Category Archives: Enrichment COVID-19

April 1. And you know what that means!!!

Today’s activities are all about tricks.

Math and Science

Our director, MaryAnna, learned this mind-blowing card trick from her mother as a child and reports that no one she knows has ever been able to figure out how it works. It will work every time, but YOU MUST COUNT CAREFULLY. Practice counting smoothly, too, so that your friend won’t understand how you got to your answer. You can try this at home with your family, or use a phone app. Look up card tricks and mathematical card trips for more jaw dropping tricks.

Movement

Magic tricks using a any pen you have on hand. (Until you don’t). As they say, it’s all a slight of hand. Practice these tricks in front of a mirror, or video tape yourself. Then put on a magic show.

Art and Literature

Older children and teens, download a trickster tale in the library and record or illustrate it for a young friend or sibling. If you don’t have a library card, you can download a temporary one. If you want to share your story publicly, you will need to to retell it in your own words or you may get into copy right issues. Here’s a link to the JMRL catalog, filtered by “trickster tales ebooks.” Look for books with “J” in the call number.

Here are two traditional trickster tales read aloud. One of them is signed in a combination of American and British Sign Language. The stories are suitable as stand-alones for younger children.

Zomo The Rabbit.

Hare and Hyena.

Signed in British and American ASL.

Games for One. The Real Story. March 31

Movement

Seven Up

Seven-up is just one of the games you can play alone on the Very Well Family website. Make up some games of your own and share them with us..

5 Single Player Card Games. Getting tired of the same old solitaire game? Here are some intriguing, and challenging games you might not know.

Art and Literature

The Real Story.

Retell a fairy tale. There’s always more than one side to every story. This website gives you some great ideas on how to write different versions of favorite fairy and folk tales. If you loved Ella Enchanted, you’ll love this activity.

Story baskets. Adapted. If you are the kind of person who likes props and visuals, fill a basket with action figures, plastic houses, and dragon puppets, whatever you can find that belongs in a fairy tale and use it to retell a favorite story. Share your pictures with your friends and be sure to tag #enrichmentalliance.

MARCH 30 FIELD TRIPS AT HOME

Science and Math

Make your own science museum. Fill boxes, baskets, bins, whatever you have on hand, with hands-on science materials. This link will give you some ideas. You are not likely to have the slick looking materials in their images lying around the house, but see what you can do instead. Can you find a measuring tape? A magnet? Share pictures of YOUR science kit with us on Instagram: enrichmentalliance.

Movement

Make your own fitness center. If you have cardboard, tape, socks, etc, you have a fitness center. This link is full of suggestions on how to put it all together and turn a corner of your home into your own gym. Post pictures of your equipment and share them with enrichmentalliance.

Art and Literature

Make your own library. The link on the left shares a few ideas for creating your own reading nook. Once you look at these ideas, you’ll probably have more ideas of your own. Make a reading nook and please, send us a picture at enrichmentalliance on Instagram. Now all you need are some books, right? That’s easier than you might know.

The Library of Congress has books available online.

Adaptive Reading Choices. Want an interesting story, but light reading? Try downloading some high/low readers.

MOVIE NIGHT

MARCH 29

Instead of our usual breakdown by subject, today we are listing two sets of short films and one recommendation for online classes.

Children’s Shorts. A collection of short films for children, curated by a father.
Sprout Film Festival. The Sprout Film Festival is a profoundly beautiful, honest, and thought provoking set of short films featuring people with developmental disabilities. The appeal this will have to children and youth may vary. Be My Brother might be a good start for older children through adults.

Online Film Classes.

Inspired to make your own films? Charlottesville’s Lighthouse Studio is currently offering “pay what you can” online film making classes. This very generous offer will turn time at home into an opportunity to develop talents and document an historic episode of children’s lives.

Share your creations as you go. Tag enrichmentalliance on Instagram or post on our Facebook Page, Enrichment Alliance of Virginia.

WHAT’S OUT THERE?

