More and more education is moving online. With it comes the need for resources and ideas that we can do online. Whether you are a teacher, community leader, or parent looking to do something fun with kids that are in different places, I’ve gathered up some ideas for your Virtual Activities.
eLearning With Virtual Activity Ideas
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Lately I have had a lot of teachers, scout leaders, and community educators reaching out asking for help as they organize their first online group activity classes.
When you are tasked with organizing an activity to be done online there are a number of logistics that need to be addressed. First let’s go through all of those issues.
Logistics of Online Classes and Activities
First you need to make sure everyone has a quality internet connections. For those living in big cities this may not be a huge concern, but smaller towns and rural areas will often have limited connectivity. Especially if the group members need to connect from home.
Next you will need to consider what devices everyone will be logging in on. This might limit your options for how you can deliver your online content.
Next, you will need to consider what supplies your students will be able to easily access. There may be shortages in certain places, or reasons they can’t use or purchase certain supplies.
Even though kids will be logging in to your activities and sessions, you will need to really think about time. Teaching online is different from the classroom. Ensure you have enough time for the kids to do the activity, chatter, get distracted by things around them, and generally be a bit more slow to work through projects.
It is very important that you ensure your students are able to do the activities safely. Are they old enough to be trusted with the supplies and directions? Some activities use liquids like water, can they safely do this around their technology? Do the kids have appropriate supervision in person? Always put safety first.
In person you can walk around and help kids with their projects. Online you will be limited in how you can help and even what you can see when they are working. So it might be hard to see when kids are struggling and helping them troubleshoot. Depending on the project and your students you may want to ensure kids have a parent or adult helper with them to assist as needed.
Make sure you communicate before getting started with all of your students to ensure everyone can connect, participate through the virtual medium, and enjoy your virtual activities.
Next up, let’s explore some projects you can do virtually with your group.
Kids Activities To Do Virtually
Tangrams are an incredible brain building activity. With our free Tangram activity pack it is also very budget friendly. Participants simply need to print and cut out their Tangram shapes. Then you can challenge them to create different designs and shapes either with templates or without.
This is an activity I have been doing since childhood. It is a fantastic craft project creating flowers using just some ribbon. Participants should have a variety of silky feeling ribbon for best results.
Most people have a selection of simple crafting supplies available. With this activity you can build a cool craft stick launcher. All you need is craft sticks, buttons, rubber bands, q-tips, and some glue. Then let the fun soar!
This is such a fun experiment! It does involve some water, so make sure your kids know how to keep their devices safe. All they need is a shallow dish, some Skittle candy, and some warm water. Then let the magic happen!
Caution – uses liquids.
Younger kids especially love this challenge, if they can stop themselves from eating all the marshmallows! All kids need is some marshmallows, toothpicks and skewers. Then set them to work building structures! Who can build the tallest structure? What about the most stable? Which one can handle the most weight?
For a similar challenge for younger kids, try this Letters and Shapes challenge which uses craft sticks and playdough.
Lego Building Challenge
Challenge kids to a Lego buildings challenge. Pick a theme and see what kids create! Then have the kids share their creations with the group. We have a Building the Holidays Lego Building Challenge printable you can grab for free here to help inspire your project ideas.
Who doesn’t love a lava lamp? We have 5 different lava lamp projects so you can work with your kids to make fun lava lamps and share them with the group. Simple supplies like mason jars and pantry materials are needed.
Caution – Uses liquids.
This is a simple activity that is a lot of fun to build and construct. Students need easily accessible crafting supplies and some items from the pantry. You can have students test their clocks to see who builds the most accurate clock
Caution – Uses liquids.
This is a great activity for middle school kids. Inspired by Einstein who developed his love of invisible forces as a child when his father gifted him a compass. Kids will need a wine cork (prepped), needle, pliers and a magnet. Then to test their magnet they will need a compass app on their device and a bowl of water. A great project to learn about magnetic fields.
Caution – Uses liquids.
Learn all about the heart with this heart model build project for middle school students. Some preparation will need to be done ahead of time by an adult (creating hole in a bottle cap), but other parts of the project use easily accessed recycled materials. It’s a great biology lesson.
Feel your group is up to a magical challenge? Why not try some circuit builds? Our Harry Potter Circuit Wands are so much fun and a fantastic project for middle school students who love magical lessons. Simple circuit supplies will be required.
Circuits do require more specialized supplies, but if you build a series of online sessions, kids can reuse many of the supplies week to week.
A few extra bonus ideas!
Have kids do a Show and Tell. Pick a theme and have them teach the group virtually about their item.
Have kids read a few pages from their favourite book to the group. Reading is so important right now. Let’s keep kids reading!
Play a game! My son has really gotten into playing Dungeons and Dragons virtually with friends from around the world. Plus D&D allows kids to practice some great skills.
I could add even more to this list, but I hope at least one of these ideas gets you started with your online learning adventures. Moving virtual can be scary at first, but I know with a bit of practice you will be reaching kids who would otherwise be very isolated and provide them with some incredible learning experiences!
Happy virtual learning!