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CORONAVIRUS

Visit our coronavirus page to stay up-to-date on the latest information and resources. Safer at Home Orders are in effect. All City programs and events are cancelled through May 31. See current closure details.

 

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Mom, I'm bored!

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Ideas for passing time with kids during self-isolation or quarantine

Being at home together for extended periods of time can be a challenge for families.  The novelty wears off, boredom sets in, and before you know it, people are irritable and tempers can flare.  But it doesn't have to be that way. 

With our list of fun things to do for kids of all ages, you just might find yourself and your family being creative, learning new things, and making memories you'll treasure later. We know that there are lots of great lists and ideas out there, so we've tried to cultivate the most interesting and unique. Sit back and get ready to scroll, because we have lots of great ideas to keep your family occupied and having fun together.

Contents of this Page

Visit Your Library @ Home

Your library building may be closed, but there is still a lot of great library available to you 24/7.  All of these services and activities are free, but many require that you have a library card.

  • Visit our Children's eLibrary to access:
    • Interactive, animated eBooks and regular eBooks.
    • eAudiobooks.
    • Early literacy games and phonics games and skill-building exercises.
    • Multicultural books for children and multicultural books for young readers.
    • Online research tools, nonfiction eBooks, and encyclopedias in English and Spanish.
  • Older kids? Download an eBook, eAudiobook, or eMagazine from our adult collection.
    • We know it can be hard to get popular and new eBooks.  We have diverted funds to purchase more and will continue to do this throughout the COVID-19 crisis, so keep checking back.  Also, consider reading a favorite author's back catalog, which is more likely to be available. 
    • Through June 30, 2020, you can get an Instant Digital Card (IDC) to use with our most popular eBook and eAudiobook provider, Libby/Overdrive.
  • Jump start your homeschooling with ideas and tools at Learning Express - School Center. You'll find test prep, skill building, and various subject help for elementary through high school students, all free with your library card. 
  • Take a look at our booklists for kids and booklists for teens. The links will take you to our catalog, where you can read a synopsis or more information about the book. To check out an eBook version, you'll need to go through our eBook apps.
  • Abdo Book publishers are providing a big, free virtual library through June 2020 for pre-K through 2nd grade readers, pre-K through 6th grade readers, and grades 5 through 12 readers. So get reading!
  • Have fun with interactive eBooks from PebbleGo and Capstone (just follow directions below):
    • PebbleGo (English & Spanish):
        • Visit www.pebblego.com and click "Sign In"
        • Username: engaged
        • Password: learning
    • PebbleGo Next:
    • Capstone Interactive eBooks:
  • Can't decide what to read? We can help. So can Booklist.
  • Older children can practice language skills or learn a new language the easy way with Pronunciator.
  • Make it a family project to build out your family tree with our genealogical services, including Ancestry.com.
  • Middle and high school students can use our Research page, and see how many incredible online resources we have for researching and learning about everything from financial investing to auto repair to health to literature to history.
  • Sign up and get the Library's eNewsletter in your inbox.
  • Follow us on Facebook and Twitter to hear the latest and stay in touch with us!

Get Online & Go

Connectivity online is super important when we're social distancing, and organizations around the world have opened their portals to share information and experiences.  All are free, unless noted.  If links are not provided with ideas, search Google or YouTube for materials.  This list is for entertainment only. Inclusion in this list does not indicate City of Longmont or Library endorsement of any company or product.

Virtual Storytimes

Virtual Field Trips

Online Learning and Fun

STEAM

To Watch Together

Even TV time can be learning time. Here we offer some ideas to get you started...

Ditch the Screens

Be sure to take some time away from screens to reconnect, get some exercise and fresh air, and engage other parts of your brain and body.

