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Charles de Lint said, “The family we choose for ourselves is as important as the one we were born into; that people have to earn our respect and trust, not have it handed to them simply because of genetics.” In today’s landscape that family is your quaranteam; the group of people you choose to live with during the coronavirus pandemic.
In this time of crisis, the love and support of your family is more important than ever, but keeping morale up can be difficult in the current landscape. It can be overwhelming keeping a houseful of immediate family members engaged and entertained while we’re all stuck at home together and keeping up with extended family in other households can feel like a daunting task when we can’t go visit each other. Technology will help connect you to the family members, chosen or otherwise, with whom you can’t physically quaranteam.
Video chat applications such as long time player Zoom, and relative newcomer HouseParty, are bringing the virtual family visit to the mainstream and keeping us together. We’re here to help too, so in addition to providing you the tools to organize your digital family gatherings and invite your loved ones to your online events, we’re bringing you some of out top ideas for you to #GroupForward into family fun!
The Experiment Experience
School’s out and kids are restless. Keeping the young ones of the family stimulated and engaged while quarantined at home may seem like a difficult task but, sharing fun science experiments with your children is sure to accomplish that goal.
With social distancing and stay-at-home orders in full effect, getting all manner of things to build up your home lab may seem impossible, so we’ve compiled a list of delicious discovery projects that can be (mostly) made right from your pantry. So, gather up the family and get ready to enjoy some literal “food for thought” with these fun science experiments:
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Engineers are the inventors and problem solvers of the world, and this creative energy has long been a draw for children. LEGO, K’Nex, and even Lincoln Logs bring some of the concepts of engineering into play. If your child loves to build during playtime, these yummy structures are sure to be a hit.
The kids will have a blast and because engineering activities are based on real-world technologies and problems, they help kids see how disciplines like math and science are relevant outside the classroom.
For kids who love the futuristic ideas of science fiction, the cool inventive vibes of these projects will make them want to embrace science reality.
Ah, math, the subject voted most likely to “Not be needed after graduation.” While this is a common perception from kids of most ages, it’s certainly not accurate. Math is important and can help us do many things that are important in our everyday lives. As a parent, you could talk to your children about how you use math in your daily life to help change this mindset and there’s no better way to kick off a conversation than with a fun and flavorful activity!
Luscious Life Science
The name says it all. Life science is the basis of our world. Keeping kids educated and engaged in the study of life science plays a major role in children are aware of the biological bases of everything we do and helps them to fundamentally understand the world around them. These projects will feed the minds of your budding biologists and feed them for snack time too!
Photo by Melissa Hillier on Flickr
Another great way to engage as a family in a fun and functional way is through scavenger hunts. According to the Institute for Educational Advancement, “Scavenger hunts allow kids to practice problem-solving in a tangible way. It helps to reinforce and act-out methods they have been taught by parents or teachers in a physical way, leading to increased retention of the lessons.” On top of the educational benefits, scavenger hunts are good fun. Here are three ideas of scavenger hunts you can do with your kids at home:
- To exercise problem solving and language arts skills, consider the classic scavenger hunt. Provide clues in the form of riddles that need to be solved to lead them to the items they need to find.
- To exercise mathematical skills, consider a scavenger hunt by numbers. Take a peek at your child’s math book and select some problems for them to solve, the solution to each problem will provide them the number (quantity) of the related scavenger hunt items that they need to obtain.
- To engage kids who just won’t put down their smartphone, consider a photo scavenger hunt. You can provide them a list of items and styles and to complete the hunt they must take corresponding photos in those styles for each item on the list. This is a great way to keep kids engaged with arts education.
Photo courtesy of www.personalcreations.com on Flickr
We all need a break now and then, kids included. While keeping up education and activity levels are important, so is keeping up relaxation and family time. What better way is there to share togetherness and relaxation than binge watching your family's favorite shows or making movie night memories? If you're ready for a good family binge session, you’re in luck as many providers have put out special offers for social distancing. Here’s a few to consider:
- For the rest of this month, HBO is offering content for free. While HBO content lends itself to a more mature audience, the platform has some great family friendly flicks on offer. I highly recommend The LEGO Movie 2: The Second Part.
- If you grew up watching Star Trek and you want to share that with the next generation, CBS has the perfect offer for you. Through April 23, you can get a free month of CBS All Access, home to shows such as Star Trek: Picard. Just use the Promo Code ALL or GIFT or get started.
- For the family that’s already exhausted all their domestic streaming options, consider going global with 30 days free of Acorn TV by using the Promo Code FREE30. Acorn TV, a Brit-centric service that offers mysteries, dramas, and comedies from the U.K., as well as from Australia, Canada, and Ireland. Great show options that are super bingable on this platform include Miss Fisher’s Murder Mysteries and Murdoch Mysteries.
- Bring the theater to your living room with great family friendly new releases such as Onward, Frozen 2, and Trolls World Tour.
- Many major streaming services are answering the call for entertainment by extending their free trials from a mere 7 days to 30, no code required. Consider binge watching your way through service a month with these extended trials from Amazon Prime Video, Hulu, and Netflix.
Keeping Busy During Quarantine
Beyond the items listed above, there are a myriad of ways to keep busy as a family such as taking a virtual vacation, getting outdoors, and more. However you choose to #GroupForward with your family both near and far, GroupTools is here to support you and help you organize it all. So, start organizing your next family group activity today.