Image via Pixabay
Internet Activities That Balance Fun and Learning
Rainy spring afternoons can test the patience of parents trying to entertain bored children itching to burn off some energy. Fortunately, there are plenty of fun options online that offer more mental and physical stimulation than the cartoon clips from your kids’ favorite YouTube channel. And some of these activities may prove so engaging that your children will be eager to try them.
Learn About Furry, Feathery, and Scaly Friends
One of the best ways to incorporate interesting educational activities into kids’ everyday lives is to link learning to the things they love. And, considering that some 68 percent of American households include at least one pet, animals certainly fall into that category for many young people. What’s more, the internet offers a wide variety of animal-themed lesson plans for all age groups.
For instance, you could use coloring sheets and other printable resources to teach young children about the different types of pets while including academic concepts such as how to distinguish between mammals like dogs and cats and other classes of animals they might find in pet stores or their own homes.
Older children might enjoy exploring topics such as the role humans have played in the evolution of cats and dogs. There are many educational resources available online, as well as high-quality documentaries that illustrate how the complex interactions between domesticated animals and humans have changed over the centuries. And you can even conduct “field research” by observing your own furry friends at home.
Do Some Kitchen Cabinet Science
Children of all ages also love experimenting through hands-on activities. And, fortunately for kids and caregivers who are stuck inside on rainy days, there are a number of cool science demonstrations and experiments described online, and some can be done with items many families have readily available in their pantries.
For example, to demonstrate the different weight of certain substances, you can try suspending regular cooking oil above water. In order to give it more visual appeal, turn it into a homemade “lava lamp” by adding food coloring to the oil. Then, pour some water and colored oil together. Finally, add salt. As the heavier salt sinks to the bottom of the glass, it takes some of the colored oil down with it. But, once the salt dissolves, the droplets of oil rise back to the top of the glass, creating the lava lamp effect.
You can even turn the demonstration into an experiment by trying different types of oil or adding various granular substances—such as sand or sugar—to see if they produce the same result as salt. Before introducing new substances, encourage kids to hypothesize about what might happen and why.
Unleash the Artist Inside
If your kids love cartoons and comic books, why not apply that interest to art? And don’t worry if your own artistic skill is limited to drawing stick figures. There are many detailed drawing lessons available on the internet, with some that are specifically designed with kids in mind. And no one will know if you follow along so that both you and your kids can develop your drawing skills. Finally, you might want to make your online educational activities cross-curricular by drawing pictures of your pet.
These are just few examples to show the internet isn’t just good for powering your children’s YouTube marathons. In fact, it offers many fun and educational activities to help kids and parents combat cabin fever. So the next time rainy weather leaves you housebound, give some of these suggestions a go.
Jenny created Special Home Educator as a forum for sharing her adventures in homeschooling and connecting with other homeschooling families.