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Fun (Out of the Sun) in the Land Down Under

Studying girlWhile rainy weather isn’t always a factor in your outdoor activity plans, there may be days where the skies say it’s time to stay indoors. And on these days, the youngest members of your family will drive each other (and you) bonkers. Keep them entertained and mentally stimulated with these fun indoor activities that you can find on the World Wide Web.

Host a dance party. Everyone loves to dance (even if they won’t admit it), and there’s no better time to learn how to move and groove than a day you can’t get outside. There are almost limitless dance lessons and classes online. HipHopCrusher.com is a great option for tweens and teens.

Learn to cook. Your kids will be out of the house and on their own one day, so take some time now to help them learn how to cook. Even the smallest chefs in your house can stir batter and set the oven timer. Food Network offers many online recipes and tips for a kid-friendly culinary experience that lets them take the apron.

Let YouTube be your kid’s personal trainer. Growing up, we had Richard Simmons’s infomercials for Sweatin’ to the Oldies to keep us in shape. Kids today have a much more age-appropriate selection of video-based exercise classes and they are available all day, every day. Exercise is important for kids because it keeps the body strong and gives them an outlet for pent up energy. Encouraging physical fitness in the formative years will lay the foundation for a healthy life as an adult. Childhood 101 lists The Learning Station and PBS Steve Songs among the top YouTube channels for kids exercise.

Take a virtual vacation. You kids can visit every country on Earth without ever leaving the couch. Google Earth is an almost addictive tool that will allow your family to explore ancient ruins, visit the San Francisco Bay, or gaze upon the Wonders of the World. You can use your virtual travels to tie into geography and history lessons.

Make math fun. You use math every day as an adult. Between figuring out how much flour to use in your favorite recipes to calculating postage, numbers are just a part of life. But they can be intimidating for people who aren’t exposed to math learning opportunities from a young age. HomeAdvisor has thoughtfully taken the time to list several online resources for math learning games and activities for children from Pre-K through the end of their secondary school years.

Help little artists refine their skills with online tutorials. Creating art is one of the most important activities your kids can do. It stimulates the mind as well as increases their manual dexterity and enhances fine motor skills. For ideas on what to draw or paint, check out KinderArt.com. Allow your child to experiment with different mediums, including paints, markers, clay, and, of course, crayons.

Let your kids learn an instrument. Music is food for the soul, and its best to start “feeding” your kids as soon as they can hold a guitar or recorder. Check out Lynda.com, an online lesson portal powered by LinkedIn, for hundreds of types of lessons. Other free videos can be found on YouTube.

Stimulate their brain with hands-on science games and experiments. Science is at the core of just about every aspect of our lives, from the way we use baking powder in muffins to the amount of water we need in our bodies. But scientific principles can be hard to understand for younger kids. One simple activity Earth Science Jr. recommends is building with Legos, which are available in different sizes for even the tiniest fingers.

You don’t have to wait for a rainy day to enjoy educational fun with the entire family. All you need is a computer, a few materials, and kids who are ready to soak up all the knowledge at their fingertips.

Author

Jenny created Special Home Educator as a forum for sharing her adventures in homeschooling and connecting with other homeschooling families.

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