Due to the COVID-19 crisis, many adults and kids are staying at home and are struggling to keep active and engaged. The Westmount Sports and Recreation Department has put together a list of online videos and helpful links to encourage fitness, education and for residents to continue to hone their sporting skills. Also, try our fun at home activities for kids.
HELPFUL LINKS FOR ADULTS
HELPFUL LINKS FOR KIDS
KEEPING YOUR CHILD ACTIVE AT HOME
Description: Make a net by tying a piece of yarn from one chair to another at approximately head height. Make two teams with the amount of people that are playing (can be played 1-on-1). If you want to add a challenge, drape a sheet over the rope so the other team won’t be able to see when the balloon is coming. One team serves by hitting the balloon over the string and the other team must return the balloon without allowing it to fall to the ground. When the balloon is not returned, the other team scores a point. First team to reach 10 points wins.
Description: Start by setting up a net on opposite ends of the hallway by placing some masking tape on the floor. After dividing into teams, grab a small plastic ball and let the fun begin.
Description: Use a marker to write down a yoga/fitness movements on each JENGA block. Set up the tower and play the game as usual, but every time a block is pulled out, every player has to do the specific fitness/yoga move. If the tower falls, do the plank for 30 seconds.
Description: Turn the hall into a maze with yarn. Zig-zag yarn from varying heights and challenge your kids to get across forcing them to step over and crawl under at various points without touching the rope.
Description: Use painter’s tape to make a web-like design on a doorway opening. Give your kids some newspaper to scrunch up and throw up at the web. Have them count how many objects stick versus how many don’t for extra learning points.
Description: You will need Solo cups and a few ping pong balls (or any small object that will fit in the cup) and have your kids toss the ball to a partner and try and catch it in the cup. Start out close together and then keep taking a step backwards to increase the challenge. For a single-player, they can simply throw the ball in the air and try and catch it.
Description: Have all participants place a potato (or ball / teddy bear) between their knees and race to a finish line where they have to drop it into a designated bowl or bucket. If the potato is dropped, or if hands touch it, they have to go back to the start and try again.
Description: If you have a room that can get sufficiently dark by turning off the lights and closing the blinds, send your kids on a Flashlight Scavenger Hunt where they have to find certain hidden items in the dark using a flashlight. You can create a Scavenger Hunt list of items they will need to find.
Description: Set up your bowling “lane” with some painter’s tape and use plastic bottles or cups for pins. Use any type of ball to bowl, attempting to knock down as many pins as possible. Keep track of the score, or simply aim to knock them all down in one turn. Create a plastic cup pyramid to up the fun-factor even more.
Description: Start by creating an engaging course that includes a variety of motions (jumping, crawling, balancing, etc.) and use a large area. Have your kids help make the course using some of these creative ideas:
- Hula hoops to jump through
- Line of tape to balance on
- Couch cushions to hop between
- Table to crawl under
- Blanket over 2 chairs to crab walk through
- Plastic cups to run around
- Tupperware containers to hurdle over
For the older kids, you can have them race against each other or the clock. You could even have them attempt it balancing a bean bag or stuffed animal on their head, or with 1 hand behind their back.
Description: If you have a Little Tikes basketball hoop or an over-the- door one, then you’re all set to play with a soft foam ball. If you don’t, grab some laundry baskets or beach buckets and place them on the floor, stairs or hang from a door handle or hook. Make-shift your own balls with a wad of newspaper, bean bags, soft toys or rolled-up socks.
*Play a game of HORSE or see who can make the farthest shot. Set-up lines of tape to see how many shots they can make from each one. Or set a timer for 1 minute and challenge them to make as many baskets as they can (running to retrieve the ball after each missed shot!).
Description: Have your child gather sheets of construction paper and lay them down in a path all through the house. (To keep them from slipping, tape down the construction paper or towels with painters or masking tape). Colours should be placed by separately, so there won’t be, for example three sheets of red paper in a row. The challenge is on: Can they walk from one room to the next by stepping only on certain colours? Can they make it from one end of the house to the other, stepping only on blue and red? Can they manage it on all fours, or by hopping?
