Here are activities and online resources to support your child's learning at home.
Now more than ever, parents are looking for ways to keep their children safe, entertained, and learning at home as we continue to shelter in place during the COVID-19 pandemic. With all the resources shared with families, it can be challenging to figure out which ones are best for your child.
Of course, talking, reading, and singing together are still easy, free activities always available for you to do with your child – but coming up with new ways to engage in these activities can be a challenge when you're home all day with your child while balancing work or other obligations.
We've compiled some fun learning resources that are ideal for children 0 to 5 years old. Be sure to also visit our Activity Center for more age-appropriate ideas for babies, toddlers, and preschoolers.
Scavenger Hunt - have your child find things around your home that are certain colors, shapes, sizes, and descriptions. For example, ask your child to find something round in your house. When your child finds it and brings it to you, talk to your child about what they found, where they found it, and all the ways to describe it.
To make this a bit more challenging for older children, make your child find something with two characteristics. For example, ask your child to find something red and long.
Trying to work from home right now? Write out a list of the things you want your child to find (use markers to specify colors, draw the shape, write the word, etc.), then have your child put the things he finds on the list. When he is done finding all the things on the list, then you can talk to your child about all the things he found.
Hide and Seek with Toys – children love finding hidden things. Hide toys or other objects around the house and have your child find them.
Trying to work from home right now? Draw out a list of the things you hid and have your child put the things she finds on the list. When she is done finding all the things on the list, then you can talk to your child about all the things she found.
To make this a bit more challenging for older children, tell your child how many things you hid and have your child keep count as she looks for all the hidden things. Encourage your child to keep looking by referring to the number of hidden objects. For example, "You found four toys and I hid five, so you have one more to find!"
Obstacle Courses – get your child's body moving by creating an obstacle course in your home (make sure to keep it safe!). Your child can jump over a pillow, walk along a line in the floor, and circle around a chair. Learn more here.
To make this a bit more challenging for older children, time your child to see how fast he can do the obstacle course and encourage him to speed up each time he does it. Children love being fast!
Trying to work from home right now? Make sure the obstacle course is safe and doable for your child. Then, have your child do the obstacle course several times before coming back to you.
Sensory Activities – Children love getting their hands in things and feeling new textures. Water, sand, dirt, and bubbles are all great sensory textures for kids. In a safe, contained area (sink, plastic box, or bucket), place a few small toys in water, sand, dirt, or bubbles. Give your child a big spoon and a small bowl to scoop the small toys and move around the sensory material. Funnels and slotted spoons are fun ways to watch the sensory material fall and move in a different way too. Learn more about sensory activities here.
To make this a bit more challenging for older children, have your child put the toys in certain containers and sort them by color, shape, and/or size.
Go Noodle has lots of free videos that are fun and silly that will get your child moving. Teachers often use these videos in their classrooms, so your preschooler may already know the character
Cosmic Kids has free videos designed for children. The videos have different activities including yoga, relaxation, mindfulness, dance, and stories.
Highlights Kids offers educational games, podcasts, and activities for children. From interactive hidden picture games to puzzles and science lessons, this kid-friendly website has a lot for you and your child to explore.
Noggin offers educational content that is aligned with the Head Start Early Learning Outcomes Framework. The app, which is currently available for First 5 California families at no charge for 90 days, allows you to choose from hundreds of developmentally appropriate books, games, songs, and other engaging content for preschoolers led by characters kids know and love.
Khan Academy Kids is an educational app that leads your child through a variety of interactive, learning activities specifically designed for your child's age. The characters guide your child through the activities by giving instructions and reading words. In addition to the activities chosen for your child, there is a library of additional activities including read-aloud books, letter and number videos, and problem-solving games. For children 3 to 5 years old, the app is kid-friendly so you child can navigate it on her own.
Scholastic Learn at Home has daily activities for preschool and kindergarten children. The daily activities are themed and packed with activities that range from movement exercises to online books with questions.
PBS Kids offers a variety of age-specific activities including crafts and experiments, coloring pages, and more. You can select specific areas to focus on, like social skills, math, science, and literacy.
Cbeebies is an educational website designed for children 0 to 6 years old. Activities include coloring, educational games, and outdoor activities.
Virtual Field Trips are a great way for you and your child to "get out" while still being at home. You can pick where you want to go - from zoos and aquariums to volcanos and national parks. With live-stream videos to educational videos about the locations, you and your child will learn about places you may have never been.
DREME (Development and Research in Early Math Education) seeks to help families with young children by offering free, research-based early math resources. Check out DREME’s at-home early math learning kit, filled with ideas for supporting young children’s math skills during coronavirus and beyond.
For Spanish-language resources, click here.