Our school’s Extended School Year (ESY) is over, and keeping children busy during the month of August is no easy task. But, add in a pandemic, and we have even fewer ways to keep children entertained.
Below are some fun and safe ways to keep children active, during these difficult times:
- Online fitness for families and a list of sports programs.
- Kids entering pre-Kindergarten through 8th grade can explore animals, science and nature through the online Bronx Zoo Wildlife Camp
- Camp Sunshine is a structured program developed for young people between the ages of six to 21, with moderate to severe autism spectrum disorder or other special needs. Their multidisciplinary team of professionals oversees a creative and fun camp program designed to help each child reach his or her highest potential.
- Visit a petting farm from the comfort of your car or walk through it at Brookhollow’s Barnyard in Boonton.
- It is important to continue reading books for pleasure; visit Scholastic for ideas.
- Epic offers access to hundreds of free books.
- The SAG-AFTRA Foundation’s Daytime Emmy®-nominated and award-winning children’s literacy website, Storyline Online®, streams videos featuring celebrated actors reading children’s books, alongside creatively produced illustrations. Readers include Oprah Winfrey, Chris Pine, Kristen Bell, Rita Moreno, Viola Davis, Jaime Camil, Kevin Costner, Lily Tomlin, Sarah Silverman, Betty White, Wanda Sykes and dozens more.
- Pinterest offers a ton of fun arts and crafts activities.
Getting Ahead of Back-to-School
Lastly, try to spend a little time preparing your child for a return to school in September. Whether attending in-person or virtually, a review of expectations and changes will help them feel more at ease with the transition.
Practice and highlight the importance of wearing a mask, keeping a safe distance from their friends and teachers and washing their hands consistently.
Stay safe and healthy from the ECLC of New Jersey Ho-Ho-Kus school Staff!
By Cynthia Chaanine, LCSW, & Matthew Kuzdral, M.S., BCBA