Educational Activities at Home: Homeschooling Ideas at Your Fingertips

Tuesday, March 17, 2020
Are you looking for fun, easy, educational things to do with kids during their extended school break? I've got you covered! I've gathered up some of my favorite posts and ideas (from here at The Jersey Momma and from my blogging friends), so start making some plans and don't worry about the weeks to come! I even organized them into handy subject areas for you.

Disclosure: this post contains Amazon affiliate links. You can read more about affiliate links on my Disclosure page.

I know most schools are offering online learning during this extended break, but these are some activities and ideas you can use to supplement that learning. I know there are a lot of 'suggested schedules' and plans floating around social media (which made me a bit nervous, frankly, because I didn't plan anything, or even set up a work area. So believe me, you're not alone).

This list is a valuable resource for home education and indoor activities. I will try to add more as the weeks go by, so please Pin this post for future reference!


Reading, Writing and Language Arts

If you have children who love to read, covering Language Arts and Reading for the day won't be too difficult. Set aside some DEAR tie (Drop Everything and Read) each day. But if you struggle to get your child to like reading and complete writing assignments, this area could be more of a challenge. Here are some book lists, reading suggestions, writing activities and more to help you on your way!

*And remember, if your child struggles to enjoy reading, find something they like to read- this includes magazines, graphic novels, comic books (with words), Manga, and so much more. For tons of reading suggestions, check out my fellow blogger's amazing site, From Babies to Bookworms, or author Jan Brett (www.JanBrett.com) who has tons of free reading and language arts activities on her website!


Workbooks and Activities You Can Purchase

Highlights Big Fun Workbook (available for grades PK through 2nd)

10 Week by Week Sight Word Packets (Scholastic)

Grammar (for Grades 7-8) 

Vocabulary for Grades 6-8

One Question a Day for Kids

101 Story Starters for Kids

Puzzlemania Brain Teasers from Highlights

Frida's Fruit Fiesta Alphabet Game


At-Home Activities, Ideas, Suggestions

10 Book Suggestions for Kids: Chapter Books, Picture Books, Non-Fiction and More!

Check out all of my Book Suggestions, Book Reviews and Reading Lists

Awesome Book Lists for Kids from Mommy University

25 Day Reading Challenge (free printable) from Natural Beach Living

The Letter Garden from Babies to Bookworms

LEGO Literacy Activities from The Letters of Literacy

Teaching the Element of Surprise in Literature from Babies to Bookworms

Roll and Retell: Building Summarizing, Communication and Writing Skills from An Apple for the Teacher

Letter Recognition Games from Babies to Bookworms

Fun Ways to Enhance Writing Skills at Home from New Jersey's own, Mommy University!

A Note About Journaling

Journaling is one of the best forms of writing practice, but I'll be honest, many kids hate it. One suggestion is to keep a journal with your child. Type or write the day's events together. As scary as this time can be, it's also part of history. You don't have to keep a journal of the scariest aspects of this whole event, but a record of your daily activities and what you did as a family during this time will be really interesting to look back on someday (at least, we hope!).

photo from Mommy University

Free Printable Journal Pages

I created two free printable journal pages so kids can keep track of daily activities. The printables are a "fill in the blank" style, and can even help emergent writers. Be sure to check them out and read why I think journaling is important during this time period. Find the free printables and full post here.


Math 

I hate to say this, but math is an area where you can find some great apps and online games to practice facts and concepts. But if you want to steer clear of the online or tech devices, check out some of these fun products and lessons to help boost math skills at home.

Math Books and Games to Purchase:

Carson Dellosa Addition Flashcards (through 12)

Multiplication and Divison Math Workbook for 3rd, 4th and 5th Grade

Pass the Pigs Math Game

Snack Shack Counting Game

Money Bags Coin Value Game

Math Activities and At-Home Lessons

Totally Awesome LEGO Math Activities from The Kindergarten Connection

LEGO Number Mats from 123HomeschoolforMe

Fun Math Activities with Apples (written for Fall but still a fun resource!)

10 Math Games to Play with Dominoes by Upper Elementary Snapshots

5 Math Games to Play with UNO Cards by Primary Playground

250+ Free Math Games and Activities from 123Homeschool4Me

Roll and Cross Math Games by Busy Toddler


Science

Remember, Science is everywhere! Go on a nature walk or bug hunt, collect leaves and sticks, create a terrarium, raise butterflies (painted ladies are good this time of year), or keep a weather journal/observation station. The opportunities to learn from the world around us are everywhere! If you need some added isnpiration, here are some products and posts that might help.

