With schools and businesses temporarily closed and play dates cancelled, we know it can be tough to keep kids entertained and many of us are feeling a little cooped up. While staying home is necessary to help flatten the curve, it doesn’t have to be boring and kids can still keep on learning! To help, the team here at 914 Smiles is sharing some ideas for fun, educational activities to do with kids at home:
1. Tarrytown Music Hall Academy – Our very own Tarrytown Music Hall is offering free online workshops for kids through its Music Hall Academy, which is a performing arts and enrichment program created with theater educator Peter Royston. The one-hour workshops include creative writing, science fiction, Shakespeare and more. While the workshops don’t cost anything, space is limited so RSVP to [email protected]. Check out the schedule here.
2. Scholastic Learn at Home – Scholastic is a go-to destination for educational activities to do with kids at home. They’ve launched lessons and projects to keep kids engaged, reading and learning during this time through Scholastic Learn at Home. Each weekday, you’ll find a story and related activities with lessons grouped by age. There are options for kids in pre-k through nine.
3. Visit the Library Virtually – While the Warner Library is closed, as part of the Westchester Library System, it’s offering access to a variety of resources for kids and adults. Try TumbleBooks, an online collection of animated picture books that teach young children how awesome reading is. You can access it with a library card. Or, check out TumbleMath, which features a collection of math picture books in the same format.
4. Try Harry Potter at Home – J.K. Rowling, Audible, Bloomsbury, OverDrive, Pottermore Publishing and Scholastic have joined forces to create Harry Potter at Home on WizardingWorld.com. Meant to bring a touch of Harry Potter magic to your daily life, families, teachers and kids can take advantage of a whole host of features, including access to the first Harry Potter book for free on Audible or OverDrive, special activity kits, craft videos, and more.
5. Get Adventurous with DIY Science Experiments – There are a ton of science projects for kids that you can do together using household items. Remember the old baking soda volcano of our youth? While that’s still one of the classics, we have some other good options to expand your science horizons:
- Try this DIY lava lamp to teach kids about chemical reactions. It relies on water, vegetable oil, food coloring and antacid tablets. Check out the instructions on Home Science Tools.
- Learn about sound waves with a water xylophone that uses mason jars, water, wooden sticks and food coloring. Little Bins for Little Hands has a tutorial.
- Science Sparks teaches you how to grow a bean in a jar to get a glimpse at the germination process.
6. Do Gym Class at Home With Joe Wicks – Joe Wicks, known as The Body Coach, has pretty much become the world’s physical education teacher during this time of social distancing. Every day, he posts “P.E. With Joe” on his YouTube channel. The 30-minute workouts for kids are free and teach little ones the importance of staying active and healthy. The classes are appropriate for older kids as well.
7. Keep it Local With a Workout at the Fit Inn – The Fit Inn in Tarrytown is offering virtual workout classes for kids ages 11 and up on Tuesdays and Thursdays at 3:30pm. The workouts are 35 minutes long and designed to keep kids strong, healthy and moving. Sign up on their website and be sure to select “virtual classes.” The classes even open 15 minutes early so everyone can chat and catch up before breaking a sweat!
8. Take Free Online Art Classes – Making art is another of our fun but educational activities to do with kids at home because it helps them tap into their creativity. Mo Willems, the Kennedy Center’s artist-in-residence and best-selling author and illustrator of books like Don’t Let Pigeon Drive the Bus! is offering LUNCH DOODLES. He hosts free draw-along classes and visits to his studio on weekdays at 1pm. You can find the videos on YouTube. Author and illustrator Jarrett Krosoczka has free videos too called Draw Every Day with JJK posted on weekdays at 2pm on his YouTube channel.
9. Go on a Virtual Field Trip – Zoos, museums, historical sites and more are all offering free virtual field trips. Dream of visiting the Louvre? Here you go. Wish you could head to the Monterey Bay Aquarium? You can, right here. We Are the Mighty has a comprehensive list of virtual field trips you can take right now with your kids.
10. Enjoy Free Online Storytimes – Celebrities and authors and illustrators have joined together for the Read Together, Be Together initiative sponsored by Parents magazine. On the website, you’ll find reading tips, printable activities for kids to do at home based on their favorite books, book lists, videos and more. There will also be virtual storytimes on weekdays at 3pm where authors and celebrities read picture books. See the schedule here.
We hope these educational activities to do with kids at home help and we hope everyone is hanging in there! While our Tarrytown pediatric dentistry and orthodontic office is temporarily closed, we are offering virtual orthodontic consultations. Or, if you have a dental or orthodontic emergency, you can text or email us photos of the concern to (914) 332-0900 or [email protected] and we’ll help you through it. We can’t wait to see all of our amazing patients soon!