While technology has given kids the opportunity to socialize with friends and long-distance family members outside of their immediate circle, these video chats are typically structured with one goal in mind: keep up with a limited school curriculum, or adjust to participating in extracurricular activities with glitchy technology. This usually means that interpretive activities like music and the dramatic arts are reduced and that the kids who normally thrive in those settings are left to feel even more isolated.

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But what if there was a way to follow social distancing guidelines while encouraging creative play?

These activities for kids are great opportunities for creative engagement during virtual playdates, family game nights, homeschooling, and rainy afternoons. They’re scalable for any number of kids, and can be adapted for ages 5-17.

Virtual MadLibs

Expressive vocabulary is a valuable writing skill. Kids can work together to provide creative answers to simple language prompts in personalized or prepared templates. Acting out the finished product can allow for a short public speaking and storytelling workshop.

Drama Scavenger Hunt

This activity requires kids to team up and locate items that may be theater-related. Once time is up, teams can practice remote presentation skills to demonstrate the items they have found.

Lip Sync Battle

The Hamilton craze isn’t over yet! Kids take 15-20 minutes of independent work time to write two couplets. Once prepared, all couplets can be combined into one collaborative performance.

Recreating Famous Artwork

This is a great opportunity for kids to practice costuming and character development. Kids will review famous paintings, and choose one to recreate and showcase using only clothing and props from their home.

Acrostic Association Exercise

When writing acrostic poems, kids have to be sure that each line starts with a new letter of the alphabet. This exercise can be as simple as associating words with the letters of their name, or as advanced as writing longer, collaborative poems with classmates.

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Poetry Scavenger Hunt

This scavenger hunt encourages kids to find inspiration in their environment. By “scavenging” their surroundings for interesting language, kids learn how to overcome writer’s block and try out their wildest ideas.

Create a TV Commercial

Kids prepare a 30-second infomercial to creatively sell a household item. If a live demonstration isn’t possible, learning to film and edit on a smartphone or iPad can create more opportunities to learn about technology and creative video editing.

Virtual Party

A large virtual “party” is a great opportunity to get kids excited about studying a fictional or historical character, and embodying that personality during a group setting. kids can breakout into smaller groups to practice/become acquainted with their respective backstories before joining and conversing with the larger party. Bonus points if the event takes place at another time in history, or in the future.

This is going to be a very different year than what we’re used to. While things may not get back to “normal” as soon as we would like, utilizing these resources can help our young artists find fun, creative outlets as cold-weather approaches.

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