• Bambi Ross

Best of Bambi's Blog - Resources for Families





Bambi Ross is a local Manor Park resident and former principal at Manor Park Public School. Bambi's Blog features free online activities and resources that are fun for people of all ages!



Below is the list of kid focused ideas I have collected over the last few weeks.   Please note that these are not my ideas but rather ideas I have found in articles, facebook, instagram, twitter and youtube accounts.  I would recommend that you review before using them with your children to make sure they are appropriate for your particular child.  I have tried to insure that all activities are free, do not rely on social media accounts, are easy to do and make use of items you have around the house.  I will  update this master list  again in a few weeks if we are still self isolating.

Please note these are not my words but I really wanted to share it with you when I saw this on an education colleague's Facebook page.  I thought this was a wonderful way of of thinking about being away from school.

What if???  If they cancel the rest of the school year, students would miss 2.5 months of education. Many people are concerned about students falling behind because of this. Yes, they may fall behind when it comes to classroom education...

But what if...

What if instead of falling “behind", this group of kids are ADVANCED because of this? Hear me out...

What if they have more empathy, they enjoy family connection, they can be more creative and entertain themselves, they love to read, they love to express themselves in writing.  What if they enjoy the simple things, like their own backyard and sitting near a window in the quiet. 

What if they notice the birds and the dates the different flowers emerge, and the calming renewal of a gentle rain shower? 

What if this generation are the ones to learn to cook, organize their space, do their laundry, and keep a well run home? 

What if they learn to stretch a dollar and to live with less? 

What if they learn to plan shopping trips and meals at home. 

What if they learn the value of eating together as a family and finding the good to share in the small delights of the everyday? 

What if they are the ones to place great value on our teachers and educational professionals, librarians, public servants and the previously invisible essential support workers like truck drivers, grocers, cashiers, custodians, logistics, and health care workers and their supporting staff, just to name a few of the millions taking care of us right now while we are sheltered in place?

What if among these children, a great leader emerges who had the benefit of a slower pace and a simpler life to truly learn what really matters in this life?

What if they are AHEAD? 

