Activities for Kids During Social Distancing

Written by Charlie Merrow

March 17, 2020

Mindfulness in the Classroom

4 COVID-Friendly Games (And Printable Online Alternatives) For Kids  

As more experts recommend social distancing in classrooms, parents wonder what to do with kids who are cooped up at home. We understand that COVID-19 is no snow day, but children need a break from the Zoom gloom. Without losing sight of how serious the Coronavirus pandemic is, allow your kids to have fun. The four sensory activities below are good for kids under adult supervision. If you are teaching online this school year, we recommend using our downloadable print out for online team-building. 

1. Stress Ball

How to make a stress ball:

  1. Gather balloons, a funnel, flour, and a small-tipped water bottle.
  2. Using the funnel, fill up the water bottle with flour as shown here.
  3. Place the balloon over the lid of the water bottle.
  4. Tip the water bottle and begin filling the balloon with flour.
  5. When the balloon is filled, tie the top of the balloon.
  6. Using a sharpie, create faces of different emotions on the balloons and discuss these emotions with your children.

2. Wash Your Hands Game

How to do the Wash Your Hands Activity: 

  1. Fill a bowl with water and add black pepper to the top.
  2. Explain that the pepper is like the germs that spread, or watch this video together.
  3. Tell your child to place a finger in the bowl of water and watch as the pepper remains close to the child’s finger.
  4. Now, in another bowl, add dish soap and prompt your child to dip their finger in the dish soap and then back into the pepper water.
  5. Watch as the pepper disburses to the outside of the bowl, and does not touch the finger covered in dish soap.
  6. Discuss with your child the importance of using soap during hand washing, as it prevents germs from spreading.

3. Oobleck

How to make Oobleck:

  1. Add 1.5 cups of corn starch to a large mixing bowl.
  2. Add 1 cup of room temp water to the same bowl and mix.
  3. (Optional) Add food coloring and ask your kids what different colors will appear when mixing different colors.
  4. This activity can be messy, so it is best to do this in the kitchen and have them wash their hands before doing anything else.
  5. To help your child understand the science of this experiment, watchthis video.

4. Slime

 How to Make Slime without Borax:

    1. Put 1/2 cup shampoo and 1/4 cup of cornstarch in a bowl and mix well.
    2. (Optional) Add 3 drops of food coloring.
    3. Add 1 tablespoon of water and stir.
    4. Slowly add 5 more tablespoons of water, stirring well after each one.
    5. Knead the slime for around 5 minutes.
    6. Thisvideo will give you more information!

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Written by

Charlie Merrow

Charlie has over a decade of experience working in education across the world in North America, Asia, and Africa as a classroom teacher, curriculum specialist, university instructor, and educational researcher. His passion lies in promoting education equity and development through mindfulness and inclusive practices. Charlie has a MA in Special Education, is a PhD candidate studying Education Equity, a licensed special education teacher, a Returned Peace Corps Volunteer, and a certified yoga instructor.

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