IDEAS FOR KEEPING KIDS ACTIVE & ENGAGED @ HOME
(Scroll down for information and resources on Family Wellness)
As a result of the COVID-19 pandemic and our concerns regarding the health, safety and well-being of children in a camp environment, Family Day made the difficult decision to cancel our summer camp programs this past July and August.
By the beginning of July, families had been home physically isolating for quite some time and children were likely missing their friends and educators. That is why we were so pleased to be able to offer Summer Connections 2020 – an online opportunity for families to connect with our Summer Camp Educators throughout the summer.
Keeping in mind the children who would normally be attending our summer camp programs, each week we shared new online resources and prerecorded activities that were specifically aimed at engaging and connecting with children 4- to 12-years of age.
Summer, Winter, Spring or Fall, these are great resources, so we decided to keep them live on our website for children and their families to enjoy!
Discover Canadian Farms!
Introducing EarlyON @ Family Day
We are excited to introduce you to EarlyON @ Family Day, our newly created virtual platform that allows us to reach out to families and continue delivering our programs during this time of physical distancing.
Please visit our Facebook page, where you will be able to find our program schedule posted. Need help setting up a Facebook account? CLICK HERE for instructions.
A BIG BUNCH OF IDEAS!
(for when the kids don’t know what to do!)
- Frame a small segment of your environment with a 3”x 5” card frame. Cut a rectangle out of the center. Trust your eye and draw what you see.
- Make a flip book, either with figures or abstract color and shape.
- Design and create the background for your favorite Pixar or Disney movie using a shoebox as the “set”.
- Painting challenge: tape paint brushes to a yard stick, or a similar long sturdy object. Tape paper to a wall, and paint a picture using only the long paint brushes you’ve created.
- Painting challenge: Tape large paper to the floor. Create a painting while standing, using only your feet to hold the brush.
- Get sketching! Find a photograph or picture of a person, place or object and sketch it.
- Junk modelling! Collect and recycle materials such as yoghurt pots, toilet rolls and boxes and see what you can create with them.
- Create a pattern on your living room floor using household materials.
- Design and make a homemade board game and play it with your family.
- Design a fort (constraints: 4 blankets, 2 chairs, 1 flashlight) – photograph it OR video-record a tour
- Use foil to build a boat that floats (Challenge: make it sturdy enough to hold 10 or more pennies)
- Use a drinking straw to blow a ping pong ball (or other lightweight ball) from one place to another. Construct a tabletop maze for the ball to run through.
- Design a marble run by setting up cardboard tubes in different ways to make the marbles roll at different speeds.
- Use plastic cups to build a tower that’s as tall as you are.
- Build a tree house for one or more or your houseplants.
- Make a water bottle fountain.
- Create a paper plate maze and challenge each family member to complete the maze.
- Build an airplane launcher; create paper planes and experiment with which design flies the farthest.
- Get building! You could build a Lego model, a tower of playing cards or something else!
- Build a reading den. Find somewhere cozy, snuggle up and read your favourite book!
- Design and make an obstacle course at home or in the garden. How fast can you complete it?
- Create a fruit flavored drink that is unique & tasty (Challenge: invent a new tool for juicing and name it)
- Make dinner invitations and a menu for tonight’s meal. Help with setting the table, and- bonus; create a centerpiece.
- Smell a few of the spices in your kitchen. Pick one, and answer the question, what does this smell remind you of? Draw a picture of your answer.
- Make sock puppets and put on a show (Challenge: plan out your show with a story board)
- Watch the video read aloud of “Ada Twist Scientist” by Andrea Beaty, then grab some sheets of paper and staple them together. Create a journal, recording all of the questions you have about what you could do with items in your house! (i.e. “What would happen if we put bread in a bowl of water? What would happen if we painted with grape juice?)
- Thank a community hero. Think of someone that helps you in some way and write a short letter to thank them.
- Keep moving! Make up a dance routine to your favourite song.
- Write a play script. Can you act it out to other people?
- Make a list of all the electrical items in each room of your home. Can you come up with any ideas to use less electricity?
- Create and design an instrument that can be heard from a distance of at least 20 feet.
- Write a song or rap about your favourite subject.
- Create a rainbow book, photographing all the colors of the rainbow and arranging the pages in the appropriate order of the book
- Hold a photo session. Use a camera or a mobile phone to take some snaps. What will you photograph? Your pets or toys perhaps?
- Using string, tape, a straw and balloon, create a balloon rocket.
- Parents- do you have an old VCR, extra television/computer, or some other outdated technology in storage collecting dust? If so, use a screwdriver with your child to take it apart, deconstruct and discover what’s inside.
- Can you create your own secret code? You could use letters, numbers, pictures or something else! Can you get someone else to try and crack it?
- Can you invent something new? Perhaps a gadget or something to help people? Draw a picture or write a description.
