Next time there is a rainy day that keeps your kids inside where they will likely gravitate to a TV show or less-than-educational game on their tablets or smartphones, turn your indoors into a fun and educational setting for online activities. Since your kids are hooked to their devices, show them how to use them for learning. With a wealth of online video tutorials on any subject, you are bound to find something that will excite and animate your children.
Before we begin, be honest with yourself: If you discover that you need a little help with your kids during a rainy day, or you discover that their friends have stopped by for a visit, don’t hesitate to call in reinforcements. These days, you can find babysitters online with the click of a button, which makes the process much easier. Don’t admit defeat; just acknowledge that you can’t go it alone and let someone give you a helping hand!
Get your kids active indoors
Although the weather may keep them from playing outside in nature, you can still get your kids active. A good way to stealthily encourage physical activity is by challenging your kids to a dance off. Using YouTube videos, have them find their favorite songs and show everyone their best moves. Let everyone have a chance, and then try to find funny or cool videos of others dancing to the same song. Try to find something other than the same old viral videos that the kids were probably watching yesterday. Think of the dance off as an icebreaker that will get your kids’ blood flowing and feet moving. Other options include YouTube exercise videos such as yoga, boot camp-style workouts and more. Yoga is probably best left for the end of the day, as some of the poses may encourage your kids to just take a nap on the floor.
Start an online arts appreciation
The internet is full of music of all styles. Broaden your children’s horizons, and maybe even yours, by exploring music that you may not have heard before. Kids might think that the music from your youth is goofy, but they may not be familiar with their grandparents’ generations’ music. Kids find the fashions of the roaring 1920s and the 1950s especially exciting.
YouTube and other online video websites are great sources for learning how to play a musical instrument as well. You can download an app to replicate a piano keyboard for the lesson if you do not have a full-sized model.
Beyond music, search for some art tutorials. Everything from pencil drawing to sculpture is available with a mouse click. Drawing is a quiet activity that requires concentration as it teaches hand-eye coordination. Have the whole family take turns selecting a sketch tutorial, and close the day with an art show where you can display your creations.
Get scientific, but fun
Several online sites offer educational lesson plan resources for children of all ages and grade levels. You can teach your children about dinosaurs, and complete fun and messy science experiments. Many kids these days are infatuated with making slime. This tactile DIY toy teaches a little chemistry while encouraging artistic expression.
Sometimes, kids get used to the same old lessons. Science dazzles, so a lot of the online tutorials are geared toward this “wow” factor. But as much as kids enjoy making slime and learning about space, they are also intrigued by math concepts — even if they don’t know it yet.
For example, kids of all ages love to design and build things, whether they’re stacking Legos, doodling a fairy princess outfit, or constructing a blanket fort. Take a look online for some inspiring ideas on capitalizing on your kids’ creativity by incorporating realistic math and engineering concepts into the activities they already love to do. For example:
Teach your child to count and measure by asking her how many Legos it would take to build a 3-by-3-inch tower.
Let your child pick a fabric she likes, measure out what you’d need to make her fairy princess outfit, and if you’re crafty, ask her to help you sew it (or even just the skirt).
Ask your child to draw out construction plans before building her fort, and then engineer it together.
For more ideas on applying real-world math concepts to activities children will love, take a look at this list.
Rainy days don’t have to doom your children to boredom. With a spark of imagination and the help of the internet, your kids may look forward to dreary days as much as they do sunny ones.
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