Hello parents and friends,
I wanted to reach out to give families some ideas of what you can do with your children at home! I know I speak for everyone here at the YMCA Early Learning Centers when I say that we miss our “Y kids” so much. Here are some links you can use at home to provide hours of entertainment WHILE learning with your child!
Ideas for sensory play – SO many activities to create: Busy Toddler – Sensory activities
Indoor activities for toddler and preschool age: 40+ Best Indoor Activities from Busy Toddler
Classic games to play outside, independent or as a family, all ages: 30 Classic Outdoor Games for Kids
Play games online with your favorite characters while learning: PBSKids.org
Great books and games that promote reading and math skills! Even I enjoyed browsing!: Funbrain Pre-K Playground
Geography and animal fun: National Geographic Kids
Explore science with Highlights Kids! There also fun recipes and crafts provided every day. GREAT RESOURCE!: Highlights Kids – Explore & More
Homeschool Worksheets: Literally THOUSANDS of worksheets including coloring pages: Homeschool Free Worksheets
Children’s favorites read by celebrities: Storytime Online
V I R T U A L T O U R S
San Diego Zoo: Do a tour of the whole zoo!: Visit San Diego Zoo
Yellowstone National Park: Tour Yellowstone National Park
Smithsonian Tour – a few different options here: Visit the Smithsonian
AirPano: Aerial views around every and ANY part of the world! So cool!: Take a Visual Journey Around the World
Boston Children’s Museum: Tour Boston Children’s Museum
Metropolitan Museum of Art: Start anywhere and enjoy famous artwork!: Visit the MET
* Those are some of my favorites. If you Google search “virtual tours for children” you will get a TON of other options! Same goes for sensory play and indoor activities. Make this time centered around the computer fun, engaging, and educational!
R E C I P E S
Easy FOOD recipes that kids will love not only to eat, but participate in!: Kid Friendly Recipes
GOOP: Messy but fun! Make GOOP
Salt Dough: Once they are dry, you can paint and create a memory with your child! Make Salt Dough
Playdough recipe: It’s a classic made at home! Make Playdough
Oobleck: Make it colorful! Make Oobleck
T I P S FROM JILL
In our childcare center, we are big fans of doing “stations” – for all ages!
The way stations work: we put out 4-5 activities the kids can engage in whether independent play or teacher led. It’s important for the children to feel like they have options so they can feel in control. After 10-15 minutes, we “switch” stations the children move on rotating clockwise. This is a fun strategy to use even at home not only to eat up time, but to keep your child entertained and interested in new things.
Look for ways your child could be a helper!
Such as: dishes, sweeping, a spray bottle with water and a cloth (they will feel like they are really helping clean the house!), sorting laundry, cleaning windows, meal prep, rearranging, gardening/watering plants… there are SO many ways to help around the house!
Focus on the process of these activities, not the result. Making memories is what matters most!
Fun tip I wanted to pass on… Do you have ideas for projects for Christmas gift? Don’t put it off! Today is a great day to start!
Most of all, HAVE FUN! Every day is a fresh start. Use this time spent at home to learn about new things, explore the outside world and connect with nature (avoid playgrounds but walks are great) and spend quality time with your family.
I hope some of these links and tips can be helpful to you and your family!
Thank you for supporting our Y. My heart is with you all during this time.
Preschool Lead & Family/Community Coordinator