Free and Low Cost Activities for all Ages
By Caroline Smith, Pediatric Nurse Practitioner, Whittier Street Health Center
Activities for all Ages
- Khan Academy- A FREE personalized education and learning source. Kids can practice at their own pace and get extra help in any subject. Expert created course content from preschool to grad school. khanacademy.org
- ABC Mouse is a great online educational resource for kids ages 2-8- ABCmouse encompasses all key academic subject areas, including literacy, math, science, health, and social studies, and offers many art- and music- based activities https://www.ageoflearning.com/programs/#abcmouse
- Discover BrainPop- A free and educational resource and lesson plans for kids of all ages- variety of topics even health, arts and music, engineering and technology https://www.brainpop.com/
- Check out Scholastic- 15 days plus of home schooling resources and education plans from preschool to 9th grade https://classroommagazines.scholastic.com/support/learnathome.html
- Stem Activities- Great for learning science and math https://www.facebook.com/KiwiCo/videos/526865481571760/
- Mystery Science- Free science lessons of their most popular topics for kindergarten through 5th grade https://mysteryscience.com/school-closure-planning
- Make a learning space- set up a desk or designated spot at the kitchen table for homework. Having a specific place to do work really helps kids focus.
- Write a letter- Send a snail mail letter to grandparents or a loved one that lives here or far away. Smaller children can even color a picture to mail.
- Facetime Family members!
- Watch a live puppy play room- https://explore.org/livecams/currently-live/service-puppy-cam
- Bake or cook with your children- https://www.delish.com/easy-kid-recipes/
- Start a digital quarantine- limiting screen time is recommended by your providers. When school, reading and other education tasks have been completed, you can give back their phone and tablets.
- Kids aerobic or yoga class on YouTube- get that energy out! Children, teens, and adults need to be active for at least an hour a day https://www.youtube.com/user/CosmicKidsYoga
- Have Recess- It is important for kids to go out and play. Go for a socially distant walk or ride a bike. With a helmet please!
- Plant flowers- Spring is here! The Dollar store or home depot has seeds, dirt, and pots for very cheap and the family can start a garden in the house and transfer it outside if they have a yard. You can even start your seedlings in a plastic cup.
Toddler and Preschool
- Make Pasta Jewelry- Paint or color it and then wear it! https://www.thesprucecrafts.com/macaroni-necklace-4175051
- Set up a treasure hunt- Use objects you have in your house. Hide 10-20 items around the house or outside to keep kids occupied for a few hours. Younger kids can even do it by finding colors- https://www.thesprucecrafts.com/diys-to-distract-kids-4800407
- Box Coloring- Put a Toddler or preschooler in an open box and let them color the inside. Don’t have to worry about coloring the walls of the house!
- Make a Sensory Bin- For Toddlers and preschool. Amazing way to engage small children and keep them occupied for hours- https://littlebinsforlittlehands.com/how-to-make-sensory-bins-sensory-play/
- Water table- Fill a large Tupperware bin with soapy water and buckets, cups and let them stand outside the Tupperware and play in the water. Great for preschool and toddler. Always observe when your child is playing with water!
- Frozen Ocean Animal Rescue- This can keep younger kids busy for hours with ice play- https://mamapapabubba.com/2014/01/08/frozen-ocean-animal-rescue-salt-water-ice-play/
- Practice Opposites- Playing the opposites game is an educational exercise for toddlers. You say “in,” they say, “out.” You say, “on,” they say, “off.”
- Make a kite then fly it outside as a family- http://littlebuttondiaries.com/2015/05/29/nap-time-crafts-fabric-kite-for-kids/
- Practice cutting with scissors- Another good occupational therapy exercise for toddlers is practicing scissors. If you have safety scissors at home, watch and help children learn how to cut up old scrap paper. They can even practice by trying to cut along a traced line.
- Fine motor activities for toddlers and preschoolers- http://mamaot.com/fine-motor-activities-using-household-items/
- Shaving Cream paint- Have children especially preschoolers paint with shaving cream in the shower.
