This Week's Resources

Toddlers, Preschool, & Kindergarten

At home kids activities

We know you've got lots of time inside with your kiddos and you're needing some fresh, fun, creative ideas that are easy to do, right in your own home. We've pulled together a list of awesome and fun things for you to do with your kids.

Activities & Games

Red Light, Green Light
It’s a classic, but did you know you can add new colors? Here are just a few examples:
*Yellow Light: slow crawl
*Green Light: jump like a frog
*Blue light: try to touch the sky
*Purple light: silly dance

Camp Out
The camp sites might be closed, but that doesn’t mean that you can’t pitch a tent in your backyard and make s’mores. 
Don’t have a grill or a fire pit? We’ve found that sterno cups do the trick just fine!

Don’t Let the Balloon Touch the Ground
There are many variations you can try on this game that has been around forever!
Here are a few ideas:
*Keep one balloon in the air
*Keep more than one balloon in the air
*Try to keep a balloon in the air with one hand behind your back
*Keep a balloon in the air while playing “the floor is lava” with pillows, painters’ tape safe zones, furniture, etc.
*Penguin Waddle: keep the balloon between your legs, and, for an extra challenge, do this with an obstacle course
*Keep the balloon from touching the ground by holding it between the hips of two people; 
increase the challenge by seeing how fast they can go or by doing relay races
*Hang a balloon from the ceiling or a door frame, then see if kids can jump to reach it. 
Then see how many times they can touch it by jumping before they miss.
*Lay on the ground and hold legs straight up at a 90 degree angle. How long can you balance a balloon on your feet?
Obstacle Course
These ideas can be used as an additional challenge in a lot of the activities listed here, or on their own. Add an extra challenge by balancing a beanbag on their heads, or doing the course with one hand behind their back.
Here are a few obstacle course suggestions:
*Hula Hoops to jump through
*Line of tape to balance on (try making the line zig zag or curve for an extra challenge)
*Couch cushions to hop between
*Table to crawl under
*Blanket across two chairs to crab walk through
*Tupperware or traffic cones to hurdle over
*Stuffed animals or pillows to roll over
*Plastic cups or cones to run around

Fashion Show
Whether the kids create an outfit for mom and dad to model, or the kids get to model their parents’ clothes, this is an activity that is sure to crack everyone up.
 
Cooking Challenge
Mom vs. dad, boys vs. girls, however you play it, this is a great bonding activity that will ensure some tasty results. For a fun twist, choose some cake decorating or cookie decorating recipes for “Nailed It” results.

The Floor is Lava
Kids, especially 2-5 year old kids, love playing the floor is lava. Rather than building a fort out of couch cushions and throw pillows, use them to create islands and safe zones along with books, painters’ tape marked safe zones, step-stools, chairs, etc. for a house-wide game of the floor is lava!

Painter's Tape ... It might actually be better than duct tape

Mark off five to ten lines, about 1 foot apart, and create challenges for your kids, such as:
* Long Jump: how many can they jump over? How about backward?
* Running start
* Hop: how far can they go on one leg? The other?
* Stretch: How far can one leg reach with the other at the start line?
* Toss a Bean Bag: how far can you toss it while staying in the lines?  

Make a Maze

Make a maze using painters tape or masking tape! Kids can use matchbox cars to run through them, or if you make it big enough, they can do it themselves (challenge them to do it while hopping on one foot, or as though they’re on a balance beam and can’t step outside the lines)!

Build a City

Build an elaborate city or a Formula 1 race car track.

Credit to agirlandagluegun.com, whatmomslove.com and ourscribbledwalls.blogspot.com/ for inspiration and the images for painter's tape ideas.

Lego Scavenger Hunt

For a fun scavenger hunt, hide ten of each color of Lego blocks: red, blue, green and yellow. Place a square of each colored paper (or label a sheet of paper with each color) on a table to collect the found blocks. To keep it fair with siblings, you can split the colors up, or do half Duplo and half Lego. 

Indoor Laser Maze

You can use tape and streamers (crepe paper) to create a laser maze to challenge your kids with. Make sure it’s not set up in such a way that they can just crawl under it! Encourage them not to touch the paper at all as they make their way through, then time them to see if they can beat their best time. For extra fun for older kids, give them the opportunity to create their own maze. 

crafts & printable activities

I Spy Printables
Alphabet, Animals, DinosaursSpring

Alphabet Bingo
Practice the alphabet with your preschooler with this fun alphabet bingo sheet.
Play Dough Recipe
This recipe is frequently requested by parents and volunteers who see our play dough in the 3-5's classroom at Bay Hills. It’s a cinch to make and your kiddos can even help since it doesn’t involve a stove!
https://theimaginationtree.com/best-ever-no-cook-play-dough-recipe/

Big Mouth Printables

Print these adorable monsters and fold the bottom of the paper up on the top fold line, then fold it back down on the bottom fold line. This will create a monster that unexpectedly expands. 
Monster 1, Monster 2, Monster 3, Monster 4Monster 5

Puffy Sidewalk Chalk

Check out this website for full instructions: thetiptoefairy.com/diy-sidewalk-foam-paint/
This process is a little more elaborate, but your older kids will have a blast playing with this fluffy, foamy sidewalk chalk.

