Virtual YMCA

Our YMCA child care staff is working hard to create fun activity ideas for your children, including crafts, games, recipes, and even ways to stay active. We’ll update this page often with new ideas and resources, so please check back!

INFANTS

Play with Ice Cubes

Put ice cubes on your baby's highchair tray and let your baby touch, taste, and melt them - all the while talking with your baby about how the cubes are so chilly!

You can also put wet wash clothes in a plastic bag in the freezer for some extra sensory fun!

Exploring Textures

Provide baby with some objects from around the house that have different textures– soft, hard, fluffy, scratchy. These could be objects such as a knit hat, a large sponge, or cotton blanket. You can also provide items that make different noises when banged together or dropped. Playing with these items will stimulate baby’s sense of touch. You can go through and describe each as baby picks them up to explore.

String Along

Turn any toy into a pull-along toy.

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Window Grab

A fun and easy game from baby’s highchair.

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TODDLERS

Play with Magnets

Three DIY ways to play with magnets

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Activities with Chalk

You will love these chalk activities for preschoolers! Everything from using them with art, in the sensory bin, and as part of a science activity. Fun and playful ideas!

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Toddler Shape Game

Using chalk, color shapes on the sidewalk or driveway.

Version 1: Each child gets a turn to jump to a shape and the grown up yells out the name of the shape the child jumped to (or, sometimes, just the color. Or both!)

Version 2: If it seems like your child is fairly comfortable with the shapes, yell out the the name of the shape (or color) and then they jump to it.

Painting on Foil

Work on fine motor skills and mixing colors.

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Snack Necklaces

Make playtime yummy with some string and simple snacks.

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PRESCHOOLERS

Preschooler Shape Game

Version 1: Call out the name of the color and the shape, and the preschooler jumps to it.

Version 2: I called out the pattern (“White circle, blue square, white circle, blue square”), and the preschooler jumps the pattern.

Let the kids take turns being the “caller” and giving shapes or colors for the others to jump to.

Scholastic Learning

Even when schools are closed, you can keep the learning going with these special cross-curricular journeys. Every day includes four separate learning experiences, each built around a thrilling, meaningful story or video.

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Activities with Chalk

You will love these chalk activities for preschoolers! Everything from using them with art, in the sensory bin, and as part of a science activity. Fun and playful ideas!

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Gross Motor Activities

Preschoolers aren’t quite as hard as toddlers to plan activities for, but there still are some limitations to what you can do. And getting their little bodies moving helps a ton!

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Imagination Play

JOIN our favorite Ms. Roula for some imagination play with lion, superheroes, guitars, OH MY!

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Alphabet Sensory Play

Learn the alphabet and sight words using letters and some hair gel.

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SCHOOL AGE KIDS

STEAM Activities

STEM Gems are experiences designed to be used with kids of all ages.

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Any Room a Classroom

BrainPOP is here to help you and your curious learners stay informed and on-track with free access during school closures.

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Scholastic Learning

Even when schools are closed, you can keep the learning going with these special cross-curricular journeys. Every day includes four separate learning experiences, each built around a thrilling, meaningful story or video.

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Lunch Doodles with Mo Willems

Join children’s author and illustrator Mo Willems as he sketches favorite characters.

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Learn A-Z in Sign Language

Learn the Alphabet in sign.

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YOUNG TO YOUNG AT HEART

Spice Up Indoor Play

It’s recommended that children ages 6 and older get at least an hour of physical activity each day, and play is one way kids can stay active and healthy. Here are some creative ways to make indoor play fun and engaging, while keeping kids moving.

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Mindfulness at Home

Mindfulness, or the ability to be present and composed when confronting the challenges of our busy lives, can benefit anyone of any age. Practicing mindfulness can help relieve stress and anxiety in children, while promoting happiness.

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STEAM at Home

Children are learning about Science, Technology, Engineering, the Arts, and Math, or STEAM for short, from the day they are born, by exploring their surroundings to understanding cause-and-effect relationships. Learning and practicing STEAM fosters a child’s ingenuity and creativity, critical thinking, and problem solving skills. It also helps to build their resiliency and self-confidence.

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Homemade Play-Dough

The BEST homemade playdough recipe – make in less than 5 minutes for under a $1 and have it last for months! It is so soft and squishy and cuts perfectly with cookie cutters.

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5 Minute Superhero Workout

Enjoy a fun, quick 5 minute workout with your child as you battle imaginary enemies with jabs, punches, kicks and slices!

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12 Bursts

Stay active with 5-minute bursts of daily physical activity you can do anytime, anywhere.

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STEAM Project: Hoopsters

Learn to make circle airplanes.

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Family Fitness

Get moving with YMCA Coach Jason Kelly.

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3 Ingredient Slime

Mix glue, food coloring, and contact solution for a gooey result. Great for sensory play!

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Crafts for Kids

Explore process art with kids to explore creativity and the joy of making without focusing on the end result!

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Scavenger Hunt

Looking for a way to spice up our neighborhood walks for the little one who tends to become bored and want to be carried?

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Card Tower

Learn how to build a Card Tower.

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Virtual Museum Tours

Stuck at Home? These 12 Famous Museums Offer Virtual Tours You Can Take on Your Couch.

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National Park Tours

The exhibit allows you to take 360-degree tours of some of the most remote and beautiful U.S. National Parks.

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PBS Kids

Is your child’s school closed due to coronavirus concerns? PBS KIDS’ new weekday newsletter offers activities and tips you can use to help kids play and learn at home.

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Sarah’s Music Room

Y-USA presents Sarah's Music Room, a 20 minute music class for kids.

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Healthy Snacks

Make Snack Creatures using fruits and veggies.

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Edible Playdough

How to use cake icing to make playdough.

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DIY Birdfeeders

Grab some paper rolls and peanut butter for these easy-to-make bird feeders.

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PARENT TIPS

Creating a Routine

For most of us, life feels anything but normal right now with schools closed and working from home. But you can create a new normal for your family by having consistent routines.

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Safety at Home

YMCA instructors demonstrate what to do if a child is choking.

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Self-Care Tips

A quick reminder from Cheyenne Orman of the East Orange YMCA.

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Online Schooling

10 Tips for Parents Navigating Online Schooling.

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Healthy Bedtime Routine

Even in this new normal life, a regular bedtime can help kids get the sleep they need.

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