Tomorrow marks another Monday... if you're still keeping track of the days, that is. We've been keeping our weekdays busy with a flexible schedule and lots of engaging activities to keep the kids occupied, because it's what works best for our family. For us, a daily theme helps to organize the day, with books, shows, art, science and/or math all planned around the theme. It takes some work in advance but is working so far, and that's the name of the game at this point - do what works for you!
In the hopes that it can help some of you busy parents, I've been sharing our daily activities on Instagram stories, so you can take advantage of some pre-planned ideas and themes that might work for you too. In case you missed this week's stories, here are my Top 5 activities we've done in the past two weeks, guaranteed for your kids to enjoy!
💚 Ice Exploration (Science): We did this activity for Dinosaur Day alongside conversations about fossils and palaeontologists. Take some favourite small plastic toys (we used dinosaurs) and freeze them in a large stainless steel bowl of water overnight. In the morning, give kids the ice mountain with their treasures inside, along with some tools to help excavate their toys. Try hot water and a syringe, salt, small hammers or screwdrivers (or whatever is safe and age appropriate). Have kids hypothesize in advance what will help them get the toys out. At least 30 minutes (and possibly much more) of fun!
💙 Secret Messages (Art): This one is so cool. Take a white piece of paper and a white oil pastel and draw or write secret messages on the paper. When kids paint on the page with watercolour paints, the messages will reveal themselves like magic! We did this activity on Oceans Day for a craft where the kids made their own islands. They cut and pasted islands out of construction paper, and when I had them paint the surrounding ocean with watercolour paints, the fish and underwater creatures I had drawn in advance appeared as a surprise. Show them how water and oil won't mix in a cup and make this a science lesson too.
💛 Planting Seeds (Science): This is classic for spring. Plant some seeds and watch them grow - simple! What I love about planting seeds and caring for them indoors is that the kids can watch their progress on a daily basis and really get excited as things start to grow. We did this for Spring Day and are still watching with anticipation every day to see what will happen. Here's a tip: radishes grow quickly, especially in a makeshift greenhouse. That quick gratification is good to hold kids' interest. We've also been charting the seed growth on a line graph, to make this a math lesson too.
💜 Poop Hunt (Science): I def get mom points for creating an activity that grossed my kids out (and come on, 3 and 6 year olds love potty humour!) For Poop Day (yup, you read that right), we went on a Scat Hunt to see what types of animal poop we could find outside. Google "animal scat scavenger hunt" and you'll find some pics that kids can use as a reference. We collected data and graphed the results afterwards in a bar graph. Birds won! This one meets all the must haves - science, math, outdoor distancing time, and a lot of laughs!
❤️ Science Journals (Science): I love this idea that we started about a week into CampCovid. Every time we do a science experiment, we'll make an entry in our science journal. My daughter helps me write the set-up and makes a hypothesis. It's been a great way for us to practice reading, writing and French language skills in a format other than work sheets, and will make for a great souvenir of the type of activities we did during the break. It's also a great opportunity to talk about Growth Mindset, because not all educated guesses turn out to be right, and that is ok! ⠀
If you like these ideas and are looking for more, follow along on my Instagram and Instagram Stories where you can see our daily curriculum and activities...when they happen! And let me know how your kids enjoy them and what more I can do to help you through this challenging time - we are all in this together!