DIY Home Activities for Your Children

Because of the fast-spreading COVID-19 virus, we are all required to take our part in flattening the curve by staying at home. Schools are shut down, classes are suspended, and parents (who are also working at home) are immediately converted to homeschool parents. I can just imagine the home chaos with having to juggle work while dealing with kids who have nothing to do at home.

Most schools have turned to online classes just to communicate with their students. But online classes usually last 30 minutes to a couple of hours, which gives the child lots of time to themselves. We can’t just leave the kids to the supervision of a gadget. They need time away from the computer, too.

So as someone who works in the education industry, I’ve gathered tips and resources for a DIY Homeschool that parents can do in their homes during this quarantine period.

I categorized the activities into three parts. Parents may do three activities a day — one from each section — just to keep the kids busy. It’s important to give them a routine to follow so they don’t see any idle time and have something to look forward to. You can switch the sequence of the activities whichever the flow of learning you think fits best.

male-head-side-view-with-brains
Let’s Learn

speech-bubble-with-text-lines
Let’s Share

scissors
Let’s Create

Let daily activities be a learning experience and an application of lessons that they have learned in school. You’ll hit two birds with one stone — you get help in household chores, and maybe find practical answers to the question “Why are we learning this?” Let’s bring back the magic of the family table where everyone gathers around and share stories. Communication is a lost art and this is a perfect opportunity to bring it back. It’s time to be creative! Creativity is not just about doing art. It can be science experiments, simple engineering projects, or art activities using household items. Your child might even discover their potential as a future inventor or scientist.

You can download and print this blank schedule, fill it out with activities, then post it for everyone to see. Kids can even put a checkmark once they have accomplished an activity. It teaches your child goal-setting and gives him a sense of fulfillment when he puts that checkmark.

I’ll create a week-long schedule on this post. I’ll also compile free resources and home activities on a Google Sheet which you can pick out and DIY your own weekly schedule. Click on the image for more activities.

Homeschool_ig5

Day 1: INTRODUCTION TO THE VIRUS
a. Let’s Learn
Teach kids how to properly take care of their gadgets by disinfecting and cleaning them. Their gadgets are the most held items and it might be a breeding ground for germs.

  • Microfiber/ Cotton cloth
  • Alcohol
  • Water

Do a 1 part water: 1 part alcohol ratio for the cleaning solution. Dip and squeeze out the cloth before wiping down any grime, dirt, and microscopic germs on the gadgets.  (Source: Popular Mechanics)

b. Let’s Share
Discuss with your children what COVID-19 is and why the whole family is stuck at home. If you have frontliner family members, discuss the importance of their jobs and why we should value it. Use vocabulary that kids can understand without glossing over important details.

KidsHealth.org listed down tips on how to talk to children about the virus:

  • Ask about what the child knows about the virus
  • Find out answers together if you do not have answers to their questions
  • Speak calmly and reassuringly
  • Give solutions that your child can take part in (as simple as washing their hands and staying at home)
  • Share what the other people are doing to contain the virus

Reading children’s books about the flu and how germs can spread fast. Use the story to segue into a discussion about COVID-19.

Suggested Resources:

c. Let’s Create
This Glitter Germy Hands Experiment by thesoccoermomblog.com is a fun home activity that teaches your kids how germs are spread.

Kids trace their hand on a piece of paper, then dip their hand in a bowl of glitter mixed in hand sanitizer. Let the kids imagine that the glitter are tiny germs that they can’t see. Once they’ve rubbed their hands and the sanitizer has dried, the kids will press their hand on the paper. Let them observe and discuss how the glitter transferred quickly to the paper.

Day 2: CLEANLINESS PT.1
a. Let’s Create
This experiment has been making the rounds on social media. It explains the importance of handwashing and how soap removes dirt and oil from your skin. All you need are:

  • A saucer of water
  • A drop or two of liquid soap
  • Pepper

Place water on a saucer and sprinkle pepper on it. Let the pepper represent the germs. Let the kids dip their finger and see how the pepper sticks to their finger when they take it out of the water.

Then let them dip another finger on liquid soap and rub it to completely cover the tip of the finger. Dip that soapy finger on the pepper water and see how the pepper immediately scurries away from the finger. Magic!

b. Let’s Learn
Let kids take part in the #HandWashingChallenge. Teach the kids the proper way of washing hands.

c. Let’s Share
Have a game where the kids will share their handwashing songs that last 20 seconds. The person who shares (and sings!) the most songs can win a prize. Maybe even share handwashing playlists with other parents!

Day 3: CLEANLINESS PT. 2
a. Let’s Learn
Let the kids help around the house by disinfecting commonly held items — doorknobs, remote controls, steering wheels, fridge handles, tabletops, etc. Do a spring cleaning day and let the kids wipe down every surface. Make sure the kids wear gloves and wash their hands after cleaning!

b. Let’s Share
Read some books about chores and cleaning at home.

  • Scholastic.com/learnathome: I Stink by Kate and Jim McMullan (Free ebook)
  • UniteForLiteracy.com: Wash Your Hands (Free ebook)
  • UniteForLiteracy.com: Make Your Bed by Michael McGuffee and Nina Ollikainen (Free ebook)

c. Let’s Create
One of the dirtiest items is money. Experiment with what household items make your coins the shiniest. Reminder: Don’t try with paper money!

