With everyone hunkered down at home for the next few weeks, people will be looking for ways to keep their kids happy, healthy, and motivated. So, let’s cut to the chase. Here are some ideas that we came up with at Tynker to get kids exercising their bodies and brains—and doing their school work!
1. Take Long Walks
Nothing’s better than a little fresh air after being cooped up inside all day. Hop in the car with your kids and drive to a nature preserve for a hike in the woods. Stretch and get your blood flowing. Then, slow the pace and try to name the different trees, plants, and flowers. Take pictures. There are free apps that you can install on your phone to help you identify them, like PlantSnap, PictureThis, and PlantNet.
You can also take a walk through town and talk with your kids about the different styles of architecture in local homes and businesses. Take pictures of old buildings and structures and then use the internet to try and identify them and along the way discover more about the history of your community.
2. Explore Science And Math Through Coding
Has your child ever wanted to learn more about the solar system or the ecological pyramid? Do they enjoy playing math games? Tynker’s Hour of Code activities empower kids to explore STEM concepts in a fun, imaginative way! Try our Multiplication Escape, Ocean Ecological Pyramid, Solar System model, and other interactive coding projects to unlock your child’s love for science and math.
3. Cook Together
Eventually, your kids are going to have to learn how to prepare their own meals. Start with breakfast. That’s always fun. Make pancakes from scratch (there’s some math involved here 😀). You can add flaxseed (for antioxidants, fiber, and protein) and wheat germ (for vitamin E, magnesium, and zinc) to make the pancakes more nutritious. Next week, try making lunch together. Building a sandwich is a blast! Tell them what you like in a sandwich and see if they can make it for you. They’ll be so proud of themselves!
4. Get Movin!
Exercise in any shape or form is a must when you’re stuck inside all day. Tynker’s Augmented Reality Course has been made FREE to keep your kids active and learning. AR is a new way to extend coding beyond the screen! In this introductory self-guided course, kids discover how to build interactive experiences that blend the real and virtual world using the webcam in their computer or iPad. Rather than just watching a screen, they’ll be able to physically stand in front of the camera and participate in the AR games they build by waving their hands or dancing!
5. Read Together
Reading is exercise for your brain and a great way for kids to increase their knowledge and vocabulary. Without your kids even knowing it, they’ll be using new words from a book they’re reading or telling you some historical fact that they didn’t know the day before. Plus, nothing stimulates the imagination better than a good book when it takes you places that you never expected or even knew existed! With some libraries closing, your kids can also find and read books online. Amazon Kindle has free reading apps, available for iOS, Mac, Android, and PC. And reading to each other out loud is a great way to share an adventure through a story!
6. Check Out These Cool Careers
Try a Tynker favorite to explore six careers with Barbie and discover how coding concepts can be applied to each one! Discover what it’s like to be a Robotics Engineer, a Musician, an Astronaut, a Farmer, a Beekeeper, and a Pastry Chef! Use programming to animate characters, compose music, tell stories, design games, and even create art.
7. Go Outside and Garden
Spring is upon us and there’s nothing better than digging your hands into fresh soil. Now is the perfect time to plant. April showers will bring May flowers and all that. Plant a tree to create shade and save on your air conditioning bill or a row of tomatoes for a summer salad. And did you know that wildflowers can stop stormwater runoff and pollutants from entering lakes and streams, as well as make a great habitat for wildlife? There are so many simple and amazing things we can do when we reap and replenish the earth. Try it together!
8. Get Creative
9. Try Meditation
Meditation is a great way to promote emotional health by alleviating stress and anxiety. Ask your kids if they’ve meditated at school and, if so, ask them to show you what they’ve learned. Meditation can increase your focus and make you more self-aware. Not bad! If your kids want to watch TV, have them check out the Discovery Network or BBC Earth. Watch together on TV or they can view shorter videos on their own. Try YouTube. One of our favorites is “Top 5 Inspirational Animal Conservation Stories” (20 minutes).
10. Get in a Crystal Clash Battle!
With Tynker’s Crystal Clash, kids can cast spells, collect power-ups, and defeat enemies as they battle in a wild shrinking arena full of lava! Compete with friends in this multiplayer game by pitting your code against the entire Tynker community to see who the true coding champion is!
Good Luck! Getting kids in a consistent routine is also important since they’re coming from a very structured environment at school. Also, physical exercise should be part of the plan every day, as should a little quiet time, especially with a good book. And, of course, Tynker is a great way to make kids’ screen time creative and productive.