National Gallery of Canada App for kids https://www.nga.gov/education/kids.html?utm_source=National+Gallery+of+Art&utm_campaign=380766a276-EMAIL_CAMPAIGN_2020_04_06_12_38&utm_medium=email&utm_term=0_2085ff9475-380766a276-342856279  St Laurent academy  has a link on their website with online resources. https://www.st-laurentacademy.com/on-line-community-resources-and-tools/ Here are some journal ideas https://www.createwritenow.com/journal-writing-blog/10-quick-journal-prompts-to-calm-your-mind https://ottawacitizen.com/news/local-news/creativity-in-the-time-of-covid-creators-go-online-to-connect-amuse This is a quick cute video to teach little ones the term near and far to help them understand physical distance  https://www.facebook.com/MuppetHistory/videos/630769937708547/?vh=e&d=n This one on life skills looks very interesting!  https://www.overcomingobstacles.org/  https://www.almanac.com/kids https://www.pearsoncanadaschool.com/index.cfm?locator=PS3eZw&utm_source=Twitter&utm_medium=PPC&utm_campaign=2020TW_SPR30_AtHomeLP_V2 Make paint with what you may have in the house or can get at the grocery store  https://www.smartschoolhouse.com/diy-crafts/make-homemade-paint Some of these looked really great! https://www.hgtv.com/lifestyle/family/kids-and-babies/science-experiments-for-kids-pictures Might help to motivate some young readers https://www.weareteachers.com/coloring-reading-challenge/ https://www.kiwico.com/blog/2020/03/16/10-terrific-toilet-paper-roll-crafts-and-activities-for-kids/  this one is great - used to use it all the time! https://www.starfall.com/h/ https://www.projectexplorer.org/home https://supersimple.com/ https://www.youngzine.org/ https://www.funbrain.com/  https://www.seussville.com/ https://www.farmfood360.ca/ https://www.classroomcereal.com/ https://www.huffingtonpost.ca/entry/virtual-tours-canada-museums_ca_5e7275c2c5b6eab77941338d Make paint with what you may have in the house or can get at the grocery store  https://www.smartschoolhouse.com/diy-crafts/make-homemade-paint Not necessarily an activity but reinforcing it is okay to just play.  https://www.weareteachers.com/just-let-them-play/ Some of these looked really great! https://www.hgtv.com/lifestyle/family/kids-and-babies/science-experiments-for-kids-pictures Might help to motivate some young readers https://www.weareteachers.com/coloring-reading-challenge/ This one is fun! https://www.canadaswonderland.com/blog/2020/march-2020/heres-how-to-take-a-virtual-ride-on-all-the-rides-at-canadas-wonderland-in-your-own-home This one is available free for 21 days but is usually a paid service. I have not tried it but could be interesting https://fluencyandfitness.com/register/school-closures/ Similar idea but incorporates mindfulness and seems to be always free https://www.gonoodle.com/for-families/ https://youtu.be/K6r99N3kXME https://www.carmensandiego.com/resources/ Here is a fun idea for the Disney fans https://mobile.twitter.com/apttherapy/status/1243165123776217088 I have not shared a lot of French resources but here is a list I saw today from DDSB. I apologize if this info was already included in a previous email from Durham District. https://docs.google.com/document/d/1eZfBPh5BENACGrSNv5Z4iqk7vRFKTUqliZ0EV7Tyj34/edit If you are feeling alone in frustration of home learning - they feel the same in Britain https://www.bbc.com/news/education-52151411  Looking for literature for your middle grade children? https://www.cbc.ca/books/21-middle-grade-and-ya-books-to-read-in-spring-2020-1.5497317 Daily physical activity OPHEA is running daily physical activities by physical education educators - it is on Facebook at 10:30  but I think you can also access on their website below. https://www.ophea.net/  https://www.ottawariverkeeper.ca/education-and-resources/watershed-species-memory-game/ University of Waterloo math problem of the week. Set up by grades! https://www.cemc.uwaterloo.ca/resources/potw.php Challenge cards - science and engineering https://www.jamesdysonfoundation.co.uk/content/dam/pdf/JDF_with%20cover%20challenge-cards_DIGITAL.pdf Elementary level curriculum checklists https://thecanadianhomeschooler.com/ontario-elementary-level-curriculum-checklists/ A friend of mine's daughter has a PHD in Special Education with a focus on reading. She sent out a post yesterday about this website and its online portal for resources for decodable reading materials. So probably a good thing to check out. https://portal.flyleafpublishing.com/ This program is fabulous and is often run in school libraries.  https://forestofreading.com/important-update-in-the-forest-march-20-2020/ Great for families with children with special needs https://www.edutopia.org/article/apps-students-special-needs-school-buildings-shutter  Audible launches free service for kids https://www.cbc.ca/books/audible-launches-free-audiobook-service-for-children-1.5506999 Harry Potter fans and escape room fans will love this free activity online!  https://www.narcity.com/things-to-do/ca/a-harry-potter-escape-room-is-offering-an-virtual-adventure-for-people-social-distancing https://entertainkidsonadime.com/2020/03/13/100-activities-to-do-at-home-during-school-closures/  https://www.tdsb.on.ca/Elementary-School/Supporting-You/Health-Active-Living/Coronavirus/Learning- loot bag lady - gift bags for different age groups - money to the food bank   www.lootbaglady.com OPHEA is starting a ten day DPA challenge Monday - everyday at 10/30 on their Facebook or twitter page https://fit.sanfordhealth.org/blog/25-easy-activities-to-do-with-kids-at-home http://www.sensinschool.com/ Time Magazine For Kids https://time.com/tfk-free/ Excellent art activities that use household items  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xSsdnC896pU https://biblioottawalibrary.ca/en https://www.fox35orlando.com/news/disney-kennedy-space-center-offering-free-online-activities-for-kids-during-school-closures https://www.weareteachers.com/best-podcasts-for-kids/ https://www.weareteachers.com/audible-covid-19-closures/ https://ed.ted.com/     https://www.narcity.com/things-to-do/us/fl/orlando/6-virtual-disney-rides-to-explore-until-the-parks-open   https://m.youtube.com/watch?feature=youtu.be&v=vkYmvxP0AJI https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7j0OY3236jw CBC has posted a book lists for kids https://www.cbc.ca/parents/learning/view/nine-book-lists-titles-all-topics-kids-children-all-ages This looks like a very interesting website. Please do not hold this one against me if someone in your house tries this one.... https://www.instructables.com/id/How-to-Make-Bagpipes-out-of-a-Garbage-Bag-and-Reco/ home made play doh with jello  https://youtu.be/oGrpsQ57w5Y The ultimate nanny Mary Poppins: https://www.julieslibraryshow.org/ Girls Scouts UK's website has a wide variety of interesting activities https://www.girlscouts.org/en/girl-scouts-at-home.html Might be a good resource for some parents https://ed.ted.com/daily_newsletter Many of you have expressed an interest in more french resources - Thanks again to Nicole!  