Welcome to the first-ever Spring Break Distance Learning “Camp” from Seneca Academy! COVID-19 may have us spending our days off in our own homes, but we can still practice being GRAPES!
There are five components to GRAPES: gratitude, relaxation, adventure, play, and excitement. (The letter “S” can be for “spring” or for “Seneca”!) Below you’ll find activities that correlate with each component for you to mix-and-match to your heart’s delight on a daily basis, or for you to choose one area to focus on each day!
We hope you have unbelievable fun this spring break and can’t wait to see you being GRAPES on social media! (Don’t forget to tag us on Facebook @senecaacademy and on Instagram @senecaacademy_md.)
- Make thank you cards for medical caregivers and essential personnel.
- Make Gratitude Keepers out of jars, vases, or any reusable container. Printable labels and gratitude slips can be found here.
- Bake a special treat for a neighbor and leave it outside their door. Feel free to print out these “I’m GRAPE-ful for you” notes to give with it!
- Find things you are grateful for in old magazines, cut them out, and create a collage.
- Write something you are grateful for on a large piece of paper or cardboard, take a picture, and share it on social media.
- Play “The ABCs of Gratitude” by taking turns naming things you are grateful for in alphabetical order. Some are bound to get silly, so enjoy yourself!
- Do Gratitude Yoga.
- Take a thankful nature walk.
- Use masking tape to write a note of encouragement in your front window! Don’t forget to write the letters backward so people walking by can read them.
- This is a difficult time for many of us. Your family can help process recent events together with the Rose, Thorn, Bud activity at https://www.mindfulschools.org/inspiration/mindful-reflection/.
- Brainstorm a list of places you usually visit often but can’t go to at the moment due to social distancing (grocery stores, libraries, schools, favorite restaurants, museums, zoos, parks, gyms, after-school programs, etc.). As a family, write positive reviews for these places on common websites – Yelp, Facebook, Google Reviews, TripAdvisor – to express your gratitude.
- Make a pinwheel.
- Color pages with mandalas.
- Sing along or have a dance party to your favorite playlists.
- Watch tropical fish swim in the ocean at https://explore.org/livecams/oceans/pacific-aquarium-tropical-reef-camera or https://explore.org/livecams/oceans/cayman-reef-cam.
- Make a calming ocean in a bottle or a jellyfish in a bottle.
- Use some of your leftover toilet paper rolls to blow bubbles with dish soap!
- Count backwards from 100 by ones, twos, and fives. If you’re feeling up for a challenge, try threes, fours, sixes, sevens, eights, and nines!
- Take a mindful hike.
- Look around your house for things of all different colors and organize them into a color wheel by hue.
- Practice drawing Zentangles! You can find ideas at https://craftwhack.com/zentangle/ and https://craftwhack.com/zentangle-patterns-starter-sheets/.
- Make some origami together.
- Cook up some play dough from Seneca Academy preschool’s tried-and-true recipe!
2 cups white flour
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
½ cup salt
2 cups water
4 teaspoons cream of tartar
food coloring (optional)
Mix flour, salt and cream of tartar in a medium saucepan. Add water, food coloring and oil. Stir over medium heat 3-5 minutes. When mixture forms a ball, remove from heat, let cool slightly and knead on a floured surface. Store in airtight container in the refrigerator.
- Visit Africa: https://www.africam.com/wildlife/live-african-wildlife-safari-channels/
- Visit Antarctica: http://www.antarctica.gov.au/webcams
- Visit Asia: https://explore.org/livecams/panda-bears/china-panda-cam-2
- Visit South America: https://www.worldlandtrust.org/webcams/
- Visit Central America: https://explore.org/livecams/panama-canopy/panama-fruit-feeder
- Visit Europe: https://www.essexwt.org.uk/protecting-wildlife/wildlife-webcams/badger-webcam
- Visit Australia: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QECBK3DmePs; https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aTdc_Jqv4g8
- Join iNaturalist, go on a walk, and submit pictures of the flora and fauna around your home to help researchers document the biodiversity of Maryland!
- Go on an outdoor scavenger hunt.
- Play I Spy.
- Take containers of all different sizes outside, fill them with water, and let the kids entertain themselves.
- Make a blanket fort inside and read books by flashlight! Let the kids “camp” and sleep in the fort for the night.
- Watch the clouds together and make up stories about what you see.
- Create a discovery bottle.
- Listen to a serial adventure podcast for kids!
- Watch future service dogs playing right here in Maryland!
- Learn about Jojo the dolphin, who lives in Turks and Caicos and loves to play!
- Go outside to play Nature Bingo.
- Design your own game online with Scratch!
- DIY Board Game https://www.scholastic.com/parents/school-success/learning-toolkit-blog/make-your-own-board-game.html
- Play Outdoor Scrabble.
- Make a bean bag toss game using zippered sandwich bags full of dried beans or rice, and containers of different sizes to represent different difficulty levels.
- Dig out those puzzles you’ve had for years and have never gotten around to! You might not finish them now but you at least can get some pieces sorted!
- Mad Libs: https://www.wordblanks.com/mad-libs/childrens/
- Hide and Seek is always a winner for the whole family.
- Find a pencil and paper to have a Dots and Boxes tournament!
- Get out a few decks of cards and learn some new games.
- Play Land, Sea, and Air.
- Make landing strips out of Legos or painter’s tape and make paper airplanes to land on them!
- Play Fortunately/Unfortunately.
- Explore Atlas Obscura’s Wonder at Home.
- Listen to a podcast that’s fun and educational with Brains On!, Forever Ago, or The Past and the Curious.
- Use your smartphone to see a panda in your living room, a tiger in your backyard, or a shark in your bathtub with Google’s 3-dimensional augmented reality animals!
- Take a look at OK Go’s incredibly exciting music videos and learn all about the science behind them!
- Redo the activities from previous days that your child was most excited about.
- Go outside for a walk and collect or take pictures of the 10 most exciting things you see!
- Construct an obstacle course and see who can get through it the fastest.
- Visit Storyline to watch illustrated stories read by celebrated actors, including Viola Davis, Chris Pine, Kevin Costner, Annette Bening, James Earl Jones, Betty White, and more!
- Learn how to draw the Pigeon with author Mo Willems! (This happens live on weekdays at 1:00 PM EST, but previous days are archived here.)
- Scroll through the recommendations of the New York International Children’s Film Festival and have movie night at home!
- Mix things up by having something unusual for dinner, like breakfast or dessert, or let every member of the family pick something to put on the menu!
- Visit Wide Open School and see what exciting activities spark your curiosity!