If you’re a parent in Davie or anywhere in Broward County, or just about anywhere else, you’re probably facing the challenge of keeping your kids busy while schools are closed. Here’s some information that will help.
Broward County Schools are Closed
But, I’m sure you already know that. Due to the coronavirus, schools in Broward County will remain closed through April 15, 2020. You can get more information on the Broward County Schools website. That page also contains information about food and nutrition services for students and families, which has been extended until April 15.
Grab-and-go meal service was available in nine locations, but will be expanded to 47 locations from March 30 to April 15, 2020. You can open a PDF file that lists all the locations.
Broward County Schools provides continuing education opportunities for students that are appropriate to their grade level. You can also download a free copy of Microsoft Office Suite if you need that software to let your children use the educational tools on a device that doesn’t already have it installed.
Set Up a Routine for Your Children
Being out of school for such an extended time is a new experience for children and parents. It’s a good idea to set up a routine for your children to help them know what to expect during this time.
You can set up a daily schedule that includes both study times and play times. It may seem weird to set up a schedule for days at home, but kids need structure. While they’re home, you’re the only one who can provide it. There are resources online that can help you figure out how to create that schedule. That page also has some ideas about online educational websites and suggestions on fun ways to stay busy, too.
Find Unique Things for Kids to Do
There are all kinds of things you can use to keep your kids active during this time at home. Here are some of my favorites.
- Keep journals. This one can work for you and your kids. It lets everyone express their feelings about what’s happening in the world.
- Story time with an astronaut. If you have kids who love to think about being in space, this website lets you watch astronauts float around their space stations while they read a book to your kids.
- Lego time. Put the names of animals and buildings or anything else – perhaps a space station – on separate pieces of paper. Put the papers in a hat so that kids can draw them out and then use Legos to build the object.
- Visit the Great Wall of China. This is a virtual tour of the Great Wall, but you will need Adobe Flash to take the tour.
- Explore Yellowstone National Park. Pick one of the major attractions in Yellowstone and you’ll see photos and descriptions of each one. Every wonder what makes a Mudpot? You’ll get the answer online.
- Visit animals. Zoo cams are set up at zoos around the world. For example, the National Zoo has webcams where you can check in on naked mole-rats, lions, giant pandas, and elephants. Or, check out this list of wild animal web cams. Sometimes nothing is happening, so you might need to check out a few sites to find the animals in action.
- Exercise together. Work with your kids to create your own workout routine and put it on your daily schedule.
- Create an obstacle course. Outside, naturally. Use old toys and anything else you have around the house as obstacles to run around, hang balloons from strings for a low-crawl obstacle, or several hula-hoops to hop in. You’ll also find lots of other ideas online. Check out this website for more ideas for an American Ninja Warrior course, but you’ll need more supplies than you might have around the house.
- Set up a scavenger hunt. Use your home and yard to hide clues for a scavenger hunt. You’ll find lots more clue ideas like these Go to Google images and search for household treasure hunt for more inspiration.
The internet is a treasure trove of ideas. You could start with this Forbes article that lists 110 things to keep your kids busy.
Family time is good. But, everyone is feeling the pain from so much enforced togetherness. Don’t let your kids get bored by giving them structure, and finding new ways to have fun as a family.
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