Updated: May 14, 2020
Life has turned itself upside down, inside out, and spun in circles and released to wreak havoc. I don't know where we will be in the upcoming weeks and months, but I am hoping schools are back in session, a reliable treatment for COVID-19 is widely available, and we are all feeling that light at the end of the tunnel that is currently barely visible. There is a silver lining to all difficult situations and that is how I try to approach life as best I can. From this self-quarantine, I have been able to be more creative with my work life. I have been able to delve head first into telepractice (which I am loving) in order to provide speech and language services to families while also abiding by social distancing practices, I have rekindled my mindfulness and meditation practice, and I have gotten to spend a bit more time with my baby. They really do grow so fast.
I hope this post sparks some positivity and inspiration in your day.
To maintaining health, practicing gratitude and sparking growth and communication at home during these hard times. 🙏
In light of the school closures and the encouragement to stay at home, I have put together a list of educational and fun websites that can keep your kiddos engaged, learning, and growing, all while having fun.
For the Little Littles ( 0-3 age group)
I do not recommend leaving leaving a child passively in front of a screen. Children under the age of 2, ideally should not be getting ANY screen time. When screen time ( TV, tablets, computer, phones, etc) are used the activity should be interactive and dynamic with caregiver facilitation.
If you haven't heard of them, you need to jump on the wagon and check them out. Super simple songs are exactly that- they are simple, fun, repetitive songs with super animations, catchy lyrics, seasonal songs, and even followup activities listed on their page. I love that many of them incorporate movement into the song which is great to aid in development of joint attention, fine motor skills and imitation skills.
I recently discovered these songs created by a fellow SLP. His aim is to create speech therapy songs that help children communicate more effectively. Check them out! His songs concentrate on core words and provide examples of each word in varied contexts with engaging animations.
This fellow speech and language pathologist is great! She provides free monthly activity calendars to subscribers and has a ton of wonderful content to help you and your little ones engage in meaningful play to build language skills during daily routines.
For our Littles to School Aged Kiddos (good material for ages 4 all the way to 14!)
Day to day projects to keep kids learning and growing
The SAG-AFTRA Foundation’s award-winning children’s literacy website, Storyline Online, streams videos featuring celebrated actors reading children’s books alongside creatively produced illustrations. Readers include Viola Davis, Chris Pine, Lily Tomlin, Kevin Costner, Annette Bening, James Earl Jones, Betty White and dozens more.
Mindful movement is not only beneficial for adults! Kids Yoga Stories is a site that offers ton of kids yoga resources (both free and paid). No time better than now to begin practicing mindfulness and yoga and have fun while doing it!
Wellness Calendar by Everyday Speech
Everyday Speech is a wonderful resource to target social skills in children through the use of video modeling, role play, games and other interactive activities. They have an awesome wellness calendar activity freebie (click above) that would be fantastic to incorporate into your kiddo's day to nurture and practice life long qualities of mindfulness and gratitude especially during this difficult time.
A great collection of places to visit while at home! From live video of the panda exhibit in Atlanta to interactive maps of the Yellowstone Park, this site is definitely a cool one to check out with your little ones.
Great resource to target comprehension on countless subjects, you are bound to find reading materiel your child enjoys. Access thousands of high-quality, free K-12 articles, and create online assignments with them. Includes comprehension questions as well!
Such a neat site for the curious soul. Kiddos can get answers to many questions about how everyday things work, about history, places in the world, the list goes on! The kids can even submit their own questions to the site.
For all the animal lovers out there. Your kiddos can explore animal habitats, create new animals, solve animal puzzles, take a guided tour, join a zoo quest and a ton more on this fun site.
I truly hope some of these resources and ideas help keep you and your little ones learning, growing and having fun during this pandemic and beyond. Looking forward to some normalcy sooner rather than later.
In the meantime, stay safe, calm, and healthy.