Day 4: TEAMWORK
a. Let’s Learn
Laundry time! Teach sorting skills by letting your children sort your dirty laundry into piles: underwear, dark-colored clothes, light-colored clothes, shirts, pants, socks. Folding socks teaches kids how to find pairs (or even count by twos). Let kids fold the clothes after laundry; this teaches them how to follow step-by-step instructions. You may also let them repeat the instructions verbally to develop their descriptive and speaking skills.

b. Let’s Share
Read books about the family and the importance of teamwork. You may also relate it to the whole world, that the whole world is a family and is working together to fight the virus.

Book suggestions:

c. Let’s Create
Teach your kids to get along with this team building activity. Tie five strings around a cup and place pingpong balls in it (or coins, small toys, pebbles). By holding only the string and observing “social distancing” (an arm’s length), the kids should be able to transfer the contents of the cup to another cup.

Day 5: EATING HEALTHY
a. Let’s Share
One of the ways to fight the COVID-19 virus is to maintain a healthy lifestyle. That includes eating healthy and a lot of good food. Discuss with your kids the importance of boosting their immunity through healthy food. Let your kids share their favorite fruits and vegetables.

b. Let’s Learn
Teach which food items are healthy and good for the body. sunnydayfamily.com has free printables that teach healthy eating.

c. Let’s Create
Involve your kids in the kitchen! Cook a meal or two with the kids. Make sure they’re healthy dishes!

Day 6: KEEPING A HOPEFUL MINDSET
a. Let’s Share
Besides physical health, mental health is also important during this time. Talking to your kids is very helpful to ease their minds of the situation. But if parents need someone to talk to, don’t feel ashamed to reach out and ask for help.

  • MindNation: they offer free psychologist consultations for those who are feeling anxious and overwhelmed with the COVID-19 situation

Reach out to your loved ones. Set up a video chat with family members who are living in different houses and ask how they are feeling. Pray together, exercise together, or just have a regular chat with them. Your kids can even set up virtual play dates with their neighbors or cousins through video calls.

b. Let’s Create
Exercise is a good self-care activity that you can do with your family. While learning the alphabet with your kids, why not include some yoga poses?

c. Let’s Learn
Have a family game night with educational and fun games. It’s probably time to take out the board games that have been gathering dust in the cabinets.

  • Five Second Rule: mention three things that fall under that category. If your time runs out, pass it on to the next player. Create categories on your own if you don’t have the board game. Examples: dog breeds, brands of chips, TV shows for kids, Dad’s weird habits, items in the fridge, meals cooked for the week, homework topics for the week
  • Jenga – this balancing game does not need any instructions. All you have to do is to take out a block from the tower without making it fall. Spice things up by asking a question for every block removed. For example: Where do you like to travel? What food would you like to eat as soon as the quarantine is over? What disgusting food are you willing to try?

Day 7: HELPING OTHERS
a. Let’s Learn
Let the kids be aware that there are other people who are outside their homes fighting to stop the spread of the virus — policemen who are ensuring the safety of everyone by limiting the entrance and exit in certain cities, the medical personnel who work tirelessly in bringing those who are sick back to health, the government officials who are looking for solutions to provide service to everyone. They need our help and support even if we’re all at home.

Learn about the roles of our frontliners through stories:

b. Let’s Share
Involve the kids in donating to organizations that provide the essential needs of our frontliners. Here are some links where you can donate.

RockEd Philippines Provides emergency room frontliners with freshly cooked meals and fruits Bank of the Philippine Islands
3080-0073-44
Rock Ed Philippines
University of the Philippines-National Institute of Health (UP-NIH) Funds testing kits that doctors can use to detect the virus The UP Medical Foundation, Inc
Bank: BDO, Bocobo-Pedro Gil Branch
Account No: 353-0094-018
Para Po! Tulong po tayo! Provides food to food vendors and PUV Drivers Metrobank:
Jonah Aileen Reyes
0153015301059
BPI:
Ma. Clarizze Alcaraz
0339195994
GCash: 09424283422
Tara Baraha! Supports daily wage workers by providing P1000 cash incentives Send GCash donations to 09178602912
Juan Spark Youth Leaders Provides food to homeless people GCash:
Charmaine Reyes Gilo / 0997 455 3757
BPI:
Marielle Anne Alemania / 0129399139
BDO:
Nanette Tagudar / 007960016388

c. Let’s Create
Create a video thanking the frontliners. Show them that you are contributing by staying home and staying safe. Create your own creative tips and tricks to surviving the quarantine period.

If there’s one thing that I’ve learned about this situation that we are currently in, is that we have all the time in the world to help. Before we have been complaining that we’re too busy or we do not have time. Now that we are stuck at home, we have time to spare to think about opportunities to help with whatever resources or whatever skills we have.

But don’t put too much of a burden on yourself. You can’t provide solutions for everyone’s problems. Even superheroes can’t save all people at once. Do what you can and try to help at least one person. Hey, instead of spreading germs, why not stay at home and spread kindness?

So top rule: PLEASE. STAY. AT. HOME.

Trust me, you’re doing a great service to the health workers and the rest of the world by staying at home. You lessen the risk of being a carrier of the virus or getting infected yourself.

Let’s hope that this situation that we are in ends soon so we can all return to our normal lives. But in order to achieve that, we must be cooperative and follow the guidelines set by our government.

What are your DIY homeschooling tips for parents? Share them in the comments below!

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