Out of School for Whatever Reason:: Ideas for When You’re Stuck Inside

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Hey Omaha mama! Are you pandemic-induced homeschooling? Or is the kids’ school out for spring break? Or maybe you are homeschooling family and just need your own version of a spring break with your kids! Worry no more mama–our community of moms gathered together an incredible resource list for what to do when your kids’s school is out (your choice or not) and you need some education-filled ideas!

These are from our homeschool moms, preschool stay-at-home moms, working moms that are wonderfully creative, and even our Pinterest moms that just love activities! Whatever you need, we’ve got it here. Even if you are quarantined (hope you got that last pack of toilet paper from Costco)!

We bring you our list of School’s Out resources for Omaha moms by Omaha moms!

Before you dive in though, here’s some encouragement from some moms who homeschool:

“1. Have a loose plan. 2. Let your kids’ interests lead. 3. Plan to do something messy every day.“–Abby, contributor

“It’s okay if it’s fun!…It can be science activities or math games. This is something that is still hard for me even with traditional homeschooling let alone a break.”–Sarah M., Contributor

“Go ahead and watch a movie. Relax. Enjoy your family.”–Ashley H., Contributor

“Schedule blocks of time: reading, watching, playing. There’s beauty in the flexibility even though it can be hard.”–Neidy, Editor

READ

Books

  • Elephant and Piggie series 
  • Don’t Let the Pigeon Drive the Bus!
  • Hey Jack! and Billie B. Brown series
  • Wallace and Grace
  • The Adventures of Caveboy
  • Stinky Spike the Pirate Dog
  • Agnes and Clarabelle
  • The Princess in Black
  • Bird and Squirrel 
  • Bink & Gollie
  • Mercy Watson
  • Tales from Deckawoo Drive
  • Bad Guys series
  • Box Car Children
  • Magic Treehouse
  • Little Women
  • Frog and Toad

Literary Fun with Books and Activities!

Some other tips:

  • Libby app for borrowing books and audiobooks from the public library
  • Open Library online library
  • Overdrive
  • Amazon’s Kindle library (they have free books too!)

Free Education Company Resources

CREATE

STEM ideas

Tips for Creating a Creative Space

  • Crafting
  • Sensory bins
  • water beads
  • dinosaur or car “car wash” in tub or shower
  • painting on the shower door with finger paints

Activities from our contributor Jaimee

  • Build a fort. If you don’t want to make a mess with pillows and blankets
  • Slide down your stairs in sleeping bags/pillow cases. If you’re brave!
  • Stained Glass Window Art.  Things you will need: Large piece of paper or cardboard, Colored cellophane (as many different colors as you like), Pencil, Scotch tape, Scissors, Stencils (optional)
  • Spider Web made of masking tape. Take masking tape and make a web in a door frame. Crumple up newspaper and take turns throwing the balls into the web. Whoever gets the most to stick wins!
  • Magic Milk. Things you will need: Bowl, Milk, Food Coloring, Q-Tips, Dish Soap
  • Fluffy Slime (Borax Free). Things you will need: Contact Lens Solution, Shaving Cream, Water, Elmer’s Glue, Food Coloring, Baking Soda
  • Science Experiments. Here are 50 kid-friendly science experiments that can be done with household items.

PLAY

Board Games and Card Games

  • Battle Ship
  • Labyrinth
  • Candyland (with Hatchimals for game pieces for variety)
  • Monopoly
  • Monopoly Jr.
  • Clue
  • Scrabble
  • Story Cubes
  • Puzzles
  • Flash Point
  • Killer Bunnies
  • Exploding Kittens
  • Sushi Go
  • Set
  • Bug Bingo
  • The Sneaky, Snacky Squirrel
  • Bananagrams
  • Mexican train dominoes
  • Shut the Box
  • Backgammon
  • 31
  • Golf
  • Kings Corner
  • Slap Jack
  • War
  • Uno
  • solitaire
  • double solitaire
  • Bohnanza
  • Robot Turtles
  • Baby Monkey Astronaut
  • Spot It
  • Yahtzee
  • Gravity Maze
  • Headbanz
  • Cootie
  • Cribbage (great for math skills!)
  • Hoot Hoot Owl
  • Five Crowns

Apps

  • Stack the States
  • Stack the Countries
  • Presidents vs. Aliens
  • Monster Physics
  • Teach Your Monster to Read
  • Starfall (good for preschool and kinder educational and like 5 different topic/apps)
  • My singing monsters (musical education but more fun)
  • Red ball (fun for the entire family-no education unless you count catapulting as physics)
  • Angry birds has made a resurgence in my house and they love true angry bird movies (they are super cute)
  • Toca Lab (have to pay but worth it preschool/kinder STEM)
  • Khan Academy Kids

Youtube Active Kids

  • Cosmic Kids Yoga
  • GoNoodle
  •  Koo Koo Kazoo

LISTEN

Podcasts

  • Wow in the World 
  • Stories Podcast
  • Bedtime Stories Podcast
  • Tales from the Lilypad
  • Little Stories for Tiny People
  • By Kids, For Kids Story Time
  • Goop Tales
  • Peace Out
  • Brains On!
  • Tumble Science
  • But Why: A Podcast for Curious Kids
  • What If World
  • The Alien Adventures of Finn Caspian
  • Young Benjamin Franklin
  • Smash Boom Best

 Audiobooks Apps

WATCH

  • Mary Poppins
  • 101 Dalmatians
  • Peter Pan
  • original Star Wars
  • Space Jam
  • Magic School Bus
  • Magic School Bus Rides Again
  • Peg and Cat
  • Molly From Denali
  • Odd Squad
  • Wild Kratts
  • Brainchild (preteens)
  • Inbestigators (Netflix)
  • The Who Was? Show (Netflix)
  • Ask the Storybots (Netflix)
  • Snoopy in Space (Apple TV)
  • You vs. Wild
  • Guardians of Ga’hoole
  • National Geographic specials

Youtube Educational

  • Smithsonian Channel
  • The Brain Scoop
  • Houston Zoo
  • WordWorldPBS
  • TED-EdSmart Girls
  • SoulPancake
  • SciShow Kids
  • It’s Okay to Be Smart
  • Crash Course Kids
  • It’s Okay to be Smart

TALK

Conversation Starters

  • Look into an animal they like. Where do they live? What do they eat? Who are their predators? Look at all of the books you have about this animal. Google this animal. Look up Wild Kratt episodes that delve deeper. Get out watercolors and paint this animal. Write down interesting things about this animal. You will now have an expert on this particular creature!
  • Look into a country. Find it on a big map. Trace an outline of the country and talk about the terrain. Use Google Earth! Look up recipes. Ask Alexa to play traditional music from the place of your choosing. Are there fiction books or movies you could watch?
  • Discuss life.
  • Discuss a movie.
  • Discuss a book.

We would love to know your favorite things to do when your kids are out of school.
Let us know by dropping a comment!

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