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In case you are looking, here are some of our favorite easy low prep activities for children of different ages that are not worksheets or screen time.
Water play with funnels, droppers, sponges, small animal toys and cups; Add food colouring and soap for bubbles if you don’t mind messy play.
Outdoor free play, a great way to get your essential vitamin D and vitamin N 🍃 for the strong immune system;
“Your body produces vitamin D naturally when it’s directly exposed to sunlight. Vitamin D has several important functions. Perhaps the most vital are regulating the absorption of calcium and phosphorus and facilitating normal immune system function. Getting a sufficient amount of vitamin D is important for normal growth and development of bones and teeth, as well as improved resistance against certain diseases”. Source
Painting with water on rocks or on concrete. Simply pour water into plastic cups and supply with different size paint brushes. It’s the most mess-free painting activity you can do;
Painting with loose parts. Collect loose parts from nature you can roll easily. Place a sheet of paper on the bottom of a cardboard box, dip loose parts into the paint, and invite your child to roll them from side to side.
Go to the library and get as many books as you can. Place them everywhere in baskets around the house. You may want to wipe covers of used books with a cloth and rubbing alcohol first for peace of mind; If your local library is closed, you can try op shops, one in our area sells books for 50 cents. 📚
While you are in the library, check if they have educational music CDs that get children moving. We love dancing and playing children musical instruments to Hilary Henshow’s CD; however, any kid’s music will do to play musical statues games and tap to the music beat; 🎶
Our personal favourite is to draw to a story. Find an audiobook your children would love, give them a set of pencils, watercolour paints or pens to draw away. They may decide to draw what they listen to or simply whatever their heart desires. ✏️ My daughter’s favourite is the audiobook read by Kate Winslet “Magic Faraway Tree”. It is available for free on YouTube and lasts for hours!
Play-dough, clay, kinetic sand, or plasticine play with natural loose parts like rocks, leaves, sticks, seed pods you can bring with you from a nature walk. Older children will have lots of fun building 3-d shapes using toothpicks. Just make sure children wash their hands before and after they use playdough.
Collect all your recyclables for children to do construction with. Supply them with sticky tape and scissors and they are pretty much good to go.
Invite your children to dictate to you, write independently or draw something they are grateful for each day and place those notes in a gratitude jar you can decorate all together. Once the quarantine is over, open and read them all together. It is a great exercise to practice resilience and develop the ability to see things in perspective.
I also usually have a book or two with rainy day activities for kids where they can find ideas of activities for them to do if they are bored.
I hope this helps!