Virtual and At Home Activities
Staying active and keeping education fun may feel challening at times. This list of resources offers links to virtual experiences (take a "field trip" to a zoo or art museum!) and at-home hands on activities (ever made Oobleck?!?). Please also visit our main "Parenting Resources" page for information about other topics, including children's mental health, support groups, disability specific learning resources, and more.
- New England Zoo Kids Corner
- New England Aquarium Virtual Visits
- WWF wild classroom
- National Geographic Kids
Music & Movement
- Fun Gross Motor Activities and Exercises for Kids!
- Yoga Videos by Awake and Mindful
- Barefootbooks: Animated Singalongs to Favorite Barefoot Books
- Check your local library website for services. The Newton Free Library is offering a weekly "Dial a Story" for children.
Arts & Culture
At Home Activities For Toddlers, Preschoolers & Elementary School Children
- Toddlers love to "wash" things. Baby dolls, cars, trucks, farm animals. Fill a small bucket with soapy water and a brush or sponge. Even a small amount of water on a tray, pan or cookie sheet will work.
- Play dress up! No fancy costumes, no problem - use paper plates to make masks, or towels as capes.
- Freeze a bowl of water with small animals for children to discover as it melts.
- Paint with colored ice cubes!
- Make Oobleck! Oobleck, which gets its name from the Dr. Seuss book "Bartholomew and the Oobleck," is a non-Newtonian fluid *(it acts like a liquid when being poured, but like a solid when a force is acting on it). Mix two parts Cornstarch to one part water to create this very peculiar "slime." As a bonus, it is very easy to clean up once it dries.
- Paint with Q-tips.
- Make Moon Sand! Mix 4 parts cornstartch to one part coconut oil, add a drop of food coloring or glitter (if desired) and mix well.
- Make no-cook play dough: 1 cup salt, 1 cup oil, 1 cup cold water, 2 drops of food coloring or natural beet juice.
- Make art out of recyclables: Paint a cardboard box, make tin foil creations, paint or color paper plates, rocks, paper towel rolls, yogurt cups, etc. (be sure to wash containers before giving them to your child for play)
- Painting with water is an easy, no-mess, fun activity! Let your child "paint" their high chair or part of a wall or floor!
- Cook with your toddler or let them help with meal prep! Spread sun butter or cream cheese, slice a banana, break apart green beans, mix items together.
- Make a home journal! Toddlers love to create their own personal journals (small notebook) where they can draw, place stickers, scribble or practice writing letters.
- Make a rock garden. Draw on rocks with chalk, paint or crayon.
Gross Motor Fun!
- Have a dance party! Use the words, "Dance" and "Freeze" to add simple directions.
- Practice simple Yoga moves.
- Make a road for cars and trucks with painter's tape on the carpet or floor.
- Draw outside with sidewalk chalk.
- Make an obstacle course with pillows, crawl under a table, walk around a chair, etc.
- Build towers with recycled materials like tissue boxes or plastic containers (wrap boxes in colorful paper or color them with markers first for an added activity!)
- Build a fort using a bed sheet or big blanket.
- Play Simon Says type games - make it challenging with different movements (Simon Says jump up and down while tapping your head!)
- Hide objects in the yard or around the house and give clues.
- Dance and run while waving scarves!
Easy Jobs for toddlers!
- Toddlers love to help! Give them a simple job such as sweeping or cleaning with a sponge!
- Give them a small duster to "dust" around the house.
- Fill a small spray bottle with water and provide a rag or paper towel and ask them to help you clean!
- A small dust pan and small broom are always a big hit!
- Have children help you with sorting laundry. Make it an eye spy game; "I spy with my little eye a blue sock!"
- Take a nature treasure hunt to gather items to bring back to school or to make a collage (a special rock, sea shell or stick).
- Get outdoors and Garden! Toddlers love to dig and to water plants! Grass seed is also very easy to grow indoors. Cutting the "grass" with scissors is fun!
- Set up a interview game show. Let your child write his or her own questions and take turns playing "host"
- Cardboard box fun - build, draw, create. Use tape, markers, paint, tin foil. Build a house, a castle, a vehicle, a rocketship...
- Scavenger hunt- make a list of different objects around the house (something red, a plant, silver spoon, etc.)
- Marching Numbers Game-using a deck of cards, pick a card and have your child march, jump, stomp, clap that number of times
- Board games-great for counting skills, turn taking, social emotional learning
- Cooking is great science and match activity-follow a recipe and let your child measure, mix and count. Mixing of certain ingredients creates a "reaction" or causes something new to happen, good for fine motor skill development when using measuring tools and stirring the mixture
- Create a nature log: Have your child observe what is happening outside in nature at this time? Observe changes in nature, draw them, help your child sound out the letters in words to write them, or write down your child's words- introduce new vocabulary.
- Make bird feeders and hang them, oberve the different birds that live in your neighborhood
- Sensory bins-fill a tray or a bin with sensory materials (rice, beans, sand, water, flour) add measuring cups, scoops, labels, pourers
- Seed planting-it's not too early to start planting seeds! Make a log of what seeds you plant and keep track on the calendar how many days until your seeds sprout! No potting soil indoor? Use a ziplock bag with a moistened paper towel inside and tape to the window (ziplock bag greenhouses) and watch as the seed sprout!
- Start a new book series. Read to your child and with your child every day.
- Write stories together! Grab a notebook and let your child's imagination run wild. For younger children, write a story and ask them to illustrate it.
- Brains On!
- Tumble Science
- But Why
- Sparkle stories
- Crash Course Kids
- Science Channel
- SciShow Kids
- National Geographic Kids
- Free School
- Geography Focus
- Kids Learning Tube
- Geeek Gurl Diaries
- Mike Likes Science
- Science Max
Online Resources for Children:
- Curiosity Stream
- Beast Academy (Math)
- Khan Academy
- Creative Bug
- Discovery Education