Normally we’d be telling you all about the new museum exhibits, Broadway shows and events you could put on your spring bucket lists. But, of course nothing right now is normal. So, we thought we’d compile some activities that you can do with your kids safely, outside and away (for the most part) from other people or, right in the comfort of your own home. Take advantage of whatever lovely weather we get, breathe in the fresh air, enjoy your family, and most importantly, stay safe. Here are 20 Ways to Keep Your Kids Occupied in Bergen County, NJ during the quarantine. And don’t forget to wash those hands!
Explore National Parks: Take a 360-degree virtual tour of some of America's most remote and beautiful US National Parks through Google. They focus on some of the more remote and lesser known parks, so who knows, you might learn a little something too!
Teach Your Kids to Code: Or rather, let someone else do it. For free! You know you've been "meaning" to do this for a while and you know it's a skill you and your kids will never regret that they have. So set aside a time each day for a coding lesson with one of these classes, websites or apps.
Watch the boob tube: Nope not the latest by Stormy Daniels. Instead, pick one of these educational Netflix shows, pop some popcorn from your doomsday stash and cuddle up for an afternoon of guiltless TV viewing.
Say it in Spanish: So, you took French in high school (and even a semester in college!) but your kids have Spanish homework and you don't have a clue. Well, this won't totally help you with that but after you struggle through their online requirements, these Spanish stories will supplement what they've learned.
#savewithstories: When you're at the end of the rope, just let Jennifer Garner, Amy Adams or one of their superstar friends step in and hang with your kids for a bit. Wait, what? Oh yeah, they're reading stories to your kids on Instagram and also raising money to help kids in need in partnership with Save the Children and No Kid Hungry.
See a Show: Broadway shows are expensive and, oh yeah, right now, Broadway is dark. But these recordings will tide you over until you can get your live theater fix again.
Take A (Virtual) Field Trip: No reason you can't ABL (always be learning) while you're hanging at home. You can travel, or visit zoos, aquariums and museums all without one single, "Are we there yet?" Pssst: Check out YouTube for simulations of tons of amusement park roller coaster and other rides.
Enjoy Some Outdoor Art: It's possible that we are all going to have to stay close to home and within our community borders starting soon. But if (or when) we are able to get away from home, spending some time communing with both art and nature will do your soul a world of good. Just call first. A bunch of these places are closed at least through the end of the month.
Take a Hike: It’s good for your mind and your body to get out, enjoy the beauty of the natural world around you, and challenge yourself physically a bit. Plus, when you’re hiking, you’re rarely around groups of other people. So, grab the family, map out a route or head to Harriman State Park and go take a hike.
Teach Your Kids to Ride a Bike: You’ve been meaning to but you haven’t had the time and honestly, you don’t even know where to start. The League of American Bicyclists, the New Jersey Bike & Walk Coalition, and TransOptions Bike Right® education programs all offer classes and resources for teaching your kids to ride a bike. Or, check out the Montclair Bikery’s advice on how to teach your kids to ride in one easy lesson.
Plan/Plant a Garden: If the run on the grocery stores has taught us anything, it’s that sometimes it’s nice to know you don’t have to rely on anyone else to provide food for your family. If a backyard garden has also been on your bucket list, now’s the time to do a little research and make that slice of heaven a reality. Farmburbia in Glen Rock can help get you started. Or, check out these amazing gardening hacks – why not inject a little science into your home schooling these next few weeks?
Take a Virtual Tour: As much as you’d like to visit a museum in person, that isn’t really possible for the next few weeks. So, take a virtual tour and scratch your culture itch.
Take in an Opera: The Met Opera will be streaming its Live in HD series each evening with handpicked selections of previously performed operas. Haven't ever experienced an opera? Now's your chance to try something new!
Give Them Some Author Love: So so so many childrens' book authors have stepped up to create fun, engaging content for their youngest fans and readers. From Lunch Doodles with Mo Willems every day to author "visits" and read alouds, you can entertain your kiddos almost every day for a good long while. Which... you might have to.
Add A Class: Outschool is a resource that provides access to over 10,000 small group video chat classes for kids ages 3-18. So, when you can't face another game of UNO, fire up the computer and let your kid pursue something that has always interested them.
Make Something Beautiful: The Artful Parent is a directory of 500+ kids arts and crafts projects. So take a supply inventory and pick a project that you can do without even cracking open the Amazon app.
Visit the Animals: The Cincinnati Zoo invites you to join them for a Home Safari every day on their FB page and, of course, the mac daddy zoo, the San Diego Zoo has live animal cams and a super good children's page on their website.
Identify Birds and their Calls: Spring is on the way and with it, a bunch of new birds in your yard. Why not buy a birdfeeder, fill it with something irresistible to birds who are either on their way someplace else or looking for a place to call home, and then download one of these apps and spend some time identifying the fine feathered friends who head your way.
Walkway over the Hudson: In the spirit of getting outside AND doing something fun, pack the family into the car and head north to Poughkeepsie to visit the world’s longest elevated pedestrian bridge. Bring snacks or a picnic and you’ll be able to practice social distancing while doing something unique and new.