgroup is a free virtual meetup for parents and their children. 
  • Coloring Book: Irish artists have released drawings for coloring, including a free digital download of a Boss Lady Coloring Book.

    Image: Irish Examiner

  • Little Beats from Home: There are live free mini-classes on Instagram and Facebook — follow along to see the schedule.
  • Fluency & Fitness:  Reviews K-2 reading and math topics while providing a movement break. They’re now offering three weeks free!
  • Live Animal Webcams: Multiple zoos and aquariums, such as The Cincinnati Zoo, are offering live webcams so viewers can look at animals.
  • ReadWorks: Access thousands of high-quality, free K-12 articles, and create online assignments. 
  • Raz-Kids: Don’t miss this online guided reading program with interactive ebooks, downloadable books, and reading quizzes.
  • Storyline Online: Storyline streams videos featuring celebrated actors reading children's books alongside creatively produced illustrations. Readers include Viola Davis, Chris Pine, Lily Tomlin, Keven Costner, Annette Bening, James Earl Jones, Betty White, and more.

    Image: Storyline Online

  • Khan Academy: Kahn Academy offers online education courses on a variety of topics. Currently offering daily schedules for ages 4-18.
  • Epic!: The leading digital library for kids 12 and under.
  • BrainPOP: This is an animated educational site for kids that spans a wide variety of subjects such as science, social studies, English, math, arts and music, health, and technology.

Emotionally Rewarding Activities for the Whole Family 

During these uncertain times, it's totally normal to go through a range of emotional states: fear, anxiety, and frustration (to name a few). Here's a slew of emotionally rewarding activities that you and your kids can enjoy together to help each other with this: 

  • Set up a treasure hunt: Treasure hunts are pretty straightforward, and depending on how many items there are, this activity could last a while. Hide anywhere from ten to 20 things around the house or outside to keep kids occupied.
  • Watch the beluga whales at the Georgia Aquarium: There’s something calming about watching swimming whales, don’t you think? Watch the beluga whale webcam set up at the Georgia Aquarium.
  • Bake together: Cookies, cakes, brownies. 🍰Anything! Baking is an excellent lesson in measuring ingredients, and of course, making delicious goodies.

    Image: Pexels

  • Have an indoor picnic: Grab a sheet, whatever food you have, and enjoy a living room picnic (without the ants). You can even play that memory game at the same time: “I’m going to a picnic, and I’m bringing…” Each person takes turns remembering (in order) what everyone is bringing and then adds one thing each turn.
  • Make elephant toothpaste: Making elephant toothpaste is a great science experiment. Using the laws of both chemistry and biology, this recipe will cause an enormous foaming reaction, fit for an elephant. Check Scientific American for a how-to.
  • Take a virtual field trip to Yellowstone National Park: Virtually visit the Mud Volcano, Mammoth Hot Springs, and so much more with a digital field trip to Yellowstone.
  • Write a letter: Break out the envelopes, stamps, pens, and paper. No, we’re not talking emails; we’re talking old-fashion snail mail. Write and mail a letter to someone you love, like to grandma and grandpa, or a family member who lives far away.

    Image: Pexels

  • Make your own playdough: Need a recipe? Check out this one from I Heart Naptime. All you need are quart-sized bags, all-purpose flour, salt, cream of tartar, water, veggie or coconut oil, and food coloring.
  • Take a virtual tour of a farm: Learn about what it takes to run a farm, meet farm animals, and more by taking a virtual farm tour on Farm 360.
  • Explore Africa with African wildlife cam: Learn more about Africa's wildlife by checking out this African wildlife cam situated by a busy watering hole.
  • Create pasta jewelry: Pasta isn’t just for eating! Paint it, thread it, and then wear it.
  • Paint with shaving cream in the shower: Shaving cream paint is a favorite sensory activity amongst preschool teachers, but if you’re doing it at home, it’s best to do it in the shower or bathtub. Add food dye to the shaving cream to make it all the more interesting!

Relaxing Activities for Adults (We Didn’t Forget You!)

When you have some extra time for yourself, consider the following activities: 

  • Make a vision board: Print out pictures from Pinterest or Google and stick them to a poster board or computer paper. Fill it with images of what you envision this year or next year to be, then hang it on the fridge or somewhere where everyone in the family can see.
  • Learn how to knit or crochet: Don’t know where to start? Ravelry is a free resource for knitters, no matter your skill level.
  • Take time to reflect: What have you accomplished in the last year? What goals are you setting for yourself in the next year?
  • Start a journal or blog: Sure, it can be about the coronavirus, but it could also be about a specific interest, such as chess...or even cheese!

    Image: Pexels

  • Download a language app: Now is the opportune time to download Duolingo, or a similar app, and teach yourself a foreign language.
  • Tidy up for peace of mind: Try on all your clothes and determine whether they “spark joy” á la Marie Kondo.
  • Download the Houseparty app on your phone: Play trivia or Pictionary with your friends while enjoying a happy hour after work!
  • Try out at-home aerobics or yoga videos: Consider downloading a fitness app with curated workout playlists.

    Image: Pexels

  • Binge on movies and shows with friends: Use to chat while watching!

Struggling to keep the office culture alive while WFH? Check out this blog post for tips.

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