There’s no question that playing outside is ideal for kids of all ages, but it’s not always possible. When the weather outside is unfavorable, children retreat indoors to pass the time until the skies clear up. The internet gets a bad rap as a tool for keeping kids occupied, but it can be productive and educational if you know where to send them.
Contrary to what you may think, some of the most popular entertainment companies are also online teachers for your kids. Yes, there is more to do on a device than just playing mindless games or streaming television shows! Here are some fun, educational activities for kids to do online on a rainy day.
Fun with Fictional Characters
PBS Kids has games, videos, apps, and ebooks that you can search by skill or by age. PBS Kids makes it easy for children to play online with their favorite PBS characters. Cookie Monster’s Challenge offers brain-building games, while Elmo’s School Friends teaches decision-making skills. Arthur’s Big App encourages positive social skills, while Daniel Tiger’s Storybooks teach life lessons. There’s an activity on PBS Kids with every character for every topic, just like the TV shows your kids love.
Not big on PBS? Children can find games with their favorite Nickelodeon characters like Paw Patrol and Peppa Pig on Nick Jr. They’ll learn colors and shapes with Peppa Pig, make music with Nick Jr. friends, or color their favorite characters on the digital coloring book. And if your kids aren’t in the mood to play games, they can watch educational Nick Jr. shows online like Go Diego Go! and Thomas and Friends.
Is your child’s favorite Disney character a classic like Mickey? A princess like Sofia? A muppet like Kermit? A talking animal like Simba? A Star Wars wookie? Children can play with sticker books, color on the digital coloring pages, play different games, go on digital adventures, and watch videos of their beloved Disney characters on Disney Jr.
Maybe your child is more interested in real people than fictional characters. Kids can learn about world history, British history, and ancient history on BBC History for Kids. Children (and even adults) have the option to choose different subjects to read about on the site and then follow up with a quiz to test their knowledge retention. The Hands on History section allows them to print out tutorials for hands-on crafting activities like building a castle and creative cave art.
Math and Science
Math apps for the phone or tablet can be a great way to practice math applications or for homework help. If your kid is one of the many that struggles with math, then downloading a math app could drum up interest or help them to better understand this confusing subject. Math can be difficult for students who are naturally drawn to it, but a fun game is a great way to get hooked on mathematics. To your child, it will feel more like play than learning. You can even incorporate math into everyday activities like measuring while cooking, learning to convert units, telling time, adding up the cost of shopping lists, and figuring out the cost of tax. Anytime you have a task that requires math, give it to your children to solve.
Science is another subject that can be challenging for kids to get into. Textbook science might be boring to them, but experimental science is usually fun and exciting. The more hands-on the project, the more interested the kids will be. Have your kids try this Rainbow Magic Milk experiment from Earth Science Jr. so they can watch colors explode with different liquid textures.
Kids should also get involved in more physical activities while stuck indoors, like watching exercise videos on YouTube, following along with drawing or painting tutorials, and online music lessons with a virtual teacher or through tutorials. Most parents would rather see their kids unplug and get out into the real world, but when the real world is dreary or stormy, there’s an abundance of things to do inside. The kids may be trapped inside, but the entire world is really at their fingertips.
Article written by Jenny Wise
Photo Credit: Pixabay