Stuck home for awhile? We have all recently found ourselves in a very unique situation. We are suddenly becoming homeschool parents and not by choice. Don’t get me wrong, I love spending time with my kids, but being home with them for 4 weeks DURING the school year will be very overwhelming. Although I am in education, I am not a teacher but luckily I work with some of the best teachers in New Jersey. I have learned a lot by watching them as well as assisting with the development of classroom modifications and accommodations for special education students. As a parent, I am taking those skills out of the school and bringing them home to my boys.
At Mommy University, our main goal has always been to share information with parents so they can encourage ongoing learning through travel, play and everyday experiences. It is very important to us to share as much as we can with parents now more than ever. We are putting together posts to help parents keep the learning and FUN going at home during this unique time in our lives. In this post, Monica and I will be sharing over 75 learning activities kids can enjoy at home. This can be in addition to work the teachers have provided to enhance learning or help those struggling. These activities can also be used when the work the teachers sent runs out. We have included Amazon affiliate links so you can order supplies right from your home.
75+ Learning Activities To Do at Home
Read together as a family. For those just learning to read, have them read one page and you read one page. For older kids, read at the same time and even the same book to show how important reading is.
Create an at-home library. You can use a bookshelf, basket, bin or the top of a dresser with bookends. Let the kids help choose the books they love. Try some of the books from our Awesome Book Lists!
For little ones, use interactive books like touch and feel, open the flaps, wipe clean and pop ups.
Let them play with reading based toys. Here are some of our favorites:
Reading games! There are so many fun games that help increase reading skills. Here are some that we suggest:
Label objects around the house. On index cards or small pieces of paper, write the names of objects around your house, then tape the words next to or on the object. As kids walk around the house, they have to point to and read each word. You can also do a scavenger hunt with the words around the house. Another fun idea is to put a sight word on each step. As kids go upstairs, they have to read each sight word. As the words are mastered, you can change them to new words.
Enjoy a virtual story time! My boys have absolutely LOVED the LIVE story times with Dan Gutman. Click on the picture below for an amazing list of virtual story times!
Have an astronaut read to your child! Various astronauts on the International Space Station have made videos where they read a book to children. This is also a great opportunity to open a conversation about science and space.
Record your child reading a book. Every kid these days wants to be a Youtube star so offering to record them reading may get them even more excited about reading.
Set up an online reading buddy. If kids can’t go outdoors, set up an online reading buddy. Your kids can read to a friend using Skype or Facetime. They may even want to read the same book and share their thoughts about what they read each day.
Tracing. You can order some tracing workbooks and have the kids practice their writing skills. You can also write letters and words on lined paper using a highlighter and have them trace that. A great tool we have used for tracing is the Magic Sketch which allows children to trace and easily erase with a click of a button.
Let them play with educational toys that enhance writing skills. Here are some of our favorites:
- LeapFrog Scribble and Write Tablet
- Vtech Write and Learn Creative Center
- Fisher-Price Think and Learn Alpha Slidewriter
- Speak and Spell
Journal. Have your kids keep a journal during their time at home. They can share their experiences with their teacher and peers when they return. I recommend having them decorate their own journal too to make it more personal.
Sentence strips. Write a ton of words on small pieces of paper. The kids can help as well. Then have them make sentences using the words. They can be as silly as they want.
Write a letter. A great way to build writing skills is to have your kids write a letter to someone. They can write to a family member, friend, pen pal, soldier, famous person/role model or even to someone in a nursing home.
Complete Mad Libs! Mad Libs are such a fun way to enhance writing skills especially the understanding of nouns, verbs, adjectives and adverbs! Amazon has a ton of fun Mad Libs you can choose from.
Sorting. Have the little ones sort objects in your house by color, size or category.
Use flashcards for math facts.
Play with dice! Roll the dice then either add up the numbers or multiply them. Kids can take turns answering or you can make it a contest of who answers first. You can also focus on probability or make graphs showing how many times each number was rolled out of a certain number of rolls.
Make a shopping list then use your local food store circular, website or app to determine how much money it will cost. Make it more difficult by creating a budget.
Measure objects around the house then compare the sizes. The kids can record their data and graph them.
Study math facts using a deck of cards. Split the deck between the players. Everyone puts a card down at the same time. The first person to add or multiply all the numbers together correctly, wins the pile. The person with the most cards wins the game!
Put a math fact, equation or word problem on each step in your house. Each time your child goes up or down, they have to solve the problem.
Go on a nature scavenger hunt. Put together a list (with the help of your kids) of things they have to find outside in nature.
