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Ideas for a Rainy Day or Self-Quarantine

Ideas for a Rainy Day or Self-Quarantine

March 20, 2020

With the uncertainty of the next weeks of potential quarantine and social distancing due to COVID-19, parents of children find themselves in a precarious position: How do we maintain productivity at work and engage our children in continued learning, without the traditional structure of each?

I had a client from Google reach out to me with some resources her colleagues crowd sourced, and I want to provide them for you, just in case you run short of ideas (or run short of patience). Please feel free to respond with your own resources – just be sure they are appropriate for the ages mentioned:

Covid-19 EDU Resources 

General Tips

  • Keep a routine (get up & dressed maintaining normal schedule where possible)
  • Outside time keeps everyone sane. Plan a brief activity + set amount of time to just “be outside” and see what creative play arises.
  • Most kids in schools are used to routines. If you can set up a public routine for your weekdays, it helps them know what to expect. We made poster boards for each kid with their schedule, balancing free time, school time, outdoor time, and other day events.

Good for Multiple Ages

  • Cooking - Knife for younger kids: for younger kids steam vegetables and let them chop them for snack, for older kids they can safely use to help prep their own meals (started ours with this at 1.5 yrs old)
  • Family dance-off to music shuffle so every tune is a surprise
  • YT Learning Hub -- The goal is to give people - especially kids - easy access to the universe of educational videos on YouTube
  • If your kids are younger, YouTube Kids (get the app at is the better way to watch YT, and also can be a gateway towards useful information. 
  • Audible used on their grade.  If you get a membership, as a parent you can set challenges for them and give them “prizes” (like a costume component for their character) and see a report card with areas they are excelling in and areas of opportunity. 
  • Physics Girl for physics related YouTube content. Best aimed at kids 6+ but she does a lot of at-home experiments as well
  • Hiking with a magnifying glass and the iNaturalist app to identify species; good to get out of the house, get exercise, and avoid playground germs!
  • Hoop app - for local activities
  • Library books, paperback or ebook. If you would like to avoid physical library books, you can still check out ebooks from the library.
  • KiwiCo has a lot of good age appropriate craft boxes.
  • PBS Kids has a lot of educational activities and games on their website
  • Tynker - coding lessons and games for a variety of ages (subscription, but I think it’s worth it)
  • Watch LEGO® Masters and then build!
  • Typing club

Ages 0-2 Years Old

  • Indoor Yoga on YouTube: Cosmic Kids Yoga
  • Mr. Tumble nursery rhymes
  • Water play
  • Bath!!
  • Aqua doodle
  • Soap bubbles in the garden (or nearby park) - making sure the container is taped to a table/bench leg so that it doesn't get poured out every 2 minutes
  • Music using saucepans, kitchen utensils etc.

Ages 2-4 Years Old

Ages 5-7 Years Old

  • Rivet, a reading practice app for kids, all free, available on Android, iOS, Kindle Fire devices and the web.
  • KiwiCo - Create/Innovate subscription boxes ($20 a month), ages 0-14.
  • Duolingo - my 7-year-old loves this app!
  • Kodable - fun programming app
  • Todomath - you can set the appropriate level and there is some gamification to keep the child entertained
  • Bead kits, Melissa and Doug has some for younger kids, to make necklaces
  • Coloring Books
  • Puzzles!
  • Slime, slime, and more slime
  • If you have camping gear + a yard, spend an afternoon setting up a campsite, teaching them to set up the tent, hang a bear bag, where to cook, + Leave No Trace principles
  • Tell them to hide something and create a treasure map for you to find it. Block off 30 min. so you can go on the treasure hunt. Entertained my kid for an hour. 
  • Scavenger hunts (free printouts)
  • Facetime a bestie 20 mins a day! Agree with parents on good timing.

Ages 7-9 Years Old

  • Scratch - Free MIT site to make stories, games and animations
  • IXL - online math program, can customize by age
  • Facetime a bestie 20 mins a day! Agree with parents on good timing.
  • Air-dry clay projects 

Ages 9-12 Years Old

  • Grasshopper
  • Khan Academy
  • IXL -  online math program, can customize by age
  • Prodigy - curriculum aligned math platform (free with optional subscription) 
  • Work on a project with a bestie over Facetime (i.e. plan a lemonade stand when the situation is over, plan a field trip, learn about a topic and present to your families online).