FUN DIY EXPERIMENTS
Description: Create a frozen pond rescue mission by placing toy bugs (or any small objects in your home) in a container, pouring in some water and a few drops of blue food colouring, then freeze overnight. Pop out the ice with frozen objects, and let your child get to work rescuing the objects with warm water and salt!
- Small container to freeze objects
- Small bugs /animals
- Big container to use as the working area
- Different tools (water dropper, tongues)
- Small bowl of salt
- Small bowl of warm water
Description: Mix the dish soap and corn starch together as best as you can for about 10 seconds. Once it becomes difficult to stir, get your hands in there! Work the putty until all of the ingredients in the bowl are combined thoroughly. This is when you’ll see the putty start to come together.
TIP: because dish soap formulas can vary, it’s ok if you need to add a little more. If the putty is entirely too dry, add a tiny bit more dish soap to it. Or, if the putty is too runny, add a tiny bit more corn starch to it. After adding more of either ingredient, mix the putty by hand for a few moments. Just a little extra of either ingredient is all it takes:
- 1.5 tablespoons of dish soap
- 2 tablespoons of corn starch
Description: Fill a balloon with baking soda and carefully stretch it over the opening of a bottle filled half way with vinegar. (Try to avoid having the baking soda fall in the bottle while fastening the balloon).
- 2-3 Tablespoons of Baking Soda
- Small bottle
Description: Punch 4 holes in the top of the plastic cups, just under the rim equal distance apart (approximately). Cut one plastic kitchen garbage bag into a 14-inch square. Cut four 14-inch lengths of string for each parachute. Gather a corner of the plastic square and tie one length of string to it, leaving only a small tail. (Repeat this with the other four corners.) Tie each string to a different hole on the cup. (TIP: Try to keep the tails all the same length so you don’t get a lopsided parachute.)
- Disposable plastic (or paper) cup
- Plastic garbage bag
- Hole puncher
- Tape Measure
FUN DIY ARTS ACTIVITIES
Description : Cut different shapes out of paper (you can trace the bottom of the salad spinner, and cut it out to make it fit perfectly). Put your cut out shape inside the salad spinner, and pour in different colored paint drops. Put the lid on and SPIN, SPIN, SPIN
Materials needed :
- White paper
- Salad spinner
- Different color paint
Description : Pour some paint into a container and mix it with a little water to make it runny. (Pour each color you will be using in different containers). Pour one color paint onto a piece of thick paper. Then, add another color right beside it. The paints will blend into each other a little. Hold a straw over the paint and blow. The paint should start to spread across the paper. Keep blowing the paint to make a monster shape. Use the end of the straw to drag the paint to make stalks for eyes. Drag arms and legs, too. Draw eyes and a mouth on your monster when the paint is dry.
- White paper
- Different color paint
Description: Make a stack of 7 popsicle sticks and rubber band them together on each end. Take your last two popsicle sticks and rubber band them together around the bottom. Add a bottle cap to the other end of one of the sticks. Slide the stack of 7 popsicle sticks in between the two popsicle sticks that you just created (step 2). Use your last 2 rubber bands to make 2 X’s around the area where the craft sticks intersect to hold your catapult together. Put a pom pom in the cap, hold the catapult with one hand, and use your other hand to pull the cap back and LAUNCH away!
- 9 popsicle sticks
- 4 rubber bands
- 1 plastic spoon
- 1 pom pom or other small object for launching
Description: Squirt shaving cream all over the baking sheet. Spread the shaving cream all over the baking sheet in a thick, smooth layer. Drip the food coloring and/or liquid watercolors all over the shaving cream. Take your skewer or chopstick, and swirl the color through the shaving cream. (The more color swirls you have in your shaving cream, the more “marbled” your paper will turn out.) Gently press the paper into the surface of the shaving cream, and leave it for a half-minute or so. Lift your paper out of the shaving cream and scrape the credit card over the surface of the paper to remove the shaving cream. (You can give it an extra wipe with a paper towel to get any last traces
of shaving cream off).