- Create a visual timeline of your life so far, using one page per year of life.
- Do something kind for someone. Can you pay them a compliment, make them something or help them with a task?
- Outdoor Sound Wall/Music Station
- How to Make Square Bubbles
- ParticipACTION! Keep fit @ home. Join daily online workouts!
- Ontario Institute of Learning Stay at Home Club The OISE Stay @ Home Club is a new web series of interactive lessons for children and adults alike!
- 42+ activities to keep kids busy while parents work at home Active for Life (Raising physically literate kids)
- Active Learning at Home on HighScope’s website. Children can engage in active learning at home through HighScope’s daily routine.
- Activities – Active For Life – designed to get kids moving and having fun.
- LUNCH DOODLES with Mo Willems! Mo guides you through drawing activities using one of his favorite characters as inspiration!
- Scholastic Learn at Home – Day-by-day projects to keep kids reading, thinking and growing.
- Alan’s Science at Home Experiments – Experiments you can do at home — entertaining for both children and adults!
- Play and Learn! (Infant & Child Health Lab and the Division of e-Learning Innovation)
Fun with Chalk!
Try using DIY Ice Chalk to encourage artistic expression!
April 22, 2020 marked 50 years of Earth Day !
The first Earth Day is credited with launching the modern environmental movement and is now recognized as the planet’s largest civic event. Here are some ways you and your family can observe Earth Day on any day!
- Create a Nature Shadow Box (Suggested Age 2.5 to 6 years)
- Create an Earth Day Pledge (Suggested Age 6 to 12 years)
- Make homemade Bird Feeders
- Plant a seed in a jar, or clear container and watch it grow.
- Go Camping in your Backyard
- Create an Eco-system in a jar
- Backyard exploration – What can you see in your own space?
- Make recycled paper (using old newspaper, a blender, water & a nylon stocking stretched over a coat hanger as a frame)
- Have a litterless day. Try to go through the day using only reusable materials. (It’s helpful to plan for this in advance.)
- Play a memory game using natural materials
- Spring Scavenger Hunt
- Build a cardboard marble run and use rocks as the marbles
- Websites supporting Earth Day
Highlighting one of Family Day’s exceptional educators!
Meet Julianne Marie Torio, RECE
We want to give a shout-out to Julianne — a creative, enthusiastic and engaged RECE who we are fortunate to have as a member of our Lynnwood Heights Extended Day and School Age Program team. Julianne has been a peer mentee, and in this role has supported Family Day’s Pedagogical Consultant with school age conversations over the past 3 years. Her commitment, passion and dedication to children, families, communities and fellow educators is evident through the many contributions she has made which have enriched programs across our agency.
Julianne has used this period of physical distancing to reach out to children and their families in a different way by making fun and informative videos that she shares online. You can check out Julianne’s YouTube channel here!
Hand Up for Kids is an initiative created in response to the COVID – 19 impacts on the Toronto community, particularly towards alleviating food insecurity. This initiative aims to provide healthy meals to low income households with children and vulnerable youths that are in need. We have decided that in replacement of our weekly sandwich runs we have been hosting out of Moss park for the past 5 years, we will be switching to grocery runs.
FOR MORE INFORMATION GO TO HAND UP TORONTO
My Hero is You — How kids can fight COVID-19!
More on family wellness
- A Parents Guide to Promoting Early Learning and Development at Home (0 – 5) Supporting Families during the Coronavirus (MESHguides)
- Resilience and Routines for Families During the Pandemic (Psychology Today)
- The Pandemic Toolkit that Parents Need (Psychology Today)
- Let the Children Play! Four reasons why play is vital during the pandemic.
- Top Parenting Tips in Uncertain Times (Triple P | Positive Parenting Program)
- Working and Caring for Kids While Social Distancing (Intersections)
- Should I go outside during the COVID-19 era? (Outdoor Play Canada)
- Everyday Anxiety Strategies for Educators (for Parents & Caregivers) These fun and practical strategies help guide parents and caregivers in managing their children’s anxiety and worries in the comfort of their home during the COVID-19 pandemic and beyond. (Government of British Columbia) For Children Grades K to 3 | For Children Grades 4 to 7
COVID-19 Booklet for Children (courtesy of www.mindheart.co) – An activity booklet (for children under 7) you can share with your kids to help them understand COVID-19.
Coronavirus Explained (for Kids) (Dr. Michelle Dickinson)
From Fear to Hope Workbook (Other Life Lessons | Dr. Tanya Cotler)
Children’s grief during COVID may look like anger. Here’s how parents can respond. (The Conversation)
Kids Helping Kids!
To help show young people they’re never alone — especially during the COVID-19 pandemic — Kids Help Phone asked young people from coast to coast to share their words of encouragement with each other. What a wonderful way to remind children that they’re never alone and that help is always available! Check out some of the inspiring letters that they received!