We know how stressful it can be to travel with kids (or stay at home with them on a long break!), so we put together a list of entertaining and educational sites that might just come in handy during a stressful moment.
If you’re one of the 14.6 million Americans that plan to travel abroad this year, you know that Spring Break is a great time to take that trip. You can finally crawl out of hibernation and soak up some sun to thaw off that winter chill. We’re long past Spring Break being just a wild college holiday- hundreds of thousands of families choose this time of year to take their gang on the road and plan a getaway full of fun activities.
But even the most well-organized families need to have a back-up just in case things don’t go as planned. Sudden downpours canceled the zoo? Stuck in miles and miles of traffic? Another annoying flight delay? Consider this list of backup time-killers your insurance against screaming kids and a repeating chorus of “I’m bored!”
Yo Gabba Gabba - link
Before ending in 2015, Yo Gabba Gabba was in the kids content game for years and now offers a free library with hundreds of engaging videos to keep kids occupied and entertained. Their videos mix live-action and animation to create magical musical videos. They even have a complementary website that comes with activity sheets you can download and print out.
Why we love it: Musical fun with the best celebrity cameos, like Jack Black and Erykah Badu!
One of our favorites: “I Like to Dance” Video
Caspar Baby Pants - link
There’s no shortage of cute song videos out there for kids, but it’s not often that you run across ones that even adults can enjoy. Caspar Baby Pants pairs well-written songs with creative visual music videos, all thanks to the melodic talents of the former singer in the band, The Presidents of the United States of America.
Why we love it: No brain-numbing tunes like Baby Shark here! We’ve had a few songs on repeat here in our office.
One of our favorites: Baby Cloud (great for a lullaby)
Under the Sea Video Loops
This may seem like a cop-out (really, a three-hour underwater footage loop?) but it’s kindergarten teacher-approved. Unlike most kids videos, this form of entertainment doesn’t rely on over-the-top production value and in-your-face sound effects- it’s just nature in its purest form, along with a soothing acoustic soundtrack.
Why we love it: Calms the mind, instead of overstimulating it. And turtles are so cute!
Stop, Breathe, Think - link
This app helps kids discover their superpowers of quiet, focus and peaceful sleep through mindfulness games. Kids can check into how they are feeling using fun emojis and try recommended mindful missions and meditations tuned to those emotions. Stickers reward their progress and keep the activities engaging.
Why we love it: Grown ups can create a positive daily routine with their kids and teach tricky life lessons like how to deal with disappointment or resolve conflict.
Download the app:
Khan Academy Kids - link
This is the most explicitly educational suggestion on our list. Originally just an online academy for adults, they now have a vast catalog of videos for kids that combines tasks like math and reading with activities like art and drawing. They use fun, friendly characters and make a point to promote socio-emotional development topics like empathy and sharing.
Why we love it: It’s free! And even aligns with Common Core curriculum other learning frameworks.
Download the app:
We know some parents will cringe at the thought of using a screen to entertain kids. But devices aren’t the enemy. Parents should take the lead with introducing their kids to technology in a safe and healthy way. Online videos or streaming sites can be a great resource to enhance and supplement learning. And a tablet or smartphone can really save your butt in a pinch! Just remember to limit the time they can watch and also the volume- more than 50% of parents completely forget to keep the volume down for their kids! A great way to protect kids hearing without having to constantly monitor them is to use volume-limiting kids headphones. You’re on holiday, after all!
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