Keeping Your Children Occupied While Schools are Closed (#1)

By FCPS & Fairfax County Government
Healthy Minds
March 19, 2020

With schools closed and limits to social contact in place, parents and caregivers have to face a new daily challenge...how to keep their children occupied while at home. Fortunately, there is a wealth of information being shared online in response to this challenge. At the start of each week, our plan is to highlight some up the most creative ideas and resources available to help you keep your children busy and engaged in learning. Here are some resources to get started...

FCPS Resources

FCPS has developed a Continuity of Learning Plan. Parents are encouraged to take advantage of the continuity of learning resources available.

  • Students can participate in optional, self-directed learning activities posted on FCPS 24-7. When anyone logs on to FCPS 24-7, they will see a Continuity of Learning module that has links to resources for elementary students, as well as resources for middle and high school students.
  • The live streaming of instructional programming on FCPS cable channels is now available. New instructional videos are currently being developed and recorded. Separate channels for elementary, middle and high school students are available.

Children’s Authors Doing Online Read Alouds & Activities

Many favorite authors are offering online read alouds and activities on social media. WeAreTeachers has rounded up some of the best virtual author activities to keep students of all ages engaged.

Discover Computer Science

Code.org is helping children learn computer science. For students without computers at home, there are smartphone options available as well.

  • Code Break is a new live weekly webcast where their team will teach children computer science concepts while school is closed, and offer a weekly challenge to engage students of all abilities. Tune in Wednesdays at 1:00 pm ET, starting March 25.
  • Participate in Hour of Code which are one hour computer science tutorials designed to demystify "code," to show that anybody can learn the basics, and to broaden participation in the field of computer science. There are hundreds of activities and tutorials available for all ages in over 45 languages.
  • Check out their video library on topics such as how computers work, how the internet works, computer science principles, inspirational videos and more.
  • Learn the fundamentals of computer science with free express courses where students can save progress and projects.
  • Older students can learn to design and build simple apps with App Lab. Design an app, code in JavaScript with either blocks or text, then share your app in seconds.

Build a Blanket Fort

Kids (and adults) of all ages have always enjoyed building blanket forts inside their home. They are easy to build using everyday household items and afterwards, they provide countless hours of fun. Check out the lifestyle blog Pretty Providence for tips, tricks and fort ideas to make the best fort ever.

Coronavirus (COVID-19) Update

Get information from FCPS and the Fairfax County Health Department on coronavirus (COVID-19).

What you should know:

How to take care of your child(ren) during the COVID-19 outbreak   |  available in Korean, Chinese, Amharic, and Spanish  

Coping with Stress During Infectious Disease Outbreaks 

Mental Health and Coping During COVID-19

Parent/Caregiver Guide to Helping Families Cope With the Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) available in Chinese

When schools are in session, each school has a school counselor, psychologist, and social worker available to provide consultation, mental health services, and/or referrals to community services.  While schools are closed, please use this resource to secure mental health service for you or your children.

Healthy Minds is for parents, educators, and community-based providers who are interested in supporting student mental health and wellness. It represents a collaboration between FCPS’ Office of Intervention and Prevention Services and the Fairfax County Government. SUBSCRIBE to Healthy Minds and receive a monthly digest of our most recent articles.