Summer is almost here, but what is “summer” in the time of COVID-19? You pro-planner parents probably had your camps all booked, and the loosey-goosey parents at least had a casual list of ideas to pull from.
But now what?
It depends on where in the US you live, of course. You may be just emerging from total lockdown or you could be in Phase 3 of re-opening by now. But one thing is for sure, this is not going to be the summer we had in mind. Here are a few of my favorite outdoor toys for enjoying the backyard and a slew of online activities for when it’s raining or when you need a little “me” time.
Free Online Activities for Kids
Drawing: Draw favorite Disney characters, like Olaf and Simba with free illustration tutorials from the #DrawWithDisneyAnimation series on YouTube.
Museums: Access free virtual tours from the National Museum of Natural History in Washington, DC, to London’s British Museum and everything in between. The Google Arts & Culture Youtube channel has countless videos to enjoy, like private museum tours to videos that focus on a specific work of art.
Crafting: Older kids can learn how to do everything from crocheting pillows to decorating cakes with virtual crafting classes from Michael’s. Or, there are craft tutorials for every skill level, like Milky Way Slime, and making an emoji painted t-shirt.
Coding: Educode is offering free two-month access to their coding courses.
Learn at Home: Scholastic’s Learn at Home lessons are free. Choose from e-books, educational videos, and activities based on grade level.
Scientific inventions and discoveries: With Google’s Once Upon A Try video series, kids can learn about everything from ideas that changed the world to who invented the toilet.
Guitar: Get access to three free months of lessons with Fender when you set up an account.
Foreign language: Students K-college can access three free months of Rosetta Stone, where you can choose from 19 different languages. Duolingo, another popular online language platform, offers free lessons in over 25 languages. Including Klingon!
Exploring & the Arts
Sightseeing: With Google Earth Voyager, you can do everything from exploring national parks, like Grand Canyon and Yosemite to taking a tour around famous cities. There are also games for trivia fans and mini lessons, like the Superhero Movie Film locations to Latino Trailblazers.
Disney: Bring the magic of Disney into your home with 360-degree tours of Disney World, Disneyland, and Epcot.
Space: Download NASA’s app for access to an interactive virtual tour of their facilities to augmented reality experiences.
Animals: Love animals? Insider.com has an excellent list of livestreams of farms, sanctuaries, zoos, and aquariums, including the Hippo Cam from the Memphis Zoo and a Bald Eagle live cam from Explore.com, which has lots of other videos and live cams of animals. As I was reaching, I got to see a baby condor walking around its nest in Big Sur, CA!
Amazon Prime: Get free access to 40 shows and 80 movies for kids, no membership required.
Want more? KidsOutandAbout.com has a calendar with everything from Zoom gymnastics classes to live science labs. Kids could easily spend hours on this site alone.
Fun Outdoor Toys for Kids
Crayola Washable Sidewalk Chalk Spiral Art Kit
I’ve seen some pretty awesome sidewalk chalk designs on my walks around town, but if you want to keep the kids entertained AND wow the neighbors, this cool kit comes with 6 stencil shapes, a stencil orbiter unit, instructions, and 4 pieces of chalk.
Get it here for $27 on Amazon.
Tidal Storm Spinning Water Sprinkler
This sprinkler sends streams of water flying in multiple directions. Such a simple toy, but so much fun for kids and adults!
Get it here for $15.63 on Amazon.
Up-level your trampoline game by turning it into a sprinkler! The water starts and stops at the opening which means kids can easily and safely get on and off.
Get it here for $26.97.
For lots more outdoor toys, click here: https://truetrae.com/14-toys-will-keep-kids-entertained-house/
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