MARCH 27

Movement

Look up at any window. You might see a bear. Or if our idea takes off, maybe favorite gaming images instead. Communities around the country are taking the children’s rhyme “Going on a bear hunt” and turned it into a game for the COVID-19 quarantine. The link on the left tells you about the game in Augusta County. Take a walk around Augusta towns and see for yourself.

This sounds like so much fun, we think you could be excused for stealing the idea and giving it your own twist.

Network with your friends to pick a favorite gaming character from any video game. Have everyone print pictures of the character and put them in their windows. You might have figurines or stuffed toys you can put out also.

Use social networking to get the word out to get friends and neighbors. And friends of friends. And neighbors of neighbors. Ad infinitum. In addition to the apps you usually use, neighborhood apps and neighborhood list serves might be especially helpful. Once you get the word out, take a walk every day to to see if the character you suggested is showing up in any windows.

Remember, this will only happen if you get the word out to lots of people.

Art and Literature

Sidewalk Art. Do you remember the sidewalk art scene in Mary Poppins? How the sidewalk came alive with the work of a street artist? Bring your sidewalk alive with sidewalk art ideas. Or draw a gaming character from the activity above, or a bird from the activity below, and encourage walkers to come find your masterpiece.  

Science and Math

Birdzilla. Download this bird bingo game, and mark the spot when you see a matching bird.

Bird Bingo Adapted. If listening works better than looking, familiarize yourself with these birdsongs. Each player picks five birds to listen for. Who will hear all five of their birds first?

GAME NIGHT IDEAS DURING HOME QUARANTINE

March 27

Get Ready for Game Night

Art and Literature

Make your own board game.  This video by the National Museum of Australia is full of great ideas for creating board games using readily available materials.  The museum has additional videos and activities.

Movement

Movement and Music Games. Yesterday we posted a link to a rock podcast.  Use the podcast to play some music and movement games, like musical hide and seek.

Science and Math

Brainteasers. How quickly can you do the penny triangle challenge? This and other brain challenges use materials you should be able to find around the house, but if not, just improvise, sticks for toothpicks, buttons for pennies.

Adapting Games

Making Games Work…. This article has outstanding suggestions for making board games frequently played at home accessible at all levels.

After-School Online March 26

Subscriptions and Podcasts

Science and Math

But Why This semi-weekly NPR “Kids and Family” podcast digs into life’s pressing questions, like “How Do People Fall Asleep?” and “Do Animals Get Married?” This podcast does cover some topical issues, such as the COVID-19, so some parents might want to pre-screen or discuss the podcasts. Technically, these aren’t all Science and Math podcasts, but … close enough.

Movement

Rock Podcast.  Spare the Rock is a weekly radio show out of  KUTX 98.9, Austin.  This web link takes you to their blog, where if you scroll down you will find their most recent playlist.  Now, we put this under movement for a reason, so grab your phone, connect with your friends, and throw a virtual dance party.

Art and Literature

Today’s reading subscriptions will appeal to younger children. To make this suitable for older readers, consider having them create their own read-aloud recordings to share with younger children. They should think about how they will introduce and conclude their reading, and how they will use vocal tone to make it interesting.

Story Podcast Circleround is a weekly podcast from WBUR 90.9 Boston.  The website includes links to coloring books and soundtracks. 

Kids’ Books Read Aloud. If listening to read-alouds doesn’t work for you, this YouTube series features read-along books.

After-school Online Activities During the COVID-19 Pandemic

Movement

Rock Podcast.  Spare the Rock is a weekly radio show out of  KUTX 98.9, Austin.  This web link takes you to their blog, where if you scroll down you will find their most recent playlist.  Now, we put this under movement for a reason, so grab your phone, connect with your friends, and throw a virtual dance party.

Science and Math

But Why This semi-weekly NPR “kids and family” podcast digs into life’s pressing questions, like “How Do People Fall Asleep?” and “Do Animals Get Married?” This podcast does cover some topical issues, such as the COVID-19, so some parents might want to pre-screen or discuss the podcasts. Technically, these aren’t all Science and Math podcasts, but … close enough.

Art and Literature

Today’s reading subscriptions will appeal to younger children. To make this suitable for older readers, consider having them create their own read aloud recordings to share with younger children. They should think about how they would introduce and conclude their reading, and how they will use vocal tone to make it interesting.

