It has now been a few weeks since things have been “different” for many of us. By now I am certain that many parents are hearing, “I’m bored, there’s nothing to do.” And what is the best remedy for boredom, to “get outside”. Play dates are being discouraged, climbing structures are closed but there are still many things to do outdoors. Studies have shown spending meaningful time in nature positively affects children physically, emotionally, socially and cognitively. Remember if you are going for a bike ride or a walk, social (physical) distancing is important.
For when it is not possible to get outdoors, the department (Family Services) has compiled a list of online activities and educational resources to help parents and caregivers keep children active and engaged at home.
Important: caregivers must supervise children and talk to their kids about how to safely use social media and the internet. Parents and children can access online resources to ensure their safety. Understanding the risks is the best way to protect our children. Visit The Canadian Centre for Child Protection for more information: https://www.protectchildren.ca/en/resources-research/online-safety/
Manitoba ParentZone is a comprehensive website that provides parents with resources and information that reflects best practices in health and child and adolescent development. Parents can access helpful tip sheets, ask question using the “Ask an Expert” feature and learn more about parenting programs and resources available to them. Visit: www.manitobaparentzone.ca
Online Resources for Manitoba Educators offers a wide variety of free learning resources for parents including videos, audiobooks, books, as well as an alternate formats collection for children with disabilities: https://mbcsc.edu.gov.mb.ca/cgi-bin/koha/pages.pl?p=fore
For educators and parents who are seeking learning materials in French, please contact the Direction des ressources éducatives françaises (DREF) at: firstname.lastname@example.org or call 204-945-8594 or toll-free 1-800-667-2950. Visit: https://dref.mb.ca/
Webinar for Kids Who have Questions about COVID-19, a special event hosted by Ace Burpee (103.1 radio host), where children asked questions and received answers from Manitoba health care practitioners.
Activities for Young Children (Preschool to Age 6):
BrainPOPjr is a website for young learners to complete activities, games, and ask questions and explore their world. Subjects cover STEM, social studies, reading/writing, health, and arts. Visit: https://jr.brainpop.com
Cbeebies (part of the British Broadcast Corporation) is an online site that provides young children with shoes, games, match and sing, and other learning activities https://global.cbeebies.com/
Oxford Owl for Home (part of Oxford University Press) is an online site with free educational activities and games, advice and support for parents, and a free book library for 3 – to 11 year olds. Visit https://home.oxfordowl.co.uk/.
PBS Kids, a website where young children can play with their favourite show characters and learn too. Visit: https://pbskids.org/
San Diego Zoo has a website for children with videos, activities and games. Visit: https://kids.sandiegozoo.org/
Seussville is a website where children can read, play games, and hang out with Dr. Seuss. Visit: https://www.seussville.com/
Activities for School-Age Children and Youth:
Blockly Games is a series of educational games that teach programming. It is a Code with Google program designed for children who have not had prior experience with computer programming. Visit: https://blockly.games/
ClickSchooling brings you daily recommendations by email for entertaining websites that help your kids learn. This site is regularly used by homeschooling families. Visit: https://clickschooling.com/
Scratch is an online tool for children to create, learn to think creatively, work collaboratively, program and share interactive media such as stories, games, and animation with people from all over the world. It is designed and maintained by the Lifelong Kindergarten group and the MIT Media Lab. Visit: https://scratch.mit.edu/about (aged 8 to 16 years) or https://www.scratchjr.org/ (ages 5 to 7 years)
Learning for Children of All Ages:
Crest Awards [British Science Association] is a website dedicated to student-led project work in the STEM subjects (science, technology, engineering and maths). Children aged 5 to 19 years earn awards for completing challenges.
FarmFood 360, a Canadian website that offers 11 Virtual Tours of farms from minks, pigs, and cows, to apples and eggs. Visit: https://www.farmfood360.ca/
Highlights Kids is a free online tool through YouTube with games, activities, jokes, podcasts and more https://www.highlightskids.com/activities.
National Film Board of Canada, an amazing library of films and documentaries to discover. Visit: www.nfb.ca
National Geographic provides a wide range of videos and games for children to learn about geography and animals https://kids.nationalgeographic.com/
Scholastic offers learning journeys for grade levels ranging from pre-kindergarten to Grade 9. These activities explore a wide range of subjects, and culminate in reading quests that can be done alone, or with a parent.
TED ED has created high-quality interactive video-based lessons and presentations for children https://ed.ted.com/
The Canadian Space Agency has inspiring resources and activities to stimulate students’ interest in the sciences, mathematics and technology. https://www.asc-csa.gc.ca/eng/resources-young/default.asp