- Virtual Music Class- Wonderful for babies and preschoolers on YouTube https://www.musictoyourhome.com/
- Dance Class- http://www.missmelodee.com/ or https://www.gonoodle.com/ GoNoodle encourages kids (and families!) to get moving, whether that’s dancing, meditating, or just jumping around!
- Play dress up!
- Make a felt board- Good for younger children preschool-1st Make in 15 min or less https://buggyandbuddy.com/make-your-own-felt-board-tutorial/
Kindergarten and First Grade
- Make an obstacle course- Can be done inside or outside
- Make a cardboard fort – Put those empty Amazon boxes to good use!
- Art class- McHarper Manor is offering free arts and crafts lesson on Facebook live every day at 1 pm https://www.facebook.com/McHarperManor/
- Virtual Farm- Children will love to learn what it takes to run a farm, meet animals, and more https://www.farmfood360.ca/
- Make homemade mini pizzas! Supermarkets have readymade pizza dough or you can use English muffins
- Crafts for Kindergarteners and First Grade- https://www.thesprucecrafts.com/crafts-for-kindergarteners-1254247
- Set up indoor hop scotch- use painters tape or masking tape
- Download and fill out free academic printables for 1st and 2nd graders- https://katie-simplycreativeteaching-com.ck.page/650dcb42ca
2nd Grade and Up
- Make your own flashcards
- Make pet rocks- find rocks outside and paint them into animals. What kind of pet do you want? https://www.thebestideasforkids.com/pet-rock-ideas/
- Download books- Boston Public library and other town libraries allow you to download books to your device for free
- Create an animal fact sheet- have your child pic out an animal to research. Can they make a fact sheet listing everything they know about that animal. Now do some research, after learning new facts be sure to add it to your fact sheet
- Learn a new card game!
- Puzzles- can even have children color a picture and then cut out pieces to make their own puzzle and trade with a sibling
- Listen to an astronaut read from space!- NASA astronauts read stories to kids while they float around in space. https://storytimefromspace.com/
- Coloring books
- Hair braiding- Youtube different ways to braid your hair
- Make your own playdough – https://www.iheartnaptime.net/play-dough-recipe/
- Gratitude Journal- In this trying time it’s important to remember what we are thankful for. Everyday write 3 things you are grateful for. Can even be as small as “I had my favorite breakfast today.” Helps create a more positive mindset.
- Write a family book or story- Pick a character and each member writes a chapter about their adventure. Read aloud at the end!
- Listen to a Pirate tell a story!- https://www.storypirates.com/podcast
- Pictionary or Charades tournament
- Teach the dog or cat a new trick
- Join an online book club for kids- http://www.bookclubforkids.org/curriculum
- Kid friendly podcasts the whole family can listen to. “But Why” is a particularly good one for curious kids. https://www.vpr.org/programs/why-podcast-curious-kids#stream/0
“Stuff You Should Know” is also a great one https://www.iheart.com/podcast/105-stuff-you-should-know-26940277/
“Kid Nuz” Age appropriate News and stories for Kids- https://www.kidnuz.org/
“Wow in the World”- For kids and grown ups, take a journey into the world around you. Explore your brain, space, and hear cool news stories in the world of science and technology – https://www.npr.org/podcasts/510321/wow-in-the-world
- Chess- Older kids and teens can learn to play chess
- Spring clean as a family
- Chores Bingo- Squares can include “put away your clothes,” “brush your teeth,” “put the dishes in the sink,” etc.
- Have a family paint night- Every member of the family can try to paint the same subject or each come up with your own!
