I’ve come up with some suggestions to help parents make sure that the learning doesn’t stop, even when the buses do.
1. Dust off those boxes and challenge your kids to complete a PUZZLE. You can time them to see how long it takes, and even record their results in a chart, that way, if they want to try to put it together again (once completed) and beat their time, you’ll have it recorded. You could even graph their results and talk about the improvements in speed, as seen in the data.
2. Challenge your kids to CONSTRUCT something. Whether it is Lego, beads or bracelets, giving them time to manipulate objects using their hands will help practice fine motor skills and focused attention. Tell them that you are going to take a picture of their creations and showcase them on the fridge or a corkboard in their room. Praise their hard work and value their creations to ensure that they try their hardest and exercise their ingenuity.
3. Book a READING time and let your kids plan it. Have them choose the book(s) and make a poster to advertise when and where the reading will take place. They can decorate or set up the reading area and invite their stuffed animals and toys to also join in!
4. If it’s not a -25 degree (or colder) day, send your kids for OUTSIDE PLAY. Avoid the temptation to plan or provide them with all the details on what to do. Sometimes the best games and memories are created from unstructured times. Let them use their wonder and imagination, and they will connect to the experience and buy-in to the moment.
5. Why not try a SCAVENGER HUNT? Hide objects around the house and create clues for them to read and follow until they discover the treasure. Next, let your kids hide objects and write clues for you to follow and look for the loot!
No matter how you choose to spend the day at home with your children, remember that it can be much more than just sitting in front of the television. These are the moments when we, as adults, can be kids again. Build a fort, paint a picture…energy is infectious! The buses might be cancelled, but the learning and engagement can thrive!