Updated on March 30
Educators say it takes only a few weeks for kids to lose reading and math proficiency. Parents know it takes far less than that for kids to start wandering the house whining, “I’M BORED!” That whine can kill a parent’s work proficiency in a snap. To help parents deal with the whines and digital-device zombies while schools are closed, the Senate Republican Caucus offers some suggestions and online resources that can provide entertainment along with learning.
Read with kids - Ask questions about the story or pictures and encourage kids to talk about them. Ask kids to predict what will happen next in a story or what characters feel. Audiobooks are a good way to help kids who can’t yet read stay occupied.
Take walks outside and talk about things you see - Name an object and repeat the name several times. Describe it. Ask the child what’s interesting, pretty or funny about it. With older kids, get nature guides to learn facts about things observed along a trail.
Talk about family pictures - Encourage kids to talk about who, what, when, where, how, and why something happened, and how the child felt about it. This is a good activity to build memory and story-telling skills.
Work on math skills - Send kids on a mission to count stuff around the house, like windows, plants, shoes or toys. For older kids, have them average the number of the kinds and colors of things counted.
Learn fractions with pizza (real or paper) - Cut a pizza into slices, count the number of pieces, then figure out how many in a half. Figure out halves, thirds, fourths, etc.
Investigate something and quiz people at dinner - Ask older kids to look up information about something interesting, and quiz family members about it at the dinner table. For example, ask them to look up where and how an item is made, how many are sold in a year, and how much money in sales the item produces in one year.
Download free printable worksheets - Puzzles, practice and prompts give kids fun ways to practice handwriting, math skills, storytelling, nature and science.
In partnership with groups such as Sesame Workshop, Khan Academy, PBS, and Google, Wide Open School features a free collection of the best learning experiences and activities for kids, organized by grade band and subject.
NEW! National School Choice Week
Free Resources, FAQ for Families Educating at Home During Coronavirus Pandemic:
NEW! Education Companies Offering Free Subscriptions due to School Closings
Play Hangman online - Words generated from children’s books, comic books, holidays, sports, history, etc.
Hello Wonderful - A website created by a mom who had to get creative when her kids’ school was closed. Wonderful, creative projects and fun exercises to keep K-6 kids busy inside or out. A couple include:
Recycle and Play - Dozens of craft projects using ordinary objects around the house, like cardboard, cotton balls, etc.
Go Noodle - Dance, sing, have fun.
Cosmic Kids Yoga - Kids learn yoga and build confidence through fun stories and dances.
California Science Center - Virtual science experiments kids can do at home, even with a science-challenged adult.
San Diego Zoo - Meet the animals and learn about what they do and how zookeepers take care of them.
Home Curriculum for Early Autism Education - Given current circumstances, you may be faced with the unexpected challenge of educating and engaging your child with autism or other special needs at home. Here is a site that is providing free lessons, materials, activity sheets, data tracking sheets, behavior management tools, and a basic overview of how to use the system.
Recommended Literature List - California Department of Education
Search by grade level span, language, discipline, author or title
Cooking with Kids - Food Network
Get the little ones involved in the kitchen
Gardening with Kids – KidsGardening.org
Gardening activities, projects & crafts; indoor gardening, wildlife, edible gardens, more
Explore a Museum - Virtual Tours
- The J. Paul Getty Museum, Los Angeles
- British Museum in London
- National Gallery of Art, Washington, DC
- Louvre, France
- Musée d’Orsay, Paris
- National Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art, Korea
- Rijksmuseum, Amsterdam
- Van Gogh Museum, Amsterdam
- The Uffizi Galleries, Florence
- MASP, São Paulo
- National Museum of Anthropology, Mexico City
- Pergamon Museum, Berlin