Today’s article is a guest post from Jenny Wise. Jenny Wise created SpecialHomeEducator.com as a forum for sharing her adventures in homeschooling and connecting with other homeschooling families.
Tips For Online Fun When Kids Are Stuck Inside All Winter
At first, kids love the idea of winter. Their minds are filled with holiday gifts, snowball fights, and (hopefully) school cancellations due to the weather. But as the winter months drag on, many kids start to grow restless. They feel cooped up inside the house.
One way to help is to let your child have some safe and educational fun online. While it’s a bad idea to use the internet as a babysitter, the right websites and lessons can help your kid find something engaging to do during the winter. To start, you need to make sure your child can be safe online.
Keeping Your Kids Safe
As a parent, letting your kid go online can be a bitter pill to swallow. You want them to feel comfortable with the internet, and there are some great resources to explore there. But you also don’t want your child getting harassed, bullied, or something worse.
Time.com has a great page describing how to help keep your kids safe while online. Begin by talking frankly with your kids about what they might encounter. While you don’t have to go into the details of online adult sites, you should explain that there is content (and people) that only adults should experience. Using some filters can really help, but these cannot catch everything.
Getting In Exercise & Learning
Now that your child knows better about the online world, what’s next? One of the biggest problems for kids during winter is the lack of physical activity. That’s why a great online idea is to get your kids moving around.
The Realistic Mama has a list of online exercise videos specifically for kids. For example, one video teaches yoga while another is specifically geared for young children. If your child is in middle or high school, you can simply search on YouTube for exercise videos. From aerobics to dance, these can all burn off some energy built up by staying inside so much in winter.
Taking care of their physical needs is great, but don’t ignore your child’s mental need. This is especially true for winter break when your kid isn’t getting any instruction. Breaks are needed, but going without learning for too long can actually detract from your child’s education. That’s why The Spruce has a list of educational websites that are also fun. Sites like PBS Kids, Sesame Street, or Scholastic all have the right mix of entertainment and learning for many different ages.
You can even find fun science experiments afe to do in your home. For example, Earth Science Jr. lists a rainbow magic milk experiment that looks amazing but also explains how chemicals in soap react with fat molecules. There are even follow-up links to explore related topics like how soap works – because you know your child will have those hard questions.
Learning A Musical Instrument
Besides exercising and learning, another great idea for the winter months is learning a musical instrument. There are many benefits to learning how to play, such as increased self-esteem and an improved mind. Lifehacker lists several online videos where your kid can learn to play almost any instrument.
But what instrument is best? A piano might be too expensive to buy, whereas a trumpet can be too loud. That’s why many families go with a clarinet. It takes skill to play well, so your child won’t master it overnight and then get bored with it. But it can also be a lot of fun to play and is very versatile. Check out this clarinet buying guide for details on which one can work best for your kid.
Go Online This Winter
Don’t let the bad weather make your child unhappy this winter. Teach them about being safe online, then let them explore videos and sites about exercise, learning, and musical instruments. This way, your kid can have a great time while being stuck inside for so long.