March 2020 will soon be mentioned in our history books because from that time onwards the entire country came to halt. If not completely, it definitely slowed the entire country, or let’s just say the entire world. There has been a lot of uncertainty and still is. The hot topic of discussion is COVID-19 and the biggest question is when is it going to end?!
The education system in India has also taken a toll. According to an earlier report by Economic Times,
“India has emerged as one of the world’s largest consumer of education services with a target population of more than 445 million (between the age group of 5-24 years)”
With this large number of students, there is a great responsibility for the schools and teachers to carry out the classes productively. Now you must be wondering what’s your role in all this? Well, none of us were ready for this kind of situation. On introducing the digital world to the classroom, the teachers can’t provide the one-to-one interaction with the students. This is when your responsibility as a parent grows because you are closest to your kid and no one can understand your kid better than you do.
With this new role in place do you sometimes feel that you are losing the ‘being friendly to your child’ side and moving towards ‘being a teacher to your child’? Do you keep searching for alternate ways to engage with your child?
Being a parent it must be difficult for you as well. But worry no more! We’ve got your back.
We have compiled a list of 10 things that are fun and engaging. And the best part is they are absolutely FREE!!
1. YouTube Kids:
YouTube Kids was created by YouTube exclusively for children. It was created to give your children a more contained environment that makes it simpler and more fun for them to explore on their own, and easier for you to guide as they discover new and exciting interests.
During this time when children are surfing on the internet a lot, there are risks like inappropriate content and cyberbullying. On this platform, you have complete control over the content.
2. Virtual Field Trips:
Due to the outbreak, you cannot step out of the house. Online tours are a great way for you and your child to have access to the outside world. Here are some of them.
a. Indian Museums:
Google Arts & Culture has brought around 2,500 museums, galleries, and online exhibits to you in the virtual form. You can explore them with your child whenever you feel like traveling around a little bit (VIRTUALLY of course).
b. Zoos and Aquariums around the world:
A lot of zoos and aquariums have live cams installed. To get you the live feel of it, you and your child can anytime go and check out what the animals are doing at this very moment.
- Atlanta Zoo
- National Aquarium
- San Diego Zoo
- Arignar Anna Zoological Park, Chennai
- Monterey Bay Aquarium
Kids always love candies. Actually let’s just say everyone does. The Food Network hosts a virtual tour of the M&Ms factory to let your child see how amazing candies are made.
d. Outer Space:
This probably is a great way to let your child see outer space and embark that curiosity of Outer Space. NASA does virtual tours of the Moon and the International Space Station. Google in collaboration with NASA also does the virtual tour of Mars.
3. Disney on Stage:
Disney has showcased some of the most popular parts of Disney Theatrical’s free education programs. So if your child is really keen to do a theatre this could be a great opportunity. You can also be a part of it.
It has downloadable creative activities from The Lion King, Mary Poppins, Aladdin, Frozen, and a selection of Careers in Theatres videos and podcasts.
Scratch is one of the best platforms for your child if he/she is into coding and animations. It has an Interactive story, game, and animation design from the MIT Media Lab, designed for ages 8 to 16. Anyone can access it and create anything. Encourage your child to transform their creative work into reality.
You can also use this opportunity to learn a new language via Duolingo. This could be a great idea to learn something new together with your child. It has simple and fun gamified language lessons that your child will enjoy.
It has tons of experiments and videos which will definitely help in generating interest in the subject. You and your child can perform these simple and interesting experiments at home. It can be a great way to connect with your child and do some hands-on activity with them.
Mo Willems is an American writer, animator, voice actor, and creator of children’s books and Yo-Yo Ma is an American cellist. They have collaborated to offer a series of playful experiments that show how art and music inspire each other. You and your child can watch, listen, or even join in from home with paper and start doodling. It explores different ways of writing and making, with children of all ages.
NASA has listed a whole library of activities and STEM articles for the children to read for every age from K-12+. If your child is intrigued by the space and astronaut then they surely will have fun with these activities.
9. Print & Play:
It will provide your child with a hands-on experience of creating a game and build their confidence. You just have to print and let your child create the DIY elements of the game and Voila! The board game is ready to be played with friends and the family. And the best part? It is based on Mathematical concepts. So you don’t have to worry even if they overplay it and lose track of time. You can also take a break and enjoy it with your child.
10. Audio Stories:
Everyone loves listening to stories right? If you didn’t get time to read stories like The Little Mermaid, The Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs, etc then don’t worry. It has a collection of podcasts of stories that you and your child can enjoy listening to.
You can try out these amazing activities and have fun with your child. All of these activities will provide you an opportunity to connect with your child and wonderful family time. So wait no more and get started!