At the beginning of the pandemic, we at Seneca Academy put together several lists of fun activities for our village to do together, apart! Even though the mitigation strategies that required more social isolation are no longer in place, all of these things are terrific ones to do any time. Please take pictures and send them to us on social media (@SenecaAcademy on Facebook and @senecaacademy_md on Instagram) because we really miss seeing all of your faces. We hope you all have an amazing time growing and learning, and we look forward to seeing you in the fall!
Sensory Activities: Sight
- Make a string treasure hunt through your house
- Go on a name scavenger hunt
- DIY Shrinky Dinks with recycled plastic
- Read-Aloud: I Want My Hat Back by Jon Klassen, performed by The Little Angel Theatre
- Read-Aloud: Brown Bear, Brown Bear, What Do You See? by Eric Carle, read by Gwyneth Paltrow
- Watch Lil Buck improvise dances based on art he sees and do some improvisational dance of your own
- Experiment with invisible ink made from citrus fruit
- Go on a LIVE African safari from the comfort of your home, daily at 8:30 am on YouTube
Sensory Activities: Hearing
- Read-Aloud: The Listening Walk by Paul Showers
- Go on a listening walk
- Make a tin can xylophone
- Make wind chimes out of tin cans
- Watch the classic Peter and the Wolf animation, with music by Prokofiev and narration by David Bowie, to learn more about instruments in the orchestra
- Read-Aloud: Polar Bear, Polar Bear, What Do You See? by Eric Carle, read by Gwyneth Paltrow
- Read-Aloud: The Very Quiet Cricket by Eric Carle, animated by Illuminated Films
- Read-Aloud: Zoogie Boogie by Sujean Rim, read by Darren Criss
- Read-Aloud: Squeak, Rumble, Whomp, Whomp, Whomp by Wynton Marsalis, performed by The Upside Arts Company
- Read-Aloud: Bonsoir, Lune by Margaret Wise Brown, read in French by Michael Vartan (listen and see if you can recognize or guess what the French words are in English!)
Sensory Activities: Smell
Sensory Activities: Taste
- Read-Aloud: The Very Hungry Caterpillar by Eric Carle, animated by Illuminated Films
- Make cardboard tube caterpillars and practice math skills by feeding them
- Make caterpillar cookies with all the fruit from The Very Hungry Caterpillar
- Read-Aloud: Green Eggs and Ham by Dr. Seuss, read by Kate Winslet
- Make green eggs and ham for a fun literary meal
- Read-Aloud: Bread and Jam for Frances by Russell & Lillian Hoban, read by Kate Winslet
- Go strawberry picking at a local orchard or farm and then make fresh jam together
- Learn how applesauce is made, from the farm to your table, right here in Maryland
- Cook up some delicious treats together
- Gather some dandelions from your yard (if you don’t use pesticides or other chemical treatments) and fry up fritters
- Pick up some Jelly Belly jellybeans and do a taste test
Sensory Activities: Touch
- Go on a texture scavenger hunt in nature
- Play with shaving cream
- Build a sticky spider web out of masking tape
- Guess what items are in texture touch boxes
- Make a Rube Goldberg machine
- DIY Window Clings
- Guess what’s inside the balloons simply by touch
- Read-Aloud: The Penguin and the Pea by Janet Perlman
- Read-Aloud: Don’t Touch This Book by Bill Cotter
- Make homemade paper
- Mix up some homemade finger paint
Fun On the Farm
- Go on a road trip to get some homemade ice cream at Rocky Mountain Creamery in Tuscarora
- Watch Big Bird visit a farm on Sesame Street
- Read-Aloud: A Day On the Farm by Nancy Fielding Kulik
- Take a virtual field trip to a dairy farm
- Take a virtual field trip to egg farms
- Make a pop-up paper farm
- Read-Aloud: Farmer Duck by Martin Waddell
- Create your own micro-farm by planting veggies
- Make farm animal windsocks
Fun In Outer Space
- Go stargazing any time of the day
- See what you can discover in outer space
- Take a tour of the International Space Station
- Make Star Wars paper snowflakes
- Listen to an astronaut reading a book from orbit
- Get a sense of the size and scale of the universe with Powers of Ten
- Make space-themed suncatchers
- DIY Moon Rocks
- Create your own straw rockets
- Listen to Recess Monkey’s album The Final Funktier
Fun Under the Sea
- Experiment with liquids of different densities
- Build a seascape using water beads
- Do printmaking with bubble wrap for a whole school of fish
- Make jellyfish mobiles out of cardboard tubes
- Learn “There’s a Hole in the Bottom of the Sea”
- Read-Aloud: Mister Seahorse by Eric Carle
- Listen to Recess Monkey’s album Deep Sea Diver
- Read-Aloud: Ocean Animals from Head to Tail by Stacey Roderick
- See for yourself what’s in the ocean with underwater live streams
Fun In the Woods
- Make some land art with found natural materials
- Collect leaves and do some negative leaf impressions or leaf rubbings
- Cook s’mores in your kitchen
- Paint a magical forest
- Play pretend with these printable animal crowns
- Print out and enjoy The Book of Stuff to Do Outside
- Learn what different groups of animals are called
- Make a cardboard forest
- Read-Aloud: The Gruffalo by Julia Donaldson and Axel Scheffler, read by Michelle Obama
GRAPE Fun: Gratitude Activities
- 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 visited frequently before the pandemic but haven’t been as often since (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.
GRAPE Fun: Relaxation Activities
- 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.
GRAPE Fun: Adventure Activities
- 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://kidbucketlist.com.au/2020/03/16/8-live-wildlife-webcams-to-watch-from-your-living-room/
- 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!
GRAPE Fun: Play Activities
- 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.
GRAPE Fun: Excitement Activities
- Explore Atlas Obscura’s Wonder from 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!
- 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!
- 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!