https://www.french-future.org/programs/franconnexion-sessions/ French Activity from Nicole https://www.facebook.com/CanadianParentsForFrench/photos/a.209163342911/10157652541957912/?type=3 ONFE is an organization that supports volunteers in education (among other things)and is a great organization to get to know. They have put together a resource page of educational supports that can be found here. Many of the resources that I have shared are on their list but there may be some I missed. In any case it is great to have it gain so you don’t have to go searching through your emails to find... https://onfe-rope.ca/online-educational-resources-for-k-7-students/ More lego https://www.boredpanda.com/lego-math-teaching-children-alycia-zimmerman/   https://explore.org/livecams/bald-eagles/decorah-eagles-north-nest Perhaps the best post I saw yesterday was written by a  Principal . It was suggested that  the best thing every child should be doing is keeping a journal of this experience.  This is a globally historical moment and so keeping track of events, day to day activities, fears and feelings. It went on to say that their journals should include, pictures, photos and can be handwritten or typed. Let the children choose the media they prefer. It also suggested doing interviews of family members. Maybe they can call people and interview them(friends, grandparents, neighbours).  The most important thing that was suggested that as the parent you should save this document when this is all over so that they can look back on it as adults or share with their children in the future. Good idea for us grown ups too! https://www.nga.gov/education/kids.html The authors of these books will be reading them aloud starting next week. There are activities to do with each books as well. Excellent resource! https://forestofreading.com/blue-spruce/ Historica Canada offers a variety of free learning tools  http://education.historicacanada.ca/en/users/1/?utm_source=facebook&utm_medium=cpc&utm_campaign=CovidEDU_ENG https://twitter.com/oneducation/status/1242460308922339328?s=21 French  virtual public speaking contest for all ages    https://bc-yk.cpf.ca/concoursvirtuel/  https://ingeniumcanada.org/channel/articles/ten-science-activities-you-can-do-at-home Drawing activity involving tracing your hand  https://www.facebook.com/100000038774743/posts/3093318694012726 Virtual classroom field trip https://docs.google.com/document/d/1qpFAQz_QJt0ZTVTixAyuGRjsKGYI23CjlaO9eLBkThE/mobilebasic Rainy day scavenger hunt https://drive.google.com/file/d/17SrefuTtmjBUqfM3o-gmYWZsfmzFiCz7/view Kid Jokes https://parade.com/968634/parade/jokes-for-kids/ Jokes to play on kids https://www.buzzfeed.com/mikespohr/genius-april-fools-day-pranks-your-kids-will-totally-fall Hasbro has launched a website with a variety of activities for children.https://shop.hasbro.com/en-us/bring-home-the-fun  Jumpstart and Canadian tire have ideas for play https://jumpstart.canadiantire.ca/pages/play-from-home  Captain Underpants fans in your house? https://www.washingtonian.com/2020/03/30/captain-underpants-dav-pilkey-drawing-classes-library-of-congress/ How exciting is this for Harry Potter fans!   https://www.dailymail.co.uk/femail/article-8176963/JK-Rowling-launches-Harry-Potter-Home-bring-dose-magic-children-lockdown.html Audible is also offering a free Harry Potter audiobook! Thanks to Dez and Shoshana for sharing this video. https://www.facebook.com/jessethomfoolery/videos/213461466394295/ Free 52 minute music lesson https://prodigiesmusic.com/new-free-52-minute-song-lesson-collection/  Another suggestion from my reading specialist friend https://www.meadowscenter.org/  Getting tired of your board games? This tabletop dice baseball game might be fun and good math skills practice!https://pin.it/5P4Xn1y .  https://orkidstra.ca/programs/kiddlywinks-intro/ Mud oven is delivering paint at home kits - www.mudoven.com Riverbend Calgary has expanded the window walk activities with some new suggestions  https://mobile.twitter.com/riverbendyyc/status/1245048532542926850/photo/1 This looks fun! Jell-O play doh https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oGrpsQ57w5Y  Updates from the Ministry of Education  https://www.ontario.ca/page/learn-at-home Toronto Zoo is online with interesting activities https://www.durhamradionews.com/archives/125661  Free audible stories https://stories.audible.com/start-listen I did notice seeds available in metro near the ice cream  https://www.smartschoolhouse.com/diy-crafts/gardening-hacks Online mental health activities to do with children https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=10163406420380074&set=gm.222731748989756&type=3  Paper airplane patterns https://youtu.be/SpYS5WtvNvQ We Day organization has online activities  www.we.org From Dr. Theresa Tham  https://thekidswrite.com/home/ https://www.cbc.ca/kidsnews//  I saw a hack to make kids bikes into stationary bikes using training wheels. You put the training wheel into an adult shoe and apparently the bike doesn’t move. Not sure how this works as the two big wheels didn’t seem to be moving. Might be something to try with the Peleton bike app that is streaming for free for 90 days. https://www.onepeloton.ca/app Music https://try.kindermusik.com/free-kids-activities/  This Gerbil art gallery is very cute and might be a fun activity for your family to try https://www.reddit.com/r/aww/comments/fvmngf/quarantine_day_14_me_and_my_boyfriend_spent_the/  Helping kids learning: My PHD friend ( who's ideas I have shared in previous emails) sent me this document created by a university colleague of hers. May be useful for some but note it is American based and I have not checked any of the links. http://fcrr.org/documents/at-home_learning.pdf Want to be be recorded in history? This is so cool. You can submit stories to the Human Rights Museum. https://humanrights.ca/node/913 

