This is part fun-stuff and
part a LOT of educational-learning stuff.
In This Post You Will Find:
- Kids with Disabilities Learning at Home
- Exercise Programs for Kids
- Free Art Programs Online for Kids
- 30 Day Lego Challenges
- Tons of Free Coloring Pages
- Complete Schedule of Authors and Illustrators Going Live Online for Kids
- A Multitude of Play Dough Recipes
- Meditation for Kids
- Typing Practice for Kids (with Games!)
- Online Language Learning for Kids
- Screen Free Fun Stuff to Do at Home While Sheltering In
- Screen Stuff for Kids that is Fun, Educational/ Inspirational
- Podcasts for Kids
- Free Classes from Ivy League Schools
- Coding and Technology for Kids
- Science and Math for Kids Online
Kids with Disabilities Learning at Home
Two of my three kids have disabilities: one is on the Autism spectrum, the other has Down syndrome. My third child is being assessed for hearing impaired and/or an auditory processing disorder right now.
I also have disabilities (- I am deaf, I have C-PTSD and TBI).
I am not a special education teacher, but I am an expert with my own kids. I understand them and I know some things that float their respective boats, and help them learn; and things to stay away from.
My daughter with Down syndrome is an extremely visual learner. Give her videos, pictures and ways to SEE the content, and she’ll rock it.
My son who is on the Autism spectrum is a self-starter and independent learner. He loves listening: podcasts (which he listens to while completing other work) juice his smoothie.
Understanding how your kids learn – disability or no disability – is so important in this here and now of educating them at home.
None of our kids learn the same, they all have their quirks and peccadilloes and areas in which they absolutely shine. Get to know those areas, and homeschooling becomes really fun.
Now, two things that were helpful for me were:
- Online Resources for Schools: this is a super-comprehensive post with the larger, more systemic resources for teachers and schools: https://schoolchoiceweek.com/37-free-online-resources-for-schools-shifting-online-during-coronavirus
- Quill: this is a diagnostic tool for understanding the kids’ language arts levels: https://www.quill.org/tools/diagnostic
With regard to diagnostics, I played around with the kids on Khan Academy and BrainPop too, to try and get a better sense of where they are, academically. The level that a school places your kid in is not always accurate.
My daughter with Down syndrome, for example, is much more at a Kindergarten or 1st grade level than she is at 3rd grade; with homeschooling, I adjust accordingly and have her work with K-1st grade material.
I that educating kids with disabilities (or without disabilities) is largely a matter of really getting to know where your child is at, and figuring out some resources and approaches that work with your child.
Fun Educational Things to Do with Kids During Shelter at Home
I started collecting these for use with my own kids – there are some REALLY AWESOME resources listed here. In many ways, this is a continuation of “Fun Things to Do at Home with Kids.”
I’m dividing them into the categories for ease of finding fun stuff to do at home with your kids!
Exercise Programs for Kids
Jack Hartmann's Kid Channel
Cardio for the Whole Family!
We have a big trampoline, and I just search around YouTube for various new exercises to try out on it, to challenge the kids (and me!)
Mo Willems Lunch Doodles
30 Day Lego Challenges
- Free printable 30 Day Lego Challenge calendar: https://theshirleyjourney.com/lego-play-free-printable-calendar
- 31 Days of Spring Free Lego Challenge calendar: https://thatbricklife.com/31-days-spring-lego-calendar/
Tons of Free Coloring Pages
Tons of free coloring pages here, also tons of ads, so it’s hard to navigate, but they ARE there and they ARE free, so that’s cool: https://desertchica.com/free-coloring-pages-activities
Complete Schedule of Authors and Illustrators Going Live Online for Kids
Great list of all the authors and illustrators who are going live, where to find them, and what time they are going live:
A Multitude of Play Dough Recipes
- Rainbow play dough: https://tinkerlab.com/rainbow-play-dough/
- Coffee play dough (because I like using coffee grounds!): https://weefolkart.com/coffee-playdough/
- 15 Edible Play dough recipes: https://kidsactivitiesblog.com/53932/edible-playdough-recipes/
Meditation for Kids
- Headspace for Kids: https://www.headspace.com/meditation/kids
- Commune- good for older kids; the first few days of all courses are free so just stay tuned course introductions! https://ww2.onecommune.com
Typing Practice for Kids (with Games!)
