Updated: May 19, 2020
Most parents are filling the burn of adjusting to e-learning at home.. but so are our kids. Their routines have been shattered, their homes are now their schools, and they can't even play with friends for a recess break. So to help break up the new lifestyle stress and study shock, here are my kids and mine's top three favorite free sites.
If you have kids and haven't heard about Go Noodle, you might have been living under a rock. Don't worry. It's worth the crawl out. Go Noodle gives kids desk-side moment and mindfulness videos created by educational experts. They have a wonderful mix of popular songs and quirky made-up ones. My three-year-old son loves Not Dog Time Machine. Flow, the mindfulness activities, perfectly speaks kid and incorporates the right kind of visualization that kids need to grasp such an abstract concept. Rainbow Breath is a regular choice by my eight-year-old daughter. Both physical activity and mindfulness are dramatic stress relievers, especially when laughter is involved.
Another super popular site is Storyline Online, a collection of videos of famous actors and actresses reading picture books. As someone who's theatrical delivery lacks at storytime, I appreciate professionals bringing these wonderful stories alive for children. My daughter's current favorite is Arnie the Donut read by Chris O'Dowd. But Hula Hoppin' Queen read by Oprah Winfrey is next on our list. Listening to a story is a great way for children to learn empathy while they escape from the stress of these COVID-19 times into another world...in their minds.
Rob Hubs and his family created self-contained, foundational and FUN art lesson videos. Most of the drawings have a cartoon element that is just downright adorable. My daughter can draw with their video's for hours! In addition to having fun creating, I can see her techniques and abilities improve each time she practices with an Art For Kids Hub video. My two personal favorite drawings of hers are Milk and Cookies (who she drew in love...aww.) and Snow White. I love how Rob tells kids that their drawings won't look like his, because they are theirs and to make them their own. I've joined my daughter a couple of times and had a blast! Scientific research has shown that coloring puts the mind at the same frequency as meditation, and laughter is a natural stress reliever. Your child has the opportunity to experience both of these with Art For Kids Hub.
This is what has helped my kids and I stay sane and transition relatively well (no body count, yet) to e-learning at home. My daughter was already doing Go Noodle and Storyline Online with school, and I decided to beef up both sites use to ease stress and simulate some of her regular school routines. Experiment for yourself, and see what works for you and your family.