Who’s with me, scrambling to find activities to keep kids busy when they’re not in school the next few weeks? Here are four ideas to keep your kids busy when they’re not in school with a minimal number of supplies.
1. Virtual museum tours.
There are a number of museums that you can engage with while you’re stuck at home. Here is a list of a few from travelandleisure.com. Click through the museum tour itself, but also use these as a chance to talk about their location. How far is the museum from you? Google the address and find it on a map. What time is it there? Is there a time change? What is the weather like at the museum today? Is it the same as yours? All of these questions help your kiddos picture the museum and affirms that it is a REAL place.
2. Write letters to someone.
Talk to your kids about who they can think of that may enjoy receiving a letter. Their ideas may surprise you! Put out crayons or paint and let them make a picture. Or write a letter about what they hope to do this week. (That will also give you some insight into THEIR ideas!) Writing will help them practice letters, spelling, and communications. Creating pictures will help them practice their creativity! And by starting the project with their ideas of who to send it to will help teach them empathy.
3. Picture scavenger hunts.
Create one of your own, or download my Picture Scavenger Hunt PDF below. I used a bit of art and a bit of science when I made the download below for my own kids. They LOVE nature and outdoor education! So the element of taking a photo or drawing a pictures of something and then thinking more deeply about their subject has been great for them.
You can make your own picture scavenger hunt by making a list of things that kids can find. Items can either be indoors, or outdoors depending on the weather. They can also be specific or general depending on the age and developmental phase of the child. When you’ve put together a list of 5-10 items, send the kiddo out on the hunt with a paper and crayons, or a device that can take photos. (iPad, an old camera, or go along and help them snap a pic on your smart phone.) Have them check off their list as they find the items, and they can draw a picture of what they found, or snap a photo to show you.
4. Start some seeds.
You can go all out and buy seed starters, OR you can grab an empty container, some soil from outside, and some seeds from a fruit you’re serving at snack time. We plant seeds with the kids every year and they LOVE it. But we also recently plunked a few apple seeds in a container with a house plant just to see what would happen and one sprouted! We replanted it in a bigger pot with it’s own soil and the little guy seems to be doing well!
Seeds are a great activity to keep kids busy when they’re not in school because it’s an activity that continues to change with very little additional work. You can spend 30 minutes to an hour planting and talking about seeds and growth. Water it every few days, and then when it sprouts- the project gets exciting all over again!
Depending on the kids’ ages, you have various talking points. Growth, plants as babies versus plants as adults, photosynthesis, what plants need in order to grow. Plants and growing seeds are a great educational project with opportunity to learn at many different developmental phases.
I hope you found a few ideas to keep your kids busy when they’re not in school! If you try any and take photos- or end up with any pictures- I’d love to see what you came up with! Tag me on instagram @lavendergreenpics or #lavendergreenphotography so I can see what you came up with! (Plus scrolling through your photos with MY kids will give our family something to do as well!)