PORTLAND, Ore. — As we near the end of another workweek at home and head into the weekend, many parents are scouring the internet for ideas to keep their kids busy.
Luckily, our KGW viewers have been getting creative and sharing their ideas on social media.
From using would-be garbage for art projects and learning to sew medical masks for those who need them, to teaching your 10-year-old to do laundry and creating a mini-ball pit at home; we’re impressed.
You’re showing us a plethora of ways to stay busy and active.
YouTube makes daily mediation and yoga easy for kids and parents like Jessica Inman. She sent KGW a video of her little man shaking off the stress (see video in player above).
Some families are using items from around the house to keep their young athletes honing their skills. Ron Morgon used bowls from the kitchen to set up soccer drills for 9-year-old Pearson in the garage.
Remember, if you can get outside and stay at least 6 feet away from others it’s perfectly fine to take a walk, go for a bike ride, or break out the chalk and start a game of hopscotch on the driveway.
If you don’t have much for outdoor space where you live, check your closet or junk drawer for some tape. You can use that to make your own hopscotch game indoors.
A quick browse of Pinterest offers up some great ideas for making your own hopscotch game and a lot of other fun ideas.
There are fantastic ways to keep kids entertained without needing an iPad, cellphone, or TV, but screen time doesn’t have to be wasted time.
The internet has a smorgasbord of great ideas to keep you busy and connected.
Just ask Jennifer Ferrero. She has been teaching kids at Purple Moon Child Development in Northeast Portland for 20 years. She says the internet is a parent and childcare provider’s best friend during the coronavirus crisis.
“There are also so many amazing resources online that ten years ago would not be available to us,” Ferrero said. “Use the internet. There are a lot of great things out there that can help us stay connected.”
The ability for kids to stay connected to their friends and teachers is essential for kids of every age.
“We love our kids and we miss them,” she said.
After Purple Moon officially closed their doors for the stay home order from Gov. Brown, they decide to use their private Facebook group to connect with their students and for the kiddos to be able to interact with each other.
They’re practicing social distancing, not social isolation, with daily Facebook Live lessons, projects to do at home and show-and-tell videos to share with the group.
“I’m a big part of their lives. I mean, these kids spend a lot of time with us, and they’re a big part of mine,” Ferrero said. “And so, it’s really great to keep that connection going.”
As many of parents out there know, kids can learn how to do just about anything on YouTube Kids, including do-it-yourself science experiments.
Some local families are using this time at home to create their very own YouTube channels.
Nine-year-old Karson Kidd-Owen, little brother Korbin and dads Justin Kidd and Rob Owen teamed up to create Quarantine Cuisine. They’ve made three videos so far, whipping up pancakes, banana bread, and even a cake bake-off.
“I miss school, I miss my teachers, I miss my friends, but I also get to have fun here baking,” Karson said.
“It was really important for Rob and me to make sure that this time – that could otherwise be, maybe, scary for kids – we want them to have memories of this as just a really exciting time to be together and really enjoy each other,” dad Justin Kidd said.
Baking in the kitchen is something Kidd did with his father. Now, he’s passing those skills on to his sons. It’s more than a home economics lesson. Karson is sharpening reading skills with recipes and brushing up on fractions by measuring ingredients.
Their Quarantine Cuisine endeavor isn’t just giving the kids a chance to learn new skills. Dad Rob says he is learning to edit as he goes.
You can do it, too. Parents don’t need a fancy video camera to make movies. All you need is your smartphone.
KGW Viewer Elizabeth Aikens sent in a sample of her girls’ stop motion animation movies, made with Lego at home.
Aikens says the plot lines her 3- and 5-year-old girls come up with is “endlessly entertaining.”
Mary Jo Monroe’s son is doing it too. He creates his own characters and props out of clay.
If you’re starting to feel like you’re stuck in a box, maybe it’s time to think outside of it. And if you need some inspiration or maybe just a boost, Karson and is parents have a little advice:
“Don’t feel too badly. You have your parents and can always check in with your friends online,” Karson said.
“I think the message is really to just take control of the things you have control of, right. There’s a lot in this situation with the virus that we don’t have control over, but what we do have control over is here; what we have in our own house and to take that opportunity to really be together and do something we’ll be proud of later,” Kidd said.
Looking for more ideas? Ferrero offered up these helpful links for worksheets and ideas: