Keeping Your Children Occupied While Schools are Closed (#2)

By FCPS & Fairfax County Government
Healthy Minds
March 23, 2020

With schools closed and social contact limited, 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 of the most creative ideas and resources available to keep your children busy and engaged in learning during the week that lies ahead.....and if you missed it, check out our first blog filled with additional resources including those provided through FCPS's Continuity of Learning Plan.

Scholastic Learning Journeys

Scholastic's Learn at Home website offers active learning journeys for children in PreK through grade 9. This free resource provides children with 20 days of exciting articles and stories, videos, and fun learning challenges. Children can complete them anytime, in any order. They can work on their own or together with you and your family.

The active learning journeys are available on any device and will provide children with up to three hours’ worth of exciting learning experiences per day. They can go on virtual field trips, meet best-selling authors, or dig deep into a topic they love. 

LUNCH DOODLES with Mo Willems!

Children's book author, Mo Willems invites you into his studio every day for his LUNCH DOODLE. Learners worldwide can draw, doodle and explore new ways of writing by visiting Mo’s studio virtually once a day for the next few weeks. Grab some paper and pencils, pens, or crayons and join Mo to explore ways of writing and making together. If you post your art to social media, be sure to hashtag it with #MoLunchDoodles!

New episodes will be posted each weekday at 1:00 p.m. ET and then remain online to be streamed afterwards.  Check back each weekday for new LUNCH DOODLES!

Experience the Met

The Metropolitan Museum of Art offers some wonderful online resources to engage budding artists or art historians of all ages.

  • Browse the Met Collection online. This includes 5,000 years of artworks from the first cities of the ancient world to the works of our time.
  • Tour the Met from home. Immerse yourself in 360-degree video of iconic spaces in the Museum.
  • Make Art Anywhere provides "Create" videos with written instructions on how to make small works of art such as how to fold an origami samurai helmet, how to make a stained glass window, and more.
  • Explore #MetKids where kids ages 7-12 can explore The Met using an interactive map, watch behind-the-scenes videos that feature kids, travel through more than 5,000 years of art in a time machine, discover fun facts about works of art from dragons to dancers and from mummies to masks, and try out creative projects at home.

Explore the World Through Google Maps

Google Maps allows children to have adventures from their homes. 

Mindfulness Class for Kids

For the next few weeks, Mindful Schools will be offering free online mindfulness classes for kids. These live classes are being developed with students in grades K-5 in mind, but all ages are welcome to participate. Join them online for mindful activities, mindful movement, and read-alouds to have fun exploring mindfulness together.

Classes will stream on Facebook LIVE on Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and Thursdays at 1:00 pm ET.

PE with Joe

In his first day on Monday, PE with Joe was viewed by over one million people in England. In a bid to keep everyone moving, personal trainer and author Joe Wicks will be holding free 30-minute PE classes Monday through Friday via his YouTube channel. In addition, check out his previously posted 18 Kids Workouts to do at Home.

Take a Student Success Strategies Workshop

All high school and middle school students are welcome to attend free Student Success Strategies workshops on Zoom. The workshops will occur weekdays from 2:00 pm - 3:00 pm (ET) until Wednesday, April 1. Students will learn to develop strategies that will launch their future success.

Hogwarts Digital Escape Room

Fans of Harry Potter may want to try this digital escape room. This escape room can be completed as a family or as an individual. Compete against friends and try it multiple times. Just make sure you have fun!

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.