Coronavirus – Enriching Activities for you and your Kids

Guest Post from Adam Blonsky, activity extraordinaire.

This kitty looks unhappy to be stuck inside.

Well it looks like it’s happening. Many Rochester area schools are closing and the kids will be home probably more than we all would like. I’ve been a stay at home dad for the last five years since our little dude Gaius was born, so I’m a bit of an expert in finding things to do with him to keep him from tearing the house apart with all his energy.

Quiet Activities

A parent favorite. It can be really hard to keep the kids quiet when we need them to be. One of my favorite tricks is to send him on a scavenger hunt of sorts. “Hey buddy, remember that we saw a big black cat in one of our books we read last week? I can’t remember which book that was in. Can you find it?” Cue him pulling every book off our shelves and promptly forgetting what he was looking for and being lost in his books.

But mostly it’s important not to reinvent the wheel. Don’t feel bad if you can’t come up with your own list of wondrous parent-of-the-decade ideas. We all have limited time on our hands, and even more limited energy. Leave it our friend Kate at Homebound But Hopeful, she’s got you covered.

Roleplaying and Gaming

One thing we recently discovered was roleplaying. Specifically we’ve been playing a campaign of Lasers and Feelings together, and it’s been so much fun!

It’s kind of like Dungeons and Dragons (which might be a great choice for the older kids on its own) except all that’s required is this one-page set of rules, and a few d6’s (AKA regular dice). We’re playing a game where our son has to make choices to help people, it’s an enriching activity for us all. Lots of laughs and silly voices, and some real lessons learned. I’ve written up a quick introduction for how I set up the campaign.

Another great option is Minecraft. Recently my son and I got into it, at 5 he’s a little young to do anything useful, but we kind of just exist in a shared world together while I build cool stuff for him. There’s a lot of incidental learning that goes into the game (iron is mined and smelted from iron ore). Over the course of the last few weeks we’ve built up a whole farm with Chickens, and Cows, and Sheep, and a deep mine for finding diamonds and treasure!

Some Options From Around the Web

  • Fluency and Fitness is offering free subscriptions for the next couple weeks. They’ve got some really cool enrichment activities.
  • Scholastic is offering some learn-at-home options. Up to 3 hours of learning experiences per day. That’s a lot of quiet!

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