From Ali

https://www.wsj.com/articles/put-down-the-phone-100-non-screen-activities-to-occupy-your-kids-in-quarantine-11586350800

Classic "Here Comes Peter Cottontail" https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ic4rrKlGiuc Little Bunny FooFoo https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=R6xKM-H2awE From Caroline https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sobxK6_pNIs  In preparation for what may be a rainy day  https://www.weareteachers.com/easy-science -experiments/    from Christine https://ottawahumane.ca/youth-programs/activities-for-kids-during-covid-19/ Reading strategies  https://jenmerckling.com/reading-strategies/  Some classic children stories that can be downloaded for free https://www.researchify.co.uk/audiobooks.html https://www.theliteracynest.com/category/tips-for-parents Interested in catching up on your Shakespeare? Maybe want to have your high school kids do some reading of the classics... This site looks great! Similar to Coles notes but it has way more! https://www.sparknotes.com/ https://wordpress.oise.utoronto.ca/robertson/files/2018/04/Multiplication.pdf  https://qualitytimeactivities.blogspot.com/ https://thefoldcanada.org/webinars-activities/fold-academy-monthly-webinars/ https://www.hellowonderful.co/post/minute-to-win-it-games-for-kids/ https://www.zoo.org.au/animal-house/ This would be fun. Especially as we get into sunnier days. It suggests using a specific type of paint - please test before using - I would hate to be responsible for ruined windows in the neighbourhood! Also, as I do not want to offend anyone, I am not promoting the religious symbols only the stained glass!  https://www.craftymorning.com/paint-your-own-stained-glass-windows/ https://www.boredteachers.com/resources/50-online-art-and-music-resources-to-help-kids-learn-and-create-from-home  https://www.fastcompany.com/90478307/stuck-at-home-take-free-drawing-classes-from-famous-illustrators?partner=rss&utm_source=facebook.com&utm_medium=social&utm_campaign=rss+fastcompany&utm_content=rss From Rockcliffe Park Community Association https://ottawa.overdrive.com/ Making music at home This one looks really cool! Young and old alike maybe!! https://musiclab.chromeexperiments.com/Experiments  https://www.musictheory.net/ https://www.virtualmusicalinstruments.com/ https://thecanadianhomeschooler.com/lego-challenge-cards-printable/ Offers a wonder a day - great to get you thinking!  https://wonderopolis.org/about One free month https://www.vooks.com/parents  To help with the home learning: From my friend in Texas  https://ies.ed.gov/ncee/edlabs/regions/southeast/foundations/kindergarten_intro.asp?fbclid=IwAR3FeYLoV38Fbqngz1z_7YFoioffpotPJLeBzjan_RfbIg-DxnhTLVh2ozo Okay so this one goes against one of my criteria of providing free ideas but if someone in your house is celebrating a special birthday or occasion you might find this a great idea. And you are supporting actors. https://www.enchantedentertainment.ca/covid-19