- Typing Club https://www.typingclub.com
- Keybr: https://www.keybr.com
- Typing Master: https://www.typingmaster.com
Online Language Learning for Kids
- Mango Language: free until end of 2019-2020 school year: https://mangolanguages.com
- Duolingo (my kids use this to learn Japanese): https://www.duolingo.com
- Voces: also good for ESL: https://www.vocesdigital.com
- Sites to Learn ASL – https://www.meriahnichols.com/learn-asl-online/ (we use Sign It, but it’s not free)
Screen Free Fun Stuff to Do at Home While Sheltering In
We use screens a lot for both learning and play, but we break free a few times during the day.
I liked these lists of things to do and try out while going screen-free:
- 20 Screen Free Things to Do With Your Kids Indoors When School is Closed: https://savedyouaspot.com/2020/03/12/20-screen-free-things-to-do-with-your-kids-indoors-when-school-is-closed/?fbclid=IwAR3zHmlPwUuman9XkN6QAvT14dhUBa6LzTTTQcsSvpQtiUH7AKUnuGkaENA (this is ad-free, easy to read)
- 25 Screen Free Activities for Kids: https://kidsactivitiesblog.com/124392/25-screen-free-activities-for-kids (hard to navigate through all the ads and no pdf option, but there is good content linked in here)
- Fun Facebook group: Things to Do While We Are Shut Down – tons of stuff posted there daily
Fun Screen Free Stuff for Elementary School Kids
Indoor Scavenger Hunt
Screen Stuff for Kids that is Fun, Educational/ Inspirational
- 150+ Educational Shows on Netflix: https://homeschoolhideout.com/educational-shows-on-netflix
- TED Talks by Kids: https://www.ted.com/playlists/129/ted_under_20
Podcasts for Kids
- Six Minutes: https://app.kidslisten.org/pod/Six-Minutes
- Pinna: https://pinna.fm
- This American Life: https://www.thisamericanlife.org/archive
- Radiolab: https://www.wnycstudios.org/podcasts/radiolab-kids
- Brains On: https://www.brainson.org
- Science Friday: https://www.sciencefriday.com/articles/
- Listenwise: https://listenwise.com
Free Classes from Ivy League Schools
Free Classes from Ivy Leagues schools: https://www.freecodecamp.org/news/ivy-league-free-online-courses
Coding and Technology for Kids
- Scratch: https://scratch.mit.edu
- Computer Programming at the Khan Academy: https://www.khanacademy.org/computing/computer-programming
- BrainPop Technology: https://www.brainpop.com/technology/
- Studio Code: https://studio.code.org/courses
- Language Arts for Kids!
- Book Creator: https://bookcreator.com/features/
- Flocabularly: https://www.flocabulary.com/subjects/vocabulary/
- BrainPop: https://www.brainpop.com/english/
- Newsela: https://newsela.com
- Kahoot: https://kahoot.com
- The Story Starter: http://thestorystarter.com/junior.html
- Elementari (write and code your own stories) https://www.elementari.io
Science and Math for Kids Online
- Breakout: https://www.breakoutedu.com/funathome
- BrainPop: https://www.brainpop.com
- Mystery Science: https://mysteryscience.com/school-closure-planning
I hope some of these ideas help, and of course, if you come across something pretty fabulous, please stop by and link-drop!
Meriah Nichols is a counselor. Solo mom to 3 (one with Down syndrome, one on the spectrum). Deaf, and neurodiverse herself, she’s a gardening nerd who loves cats, Star Trek, and takes her coffee hot and black.