Today’s article is a guest piece written by Jenny Wise from Special Home Educator. Jenny homeschools her four awesome children. As any homeschooling parent knows, every day is an adventure, and Jenny has begun chronicling her experiences at SpecialHomeEducator.com. She hopes to use the site to connect with other homeschoolers and to provide helpful advice to parents who may be considering a home education for their kids.
BREAK CABIN FEVER THIS WINTER WITH THESE MULTI MEDIA ACTIVITIES
After the snowman melts, most kids will find themselves stuck indoors during the winter months. To help make time pass quickly and stave off boredom on indoor play days, here are some great technology-based activities that are fun and educational.
It’s important for kids to keep their minds active while they’re stuck indoors. These games are fun and mentally challenging. It’s great that these games offer the opportunity for you to play along with your kids too:
- Trivial Pursuit Master Edition Made for the iPad and built for teens, this game may be fun, but you can learn a lot from categories ranging from history to science to art.
- Flow free- Designed with younger children in mind, this chess-like app has levels that get increasingly harder as the game progresses, which challenges your child’s brain and keeps the wheels turning. The idea is to use spatial reasoning and plan a few steps ahead.
- Bookworm- This online word game has been around for over a decade, and engages adults and kids alike. It’s similar to Scrabble, but with a little more at stake: You have to build words or the library will burn down. Your words are fed to a hungry bookworm. This game is easily accessible on sites including Y8.
Technology-based activities don’t always mean being sedentary.
- YouTube exercise videos are perfect to keep the kids in shape. There are tons of channels just for kids including KidsEduc, 20 Online and others that involve adults such as Moe Jones, who also has videos about healthy eating for kids.
- There are also YouTube channels that appeal to the mind/body connection and introduce kids to yoga including Cosmic Kids Yoga. Whether your child is a beginner or already has an exercise routine, YouTube has a channel and instructor for everyone.
- Video games such as Nintendo Wii’s Get Moving and Xbox 360 Kinect were created for the sole purpose of helping your child stay strong and fit through movement. These interactive games require kids to jump, move, and perform age-appropriate physical workouts.
- If your child would rather dance than do yoga, there are many dance videos on TV to help improve coordination, strength, and balance as they work out. If this requires a new home theater system, don’t shop until you’ve done your research.
Electronic activities have something for everyone, if you know where to look. If your child is a budding Picasso, there thousands of apps and games designed just for them. Some are more educational, some are just for fun, and some are a combination.
- Sketch It/Guess It- This Spongebob Squarepants game lets your child draw a picture with the computer mouse and one of the characters guesses what it is.
- Drawing-Tutorials-Online.com- If your teen is a talented artist and always looking to improve his or her sketching skills, this is a site worth checking out, as it offers college-level instruction.
- YouTube- YouTube offers drawing or painting tutorials; mostly for free, but you may come across some paid-subscription channels, too. One advantage to learning from a YouTube video is that you can pause the lesson as you sketch, return to an earlier spot in the video for review, or play it again.
As in art, your kids can find music-related online tutorials, games and apps.
- TakeLessons.com– is an excellent, comprehensive resource for your musically inclined child to take online lessons, whether it be piano, violin or guitar. Your child also can take singing lessons, too.
Indoor activities don’t have to be dull. These sites and board games will melt away boredom during snow days.
PLAYFUL PARENT INPUT
The topic of electronics has come up a great deal in conversation with other moms. I was excited to have Jenny share some of her secrets on apps and activities for children that promote educational use of technology and beyond. There are definetly restrictions to screen time and electronics in our home; however, I think it’s important to find ways to help our children gain skills with technology while still practicing moderation and healthy limits. Here are some apps that my children enjoy that are educational and fun:
- Sago Mini
- ABC Mouse
- Little Stars Toddler Games
- Starfalls ABC’s
- The Reading Train
- LEGO Duplo Train
- Phonics Island
- Evo by Ozobot (Coding for Robot Ozobot)