Educational & Indoor Activities For Kids To Supplement Virtual Learning

Educational & Indoor Activities For Kids To Supplement Virtual Learning

This post may contain an affiliate link. See my disclosure policy.

 

We had an interesting Friday the 13th this year, as that was when it was announced that all sporting events, extracurricular activities, clubs, competitions, etc were canceled until further notice because of the outbreak.  Then on the evening of the 14th, we got a call from our school superintendent that all school was canceled until further notice.  Then my face turned white because I had to figure out how to work full time from home and homeschool my kids at the same time – possibly for the next few months.

It helped a ton that I was a former teacher, so I made a schedule for the kids that Sunday and gathered all the resources I could to make it through the first week of keeping the kids busy while I worked.  Our school at that time was making sure families were being fed and didn’t offer any academic support just yet.  We are into week three now and I feel like I have enough resources for us to get through the rest of the school year if need be.  I’m going to share those with you today!

Here is just one routine/schedule that this mom is doing to help us thrive instead of just survive during this historic worldwide event!

  1.  Reading/ELA:

ABCmouse.com was created with the purpose of helping children everywhere build a strong foundation for academic success and to foster a lifelong love of learning.

ABCmouse.com promotion

This award-winning curriculum has been created in close collaboration with early childhood education experts and offers over 10,000 books, games, songs, puzzles, and art activities. Each with specific learning objectives in the subjects of reading, mathematics, beginning science, social studies, art, and music, to go along with over 870 complete lessons across all subjects.

I was told by my 6 year old daughter’s (Molly) teacher that this was a great resource to invest in, so we got it.  Let me just say how thrilled Molly has been using ABCmouse.com for both reading and math!!  (plus there are other fun games when she has free tablet time).  Right now they are offering the first month for FREE or you can get it for an entire year 49% off!!!!!!

Bob books and versa tiles

Another great resource for reading is Bob Books and VersaTiles– provides children with everything they need to start learning to read
In this set, children add to their knowledge of the alphabet by learning 2- and 3- letter phonics words
Children can practice their reading skills with VersaTiles puzzle-like answer case and workbook that makes reading feel more like a game
Perfect for Preschool, Kindergarten, and 1st Grade (Ages 3-6).  Molly has used this over the summer and is using it again now.

We also have read aloud times and choosing books from her own library.

For my 10-year-old Hannah, I’m letting her choose a book (first choice was Anne of Green Gables)  Her teachers have given us some ELA questions for her to write down:

While reading stories:

  • What was happening in this part of the book? 
  • What did you learn in this part of the book? 
  • Was what you learned stated directly, or did you infer it from clues? If so, what clues helped you make the inference? What do you know so far about this character? What did you read that tells you that? 
  • What is the main problem/conflict in the story? What details support this? How was the problem resolved? 
  • Think about the main character and how that character acted/behaved at the beginning of the story. How did the character change by the end of the story? Why?

We are also doing weekly vocab of words she finds in her books that she doesn’t know.  She’s writing them down on an index card while she reads (which also serves as her bookmark) and she’ll write the definition to those words on Fridays.

1st grade journal writing – Molly is doing the same format she follows at school and is writing 4 sentences about her day and drawing a picture that correlates with her writing.

5th grade journal writing – Hannah is actually working on writing a short story, so this is what she is doing for writing time.

Need a journal at home?  Here are 2 ways you can make them:  Even if you do have journals, just having the kids make their own maybe inspirational for them to use them!

handmade journal for kids

Easy Handmade Journals for Kids

Upcycled Cereal Box Notebook

Upcycled Cereal Box Notebook

adventure academy promotion

I also bought Hannah Adventure Academy. Adventure Academy is a multiplayer online game for elementary and middle school-aged children 8-13 featuring thousands of learning activities in a fun and safe virtual world and brings learning to life as it builds critical knowledge of essential curriculum topics in language arts, math, science, social studies, and more: essentially picking up where ABCmouse left off.  Hannah using this just for fun in all subject areas and loves it!  Just like ABCmouse.com, the first month is FREE or you can get an annual subscription for 49% off.

at home math resources math geek mama

2.  Math:

Again, both girls use ABCmouse.com or Adventure Academy for math activities. The girls have also enjoyed some math card games from mathgeekmama.com. Math Geek Mama is FILLED with a ton of great math resources!  Especially heck out her K-8 Math at Home: Resources for School Closures!!

