Indoor At-Home Activities
As we continue to experience record-breaking cold temperatures across much of the country, there’s a good chance your kids are stuck at home. If you have access to the internet and a few teaching tools, you can take some of the boredom out of winter and sneak in a little education to boot. From magic rainbow milk to building your own drum set, special educator Jenny Wise has created a list of fun and inexpensive activities to keep the kids engaged and interested all winter long. Before beginning, we recommend reviewing Kids' Rules for Online Safety by SAFEKIDS.COM.
Magic Rainbow Milk
Science is fun, even if your recess-obsessed kids don’t think so just yet. Spark their interest with the rainbow magic milk science experiment, which uses things you probably already have, including milk, cotton swabs, and food coloring, to create a blast of color. Have them perform the experiment, then theorize why the colors “ran away” from the soap. They can research their theories online and look for similar projects to back up evidence and data.
Fun-Filled Dance Workout
Dancing is an easy recreational activity that will have a 100-pound fifth-grader up and moving while having fun and burning more than 140 calories per hour. There are plenty of instructional videos available for free on YouTube; some of which include The Realistic Mama's 9 Best Videos for Kids. Dancing is not only good for the body, but the mind as well. Through physical activity, your brain receives added blood flow, which in turn feeds it more oxygen, boosting its performance. Dancing can also encourage social relationships and can help your shy child break out of his or her shell. If your kids aren’t into dance, there are thousands of other fun physical activities they can learn online. Just let them search until they find something they like.
Build Your Own Drums
Every culture in history has had its own unique type of music, and often these are combined to create new styles. Reggae music, for instance, incorporates elements of R&B, calypso, jazz, African, and even rock and roll. Music is also an excellent way to introduce children to both ancient and modern people whose backgrounds are far different than their own. There are many online tutorials on how to play the various instruments associated each style of music. For those that don't have any instruments at home, and since almost all music has some sort of percussion playing associated with it, we've incorporated a great tutorial by #MeetMeAtTheReck on how to create your very own drum set.
Real Estate Fun
Real estate is a complex field that requires skills in math, science, English, social studies, and home economics. By incorporating real estate-based lessons into your curriculum, you can help students gain valuable skills in practical math application, presentation giving, forming a persuasive argument, earth science, and so much more. You can also use real estate to teach business, urban planning, and interior design. The sooner your children are exposed to real-world scenarios, such as real estate and mortgage transactions, the better prepared they will be for adulthood. Redfin has put together a list of activities, organized by grade, a few of which include the following:
- Decorating a new home
- Planning and designing your own playground
- Calculating mortgage rates
If you want to give your children a challenge, help them find online drawing tutorials that will push them above and beyond their doodling days. The art of realism—drawing images of photographic quality—is probably best for the 15-and-up crowd, as it takes concentration and extreme control over your fine motor skills. Contrary to popular belief, learning how to draw doesn’t necessarily require innate talent; it is a skill that can be learned in as little as 30 days with persistence and practice. Max Deutsch does an excellent job at explaining how he personally achieved this goal.