Story Podcast Circleround is a weekly podcast from WBUR 90.9 Boston.  The website includes links to coloring books and soundtracks. 

Kids’ Books Read Aloud. Adapted. If listening to read-alouds doesn’t work for you, this YouTube series features books you can read along with.

March 26

Podcasts and Subscriptions

Movement

Rock Podcast.  Spare the Rock is a weekly radio show out of  KUTX 98.9, Austin.  This web link takes you to their blog, where if you scroll down you will find their most recent playlist.  Now, we put this under movement for a reason, so grab your phone, connect with your friends, and throw a virtual dance party.

Science and Math

But Why This semi-weekly NPR “kids and family” podcast digs into life’s pressing questions, like “How Do People Fall Asleep?” and “Do Animals Get Married?” This podcast does cover some topical issues, such as the COVID-19, so some parents might want to pre-screen or discuss the podcasts. Technically, these aren’t all Science and Math podcasts, but … close enough.

Art and Literature

Today’s reading subscriptions will appeal to younger children. To make this suitable for older readers, consider having them create their own read aloud recordings to share with younger children. They should think about how they would introduce and conclude their reading, and how they will use vocal tone to make it interesting.

Story Podcast Circleround is a weekly podcast from WBUR 90.9 Boston.  The website includes links to coloring books and soundtracks. 

Kids’ Books Read Aloud. Adapted. If listening to read-alouds doesn’t work for you, this YouTube series features books you can read along with.

March 25

Science and Math

Zoo Live Cams.  Take a virtual field trip to the San Diego Zoo.  Visit koalas, polar bears, tigers, and many more animals in real time.  This website also has a wide selection of activities including video games and arts and crafts activities.

Art and Literature

Dioranimal   Now create your own zoo. Look at this Pinterest Board to get some ideas and create a zoo in your own home. Take US on a field trip. Tag enrichmentalliance on Instagram.

Dioramas Adapted.  If you like a little more direction when you make things, this video walks you through the steps of creating a diorama with cardboard and magazines. If you don’t have access to magazines, print or draw your animals.

Movement

BE an Animal. Here’s a game you can play with your friends, even while you are social distancing. Learn some animal moves from this exercise video and use FaceTime or other social media to create a “live cam”.  Act out an animal and ask your friends to guess what you are.

March 24

Anansi and The Turtle Younger children will enjoy the video for its own sake, but older children will probably appreciate this more as an introduction to storytelling. How does the story teller use her voice and body to engage the viewer? See the Movement link below to connect this video to a storytelling activity.

Movement

Storytelling  Scroll through these lesson plans from Scholastic to get ideas retelling a story.  Focus on exaggerated movements..  The Fox and The Stork would be a great one to pair with Anansi and The Turtle.

Science and Math

Turtle Salad.  Scale this down and make a Turtle Salad for your family.  But leave out the turtle meal!

Turtle Salad Adapted.  This salad recipe is pretty similar, but includes step-by-step instructions with pictures.

March 23

Art and Literature

Story Generator. On this intriguing website by Scholastic, an animated machine generates story prompts at the pull of a lever.  The settings can be adjusted by grade level.

Adapted.   The level of the story generator above can be adjusted, but if you need a more concrete activity, try these “meaningful story prompts” from Old Dominion University. Scroll down to Story Jars and you will find an activity similar in nature to the story generator. Unfortunately, there seem to be some formatting issues on the document, but the idea still comes through.

Science and Math

Hand sanitizer is no substitute for good old fashioned hand washing, but your kids can make their own hand sanitizer to have in a pinch if you have access to these ingredients. The essential oils are optional.

Movement

Indoors bowling.  Recycle empty bottles into an indoors bowling alley. This website recommends adding a little water if the bottles tip too easily, but you might want to substitute something less messy, like pennies or a few pebbles.