Also, our school recommended Khan Academy for grade level, topical math lessons.

3.  Movement time:

Outdoor play (unless it’s pouring outside) or watch Go Noodle for a half hour to get moving!

4.  Arts and Crafts: 

Hannah is watching Youtube videos and learning how to crochet!  She has made 3 projects so far – a cute little fat cat, a pencil man, and the letter H!

kids crochet projects

For Molly, I’m letting her choose between coloring, playdough/slime time, or other crafts we find together on Pinterest.

If you are looking for more specific art classes, Yellow Spot Sun has some great courses that are very affordable or FREE!

5.  Science:

Since I am a former science teacher, I naturally have tons of resources at my home for my kids.  Plus at Christmas time, I’ve given my girls’ plenty of STEM-related kits or toys that they are having fun exploring now that they have more time to do so.  Many of these were from past Christmas gift guides. Here are some of them:

STEM at play slime making lab kit

hand2mind Slime! Science Slime Making Lab Kit for Kids

  • PLAY AND LEARN – Welcome to the exciting world of slimy worms and bouncing balls to become an expert in all things that SLIME!
  • 14 experiments & 19 lab tools that allows your little one to create blue blood, slimy coal, colored worms, and more
  • STEM at Play kits prepares your kid for the STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Math) Career by bringing science concepts to life through hands-on learning
  • Our 36-page fact-filled colorful lab guide is jam-packed with pictures and information that will keep your kid busy with fun for HOURS in the comfort of your home
  • The best STEM experiment, birthday, holiday, arts and crafts gift for girls, boys, kids, teens ages 8 and up with adult supervision

STEM at play slime making lab kit - bouncy ball project

The first project they did was make a bouncy ball.  It didn’t last though and turned into a slime pile??

Tinkering Labs Electric Motors Catalyst 

Tinkering Labs Electric Motors Catalyst 

Tinkering Labs’ Electric Motors Catalyst (EMC) is for kids 8+ (but many kids 6+ use it, it mainly depends on the child) and focuses on challenging their problem-solving capabilities and creativity and empowers them with invention and project-based learning.

  • “STEM kit” allows kids to build doodling robots, power electric model cars, add motors to legos, and more!
  • Truly engages kids’ inventive imagination, unlike say coding where kids are forced to learn inside a box and not think outside of it, limiting their imaginative and inventor abilities.
  • It comes with markers…can be used in the building process but the company also learned that when kids feel stuck, having an artistic avenue helps them recalibrate and then solve the problem.
  • Inspired the company to work with both consumers and schools; they even have their own tinkering school!

Thames & Kosmos SolarBots: 8-in-1 Solar Robot STEM Experiment Kit

  • Build and experiment with eight unique and fun solar-powered robots!
  • No batteries required — just a compact solar panel (included) and the energy from the sun!
  • Models include a drummer bot tank bot racer bot android wheel bot solar bug armadillo bot and dinosaur bot
  • Discover the current real-life applications of solar technology and its nearly limitless potential
  • Includes a 48-page full-color manual that guides solar power pioneers through model assembly and offers fun scientific facts

 smART Pixelator

smART Pixelator

Wouldn’t it be cool if you could pixelate ANY design using innovative LIGHT TECHNOLOGY? Well, you can thanks to the smART Pixelator from Flycatcher Toys! The smART Pixelator empowers kids to design and build 2D and 3D projects using Bluetooth connectivity, easy-to-follow lights, and smART Pixel Beads, Sequins or Pegs. Right out of the box, kids have a choice of creating 50 step-by-step designs using Pixel Beads. A smART Pixelator app and any mobile device also let them engineer their own projects, encouraging customization and experimentation. Additional beads, sequins, pegs, and extension sets, including the smART Pixelator Bracelet Maker, are available to keep the fun flowing. Ideal for kids 7 to 107 years old.

smART Pixelator

Hannah is in the process of making a cat.

Botley the coding robot

Botley the Coding Robot – helps your child learn early STEM skills while playing and having fun. He teaches kids to code with active, screen-free play that’s perfect for promoting critical thinking and problem-solving skills.  Botley is ready to code right out of the box and will have your kid coding in minutes!  Botley features completely screen-free coding; no phone or tablet required. Botley’s easy-to-use remote programmer transmits your commands and sends him rolling
Botley’s smart logic lets him detect objects in front of him and avoid them. He can also follow looping commands, take on obstacle courses, and follow black-line paths. He even has hidden features to unlock!  My engineer husband is going to grab this toy before my girls do, and it will be great for all of them to play with together!

GO HERE to see a video of an easy obstacle course my girls programmed Botley to go through

STEM at Play® BOOM! Combustion Science Lab Kit

STEM at Play® BOOM! Combustion Science Lab Kit:  Become an expert in things-that-go-boom! The fact-filled lab guide is chock-full of pictures and information for hours of fun in your own combustion lab!  STEM at play kits bring science concepts to life through hands-on activities designed to spark interest, inspire confidence, prompt creative critical-thinking skills while fostering collaboration between children and adults. STEM at play kits provides materials to support scholastic goals while keeping at-home learning fun. This kit comes with these activities:  Fizzy bombs, Inflate a balloon without blowing, Lava lamp, Birthday cake sparklers, Rocket balloon…and more!

As a former science teacher, I know my daughters and I will have a blast (pun fully intended) with this one!  I’m considering using this kit and hosting a Science BOOM Birthday party where my oldest daughter and myself can put on these science demos for my younger daughter and her friends!

STEM at Play® BOOM! Combustion Science Lab Kit

GO HERE to see a video of a milk and soap experiment my girls did last week from this kit!

Milk is a liquid made up of water, fat, and proteins.  When you put the food coloring on its surface, it doesn’t get mixed with the milk.  If you put the toothpick with a drop of dish soap in the drops of colorings, they move far apart and create an explosion of colors!  (we needed more than just green in our demo!)  This happens because the dish soap breaks all the bonds between the milk molecules and also breaks the surface tension, mixing the molecules and creating the color explosion that you can see!

science is science teaching book

Science Is 

This guide for teachers is the answer to all questions children ask and all the wonders they want to investigate — from the marvel of a raindrop on a leaf, to the power of a volcano, to the mysteries of the universe.

This award-winning bestseller is the biggest and best collection of science activities for children 6 to 14 years old. There are projects, experiments, games, puzzles, and stories. They cover all areas of science, including matter and energy, the human body, the environment, rocks, plants, animals, insects, weather, stars and planets, and technology.

Activities range in length from the popular ‘Quickies’ to projects that can be done over several days or weeks. They’ve all been tested and use simple materials. Easy-to-follow explanations, engaging illustrations, and fun facts.  I used this book a lot when I was teaching middle school science.  But it’s probably geared more toward elementary ages.

You can get cheap used copies of this book on Amazon!

The Ultimate Book of Kid Concoctions

The Ultimate Book of Kid Concoctions

A collection of TOP SECRET instructions for creating homemade versions of popular toy store items including: Gooey Gunk, Funny Putty, Sidewalk Chalk, Creepie Crawlers, Treasure Stones, Lip Gloss, Grass Head Guys, Shake & Make Ice Cream, Squeeze Rockets and many more. All of the projects are created in minutes using kitchen cupboard items. Kid Concoctions projects promote science, art, math, recycling and basic life skills.  You can get very cheap used copies of this book on Amazon!

toothpaste putty

The kids made Toothpaste Putty out of white glue, corn starch, and toothpaste.  They attempted to put it in silicone molds, but it didn’t dry very well in the molds.  It does dry out though if you leave it out.  We may even attempt the dryer lint clay later this week.  😉

nature scavenger hunt

I had the kids do a nature scavenger hunt – just one that I wrote out off of the top of my head.  Then I remembered I had a great one from when I was teaching and adapted it a bit for younger ages.  Sign up below and you’ll get your free copy!

