If you’re like us, you have been busy practising social distancing and staying at home as a way to slow down the spread of the COVID-19 virus. Since March 14, Mrs. T and I have been entertaining Baby T1.0 and Baby T2.0 at home due to school closures. Mrs. T takes the bulk of the entertaining duty since I still have to work (from home) during the week. As more and more positive COVID-19 cases were confirmed, the Metro Vancouver municipalities decided to close recreational centres, pools, gyms, parks, playgrounds, and all other kids-friendly places. Therefore, keeping both kids entertained has become increasingly more difficult. Some days, one or more of us would wake up on the wrong side of the bed and would end up cranky the entire day. On those days, a lot of emotions get thrown around and it can get frustrating for everyone in the family.
Fortunately, we live in a house with enough indoor space for everyone to get our own space from time to time. We have been very grateful for our backyard. Both kids can run in the backyard wild and burn off energy; Mrs. T and I can work in the yard and get some fresh air. I can’t imagine what it’d be like cooped up all day in an apartment. If you are stuck in a small apartment with kids, kudos to you!
While it would be easy to have the kids watching movies and cartoons all day long, we have been avoiding screen times as much as possible. When the kids are in front of the screen, we try to give them learning opportunities. Therefore, we have been looking around to find some online resources. Thanks to Liv and a few other friends, we obtained the following free kids’ educational websites that have been extremely helpful.
- Khan Academy: Platform for exercises, instructional videos, and a personalized learning dashboard that empowers learners to study at their own pace.
- Scholastic Learn At Home: Daily cross-curricular journeys built around a thrilling, meaningful story or video.
- Twinkl: Huge range of educational material and print-outs. Get Twinkl Ultimate free for a month: enter code PARENTSTWINKLHELPS (not an affiliate code).
- National Geographic Kids: Science and history information in a fun layout.
- Raz-Kids: Levelled reading books for K-5 students.
- Chrome Music Lab: Create different types of music and learn music through fun, hands-on experiments.
- ABCYa: Variety of educational games by grade plus many DIY crafting videos.
- Starfall: Games for children up to Grade 3.
- Hour of Code: Several one-hour tutorials that teach coding in a fun approach.
- Top Marks: Math and English learning games.
- ICT Games: Math and English games aimed at children between 5 and 8 years old.
- MathsFrame: Free Math games covering different skills.
Children’s Podcasts / Audiobooks / Ebooks
- Wow in the World: Stories in science and technology.
- Circle Round: Adapts carefully-selected folktales from around the world into sound-and-music-rich radio plays for kids ages 4 to 10.
- Stories Podcast: Stories range from retellings of fairy tales to classic stories and even original works.
- World of Stories: Audiobooks for young readers to teens.
- Oxford Owl: Free eBook library for age 3-11 years old.
Cultural / Art Enrichment
- Louvre: Go with the kids on a virtual tour of some of the museum’s exhibition rooms and galleries.
- The Metropolitan Museum of Art: Explore a fun map of the museum, or hop in the time machine.
- The National Gallery: Take a virtual tour of 18 rooms at The National Gallery. Click on a painting to find out more information.
- Yellowstone Virtual Tours: Explore some of the main attractions in Yellowstone.
- Mars Virtual Tour: Take a walk on Mars and explore this red planet.
These are some of the links that we have come across over the last few weeks. If you are a parent, I hope they can help you in keeping your kids entertained during this difficult time. If you have any other great links, please feel free to share.