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Things to do at home with the kids

girl dancing

With UK schools closed due to the COVID-19 virus, we wanted to help bring some positivity and fun into your home. Even while social distancing or self-isolating, your kids can keep on learning through play, using active games to keep them moving and learning at home. We’ve teamed up with Active for Life to share some fun and educational ideas so when the schools reopen, your kids will return to classrooms with happy memories and sharp minds!

Maths activities

Instead of worksheets, build numeracy skills through play. Here are some fun ideas to work on addition, subtraction, fractions, mental math, shapes, time, money, geometry, multiplication, counting, patterning, and estimating.

Shape Hunt

Kids (and adults!) love a good scavenger hunt. Put a twist on the search by having kids find items of certain shapes. When all objects have been collected, kids can then trace and colour in the items on a separate sheet of paper. If the objects are items that can’t be picked up, such as a clock on a wall, let kids use your smartphone to take a photo of the item. Print out or draw a sheet with shapes and let the hunt begin.

For the youngest in the household, have them find objects that are of simple shapes such as circles, squares, rectangles, and triangles. Challenge older kids with searches for items in the shape of parallelograms, ovals, rhombuses, or scalene triangles.

Maths skills used: geometry

boy playing

How High is That?

Rulers and measuring tapes are surprisingly popular items that kids love to use. Before starting the game, have kids use the measurement tools to see how high one meter or 50 centimetres is so that they have a general idea of what length they’ll be talking about.

Have one child at a time throw their item at a wall and have them guess how high the mark it made on the wall is from the ground. Record their guess and have the next child guess. Have the child who threw the item use the measuring tape or ruler to determine the actual height of the throw. Who was closest?

Maths skills used: measurement, estimation, and statistics

Roll to Win

Have your child toss two dice and add up the numbers that are rolled. Write down the total on a piece of paper. Reroll and keep adding up the numbers until you reach 100 (or a smaller number for younger kids).

Maths skills used: addition

Time My Move

Choose a move and see how long your child can perform it while another uses a timer to measure. How long can they balance on one foot? How long will it take to run up a hill? How long can they keep up a balloon?

Maths skills used: time

Literacy activities

While reading is always encouraged, literacy skills such as letter recognition, writing, reading and following directions, vocabulary-building, retelling a story, letter-sound relationship, rhyming, and communication can all be practiced during active play.

Treasure Hunt

Hide an item somewhere inside the house and write clues for your little pirates to find the loot. Maybe they need to crawl across the couch, slide like a snail under a bed, reach behind a stool, or, if they’re outside, run to the tree, jump off a tree stump, dig into a hole, etc. Each clue can have words for older kids and pictures for younger ones.

Literacy skills used: reading and following directions

Freeze Dance Rhyme Dance

Turn up the tunes and let the dancing begin. Unlike the regular game though, when the music stops, a designated person calls out a word. If the other dancer(s) can’t respond with a word to rhyme with it within a designated time period (say five to 10 seconds), that person is out.

Literacy skills used: rhyming

kids dancing

Lights, Camera, Action!

Kids will need some down time during their time away from school and odds are good that they’ll watch a movie or read a book or two. Have your kids re-enact the stories while using your smartphone or tablet. Props and costumes will make this activity extra-fun!

Literacy skills used: retelling a story

Charades

Using a mix of easy and difficult words, have your kids act them out and see if their siblings or parents can guess what they are. If the kids don’t know the word they’re given, define it for them.

Literacy skills used: vocabulary-building

Away from school there are many opportunities for your kids to keep active and to keep learning. Stay safe, stay well, and stay active.

Blog post courtesy of Active for Life

Active for Life is a national initiative created to help parents raise physically literate children. At activeforlife.com , parents, educators, and coaches will find fun activities, engaging articles, and free resources to get kids active, healthy and happy.