If you work with children in an extracurricular activity such as a sport, dance, club, etc., it’s hard to run your regular program during this quarantine time. It may be challenging, but not impossible. Children need us now more than ever. Luckily we live in a digital era where it’s easy to connect using programs such as Zoom and Google Meets. Face time, Duo, and others. It’s time to think outside the box and get creative.
If you are a coach, teacher, or run any type of school activity, you know how important that team or group of children is to you and each other. You may not be able to practice that sport or meet as a group in person, but you can still connect with the children. You can still have the children see and connect, just in a different way.
Here is a list of activities to do with children digitally
- Check-in talk: Have all the children sign on to whichever program you are using simultaneously. I often use Zoom. Setting up a zoom meeting and sending a link to sign on is easy. The children can see and talk to each other, and you can speak to them. Have some questions ready that you can ask them. Just a check-in alone can lift the spirits of a child.
- Theme Weeks: If you are going to meet with the group of children often, create theme weeks. You can have the children wear your team’s color, dress as their favorite character, crazy hair day, crazy sock day, excessive accessories day, pajama day, holiday attire day, backward clothes day, and funny makeup day. The children will have a blast getting ready for their meeting.
- Story Time: Get a book and read a story to the children. This is fun at bedtime. Want to go the extra mile? Dressup like a character in the story.
- Create a story- Start the story and have each child say a part to create one big story.
- Teach a simple dance: Work on a simple routine to a popular song and teach it to the kids.
- Freeze dance: Play freeze dance with the children. Play a song, have the children dance, then turn it off. See who is still moving when the music stops.
- Dance Party: Make a playlist for the kids. Have them dance.
- Exercise – Have them do some jumping jacks, jog in place, sit-ups, push-ups, pretend jump rope, and kicks to get their blood pumping.
- Guided drawing: If you need drawing ideas, the kid’s art hub on Youtube is great
- Step-by-by painting: Create a masterpiece together.
- Scavenger Hunt: Have them search for things in their house and bring them back. Scavenger hunt items can include a toothbrush, hairbrush, favorite toy, pot, fork, stuffed animal, school book, pen, crayons, family pictures, artwork, etc…
- Show and Tell: Have the children bring something they want to show the group.
- Riddles and jokes: Take turns telling jokes and riddles.
- Simon Says
- What Am I? Have the children think of a person, place, or thing. Let other group members figure out what they are thinking of by asking yes, or questions.
- Guess What’s Missing: Have a group of items in front of you (8-10 things). Have the children close their eyes; while their eyes are closed, remove one of the items. Have the children guess what is missing.
- Pictionary: Have the children start drawing something. As their drawing, have the other children try to guess what they are drawing. Whoever guesses correctly gets to go next.
- Learn something together: Read up on a topic; if you’re a couch, teach them history about the sport or a player. If you are a dance teacher, teach them about different dance styles and where they come from. If you run a club or other extracurricular activity, teach the children the history of that, how it started, how it evolved, etc…
- Coloring contest: You can e-mail the parents of the children in your group a coloring page to print and color. Once the coloring page is completed, have them take a picture and e-mail it back. You can post a picture of the winner.
- Air guitar contest: Have the children show their air guitar skills to everyone in the group. Have parents and siblings join to get the entire family involved.
- Follow the Leader: Start by having one child do something such as jump up and down, shake their hips, etc….All the children must follow along, Then the next child does something, and the children follow that child. This continues until each child gets a turn.
- Name that Sound: Play a sound for the children and have them try to guess what it is. Sounds easy, right? It’s tricky. Look for sounds on the internet or use some things you have at home; just don’t let the children see what it is. Some examples are a hairdryer, vacuum, toaster popping, and washing machine. The possibilities are endless.