March 22

Science and Math

Rube Goldberg Inventions Ideas for zany inventions inspired by the Rube Goldberg, the cartoonist whose ridiculous “time-savers” were more trouble to put together than the task itself ever might have been.  This site offers video examples, ideas to get you started, and lists of materials you might find around the house.  If you don’t have one of these items, just try something else. Maybe small books will work as well as dominoes. Try paper towel rolls if you don’t have plastic tubes.  And we sure will want to see your pictures and videos for this one, so please tag us on Instagram. Just google Rube Goldberg Inventions if you want to see more.

Movement

Obstacle Courses This website lists 25 ideas for obstacle courses, several of them themed.  You may not have all the items suggested, but they should give you some ideas for using the materials you do have.

Obstacle Courses Adapted  These are slides from a presentation on wheelchair obstacle courses in a school setting, so not all of these will be practical to create at home. There are, however, ample images that you could recreate or adapt for use in your house or apartment, so go ahead, try this at home.

Art and Literature

Cambodian Myth of Lightning, Thunder, And Rain. This TED animation is a beautiful presentation of a Cambodian Myth.  A lesson plan is available and there are additional TED animations of children’s tales from around the world.

March 21

Sticking with a spring theme a little longer, today’s enrichment activities allow children to play and create with the wind.

Movement

Be a Wind Dancer.  As March blows through, get outside and blow with it. Take along scarves, ribbons, anything that flows. Watch the wind blow on natural objects like trees, grass, flowers, leaves. Make up some dance moves based on how the wind moves these objects. 

Art and Literature

Wind Sculpture.  Create a fanciful wind sculpture and put it outside or in front of an air vent. First watch the video linked on the left for some inspiration.  Now watch this video on creating wind sculptures, and let your imagination go wild. Besides the materials in this video, what can you find around the house to create a kinetic sculpture at home?  Search YOUTUBE for “wind sculpture” and “kinetic sculpture” for more mesmerizing videos. And of course, please tag enrichmentalliance when you post your amazing pictures!

Science and Math

How fast is the wind? These simple directions show how to use household materials to make an anemometer, an instrument used by meteorologists to study wind speed.  If you can’t find the exact materials at home, try out different materials and let us know what works for you. 

Science and Math Adapted

Pinwheels. Step by step instructions, with pictures. Try different types of paper to make a variety of beautiful pinwheels, and show us what you made. You can take these outside and let the wind blow them, or run and dance with them.  Did you know that blowing on a pinwheel can make you feel less stressed?

March 20

This is the first full day of spring! All of our activities today are themed on nature. Use your science and movement activities as inspiration for writing poems about nature, and consider submitting to the Washington Post Nature Poem contest, linked below. The National Parks have opened to the public at no charge, so if you have a park nearby and a way to get there, you might do your nature studies there. Just remember social distancing.

Art and Literature

Nature Poetry Contest. Take a good look at this beautiful spring day. Maybe you’re looking out your window, maybe you’re taking a walk or a hike. Write down six things you see in nature (examples: bird, tree, cloud). Write down six things that are happening in nature (examples: soar, sway, float). Write down six things to describe what you see (peacefully, green, soft).  Now use these to write a poem.  If you are the kind of person who needs a little structure to write, see Arts and Literature Adapted below. PLEASE NOTE, IF YOU ARE SUBMITTING TO THE KIDSPOST CONTEST, DON’T SHARE THESE POEMS WITH US BEFORE APRIL 22.

Art and Literature Adapted

Nature Poem Activity.  Our POPnPOEMS workshops use pop songs suggested by participants to explore poetry.  This activity, built around “Deep in the Meadow” from “Hunger Games” includes visual aids, word banks, and patterns for creating poems.  If you are interested in submitting your poems, see the entry above. This entry is from our director’s personal website, which contains one additional poetry activity.

Science and Math

Nature Camera-Scavenger Hunt.  Grab a cell phone or a pencil and paper, look for items on this list, and draw or photograph them . Or create your own scavenger hunts and use social media to challenge your friends.  We’re dying  to see what you find, so please tag enrichmentalliance on Instagram. This website includes additional outdoors spring activities.

MOVEMENT

Nature Walk.  This blog offers great guidance for turning an everyday walk into  a nature museum.  Activities in this blog combine beautifully with the poetry and scavenger hunts described above.