Liquid Chalk

This incredibly simple recipe combines things you already have at home for a fun take on chalk that will have your toddlers & preschoolers entertained for hours (ok, let’s be honest, maybe it will only be 20 min, but still…worth it). In a mixing bowl, mix 1 cup of water with 1 cup of cornstarch. Stir to combine, then pour in a muffin tin (or individual cups or small bowls). Add a few drops of food coloring (we’ve found gel food coloring yields the best results) to each section, and stir to combine. Have your child use a paintbrush to create a masterpiece outside. For a fun twist, use a squeezable bottle for the liquid chalks (full disclosure: they run out extra fast, since it’s really fun to just squeeze). 

Marshmallow and Toothpick Stem Activity

Credit to theimaginationtree.com for the image
Make engineered structures, bridges, and geometric shapes with marshmallows and toothpicks. Add a little extra pizzazz to this fun STEM activity by pre-dyeing the marshmallows with gel food coloring. Mix 1 squirt of gel food coloring with 2 Tablespoons of water, then thoroughly coat the marshmallows in the dye. Immediately transfer to a cookie sheet to dry (don't use these until they are thoroughly dry).

Color Changing Chalk

Looking for a way to add a learning opportunity into your outdoor time? This chalk recipe is for you. It involves a fizzing chemical reaction and a little lesson in color mixing. Go to this site for detailed instructions, and browse around! The author has a lot of great activities involving art.

Sidewalk Chalk Stained Glass Project

This project went viral shortly after shelter in place was initiated. Whether you choose to do this on your sidewalk or your fence, this is an engaging project that can involve the entire family! Simply mark off a rectangle or square with painter’s tape, then add in lots of geometric shapes by criss-crossing the tape throughout the section you’ve marked off. Then, fill each section with a single color and remove the tape. Step back and admire your handiwork! 

Sensory Bottle

Credit to rhythmsofplay.com for image.
Create a soothing discovery bottle that is personalized to your child’s taste. Any water bottle, or even a mason jar, can be used for these sensory bottles. Our favorite are the Voss water bottles, but we are all about repurposing what we already have at home! For fillers, you can start simple with just glitter or you can get really creative. Seek out unique sequins online or at Dollar Tree, use googly-eyes for a creepy effect, add water beads, small acrylic shapes (like letters and numbers), or even small toys for a slower moving swirl. Whether you stick with glitter only, or add a variety of sequins and beads, this bottle is sure to calm even the most frustrated kid (and adult).
Recipe with Corn Syrup: Fill your water bottle of choice 1/3 of the way with light corn syrup. Add beads, sequins, glitter, and gel food coloring or liquid watercolor. Fill the rest of the way with warm water (be sure to leave a little room at the top so the liquid has room to swirl). Use super glue or a hot glue gun to seal the water bottle cap back on.
Recipe with Clear Glue or Glitter Glue: For this recipe, make sure to mix the glue and warm water in a mixing bowl before adding to the bottle, or you might end up with clumps. Add gel food coloring or liquid watercolors and glitter, then use a funnel to pour into the bottle. If the glitter is settling too quickly, add a squirt of clear liquid hand soap or glycerin to slow it down (or add more glue). The proportions should be around 20% glue, 80% water. Use super glue or a hot glue gun to seal the cap back on. Tip: If you want the objects to settle more slowly, increase the amount of corn syrup or clear glue. You can also add clear liquid hand soap or glycerin to your initial recipe. 

Guilt-Free screen time

Stop Motion
Kids get a kick out of creating their own stop motion videos using a free app. We like Stop Motion Studio for iPhones, iPads and iPods (kid-friendly tip: place the tablet in a pyrex dish balanced on a stack of books to create a stable base for capturing each image from the same perspective).

Brain Pop & Brain Pop Jr
A teacher-approved site with fun, educational videos on virtually any topic, from Agatha Christie to the concept of gravity. Brain Pop Jr has videos for preschool through first grade kids, while Brain Pop targets upper grade levels.
 
Story Time with Ryan & Craig
If you need an extra giggle (let’s be honest, we all need an extra giggle right about now), check out Ryan & Craig’s story time channel on YouTube.

Storyline Online 
A free resource with well-known actors and writers reading children’s story books.

Go Noodle
A fun site with videos for dance and sing-alongs, exercise, mindfulness and relaxation, and even some throw-backs like
The Fresh Prince theme song!
 
Jack Hartman Music Channel
He may not be the coolest dude on YouTube, but he definitely entertains kids from kindergarten through second grade with math and reading concepts that adhere to common core and keep them jamming! We’ve seen entire classes singing along to his rap songs and looking forward to the moment a teacher will play his video.