During this unprecedented time of recommended social distancing and remote learning, many parents are wondering how to keep kids busy and learning—especially for long durations. We’ve rounded up some helpful and creative ideas and resources from our sister site SchoolFamily.com, Common Sense Media, and several other websites to help you survive and thrive—and maybe even thrive.

Free Media Subscriptions

Many companies are offering free access and subscriptions to educational resources. Here are some links from trusted organizations like Scholastic, PBS, and the BBC. Take a virtual museum tour, “travel” the world, or discover a new podcast your kids will love.

PBS

Amazing Educational Resources

Resources for Homeschooling

12 Museums You Can Visit Virtually

Educational Companies Offering Free Subscriptions Due to School Closings

Scholastic Free Classes

12 Great Podcasts for Kids

 

Keeping Up Skills

Use this time at home to practice reading, writing, math, and science skills.

Fun, Free Science Experiments
The Microban 24 24-Hour Science Experiment comes with three age-based, hands-on science experiments that teach kids about bacteria in fun, interactive ways. Each experiment includes a supply list, an easy-to-follow guide, and an instructional video, making them easy to run in school or at home. And it's free to download!

28+ STEM Activities To Do at Home
Step-by-step instructions and materials lists for family-friendly science activities, adapted from the Family Science Night planning kit.

Graphing for Reading and Math Fun
Use everyday items you have at home like stuffed animals, Legos, a shower curtain, and more to make graphing fun.

Help Your Child Become a Sentence Builder
Two fun ways to help your young speller turn words into sentences.

For Bookworms
Common Sense Media has curated a “Best Books for Kids” list for readers from preK to teens 13 and older.

Fun and Easy Help With Basic Math
A deck of cards and some coins are all you need for these activities.

Math Fun for Summer (or Anytime)
Use everyday items for these three activities and keep math skills fresh.

Roundup of Free Educational Games, Apps, and Websites for Reading and Math
If you can't get the tablet away from them, this is the list you want.

 

School-At-Home Supply Lists

If your school supply cabinet was less than fully stocked when your kids transferred to your at-home classroom, you might be interested in these at-home school supply lists from our sister site, TeacherLists.com:

School-at-Home Supply List, Early Elementary (grades preK-2)

School-at-Home Supply List, Elementary (grades 3-5)

School-at-Home Supply List, Middle (grades 6-8)

 

Staying Active, Outdoors and In

10 Healthy Hacks for Parents and Kids
Social distancing can include some outdoor activities with the family, including scavenger hunts and dog walks, and indoor activities, including dance parties and having fun with food.

Winter Exercise Ideas for the Family
If you don’t have snow in your part of the country, adapt these winter exercise ideas to your own yard.

Movement Apps, Games, and Websites
Check out these apps, games, and websites designed to help you balance your kids’ screen time and exercise.

 

Cooking Lessons

Make Family Meals Count
Teaching children to cook can become a fun lesson in math and chemistry! Long breaks provide a great time to prepare a family meal together. Kids love helping prepare meals and, if you’re lucky, you might get help washing the dishes!

Need to make a call? Turn to this roundup of recipes your kids can make on their own.

 

Printables and Worksheets

Word search worksheets, crossword puzzles, acrostic poems, color-by-number worksheets, and interactive learning games like the Handango Clean Hands Game are all good ways to interest kids when you need them to turn off their screens. These links have many types of activity sheets for kids of all ages.

SchoolFamily.com Printable Activities

SchoolFamily.com Printable Sick Day Activities

 

Remember...We’re All in This Together

It’s a challenging time for parents, and also for teachers and children. Try these 10 at-home learning tips from Children and Screens: Institute of Digital Media and Child Development to help your family adjust to the current reality.

  • Consider a digital quarantine and limit your children’s cell phones and tablets until after their schoolwork is completed.

  • Make space for learning, ideally a comfortable, quiet space away from where they normally play games or watch television.

  • Monitor the (computer) monitor, which simply means observing to make sure kids are learning and not zoning out.

  • Take a digital recess so kids can get physical activity. If it helps, set alarms and send the kids outside.

  • Encourage your kids to video chat or text until it’s safe for them to return to school and have “face-to-face” discussions about appropriate screen time.

  • Keep it old school and encourage print and book reading, especially for the smaller children.

  • Check in with other parents to ask for advice, share concerns, and useful tips.

  • Plan your work and work your plan to relieve stress and figure out priorities.

  • Remind your children that this isn’t a vacation and they still have assignments, grades, requirements, and tests.

  • Don’t forget to have fun and plan off-screen activities for the whole family. Use this time together as an opportunity to bond.

Because adults (and kids) are spending a lot more time online during the coronavirus pandemic, our friends at Trend Micro are holding a series of free #StayAtHome webinars to support the ongoing education of parents everywhere. Join one of these 30-minute weekly sessions to discuss challenges and get answers from Trend Micro experts and guests on topics like managing your family’s privacy and dealing with cyberbullying. (You can also watch the recorded sessions later.)