Bad Weather, Good times: Fun Online Games and Activities for Kids
Here's a great article written for us by our friend Jenny Wise over at specialhomeeducator.com.
Foul weather is bad news for parents and kids. Moms and dads are hard-pressed to find ways their kids can burn off all that pent-up energy while they’re stuck indoors -- especially when they’ve also got an infant in tow. When kids are just plain bored, they could probably turn to a video game, their default activity when nothing else is going on, but that means sitting for hours with a glazed look in their eyes as they blast alien zombies.
Body and Mind
Video games may keep them occupied for a while, but it doesn’t do much to help them expend all that excess energy. What children need is something that engages them physically and intellectually, and ideally, something that allows them to bond with their baby brother or sister. This includes activities that involve their bodies and minds, encouraging exercise and the creative use of busy hands.
Fortunately, mom and dad can turn to the internet on those days when the weather just isn’t cooperating for hours of fun and games. Kids might even learn a thing or two and find a skill or special interest they can return to time and again.
Get Them Moving
One of the best ways to get the young ones up and moving is to exercise as a family. A few ideas include:
Fitness Blender has hundreds of exercise videos available on YouTube that parents and children can use to work up a good sweat together. Blender workouts emphasize fun and interactivity, and are based on a practical philosophy which holds that exercise workouts aren’t much use to kids if they aren’t fun. These videos show parents and children exercising together, and are based on cardio and strength-building exercises. Kids learn how to do exercises and the value of cooling down after a workout, as well as the importance of stretching afterward. Even babies under one can get in on the fun: strap your little one into a wearable baby carrier that sits on your back or chest, and watch them giggle as you do squats, side bends and lunges with your older child.
Dancing is an infectious group activity for young people everywhere, especially when it takes the form of a group exercise. YouTube is a great resource for dance exercise videos that’ll compel young ones to get up and learn new dance steps and have a great time trying to match the hot moves of the kids and adults who lead each session. Children can learn old and new dances and have fun trying to show up their parents doing dances that were popular decades ago, and infants can watch from the comforts of a high chair or bouncy chair.
Music for the soul
Learning to play an instrument can be an exciting prospect for children who admire their favorite musicians and love the idea of learning some of the hot licks they’ve grown up listening to for years.
There are many websites that offer online music lessons and can pair a child with a skilled teacher who specializes in your kid’s favorite instrument. For instance, Lessonface acts as a virtual meeting place for prospective students and teachers, who conduct lessons via live video conference.
A concert at home
If you’re unsure of which instrument to get your child started on, Kiwi Families recommends the clarinet; it burns off energy (it’s a woodwind, so it literally allows cooped-up kids to “blow off” steam), is relatively easy to learn, and can be tied in to a variety of types of music, including “an orchestra, concert band or jazz group.” Plus, with models as inexpensive as just a few hundred dollars and minimal maintenance required, they’re one of the least costly instrumental investments. No matter which instrument you and your child choose, however, your kid will get a kick out of holding at-home concerts showing off their progress as a musician, and your baby will benefit as well, as music can be a boon to their early development.
A creative outlet
Kids love to doodle and draw, take advantage of their innate creativity.
Kids all over the world love to express themselves by drawing. It’s an inexpensive and convenient way to have fun while developing skills. How to Draw is an easily-accessible and low-impact way to learn some of the basics of drawing that kids can enjoy for hours. They can practice drawing some of their favorite cartoon characters and access other sites that teach them additional skills.
Kids and parents alike have a good friend when the weather forces everyone indoors. The internet is an inexhaustible source of fun and education that can keep children fascinated for hours with games and activities that test their abilities and intrigue them with new knowledge.
Photo courtesy of Pexels.com.