Years from now, younger children may not remember everything about the 2020 school year, when coronavirus disrupted the world and sent them home for weeks of remote learning. But they may recall the memorable things their parents did to make the experience both educational and fun. Use these tips to harness the energy and curiosity of early-grade students:
- If weather allows:
- Go outside and use nature to help you learn
- Create a scavenger hunt
- Take a walk and talk about God’s creation
- Work on gross motor skills by setting up a mini obstacle course, hopscotch, throw/kick a ball
- Use sidewalk chalk to practice name writing, numbers and/or drawing
If weather is not ideal, adapt to the indoor environment:
- Play tennis with paper plates and a balloon
- Jump rope in the basement
- Sort/build with Legos
- Do science experiments inthe kitchen
- Watch GoNoodle Movement and mindfulness videos at www.gonoodle.com
Take brain breaks.
- Play music and freeze dance
- Do an online exercise class
- Play Sparkle with counting or spelling words
- Cook or bake together
- Play board games, do a puzzle, paint or draw
Use technology productively.
- Use online resources like ABCya, BrainPOP, ABC Mouse or Catholic Brain
- Use FaceTime, Facebook Live or Zoom to connect with teachers and school friends
- Since screen time use will go up for online learning, try to limit recreational screen time
Encourage self-directed learning.
- Set up devoted spaces in your home for hands-on learning
- Set out sensory bins, blocks, Play Doh, coloring sheets, etc. for free play
- Let your child help to determine the schedule for the day
- Post a checklist on the fridge for your child to track his or her own progress on assignments
- Create Catholic crosswords and word search games online at wordmint.com
Go on a virtual field trip!
- Lunch Doodles with Mo Willems — Kennedy Center www.kennedy-center.org/education/mo-willems
- Daily animal visits and crafts from the Cincinnati Zoo and St. Louis Aquarium
- Live webcams and STEM activities from NASA
- Virtual museum tours, such as the White House or the Vatican!
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