- Learn how to knit or crochet- https://www.ravelry.com/account/login
- Homemade ring toss- https://preschooltoolkit.com/blog/easy-to-make-rings-and-ring-toss-game/
- Make masks for yourself or your local hospital or health center- https://www.thesprucecrafts.com/diy-face-masks-4800726
- Make a sticker book
- Make pirate ships from wine corks and float them- https://www.redtedart.com/easy-pirate-cork-boats/
- Make a chalkboard town- https://www.designdazzle.com/chalkboard-town-fun-summer-activity-kids/
- Make masks- https://www.thesprucecrafts.com/mask-crafts-1252693
- Learn about insects- Good for 3rd– 5th grade https://ssec.si.edu/expedition-insects
- Take a virtual glider around the world- Excellent for 2nd graders https://ssec.si.edu/glider-guide
- Learn all about Sugar- Great for 5th grade https://ssec.si.edu/sugar-simulation
- Learn about Weather- for 5th-9th grade https://ssec.si.edu/weather-lab
- Origami- learn how to make origami on YouTube or here are 7 to get started https://www.thesprucecrafts.com/origami-projects-for-kids-4142802
- Make your own soap- Wonderful for kids of all ages https://www.pbs.org/parents/crafts-and-experiments/how-to-make-soap
- Make Slime!- A hit for all ages https://www.thesprucecrafts.com/slime-recipes-4171511
- Watch Bill Nye the Science Guy- You can even do a science experiment with him – https://www.billnye.com/home-demos
- Make Elephant Toothpaste- Creates enormous foam through a chemical reaction. https://www.scientificamerican.com/article/make-elephant-toothpaste/
- Film TikToks- Quarantine is the perfect time to choreograph and film a TikTok. Make one with the whole family!
- Virtual field trip to Yellowstone National Park- See the hot springs, mud volcano and more! https://www.nps.gov/yell/learn/photosmultimedia/virtualtours.htm
- Virtual field trip to Boston Children’s Museum- https://www.bostonchildrensmuseum.org/museum-virtual-tour
- Explore Mars! https://accessmars.withgoogle.com/
- Dance Party- Kid Friendly Living Room dance party with DJ Mel! https://www.facebook.com/DJ-Mel-48330349120/
- Virtual Zoos- from pandas, jellyfish to belugas! https://www.travelandleisure.com/attractions/zoos-aquariums/virtual-zoo-live-animal-cams
- Virtual Tour of Sequoia National Park- See some the biggest trees in the world hundreds of feet tall in California https://email@example.com,-124.63806575,18.05378127a,281.36344761d,60y,11.31144523h,89.41041554t,0r/data=CjASLhIgZWMxMmFiY2MyZWQzMTFlOWE2NDI0NWEzN2RiYmYzMTEiCmdjc19pdGluXzE
- Explore Africa- Learn more about the wildlife of Africa by checking out this African live camera at a watering hole. https://explore.org/livecams/african-wildlife/african-watering-hole-animal-camera
- Learn how to edit videos- a useful skill for older kids and teens. Use programs like iMovie or YouTube to learn a skill that’s practical for school or the real world
- Make your own board game- https://blog.ed.ted.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/07/Pen-Pen-Chen-TED-Ed-Innovation-Project-Game-Changing-Kids-additional-material.pdf
- Learn to Code! – Resource for kids and older children to learn the ins and outs of coding. https://mommypoppins.com/coding-kids-free-websites-teach-learn-programming
- Fifteen awesome Science Fair projects- https://www.thesprucecrafts.com/science-fair-project-ideas-4172625
- Write an opinion piece- Good for 3rd grade and up. A great academic practice to get into, either after reading a book, doing research, or watching a movie, challenge your child to write an opinion piece about it. What they thought, what their opinions are, and if they’d recommend the book/movie/resource.
- Go bird watching. In your yard or a park. Can you draw the bird you found or find it online?
- Make a list of animals that live in your neighborhood- Can you draw them? Make a safari guide!
- Practice instruments- If your child is learning an instrument, make sure they practice at least an hour a day
- Home improvement project- fix something you’ve been meaning to
Hope this brings you and your children some fun and distraction during this time. This will be over soon and try to make the most of your time with your family.
Whittier Street Health Center
FREDERICA M. WILLIAMS BUILDING
1290 Tremont Street
Roxbury, MA 02120
Phone: 617 989 3173
Fax: 617 989 3068
Comprehensive. Compassionate. Community
Championing Equitable Access to High Quality Health Care
Whittier Street Health Center is an urban health and wellness center accredited by the Joint Commission and recognized by the NCQA as a Level 3 Patient Centered Medical Home. Our mission is to provide reliable and accessible primary health care and social services for diverse populations, to promote wellness and to eliminate health and social disparities. Our vision is to serve as the premier urban health center for diverse populations.