Parents and schools weigh in on keeping kids busy during COVID-19 closures |

Parents and schools weigh in on keeping kids busy during COVID-19 closures

Updated: March 18, 2020 06:56 PM

With kids being cooped up at home while school is closed, finding structure and fun activities to keep them occupied is important.

Parents and school staff say having a variety of options for kids is key.

"I usually try to have five things for the morning. I tell them this is what we're doing today and they get excited about what comes next," said LeAnn Oman, a Hermantown parent.

Oman has been running a daycare from her home for over 20 years. Although she has experience with keeping kids entertained, she said this has been an adjustment with having more kids at daycare since they're not in school.

She's gotten creative by having kids do things like make bread from scratch and bake cookies. She's also letting them show off their artistic skills.

"We have a lot of art supplies and things. We are making cards and pictures for the nursery homes since they're not getting visitors right now," said Oman.

She says parents can get creative with things they already have at home like tape, paper, recycled materials, and more. She says it's also important to let kids use their imagination and try new things.

"My school aged kids have learned how to crochet this week. It's something that they can do that's quiet so other kids can nap. It keeps their brain and hands busy," said Oman.

She's also had them spend time outdoors and paint designs on rocks.

With so much free time, schools say keeping kids on a routine is important. Schools districts are working hard to give that routine back to students soon.

"These next eight days for our teachers is going to be preparing for distance learning. We have a whole host of activities for kids to do. We are going to be sending the supplies out and delivering them via bus," said Diane Morin, the Bay View Elementary principal.

The Proctor school district is preparing a curriculum students will be able to do from home by using apps and google classroom. Teachers will also give students virtual lessons.

"We are going to be planning for at least two to three hours a day to have kids doing school work while we are on this break," said Morin.

Teachers say this is an adjustment but hope it's something that will benefit their students in the long run.

"Because we care so much for our kids we want to make sure they're all right during this time of uncertainty. We always knew one day we would be doing distance learning and now I'm just telling our teachers that these are extraordinary times and we need extraordinary people and just to go forward," said Morin.

The Proctor school district hopes to have distance learning ready by March 30.

Other activities recommended by parents:

-Video chatting with friends or family

-Watching educational videos on YouTube

-Make a fort at home

-Use the FitOn app for fun workout activities kids can do from home

-Sterling Silver Studio has been sending fun activities to keep kids busy on their Facebook page

-Have kids put on a puppet show or talent show

-Play board games or card games 

-Have kids do online art classes

-Have a movie marathon

-Create a treasure hunt for kids

-Help the community by having kids pick up litter in their neighborhood

-Make jewelry

-Find fun science projects to do online

-Have a photo shoot and create a photo collage

- Do gardening

-Make home videos

-Build a puzzle 

-Have a singing or dancing competition

-Learn to play an instrument

-Make a birdfeeder

-Learn a new language 

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