Guest blog post written by Morgan Bluma, First Book Marketing and Communications Assistant. Morgan graduated from American University with a double major in Literature and Journalism.
Over the years, technology has become a major tool for learning, with many children adjusting to remote learning in recent years. Boosting educational activities at home can help prepare your children for learning whether remotely or in-person, even if technology is limited. At First Book, we recognize that with limited resources, many families are unable to keep children engaged in educational activities.
The Digital Divide
For many families, a lack of internet access continues to be a barrier to learning. According to The Annie E. Casey Foundation, in 2020 about 16 percent of households did not always have access to the internet and computers for remote learning. In Black households, that percentage increased to 25 percent and in Latinx households, 20 percent did not always have access.
First Book provides an array of free resources available on our Marketplace for our members to help better address the digital divide in their classroom and to also share with families.
Informed by experts and extensive research, our resources range from topics like childhood trauma, diversity and inclusion, social and emotional learning, and more. These resources are great for teachers to share with colleagues and parents alike. In response limited resources at home, but an increase in remote learning, we’ve developed free downloadable activities for K-8 students with no materials and preparation required to keep engaging students at home!
For additional support, Eligible educators, supporting Title I schools and organizations can explore the Marketplace for more resources or purchase brand-new books at a reduced cost.
Activities to Build Vocabulary
PreK – Ages 4 to 5
A great activity to do with your child is inviting them to join you while cooking or taking on other tasks to care for your home and family. Help your child build key skills that will assist them when learning in school. Here is a tip to make it a fun learning experience with your child:
- Try to introduce new words. As you are working on a task, introduce new to words to your child to practice. For example, if you are cooking, teach your child the words bowl, whisk, cinnamon, etc., or other words that may be new to them.
Activities for Around the House
Kindergarten to 2nd Grade – Ages 5 to 8
Early elementary students are building their knowledge of shapes, letter sounds, and their vocabulary. Invite your child to take part in a creative scavenger hunt where they’ll need to find specific items in your living space. Here are some suggestions to get you started!
- Find two things that start with the letter C (e.g. cup, can)
- Find two things that are blue
- Find one thing that is shaped like a circle
- Find one piece of clothing
Activities to Strengthen Math Muscles
3rd to 5th Grade – Ages 8 to 11
Building math muscles can be fun! Mental math is a great way to practice. Play this game by choosing a number below or picking your own. Then, using your mind only, take the following steps with your number:
- Add 10 more
- Subtract 10 less
- Add 100 more
- Subtract 100 less
Even More Activities to Try
From vocabulary exercises to building the knowledge of shapes to creative writing, use these fun activities to make the most of time at home to boost reading, math, and critical thinking skills and overall mental health.
Download the full activity list, available in English and Spanish, for kids through 8th grade.
Join the Network
Educators can join First Book’s network — the largest and fastest-growing network of educators, schools, and programs serving children in need across the United States and Canada — to bring these titles and many more to your classroom.
This blog has been updated from a previous version published on March 31, 2020.