COVID-19 has proven to many of us that balancing work and our families during this strange and unprecedented time will be a challenge. At GYST, we see this as a unique opportunity to learn new ways to interact and connect with our loved ones. You may be asking yourself... how am I supposed to juggle getting my work done while also designing my child’s day to be fulfilling academically, socially, creatively, and that is actually fun and entertaining?
First, let's acknowledge that this situation is not normal and it is temporary. It is, however, a great opportunity to explore new ways to keep your kids active, both mentally and physically. Now is a good time to stretch their minds and creativity. Our GYST personal assistants have curated a list of experiences for your kids to explore during this extended time at home.
Here are a few areas in which we can challenge our kids to delve into during this extended time at home:
Scholastic has a comprehensive offering of virtual classes for a wide range of ages in all subjects, designed to keep kids reading and learning.
There are also countless websites offering virtual ‘field trips’ around the world. Our favorites include The Great Wall of China, Yellow Stone National Park and the San Diego Zoo.
Looking for educational games? National Geographic Kids and PBS Kids offer an impressive array of childrens’ content as well.
Check out books online with your New York Public Library card and download them directly to your kindle or other e-reader. Or utilize Audible to listen to audio books. The New York Public library is also offering free tutoring online.
If your family is craving some creativity, visit Lincoln Center At Home to view a wealth of performances or participate in music, art and dance workshops.
Engage in fun and kid-friendly yoga that you can select based on length of time and/or activity level with Cosmic Kids.
Log on to Go Noodle for tons of kid friendly dance parties and other movement games!
Get Your Hands Dirty:
Science experiments at home are both fun and educational. Consider these fun ideas from Mommy Poppins.
Cooking with your child is another way to stay engaged and learn new things while doing a group activity. Follow Delish on Instagram for a daily live demonstration!
For tactile experiences for toddlers and young children, visit One Simple Activity for an easy project to engage your family each day.
Take a lunch (and art!) break with Mo Willems and his daily live streamed Lunch Doodles.
If your children are in middle school or above, here are some resources they might enjoy and find value in:
Virtual Museum Tours, Travel to the Van Gogh Museum, the British Museum and a host of others from the comfort of your own home.
Google’s Arts and Culture homepage has endless information about just about anything (and might be interesting for you too!)
Take a class at Yale (The Science of Well-Being) or Harvard (Computer Science).
Think outside of the box:
Schedule a virtual play date, virtual babysitting, private lesson or tutoring session via Zoom or Google Hang Out.
Catch up with friends and family via FaceTime and play Charades or Pictionary (or whatever else you dream up!)
Organize a movie night with friends- get on video chat and synchronize the movie start time or experiment with Netflix Party.
You can also bring the happiest place on earth home with some virtual Disney rides!
Also, make sure to check with your child’s regularly scheduled activities and classes to see if they offer online options.
Finally, simply taking a walk down your street (practicing good social distancing of course!) and looking for different things in your environment to count or talk about is a great way to engage your child with the world and get some fresh air while you’re at it. You can also participate in the Rainbow Scavenger Hunts happening nationwide or a Nature or City Scavenger Hunt. We can all benefit from the slower pace in our daily lives by soaking in our immediate surroundings more.
When normal activities resume, your child may not become an expert in calculus, but perhaps they will look back fondly on this period of their life as a time when they were able to spend more time with their parents. If you have time to infuse some formal learning into this time, great, but if that feels like an overwhelmingly hard thing to do, be kind to yourself. Recognize the value of simple time with your kids, they value it more than you’ll ever understand.
The GYST Team