Science Kits or Ideas to Purchase:

Insectlore Butterfly Growing Kit

 Light-Up Terrarium Kit from Hapinest

Crayola Color Chemistry Lab

Crayola Arctic Color Chemistry Lab

Hand2Mind Bubbles STEM Kit

ERUPT Volcano Lab

Science Lessons and Experiments at Home

Simple Science Experiment: Swirling Colors (for any age)

The Water Cycle from Babies to Bookworms

DIY Dinosaur Eggs from Babies to Bookworms

Egg-cellent Experiments: 5 Simple Educational Activities from Mommy University

5 Books to Inspire Interstellar Imaginations from Theresa's Reviews

Aladdin Magnetic Flying Carpet Experiment from Theresa's Reviews

Social Studies

Social Studies Supplements to Purchase:

U.S.A. Bingo Game

Top Trumps Red White and Blue Card Game

When in Rome - Alexa Geography Game

180 Days of Social Studies (book)

There are many places offering virtual field trips for kids! Check out these links for museum fun.

10 Museums Offering Virtual Tours

33 National Parks You Can Tour Virtually

Check out these fun Social Studies projects and book lists, too:

100 Historical Books for Kids from Learn in Color

Technology & Computers

Check out these posts for reviews of online learning platforms and educational apps. Sites like Adventure Academy and ABCmouse are offering free resources for schools but the districts have to register in advance. Tell them to do it! Adventure Academy is our absolute favorite.

Adventure Academy

ABCmouse

ReadingIQ

*Adventure Academy, ABCmouse and ReadingIQ all offer 30 day free trials. Isn't this the perfect time to try them out?! 

Great Educational Apps for Kids

5 Great Coding Toys for Kids

Check out my walkthrough video of Adventure Academy and see what you think!



Simple Art Ideas

Art can be as simple as setting up an easel, some finger paints, different mediums for drawing and coloring (colored pencils, crayons, markers, pastels, water colors, etc). You can also check out some amazing kits by Crayola, like their Color Wonder lineSprinkle Art Shaker, Glitter Dots (my favorite!), or their Crayon Melter.

Want to create some Art of your own? Here are some suggestions for simple projects (I stress simple- I'm all about the simplicity!). These projects are so simple, in fact, that you probably already have most of the supplies at home

Paper Plate Rainbows

Minecraft Shrinky Dinks

No-Sew Sock Puppets

Make Your Own PEEPS Houses

Creative Uses for Colored Chalk

Easy Marble Painting

How to Make Chalk Sand Art (using table salt and colored chalk!)

DIY Spin Art

Upcycled Starry Night Luminaries

Salt Dough Memory Stones or Ornaments

Easy Handmade Suncatchers (might need to buy supplies from Amazon or online)

DIY Votive Candle Holder (you can also decorate the votive jar with colored Sharpies if you don't have tissue paper)

New Victory Arts Break offers weekly thematic units (puppetry, juggling, songwriting and so much more)


Physical Education

It goes without saying that the best form of "Phys Ed" is simply to GET OUTSIDE! Go play basketball or kickball, ride bikes, play hide and seek. Artsy kids might enjoy using colored chalk to play hopscotch or going on a nature walk through the woods. You can also:

-have a scavenger hunt
-create an obstacle course for bikes
-play jump rope
-play some old school games like Freeze Tag, What Time is It Mr. Fox or Red Light Green Light
-take a family walk or jog


Other Options for Physical Education:

Easy Ring Toss Game (Dr. Seuss themed but doesn't need to be a theme)

Creative Uses for Colored Chalk (includes outdoor games and activities)

GoNoodle.com tons of videos and online exercise offerings for kids

Rock Painting Hide and Find (See photo below): Paint a large rock with bright colors or designs and hide it somewhere in your yard! Kids can search and find with or wothout hints, then play again with a new hiding spot! Set a timer for a challenge!


More Helpful Resources and Freebies

Charles Schulz Museum at Home (tons of free lessons, printables and more of Snoopy and the whole Peanuts gang!)

How to Talk to Kids About Fear from Babies to Bookworms

8 Educational Travel Toys (not just great for travel!)

6 Educational Uses for Outdoor Toys

How to Create Strong Study Habits in Kids

Keeping Kids Busy Over Winter Break with Educational Activities (great any time, not just winter!)

Boredom Busters for Kids (these were created for Winter, but can really be applied any time!)

No Prep Activities for Kids from Babies to Bookworms

75 Learning Activities to Do from Home from Mommy University

Educational Virtual Tours: Travel the World from Inside Your Home from Mommy University

Online Story Time: Virtual and Livestreams from Mommy University

Other Amazon affiliate suggestions for learning:


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