To all of the adults who are in some way, shape, or form supporting children during this time: WE’VE GOT YOU. We appreciate that social distancing and distance learning have been day-by-day (more like minute-by-minute) experiences accompanied by a range of emotions—and with the summer months coming, you might be looking for fresh new ideas to keep kids busy and entertained! We’ve got you covered: we’ve compiled a list of engaging, educational activities—some linking to relevant Learn360 videos that subscribers can access—that will make summertime fun for kids of all ages.
Decorate a T-Shirt
Find any old piece of clothing and let kids go to town with fabric markers, glitter, tie-dye—let them get as creative as they want!
Arts and Crafts
Join Telmo and Tula in making fun crafts, from a picture frame and paper animals to juggling balls, clay animals, a kite, and more!
Have kids help with measuring and decorating. They will love being your sous chef and can practice math skills at the same time! Older kids can cook a meal for the family and even take it a step further by creating a whole restaurant experience, menus and all, at home.
Be wowed by an expert magician, and learn how to do the trick yourself!
Let kids settle down with a great book. The Children’s Picture Books video series brings to life 175 of the best picture books—Strega Nona, Harry the Dirty Dog, In the Night Kitchen, and many more—through engaging audio and beautiful illustrations!
Take a Break for Exercise
Join Slim Goodbody for some leg lifts, pushups, and pretend bicycle riding!
Memory Game for Matching Letters/Word
Write a letter/word/sentence on two index cards, and place the cards face down. Each player chooses two cards and reads them out loud. If the player has a match, they continue picking. The player with the most pairs wins. This reinforces letter/word recognition.
Play inside or looking out the window. Choose an object and then provide other players with a clue: “I spy with my little eye something…”
Flatten a box and draw a road. Add blocks and/or toys for kids to build a city
You can download a card from the Internet or make your own based on what you would like the kids to read. Once the reading task is accomplished, they can cross off each bingo square.
Color Scavenger Hunt
Create a card with various colors (or patterns) and have kids find objects that match them.
Take a Virtual Field Trip
Draw concentric circles in chalk. Give each color a value. Have kids throw an object onto the bullseye and add up their totals. The first player to 10 wins.
Chalk Alphabet Hop
Draw 26 squares with each letter of the alphabet in it. Then have kids make words by jumping from one square to another.
Sing Along to Classic Camp Songs
Bring the camp experience into your home with fun camp songs such as Greasy Grimy Gopher Guts; Michael, Row the Boat Ashore; The Ants Came Marching; and more!
Hide anywhere from 10 to 20 items around the house or outside. Tell kids to search until they have recovered all of the items.
Send kids on a scavenger hunt in search of different shapes, inside or outside.
Put Yourself in Chalk Art
Have kids draw a scene on the ground with chalk and leave spaces for them to become part of the picture!
Learn some helpful tips to relax and relieve stress.
Make a Time Capsule
Collect items that represent this current time. Write a letter to the finder that describes what life was like for you during this period of social distancing.
Have children roll dice and add up the numbers to see who can get to 100 first.
Ultimate Speed Math
In this car racing-themed game, kids answer as many math facts as possible.
Using crepe paper or string, create a maze in the hallway.
Learn the art of Japanese paper folding and take a picture of your creation!
Build the Tallest Structure
Give everyone the same set of materials (for instance, tape, paper, and paperclips) and see who can build the tallest structure.
Put on a Puppet Show
Kids can make sock puppets or use a flashlight to make shadow puppets.
Make Paper Airplanes
Have kids design, decorate, and name their paper aircraft. Have them predict how far they think it will fly. Discuss what features of the design helped the winner to fly the farthest.
How High Is That?
This is a game the whole family can play. Everyone guesses the height, width, or length of an object. The kids can then use measuring tape to see who is correct.
Have kids guess how many items (Cheerios, Skittles, coins, etc.) are in a jar, and then let them count them to see if they were correct.
Have kids look through spare change and see who can find the oldest coin.
Practice Your Vocabulary
In Learn360’s interactive Hawkabulary game, complete sentences with the correct vocabulary word in order to keep the hungry hawk fed!
Have kids display their art around the house. They can write a caption for each piece of art and then lead a guided tour. Extend the activity by asking kids to create new works based on famous artists. Then check out some beautiful art at the Tate in London.
Have kids design structures using toothpicks and marshmallows.
Kids can watch a Learn360 video on a topic of their choice and present their research to the family. Check out some tips on public speaking first!
Monologue or Dialogue
Have kids pick their favorite speech or scene from a movie. They can reenact it for family or record it on their phone.
Recreate Famous Photos
Using objects and clothing at home, kids can recreate famous photos or paintings.
Conduct an interview with family or friends. Kids should prepare questions beforehand. They can also write to their favorite author or celebrity to request an interview.
Put on a Talent Show
Encourage kids to show off a skill or talent—a great confidence builder for the kids and fun for the parents to watch.
Have teens attempt an incredible (yet safe) feat like making a difficult basketball shot or bouncing a ping pong ball into a cup. Have kids research some examples online.
Check out these backyard sports training videos.
Adapted from “Home Learning Activities for Kids!” by Trisha DiFazio and Allison Roeser, https://theshubaduh.com/2020/05/05/home-learning-activities-for-kids/, May 5, 2020
Interested in more ideas? Watch our Virtual Summer Learning: Build Curiosity into Everyday Activities webinar with special guest Trisha DiFazio.
About the Authors
Trisha DiFazio is a professor of education at the University of Southern California, author, keynote speaker, and passionate about social emotional learning and cultural and linguistic responsiveness.
Allison Roeser, Master of Health Science (MHS) and Professional Certified Coach (PCC), has almost two decades of experience working with leaders in education, child welfare, and social change. As an avid learner of mindfulness practices, Allison has seen firsthand the value of integrating self-awareness into professional and personal development.