- Care.com: That’s right… Care.com has put together instructions for 13 easy magic tricks that kids can do!
- Dallas Magic Academy: The Dallas Magic Academy is offering free online magic lessons. Follow them on Facebook at to learn more about their free WOW magic workshop.
- DFW Kids Magic: Kids can sign up for a monthly newsletter. Each month, they’ll learn a new trick.
- Free Magic Tricks 4 U: Find easy, cool and most importantly free magic tricks ANYONE can do.
- Good Tricks: Learn to do impressive magic tricks and magician secrets.
Kid Zone: Offers instructions so kids can learn an assortment of easy magic tricks with cards, coins, rope, and more.
- Learn Magic Tricks: Lots of free downloads and daily videos to help your kids learn magic tricks.
- MagicTricks.com: Teach yourself new tricks and techniques with exclusive FREE learning videos!
- Magic Tricks for Kids: Magic tricks for kids is a friendly, on-line information hub for children aged 6 to 14 who are either students of magic or are looking to learn to do magic tricks. There are lots of free videos to learn various tricks
- Marvin’s Magic: Offering free daily magic lessons on their Facebook and YouTube channels. Note: Some tricks require props that they sell.
- YouTube: There are also LOTS of YouTube videos to help beginners learn magic tricks for free!
Sunflower Word Family
Kids just learning to read can explore different sound combinations with a word-family sunflower. Write word endings on the petals, fill a paper-plate center with all the letters of the alphabet, then let kids spin and read the results.
Pipe Cleaner Constellations
Lots of classrooms make students create dioramas of the solar system, but what about mapping out other celestial bodies? This activity uses pipe cleaners and beads to give kids a hands-on way to learn how stars connect to form different constellations.
Sight Word Craft-Stick Puzzles
LEGO Coding Maze
You don’t need screens or apps to show kids the foundations of coding. Set up a simple LEGO maze, and give kids commands to get a mini-figure to go through it. The mazes and concepts can get more sophisticated as the child gets older.
Life Over C’s
One way to sharpen those map-reading skills? Hide a treasure in the backyard and have the kids use a map to find it. It’s even better if they can hide something from you and draw the map themselves.
Not only will these beautiful blooms help kids visualize their fractions, it’ll teach them equivalents: Two one-eighth peals will be the same size as a one-fourth petal, for example. Not into flowers? Try pizza slices.
Get their brains and bodies working at the same time! Hop from letter to letter to spell out different sight words.
Ready for some spy missions? An easy decoder wheel lets kids write and decipher secret messages. From there, you can move on to other types of codes, or talk about how cryptography has been used in history.
Word/Definition Memory Game
Practice two skills at once: Write new vocabulary words on one card, definitions on another, and then play a traditional Memory game. You can also do this with synonyms and antonyms.
Pop Top Math Game
This game is so simple to set up: Stick math equations on the top of a bottle cap, and write the answers inside. Then, if a student answers a math fact correctly, they get to keep the top. If not, it stays in the pile. The player with the most caps at the end of the game wins.
A delicious lesson in geometry, you can use mini-marshmallows and toothpicks (or small pretzel rods) to build different shapes. As kids get more advanced, they can move from 2D to 3D creations.
Forensics 101: Leave a fingerprint on a drinking glass — it helps if your fingers are a little greasy, so pizza night is the perfect time to try this out — then have your kids use flour and a paintbrush to “dust” the glass for prints. You can even try to “lift” the fingerprint with a piece of tape and transfer it to a piece of construction paper. You can talk about the common patterns found in fingerprints, and how prints are used by law enforcement.
The great thing about this activity is that kids can do it independently, whenever they have a few minutes (like in the car): Write out a series of math problems on craft sticks to give kids a chance to practice doing math in their heads. See how many sticks they can get through in a certain period of time.
To learn more about these activities, please read “20 Fun Learning Activities for Kids to Enjoy at Home“.
Free Online Events and Activities
Due to the many closures and cancellations that happened in the wake of COVID-19, you may be looking for engaging ways to keep your children reading, exploring, and learning at home. The GRPS Family and Community Engagement office took a deep dive into the numerous free and engaging educational tools available online. We created this guide especially for GRPS parents and caregivers to recommend resources you can check out with your kids from the safety of your home.
For a comprehensive list of optional online enrichment resources, please visit http://resources.grps.org. Resources are organized by grade level and content area.
If you need assistance accessing materials or technology, contact firstname.lastname@example.org or call (616) 301-1111.
In addition, Comcast and AT&T are offering reduced price internet for qualifying households during this period of closure. To learn more about these options, please contact them directly at:
- Comcast – visit their website or call 1-855-846-8376
- AT&T – visit their website or call 800.331.0500
Virtual Tours in Grand Rapids and Throughout Michigan
- Check out this cool Socially Distant Science and Adventure video series from Saginaw Basin Land Conservancy
- West Michigan Live Cameras – click to view live footage of Mackinac Island, Charlevoix, Traverse City, Battle Creek, Drummond Island, and more!
- This article is great: “7 Ways to Enjoy Traverse City from Home”
- Be sure to check out the University of Michigan Museum of Art’s Art in Your Inbox project
- Frederik Meijer Gardens & Sculpture Park is filming their Butterfly exhibit and hosting daily live Virtual Visits on Facebook.
- Also, take a peek at Pure Michigan’s 360° videos
- Take a virtual visit to The Henry Ford Museum
Virtual Experiences Around the World
- American National Parks
- The Great Wall of China
- The Louvre museum in Paris, France
- Tour of Mars from pictures from NASA’s Curiosity rover
- The National Gallery of Art in Washington, D.C.
- The Sagrada Familia cathedral in Barcelona, Spain
- The Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History
- The Winchester Mystery House in San Jose, CA.
- Interactive virtual tours through Georgia’s forests
- Numerous national parks around the country (compiled by Diply)
Support Your Child’s Reading and Writing
- Definitely consider participating in GRPL’s 2020 Summer Reading Challenge
- The Libby app will allow you and your family to access digital books and audio books from GRPL and KDL while the libraries are closed.
- 103 Things to Do Before, During, or After Reading
- Scholastic Learn-at-Home has resources for children PreK-grade 6
- This AWESOME Google Doc compiled a list of authors and illustrators going live
- The Story Starter will get your creative juices flowing
- Storyline Online is a literacy initiative where actors and celebrities read popular children’s books
- We Are Teachers provides a long list of authors and celebrities reading picture books
- View At-Home Literacy Activities
Make Math and Science Fun!
- Toy Theater
- PBS K-8 Mathematics
- Math Game Time
- Cool Math Games
- Arkansas virtual nature center
- Animal Cams (compiled by Animal Journal) – click for a cool collection of videos of bears, jellyfish, sea otters, eagles, and more!
- Keeping a Field Journal is another way you can support your child’s science (and math!) skills
- Kids Code!
- You HAVE to see what’s happening in Carson Ellis’ Quarantine Art Club
- 30 Day Lego Challenge
- KidsDiscover website
Screen-free Activities for Your Children:
- Rebel Girls providing 90+ writing/drawing/DIY prompts (sign up via email)
- Making play-dough at home
- Walt Disney Family Museum, drawing and animation resources for families
- New York MoMA art-making activities for families inspired by modern art