Mold experiment. Place pieces of a food item like bread or an apple in small bags then place them in different places around the house. Make a hypothesis of which one will grow the most and least mold. Keep a record of the daily log of the mold growth.
Complete a science kit. There are so many amazing science kits out there. Here are some that we suggest:
Make a volcano! Kids LOVE this experiment and you can use what you have at home.
Enjoy a FREE virtual museum tour.
Learn how to be an Imagineer! Disney has partnered with Khan Academy to bring you a FREE online program that teaches kids how to create and develop their own theme park. Learn more here.
Build with Lego bricks, K’nex or other building toys. Building is a great way to introduce STEAM concepts as well as many other developmental benefits.
Experiment with eggs! Find some great ideas here.
Read Who Was books. These books enable children to not only learn history but stories of overcoming obstacles.
Read I Survived books. These books offer a unique look into historical events.
Study individual states or countries. Your child can pick a specific state or country, then make a poster project on that state or country. You can also follow our guide here to learn about geography of the United States.
Print a map of the United States and color in all the states you have visited as a family.
Set a timer for 5 minutes and see if you can write down EVERY US state in that time. (It’s way harder than it sounds!)
Make an American flag craft.
Make up your own country complete with its own flag, language, holidays, food, landmarks and more.
Make a list of National Parks and talk about which ones you want to visit.
If I were President… Have your kids write about what they would do if they were the President of the United States.
Interview a family member.
Chores! Give your child one chore they must complete during the week. Older kids have daily chores/responsibilities.
Teach your kids how to make their bed, then make it a part of their daily routine.
Teach your kids how to do laundry. Start with sorting darks and lights then move on to loading the clothes into the machine and adding the soap. Younger kids can put their folded clothes away, while older kids can learn to fold and hang up their clothes independently.
Research careers. Talk to your kids about what they want to be when they grow up, then do some research on that career.
Make an outdoor fort/shelter and discuss survival skills.
If it’s nice out, make a fire and cook outdoors.
Create a pretend restaurant complete with a menu and pricing.
Go camping outside!
Game time! Board games are the perfect way to teach social skills like turn taking, respect, teamwork, following directions and patience. Check out our list of our favorite games to play with your family!
Make a list of ways to show kindness towards others.
Have a virtual playdate! My boys have Facebook Messenger Kids which allows them to facetime their friends. They can even talk to several friends at one time. This is a great way to keep kids connected and engaged.
Play social skills based games. There are some wonderful games out there that teach social skills. Here are some our favorites:
Study other cultures and talk about how everyone is unique.
Tinker Tray. These are really fun for kids who love creating their own art pieces. Place all different supplies in a tray and just let them create!
Make binoculars out of toilet paper rolls. This is a fun craft that can be combined with a nature scavenger hunt!
Draw or paint a family portrait.
Color with chalk! A new trend is to write inspiring messages on your driveway or sidewalk. This is a fun way to keep everyone connected. You can also have your kids color outside as part of art class!
Make calming bottles. Just add water, glue and glitter to an empty water bottle!
Experiment with color mixing. Have kids mix paint colors to see what happens. This is a fun way to combine art and science.
Illustrate a story or add pictures to a daily journal.
Nature crafts! Have the kids collect sticks, leaves, acorns or anything they can find in nature. Then have them make an art project with it. Let them be creative.
Make bird feeders! You can cover a toilet paper roll with peanut butter then roll it in bird seed.
Color a Mural. Coloring on the wall is not ideal but it is great to help writing skills. Pick up a large piece of paper and tape to the wall so kids can draw their own mural. (If you are short on paper, cut open paper bags as pictured below). This open ended play may last longer than you think. You can also purchase one online if that makes life easier with Pirasta.
Make your own instrument like a drum out of a coffee tub or maracas out of spoons.
Play freeze dance!
Play Guess That Tune! Take turns picking a song and then everyone has to guess what it is. You can make it even harder by guessing what movie it is from or who sings it.
If your child plays an instrument, make sure they practice every day.
GoNoodle! This FREE website and app offers fun movement breaks and activities for kids.
Get Tangled with Twangled. Looking for a game the whole family can play yet challenges kids to improve balance and coordination then Twangled is a great fit.
Yoga Spinner. This is a fun game the entire family can play.
Go for a hike.
Make an obstacle course (inside or outside).
Make exercise stations.
Play a sport like basketball, baseball, football or kickball.
Those are just some of the many at-home learning activities your family can enjoy! Share your ideas in the comments section below!
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