- white paper (card stock or watercolor paper or printer paper)
- baking sheet
- shaving cream (foam, not gel)
- food coloring or liquid watercolor paint
- knife or spreader (for spreading the shaving cream)
- skewer or chopstick (for swirling)
- expired credit card (or something similar for scraping)
DYI CREATIVE ACTIVITIES
Description: Blow up balloon. Cut 5 sections out of egg carton. Tape onto balloon as “legs” and a “nose” over the balloon tie. Mix flour and water to form a thin paste. Cut newspaper into strips and put a thin coat of flour paste on each strip, and smooth it onto balloon. After pig is covered in paper, set to dry overnight. Decide on your colors and cut tissue paper into smaller pieces (ex: squares and rectangles). Mix school glue and water to make runny glue that can be “painted” on. Glue tissue paper onto pig and leave to dry. Make sure pig is dry and hardened all the way around. Cut a slit in the top, and a hole in the bottom. (You should be able to pull the balloon out of the bottom hole.) Use half a cork to plug the bottom hole.
- Egg Carton
- Flour and water
- News Paper
- Different color tissue paper
- White school Glue
- Wine cork
Description: You can use any type of blocks for this activity, (wood, plastic, foam, Lego etc.)
Create simple building challenges on different pieces of paper. Encourage your child to try and re-create the block towers using the same block shapes.
- Paper and crayons
Description: Make 2 rows of chairs with the backs facing each other. (Chairs are a great option because their backs provide a high fort ceiling.)
Place blankets and pillows on the floor of the fort to make it comfortable. Drape a sheet or blanket over the furniture pieces. Secure the blankets with heavy objects or clothespins.
FUN DIY EDUCATIONAL ACTIVITY
Description: Making memory games with foam shapes is fun and useful no matter which age or subject you are focusing on. It is quick to prepare and a great way to reinforce different concepts & terminology in a fun way! Plus it’s a great way to practice turn taking, concentration, attention to detail, counting pairs, playing fair etc.
Steps: You can choose the words based on your child’s age and vocabulary. Write each word on 2 different colored foam shapes. (If your child can write, have them help you). Ask your child to lay the index cards face-down, in a row, on the table. They will rotate a card, see the word and read it aloud. Then, they flip another card and read that aloud. However, if the two cards are not a match, he/she must put them back again, face-down. Repeat this until all the cards have been matched.
- Matching Uppercase with lowercase letters
- Numbers, numbers to dots, numbers to written word
- Math equations
- Words and their definitions
- Words in 2 different languages
Description: Write numbers or letters (3 x) on a tube of toilet paper/hand paper and on the stickers. Have the child peel off the number, say it out loud, and stick it on the corresponding number on the tube.
- Draw Big dots and child matches a sticker to a dot (younger age)
- Colors- draw circles with red, yellow, blue, green marker and child can match stickers to corresponding color.
- Match uppercase, lowercase, or upper to lower.
- Sight words
- Letter families
- Math equations (answers on dot stickers)
Description: Trace the lid of a play-doh container with a sharpie to make 9 circles, label the circles with the colors you will be mixing. This will make it more clear to your child.
Roll little balls of play-doh for each circle ex: red in the 1st, yellow in the 2nd and then a little bit of both red and yellow in the 3rd so your child can mix them together. Before mixing you can ask the child to predict what they think will happen.
1. Create a simple decoder for the kids to use: Line up the alphabet to the numbers so that A=1, Z=26, etc. This will help kids practice one to one correspondence. In other words, CAT would be written 3-1-20.
2. Second step will be to create codes for your child to uncover.
Option 1: Simple words and numbers
Option 2: If you want to make it more difficult, you can write the codes down with Additions, subtractions or multiples.
Option 3: Create several messages for your child to decode, and create a fun scavenger hunt around the house.
(Create coded messages: “Look behind your bed” with series of clues at each destination, have your child decoded each clue, which will lead them to another coded clue, and so on until they reach the final destination.)