Firstly, how are all the Mums and Dads feeling? This is a stressful time for everyone, but particularly for parents and families living in New York City, the epicenter of COVID-19 in the USA. The majority of us in the city live in apartments which no longer have access to our building’s amenities like gyms, outdoor decks, playrooms, rooftops, pools etc. All the things that usually make life in an apartment more livable.
Keeping all that in mind, and understanding most of us are home schooling and working from home ourselves, here are a list of activities and apps to keep kids busy (and give parents a break ) during home isolation.
- The Children’s Museum of Manhattan (CMOM)
CMOM has an online series, CMOM at Home, which has a great array of FREE activities for kids from infants through to 8 years, including art projects, dance moves etc. They update the website daily and you can sign up for their daily email with links to loads of fun activities.
- Ballet Classes
For all the little ballerinas, the American Ballet Theater School (ABT) is offering free online classes via Instagram:
– Tots Classes for ages 2-4 years are Tues and Thurs, 10am EST
– Primary Classes for ages 5-8 years are Mon & Wed, 2pm EST
- Coding for Kids
I’m sure your kids are like mine and want to spend all their time on the iPad playing Roblox or Minecraft, but let’s get them coding instead. There are loads of options, but here are a few free or lost cost options: Code.org, Scratch, Kodable, Khan Acadamy, Code Monster, Minecraft Education. My kids have used a few of these through school and continued to use them outside of school because it is “FUN”!
- The Cat in the Hat Invents
Has a STEM based fun program that is free. Best for Pre School aged kids.
- National Geographic Kids
Explore the world through fun games, quizzes and activities.
- Let’s Get Active
Here are some fun indoor exercises for the kids that adults can do too! Go Noodle, 7 minute workouts on You Tube, Just Dance (you can also access free classes on YouTube) YouTube also has some great exercise challenges including TeenTitans, Superheros, etc. Cosmic kids Yoga another good one on YouTube.
- Screen Free Fun
Some easy activities that don’t involve a computer include: balloon ball tennis, dance party, clean up race, hallway bowling, pillow fight, build a fort. If you have access to an outdoor space then kick or throw the ball, running races, tag, ride a bike. Of course if you’re doing this in a public space remember to practice social distancing.
On a final note, I wanted to remind all the parents, no one is expecting you to replace your children’s teachers. Let’s set ourselves realistic goals and remember everyone is in the same situation and no one child is learning more or less than your child in this pandemic.
Do what you can do and also find time to relax, (meditate or with any type of self-care activity) and spend time with your kids doing family games, watching movies and just chatting and enjoying the time you have together.