Are you looking for fun educational activities to do with your kids during Coronavirus Social Distancing? We’re here to help!
With kids home for extended breaks, our staff has compiled a list of our favorite educational activities to do at home with your family or in local open spaces that still allow for wide social distancing. During these difficult times, we can celebrate continued learning as a family. We will be updating this list throughout social distancing time period, please check back or email us with suggestions or your own ideas!
Check out Insights at Home – Activity Kit Program for Insights’ very own hands-on home STEAM activities.
- Artificial Intelligence Activities (4th – 8th grade) – We have used these simple computer science curriculum in our afterschool programs and highly recommend them! Technovation Families is a free, hands-on artificial intelligence education program that brings families together to learn, play and create with AI. Each lesson provides different concepts and activities that lead to the creation of a final project, an invention that solves a problem in their community using AI.
- Google Science Journal Experiments (4th -12th grade)- Using the Science Journal app, turn your phone into a pocket science laboratory with tools to measure light, motion, sound and more with simple experiments.
- Science Snacks (all ages) – These short hands-on science activities are quick, easy, and sure to puzzle the whole family.
- Movie Science (K-12) – Activities, talking points, and worksheets to accompany major motion pictures. Also, take a look at Movie Sheets for printable worksheets to accompany movies and educational documentaries.
- Amazing Space Videos (high school+) – NASA’s Goddard Media Studios have been busy assembling some great segments about our latest missions and some amazing images that our space explorers have captured.
- Code.org (3rd – 12th grade) has easy tutorials for students to learn and practice coding with tutorials that they can follow with or without parents’ help.
- Coding and Programming Glossary for Kids (reading ages) – The words people use to talk about coding all seem like a bunch of jargon at first. But once you’ve got a handle on all of these words and what they mean, learning to make software can be a piece of cake.
- Every Day Astronomy with Amy (all ages) – This site offers local astronomy information from El Paso’s very own NASA solar system ambassador.
- NASA Space Place (elementary) – NASA has tons of space related activities and resources for your future astronauts.
- Highlights for Kids (elementary) – Young readers can explore has a mix of scientific explanation articles and experiments! The games and activities are also a great resource.
- Coronavirus Science Lessons (elementary) – the National Science Teacher’s Association has built a nice list of lessons to do at home with your kids all about the Coronavirus. Middle school and high school lesson plans are also available here. Increased knowledge is one of the best weapons against anxiety and pandemic panic.
- Hands-on STEM Activities (elementary) – The National Informal STEM Education Network have developed a variety of hands-on STEM activities designed for use in museums and science centers. Most of these hands-on STEM activities listed below can be done with materials you may already have in your home.
- 2020 Asteroid Search Campaign (all ages) – Do you want to discover an asteroid with help from Astronomers Without Borders? No telescope is required for this global astronomy contest that opens on April 14th of 2020. Registration is now open.
- Real or Imagined? (all ages) – That phone in your pocket was once science-fiction! The progress we have made is thanks to scientists and engineers who come up with innovative ideas, test them, try and fail, and try again. Can you guess which of these creations is real or imagined? Click here for the introduction, then here for the activity slideshow. Use #EEKintheWild to share your participation!
- You are an Engineer! (elementary up) – Do you enjoy building and then destroying lego towers? You just might have what it takes to be the next best civic engineer and you didn’t even know it! Take this quiz and graph your answers to find out which kind of engineer you are! Use #EEKintheWild to share your participation!
- Lab Collab! (middle school and older) – It is important for research laboratories to work together to solve problems and invent new technologies. Play this game with a friend or family member and see how well you work together. Use #EEKintheWild to share your participation!
- Find Your Beat (3rd grade up) – Can you complete the heart health scavenger hunt? Use #EEKintheWild to share your participation!
- The Bouncy Ball Challenge! – Check out the Engineer Design Process then draw yourself as an engineer and test a new toy design you make yourself! *Adult supervision required* Use #EEKintheWild to share your participation!
EEK! is a collaboration between CELL-MET and Boston University’s Office of Outreach and Diversity. Thanks to generous funding from the National Science Foundation, EEK! was shared with museums across the U.S. earlier this year.
- iNaturalist observations (all ages) – El Paso is blessed with a wonderful outdoor classroom and 300 days of sunshine per year. Why not take a hike and use iNaturalist to record some of your observations of plants and animals to help local scientists?
- iNaturalist Ants of the Chihuahuan Desert (all ages) – This collaborative project helps local entomologists and makes a great addition to UTEP Centennial Museum and Desert Gardens’ current Ants Exhibit.
- Augment El Paso Mural Tour (all ages) – Download this local app and checkout El Paso’s great new murals with augmented reality.
- GLOBE Observer (all ages) – This is an international network of citizen scientists and scientists working together to learn more about our shared environment and changing climate. To participate, just download the GLOBE Observer app and submit regular observations.
- Globe at Night (all ages) – Dark skies are important. Globe at night is an international citizen-science campaign to raise public awareness of the impact of light pollution by inviting citizen-scientists to measure & submit their night sky brightness observations. Don’t miss their March observation campaign for Gemini and Orion.
- ASOMBRO (all ages) – The local Asombro Institute for Science Education. Explore the Chihuahuan Desert, water conservation, a mini data jam, climate change and the water cycle, land potential knowledge systems, and more!
- El Paso Zoo Blog (reading ages) Every week the zoo is telling stories about wildlife at the Zoo, species we may encounter in our backyards and parks, sharing news about ongoing conservation efforts and more!
Virtual Field Trips
- Trips for Tots (3-7 years old) – The Waterford organization has compiled a great list of virtual trips for younger children.
- NASA’s 2020 Mars Missions (3rd – 10th grade) – Check out the latest simulations of our upcoming missions to Mars.
- Discovery Education (K-12) -Discovery has a comprehensive list of excellent and sometimes interactive virtual field trips across the globe.
- NOVA Polar Extremes (elementary) – These labs are simple, fun activities kids can do at home at their own pace and are part of a study we’re undertaking on how young people learn about science.
Arts & Crafts
- DIY Circuits, Robots, and More (3th – 8th grade) – We’ve used many of these great computer science activities in our afterschool programs and especially recommend the self stopping robot. Some materials are required for these activities, however most can be purchased on Amazon and we probably have extra in stock if you just need a few motors.
- Coloring Nature (all ages) – offers tons of free printable scientifically accurate coloring pages with categories include: biomes, anatomy, animals, plants and more. We also recommend Open Culture which has free coloring books and pages from 113.
- Science Crafts and Games (3rd – 8th) – National Museum of Scotland features crafts with their virtual collections and online games including things like build a parasite, design a clinical trial, and dinosaurs.
- Creative Catapult (elementary) – great creativity boosting arts and crafts activities than include light scientific content like chemical reactions and engineering design process.
- Space Collage (all ages) – in response to the sudden uptick in bored children and adults, NASA has made their entire photo collection free to all. Gawk at these classic images and rearrange them to make your own collage.
Don’t see what you are looking for? This comprehensive and growing list details the many educational companies that have made their subscription-based resources free during the pandemic.
Come back soon! We’ll be adding more activities through the duration of quarantine protocols. Join our newsletter to receive more fun STEAM activities to do at home and updates about our summer camps and other events.