There are also some great YouTube Channels for STEM – such as Crash Course Kids, SciShow Kids, and The Backyard Scientist!!

Also, Thames & Kosmos has a free online resource page, Science At Home that features free experiments, activities and more.

At the end of the day, Hannah switches every other day between practicing her flute or doing typing lessons.  So far we are using Typing.com to get started and then I’ll have to find her more text to continue practice typing.

Molly’s last activity for the day is to find one of her many activity books and do a few pages out of those.

Other Highly Recommended Miscellaneous indoor kids activities:

kids night in box subscription

Kids Night In Boxes

Every Month, Kids Night In will send a box aiming to give kids the tools he needs to build memories with an important figure in their life. Kids Night In is an opportunity to spend quality time together and show the child in your life how special they are! In every box, you will receive everything you need for fun activities together, but remember the fun activity isn’t the important thing here… what is important is the fact that Mom or Dad is regularly taking time to invest in a relationship with their kids.

You can read my full review HERE!

kids night in box

 kiwico box

Kiwi Co Boxes

How the KiwiCo Subscription Box Service Works:
First, you pick a line – Tadpole, Koala, Kiwi, Atlas, Doodle, Tinker, or Eureka. Each of those is for a different age group and/or interest. The science and art projects inspire kids to become creative problem solvers. When you choose your plan, either just one box for a monthly plan, 3, 6, or 12-month plans at the cheapest at $18.50 per box. The first crate ships in 2 days. Pause or cancel anytime!

Read my full review over here where I have a video going through an entire box.

Colton’s Time Machine, a 3-book series that entertainingly educates young kids about history (The Declaration of Independence, Thomas Edison, etc). Available on Amazon, these books are both fun and functional and a great supplement for an American history lesson!!

paint by sticker

Paint By Sticker: Paint by Sticker Kids: Unicorns & Magic includes everything kids need to create ten vibrant images, including unicorns, a dragon, a princess, and more.

sticker art

We have a slightly different sticker art kit (that apparently no one sells anymore?) – but it’s just as fun!

liberty's kids

A great resource for social studies is Liberty’s Kids!  You can watch it for free if you have Amazon Prime!

Faith-Based Kids Activities:

The Pilgrims Progress

The Pilgrim’s Progress –  based on John Bunyan’s timeless allegory, is filled with creative characters like Giant Despair, Worldly Wiseman, Evangelist, Legality, the Good Shepherd, and whimsical worlds like the Forbidden Forest, Swamp of Despondency, and Vanity Fair. Viewers follow Christian Pilgrim on his journey to rid himself of a dreadful burden on his back and find the Celestial City, which is ruled by a good and faithful King! However, he must stay on the straight path, and when he doesn’t, the most interesting and dangerous adventures ensue. Be encouraged by the Christian story considered second only to the Holy Bible!

Bethel Music Kids Come Alive

Bethel Music Kids Come Alive – Bethel Music is thrilled to present their first and highly anticipated kids album, “Come Alive.” An engaging, high-energy CD/DVD, “Come Alive” presents 11 Bethel Music worship favorites sung by kids form the Bethel Church community. The album’s tracks have been reconstructed into synth-pop dance mixes with a life all their own. The accompanying DVD presents 11 story-based music videos, that portray a “day the life” of a child, full of vibrant group choreography that invites viewers to join the fun. Ideal for kids and families, this product is aimed at cultivating greatness the next generation, championing the inseparable connection they have to Jesus, and reminding kids that they are powerful vessels of worship. With friends or family, Bethel Music Kid’s “Come Alive” will move your heart and move your feet.  Tracklist: Chasing You, This Is Amazing Grace, You Make Me Brave, O Taste And See You Are Good, Breaking Through, Freedom, Deep Cries Out, This Is What You Do, and Ever Be.

If you have other amazing resources that aren’t listed but your kids have loved, add them in the comments!  I can add a “reader’s recommendation list” to this post!

Check out some more helpful indoor kids activities posts here:

One Response to Educational & Indoor Activities For Kids To Supplement Virtual Learning

  1. Hello

    Thanks for sharing this great blog about indoor educational activities. It will help my children stay in and safe in this tough time.

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