Sunshine: Amazing Activities for Kids and Parents
Busy parents have to balance work and life, and it’s hard! And with so many parents unexpectedly having to work from home with their kids out of school, finding new ways to do that is a challenge. At refine+focus, we’re also learning to juggle, and we’ve found some resources that are helpful, practical and worth sharing. Rather than overwhelm you, we’ve put our 9 favorite resources below (and some extras, too!).
And don’t forget to check out the fantastic online courses, resources and videos for kids from the big names. Our favorites include Khan Academy (this schedule is helpful), Scholastic, Outschool and TedEd!
What do you get if you mix a New York Times best-selling author and illustrator, a world-renowned performing arts center, and a recommendation from Lin-Manuel Miranda? The answer: 20 straight minutes of daily, high quality creativity and fun for your kids!
2. 20 Virtual field trips for your children (all ages)
Check out this fantastic list of virtual tours of zoos, aquariums and museums, even Pompei and the Great Wall of China! Go on a mind-expanding “field trip” with your kids, all without leaving your couch!
3. Art for Kids (all ages)
Rob and his family have hundreds of fun, easy-to-follow YouTube videos that kids can jump right into and work along with. And it’s not just drawing, by the way! They have painting, sculpting, and even origami videos!
4. DojoStream.Online (ages 6+, available in Spanish)
These online courses, which are created and taught by kids, allow parents to win back some uninterrupted time to actually get some work done. Genius! Classes include Lego Challenges, Design Thinking for Kids, unstructured playtime, and Learning TikTok dances. Kids get to interact with other kids, learn something, and even get their groove on.
This website is filled with excellent, fun movement and mindfulness videos created by child development experts that will keep your kids moving and entertained.
If you haven’t already heard, the glamorous, international super-thief of the 80s and 90s is back in action. Netflix launched a fantastic new series that explores Carmen’s origin story and follows her around the world. On the Carmen Sandiego website, you’ll find great resources that teach kids about geography, diversity and culture, and there’s even a fun mini game with Google Earth!
7. Daily Free Live Online Mindfulness Community Practice (all ages)
In this fantastic resource offered by Harvard Medical School and the Cambridge Health Alliance’s Center for Mindfulness and Compassion, people come together to practice mindfulness live. It happens twice a day, morning and evening, and they have some sessions geared towards parents, specifically.
8. Mystery Science (ages 5-12)
Mystery Science helps kids stay curious about the weird and wonderful world around them. The first video of each unit is free, and it includes great supporting activities and resources. You can also get the “Mystery Doug” mini-lessons emailed to you for free. The videos are extremely well-developed and manage to truly engage kids in scientific inquiry–which is no easy task, compared to other educational resources we’ve seen!
9. Play Minecraft (all ages)
Minecraft is a”sandbox” game for all ages that can be played across devices (iOS, Android, Playstation, Xbox etc.). Players can let their imagination roam free and build anything, while exploring a number of useful skills. Check out this YouTube channel for some nice Minecraft tutorials for kids.
We’ve found these Instagram accounts very helpful too: Gentle Mamma (gentle parenting tips & reminders), Kids Eat in Color(helps get picky kids to eat their veggies) and Workspace for Children (simple invitations for solo-play & more).
We’d love to hear from you about which of these resources you and your kids loved. Also, share with us what tips you have for dealing with these strange times!
P.S. An inspiring story from our teammate Eduardo Pujol.
Cover photo by Allen Taylor