Get Moving!
  • Get your bodies moving with these kid-friendly workouts — choose from Strength for Kids, Agility for Kids, Flexibility and Balance for Kids, Warm-Up for Kids, Cooldown for Kids, Stand Up and Move for Kids, OR create your own custom kid workout.
  • Get some free, at-home, kids yoga lesson plans and center those chakras.
  • Act out favorite stories (every family member gets a character). 
  • Play hide-and-seek, hot lava, sardines, or kick-the-can.
  • Field day outside- races or obstacle courses (hopping on one foot, crabwalk, walking backwards, etc.).
  • Help with outside gardening and yardwork.
  • Clean and organize your space and make a donation box to donate stuff later.
  • Give your pet a bath and brush (be careful when trying to wash a cat though!).
  • Clean the inside of a family member’s car.
  • Sidewalk chalk outside, jump rope, hula hoop, or hop scotch.
  • Have an Olympics with a bunch of events competitions - funny ones, helpful ones like cleaning, and super fun ones.
  • Minute-to-win it competition games, what can you do in a minute?
  • Fly a kite.
  • Act out a favorite story.
  • Choreograph a dance.
  • Take silly photos with a camera or phone.
  • Take a walk or a hike or a bike ride (staying 6 feet from others that are out).
Get Creative!
  • Work on your diorama for the Library's 6th Annual PEEPS Literary Diorama Contest. It's been postponed, but we WILL be having the contest when we reopen!  Find all the details here.
  • Print out coloring pages and get to it!
  • Quick and easy home projects work the brain in ways different from screen time. Try these ideas from kiwi.com for kids ages 2 and older.
  • Try these at home OT, PT, and ST resources designed to build skills in children through movement and play.
  • Create a secret code (or look one up to use) and write messages to friends or family in code to decipher.
  • Finger-print art (if you have an ink pad you can make all kinds of fun art using your fingerprints and then drawing over or around them)
  • Spend one day (or more days) reading every single picture book in the house.
  • Bake something.
  • Have each kid write a letter and/or emails to a different friend or family member.
  • Create stop motion animation with Play Dough figures.
  • Write a story and illustrate it.
  • Learn how to do simple book binding.
  • Make paper or papier-mâche.
  • Build with LEGOs or blocks.
  • Puzzle books and dot to dots… make your own dot to dot drawing, print out free coloring sheets online or make your own and then color it
  • Learn to sew by hand using stuff around the house.
  • Make tents, forts, caves (bring in flashlights, tidy snacks, books, and pillows).
  • Have a shadow show.
  • Learn how to make a stuffed animal.
  • Make oobleck, slime, or volcanoes.
  • Collect all the empty cardboard boxes in your house and decorate or make cat castles or dollhouses.
  • Invent your own board game or card game, write down the rules, and then play.
  • Write a story with the people in your home: each person writes down one sentence and passes it along to the next person.
  • Create a silly drawing of a person or creature with people in your home: one person draws a small picture across the top of a paper and folds it over for the next person to add in the middle, and so on until you get to the end of the paper.
  • Check out Pinterest for craft and art project ideas, and then do some.
  • Draw self portraits and portraits of each other (have someone pose for you to draw them).
  • Draw things with your eyes closed.
  • Make and play with Play Dough.
  • Design your own ideal planet, name it, draw it, write about it.
  • Puzzle races: put several puzzles (20+ piece puzzles) in a paper bag and shake it up. Pour pieces out and give each person the puzzle box they are to put together. Go! (Cooperation tends to be a result as pieces are traded.)
Get Listening... to Podcasts!
  • The History Chicks podcast lets you select from a collection of 150 hour-long episodes that tell the stories of famous women from history, along with some women who aren't famous but should be.
  • Good Night Stories for Rebel Girls is a podcast that is similar to History Chicks but for younger audiences.
  • Science Friday is an NPR production that explores a variety of science topics.
  • Tumble is a 2016 iTunes Best Podcast winner focused on science.
  • Wow in the World is another NPR production; this one focuses on science and technology.
  • Want more podcasts? Listen to these podcasts for children and podcasts for tweens and teens recommended by Common Sense Media. Search Spotify or Apple podcasts to find good ones.

Still MORE Ideas...

  • Play Summer Reading Bingo! - the Library's 2020 Summer Reading Program. 
  • Play board games or card games. Dig out the ones you haven't played in a long time.
  • Silent reading and reading aloud (to family, pets, or stuffed animals).
  • Do jigsaw puzzles together.
  • Explore nature, using a scientific mindset to describe the natural world around you and ask questions. Use books or online resources to identify birds, trees, clouds, etc. Look through binoculars and bird watch, look up local birds you see and search for their bird calls on YouTube.  Observe and write down the names of plants & wildlife you see out your window or in your neighborhood/yard. Learn about the parts of plants/flowers and their Latin names.
  • Mark a world map (or draw one) of all the places you are interested in learning more about.
  • Create a treasure hunt for inside your home or follow the clues of someone else’s treasure hunt.
  • Play charades.
  • Make a video of yourself teaching others how to do something.
  • Have popcorn and a movie marathon.
  • Take a nap.
  • Dig through cabinets and figure out recipes for that thing you got at the grocery store and thought "this is interesting surely it can be used for something!" Then make it.
  • Listen to an audio book.
  • Make ice cream.
  • Have an inside camp-out. Sleep in a sleeping bag in your living room, tell campfire stories.
  • Have a theme night: dress up like someone from the 1920’s for dinner, a character from Harry Potter, or have a PJ party.
  • Have a pretend beach day, dress up in a swim suit, get some towels, beach ball, play summer beach-y music (Beach Boys anyone?).
  • Have a pretend snow day, put on hats, mittens, snow pants, make snow angels on the floor, have hot chocolate, listen to songs about winter or holiday songs.
  • Have a pretend tea party or a real one.
  • Sit outside for 20 minutes doing nothing. (It’s a good challenge)
  • Listen to nature sounds outside and take deep breaths.
  • Scream into a pillow.
  • Plant some seeds in little pots inside.
  • Write down and track all the activities you do and share your activity lists and ideas with others.
  • Send a note to your librarians and mail it to 409 4th Ave Longmont, CO 80501, let us know what you are up to and what you are reading.

Do You Have Ideas for This List?

Email us and share your ideas for us to add to this list.  We'll investigate them and share them if they fit.



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