As the Coronavirus pandemic continues to spread, many people are finding themselves in quarantine in order to most effectively practice social distancing. This means that parents are now forced into finding ways to balance family life with work life, making sure that they and their children alike don't go stir-crazy during the several-day isolation. As we said before, with schools, learning centers, and even day-cares now closed in most states because of the Coronavirus, it is important for parents to commit to providing a learning experience for their children, being sure to include both education and fun. While we covered how to manage your children's schedules while also bringing education to the forefront, we didn't get a chance to talk about, in detail, all the different activities you can do with your children. If you are feeling stuck trying to create new ways to entertain your kiddos, look no further! We got the guide for you!
Explore Museums, Parks, Zoos, and More Virtually
With social distancing becoming more and more prevalent during these times, there are a number of educational facilities that had to close, including museums such as the Louvre or the Metropolitan Museum of Art. However, these facilities have gotten crafty - providing different virtual experiences that can bring their customers in and continue to aid in creating a learning experience that one may not be able to get during these times. Here is a list of some of our favorite places to explore during quarantine:
- The Louvre : Transport you and your family to Paris, France by taking a digital tour of one of the most famous international museums. You can explore their rooms such as the "Advent of Art," a space dedicated to art and cultural education, or even the "Egyptian Antiquities," which is a space that houses collections from the Pharaonic period of Ancient Egypt.
- The Boston Children’s Museum : The museum is doing a free virtual tour of each floor of their facilities, allowing your child to explore the wide range of activities found throughout the museum.
- FARM 360 : Farm360 allows your child to take virtual tours of a farm, seeing the process in which it takes to grow life-stock, raise animals such as pigs, cows, and sheep, and even see how cheese and milk is produced.
- Mars : Feel like doing a little deep space investigation? You and your child can take part in exploring the surfaces of Mars in a virtual tour set up by NASA.
- The Cincinnati Zoo : The Cincinnati Zoo will be live-streaming animals on their Facebook page daily at 3PM. They also post several videos of baby animals that will surely bring a smile to your child's face.
Do Science Experiments
Being at home doesn't mean that you should cut into your child's natural want to learn. There are many ways to bring the classroom home, keeping them entertained in ways they wouldn't expect! For example, if your child is naturally curious and loves to learn about science, try creating some experiments that they can do with you to pass the time. Here are a few of our favorites:
Making playdough from home is actually super easy. It can be made in less than 5 minutes and costs under a $1 to make! It also can last for months without drying out. To turn this into an experiment or learning activity, talk about the color wheel and how each color can be produced when mixing in the food coloring.
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- 3/4 cup salt
- 4 teaspoons cream of tartar
- 2 cups lukewarm water
- 2 Tablespoons of vegetable oil (coconut oil works too)
- Food coloring, optional
- Quart sized bags
- Stir together the flour, salt and cream of tartar in a large pot. Next add the water and oil. If you’re only making one color, add in the the color now as well. Cook over medium heat, stirring constantly.
- Continue stirring until the dough has thickened and begins to form into a ball. Remove from heat and then place inside a gallon sized bag or onto wax paper.Allow to cool slightly and then knead until smooth.
- If you’re adding colors after, divide the dough into balls (for how many colors you want) and then add the dough into the quart sized bags. Start with about 5 drops of color and add more to brighten it. Knead the dough, while inside the bag so it doesn’t stain your hands.
- Once it’s all mixed together you’re ready to PLAY.
Create a giant foaming reaction, and use science to wow your children with this activity. With just a few ingredients you can make something that looks like foamy toothpaste being squeezed from a tube! During this experiment, you can explain to your children how chemical reactions work. With this experiment, when one mixes yeast with hydrogen peroxide, the hydrogen peroxide will rapidly break down into water and oxygen gas. The oxygen gas forms bubbles. These bubbles would usually escape from the liquid and pop quickly.
- Empty plastic bottle
- Dry yeast (found in the baking section of the grocery store)
- Warm water
- Liquid dish soap
- 3% hydrogen peroxide
- Measuring cups
- Measuring spoons
- Safety glasses
- Large tub or tray to catch the foam
- Location for the activity that can tolerate spills (of hydrogen peroxide as well as possibly food coloring), such as a kitchen or bathroom—or an outdoor location
- Liquid food coloring (optional)
- Different-shaped bottles or glasses (optional)
Directions: Be Sure To Wear Goggles To Protect Your Eyes
- Measure 1/2 cup of hydrogen peroxide, and carefully pour it into the bottle.
- Add a big squirt of dish soap into the bottle, and swirl gently to mix.
- If you want to make your foam a single color, add a few drops of food coloring directly into the hydrogen peroxide, and swirl the bottle gently to mix. If you want to give your foam stripes like some toothpastes, put the drops along the inside rim of the bottle’s mouth. Let them drip down the inside of the bottle, but do not mix.
- In a measuring cup mix together one tablespoon of yeast and three tablespoons of warm water. Stir for about 30 seconds.
- Pour the yeast mixture into the bottle then quickly step back, and watch your reaction go! What happens? How long does the reaction last?
- Extra: Try the activity without the dish soap. What happens? How was the result different?
- Extra: Try the activity with different-shaped containers. What happens if you use a bottle with a narrower or wider neck—or a cylindrical drinking glass with no neck?
Get Crafty With Literature and Writing
If your children love writing and telling stories, this may be the optimal time to encourage their skills! There are many different activities that can focus on building their communication skills, writing skills, or even their language skills that can be a fun way to bond and pass the time. Here are a few that we found:
- Write Opinion Pieces : this may sound a little silly to do with your children, but writing opinion pieces is a great academic practice to get into. After reading a book, eating a meal, or watching a movie, challenge your child to write an opinion piece about it. Encourage them to write about what they thought, whether they would recommend it to anyone, etc.
- Conduct Interviews : Interviewing is an important skill that more and ,ore people should get in the habit of, especially your children! You and your child can start interviewing each other face-to-face by asking each other questions and taking notes. If your child shows interest, they can take it to another level by calling a grandparent or family member and interviewing them over the phone.
- Start Or Join A Book Club : Reading is a big one during these quarantined days. But to make reading extra exciting, join an online book club designed for parents and children.
- Listen To Podcasts : There are tons of kid-friendly podcasts out there. Do some research and find which one is best for your family!
When it comes to entertaining your children, do not be afraid to explore and get crafty! You will be surprised how much they enjoy doing these activities and the ones you create! Share with us ways you are spending time with your children by following us on Instagram @itouchwearables and Facebook @itouchwearables and by dropping a comment and like. Also, be sure to check out our new articles published daily!