Those summer days have always been “hazy and lazy” for kids. However, this year it is reasonable to add the term “crazy” for parents! Needing to entertain kids of all ages who are home for the summer has become an even greater challenge for parents who are most likely working from home as well. The kids who live at MorningStar, a planned community located just north of Austin, are social-distancing just like those in other families and will, most likely, be spending more time inside this summer.
This calls for some cool ideas for kewl kids.
Younger Kids Just Want to Have Fun!
The COVID pandemic has led many very talented entertainers to find a niche that targets children who are stuck at home. Here are a few that are getting rave reviews from both kids and parents.
Ari the Singalong Guy
Ari is the singalong guy. He is also hysterically funny, plays a mean guitar and many parents think he is a genius.
The 35-year-old singer, whose real name is Ari Brand, is a New York theater actor who had been performing a weekly children’s morning show in Brooklyn. According to this article, since launching an Instagram Live show from his Manhattan apartment in early March, Mr. Brand has tripled his followers to more than 1,700 from 500. Every weekday, he can attract roughly 100 viewers at the same time, with up to 500 unique visitors catching his 45-minute show over 24 hours. Recently, Ari released his first children’s album, “Everybody Jump,” which he recorded before the crisis hit.
Rock ‘n’ Lolo
Laura Dayan, who is also known as Lolo, offers classes that teach children Spanish using original songs. There is a free Instagram live stream (with suggested donation) and $15-per-child group Zoom courses.
Will Rogers would have dug Hopalong Andrew, one of New York City’s most popular children’s performers. He calls himself “urban cowpoke.” His performances involve guitar, banjo, harmonica and lasso-rope tricks. The 49-year-old, who says he is recovering from a second bout of Covid-19, started his career as a park ranger in Manhattan’s Central Park, before becoming a singer-songwriter.
The Rock and Roll Playhouse
At one time, this family show was performed in live venues around the country. Now it is virtual. It’s a 15- to 20-minute daily live stream that features musicians who are previous Playhouse performers. Sponsors such as Rockefeller Center have contributed and allowed the show to remain free.
Online Learning Can Also be Fun
Summer is a great time to learn some new things and there are plenty of places online to do just that.“Parenting Magazine” suggests several.
This site calls itself the most comprehensive learning site on Earth for kids ages 2 to 7. KIds can read or listen to books and music, play games and color as they accelerate through customizable learning levels designed by teachers and experts. The educational website even tracks each child’s progress as he or she learns. You can try out the site for free for a month; after that, the monthly subscription fee is $9.95.
Adventure Academy (app)
The same educational experts who developed ABCMouse designed this app. “It immerses kids in a virtual academy where they can learn, discover and play. It’s geared toward kids ages 8-13, and they can learn subjects like social studies, language arts, math and science. Just like ABCmouse, kids earn coins to shop for incentives and have the ability to play with friends or make new ones. Kids can also fully personalize their avatars and “homes.” Parents can try out Adventure Academy for free for 30 days, and after that it’s $9.99 each month.
This is a great app to encourage summer reading. Children ages 2-12 have access to over 7,000 books, including titles by Disney, National Geographic Kids, Highlights, Boxcar Children and more. Kids can choose from picture books, chapter books, graphic novels, in addition to joke and song books. All the books are available on computers, tablets and phones. Parents can track their child’s progress, and early readers are able to get guided reading help for their stories. You can try the service for free for 30 days, then pay $7.99 a month after that.
Most of us grew up watching kid’s programs on PBS. Now there is a website which features some of these old friends – Elmo and Curious George – and some new ones such as Peg + Cat.
National Geographic Kids
If you want your kids to learn about animals, this is the site to visit. On National Geographic Kids “little ones can watch videos, play games, and, best of all, learn about animals, nature and the world around them.”
Designed for kids in preschool through Grade 8, Funbrain makes developing math, reading and literacy skills fun.
The kitchen is an excellent place to learn a wide range of lessons – from math to nutrition. . According to Spatulatta, kids can learn cooking basics and try out new recipes built around certain types of meals and their favorite ingredients.
Don’t Forget the Older Kids
Summer is often a time when kids disconnect from the rest of the world. Those kids who live in MorningStar can hike and bike along the miles of trails, fish in the pond and, when the COVID effects are finally mitigated, they can swim in the resort style pool.
If you want them to keep up on current affairs during the “vaca,” there is an excellent news resource for kids.
According to the network, CNN 10 is a 10-minute news show that appears as a daily digital video on CNN.com. “The show’s priority is to identify stories of international significance and clearly describe why they’re making news, who is affected, and how the events fit into a complex, international society. The show maintains a neutral position on controversial topics. It seeks to provide multiple viewpoints, clear illustrations, and general overviews instead of graphic descriptions.”
You can see it free of charge with no sign up or subscription needed on CNN. com’s CNN10 page.
Summer is a magical time, especially in the gorgeous Texas Hill Country which surrounds MorningStar. When you are ready to move up to one of the best communities in the country, click here and let’s talk.