Kalamazoo “Stay at Home” Resources – Things for Kids to Do, Video Apps, Lunch Programs and Education Ideas

Kids at home - resources for families

K-12 Schools are Closed for the Rest of the School Year. And Museums, Libraries and Camps, are Suspended, Too.

We are in an unprecedented time right now. So much has happened within the last month. The coronavirus pandemic has caused state and local authorities to shutter schools and businesses in an effort to stem the spread of the virus.

What’s next and how can we be diligent to protect and provide for our families during COVID-19?

Although there are so many unknowns and rapid changes are occurring daily, our team is hard at work to prepare, connect, and provide helpful resources.

During planned school breaks, we normally have summer camps, museums, libraries and parks in our arsenal. School may be out, but we have a myriad of other places to go to keep kids engaged.

But this time, Southwest Michigan is closed and busy kids everywhere are feeling the strain. Add to that the fact that mom and dad still have to work, and the usual child care options of grandma or a neighbor kid are gone, and we are in a crunch!

Boy-playing-with-the-CADL-borrow-toys

What’s next?! – Find Updated Info on Community Resources, Video Chat Apps, Teledoc Options, and Things for Kids to Do

Although there are so many unknowns and rapid changes are occurring daily, our team has been hard at work providing helpful resources, as well as remind you, “we are in this together!”

Find community links, educational tips, ways to connect with family via video chats, meals for kids through school distribution programs, childcare, telemedicine resources. And, things to do at home.

Homeschool

MORE COVID-19 RESOURCES 

Kalamazoo Area Restaurants Open for Delivery + Carry Out
Kalamazoo Area Grocery Shopping Hours
6 Types of School-at-Home Moms
Michigan Armchair Travel Guide
Remote Learning at Home Tips
COVID-19 Time Capsule
Pregnant During Coronavirus
Kalamazoo Coronavirus “Stay at Home” Resources
At-Home Date Night Ideas
Virtual Game Night – Getting Started
Where to Buy Face Masks in Kalamazoo and DIY Make Your Own
Kid Birthdays During the Shutdown
Summer Camp Status
Should We Get a Dog Right Now?

Things to do at Home With Kids

I’m sure you’re probably already whipping out all of your arts and crafts, games, movie choices, books, and more. If you need extra ideas, here are a handful of ways to get through these next few weeks at home. Have another idea of things to do at home? Comment below.

At-Home Ideas to Try for Fun

Printable list of the 100+ Activities for Kids, courtesy of The Best Ideas for Kids, so you can easily print off the list.

Make art with these sweet painting tutorials

Have a Disney movie marathon and watch Frozen 2 and other Disney movies

Try these Indoor activities from BuzzFeed

LEGO at home challenges

Take a Virtual Tour around 12 Famous Museums

Raddish is giving away kits for FREE. See their “delicious activities

Make playdough with Martha Stewart’s homemade playdough tutorial

Play board games without the board

Try out new recipes for baking and meals and have the kiddos help

Kids-cooking-together

Out-of-the-House Fun With Kids

On days when our family can get outside for a bit – even if only in the driveway to chalk or play ball – it’s a HUGE mood booster. Finding wide-open spaces is an option and Kalamazoo has options to do this.

Hike and walk KNC Trail

Walk, Hike, or Bike on some of the best trails in Southwest Michigan *Make sure to check with each city, as some locations may be closed.  

Go on a walk in your neighborhood or around your own backyard.

Visit a Garden while taking precautions to stick to trails, paths, and areas without objects to touch.

Video Apps to Try for Live Chatting with Friends and Family

The kids miss their extended family and friends. We all do. Since we have to social distance and can’t go for a regular visit and a hug, a video connection is the next best thing. Here is a list of popular video apps to socialize and check in on family and friends.

And while you’re at it – take a minute to disinfect the Chromebook.

VIDEO APPS

Connect with Family and Friends

Educational Resources for Kids

Social media is bombarded with educational resources for kids. If you need a few ideas, here are several links to get started.

Girl painting - snow day things to do Kalamazoo

Review proper handwashing techniques – CDC 5 easy steps for handwashing for families

Visit the Air Zoo virtually with their Launchpad to Learning – full of games, activities, virtual tours, and documentary clips.  We love the video on experiments to try with dry ice!

Michigan State University Extension has assembled this collection of helpful educational resources for parents and caregivers

Khan Academy a free education platform. Check out this sample SCHEDULE (based on grade)

Education Companies offering free subscriptions

Go Noodle for free educational and active games

Learn sign language with DPAN.TV’s (The Sign Language Channel) Wee Kids and Hands Land on Amazon.

Language: Is your child in one of the immersion schools or interested in learning another language? Duolingo is a FREE educational source.

Free Printable Math worksheets by Sylvan Learning.

Study for the ACT and the SAT with The Olive Book.

Harlem Globetrotters has at home educational materials

Try Scholastic Learn at Home: Free Resources for School Closures offering day-by-day projects to try

Area District Libraries offer digital or streaming options –  Kalamazoo Public Library or Portage District Library

PBSkids.org offer digital or streaming options

10 FREE learning websites from BSC Teacher Education

Kid-doing-homework

School Moved Online for the Rest of the Year

Use these tips from a mom who’s been there!

Links to area school districts:
1 – Kalamazoo Public Schools – continued learning HUB for grade-level resources for students
2 – Portage Public Schools –  Learning at Home resource
3 – Mattawan Consolidated SchoolsLearning Station resource
4 – Gull Lake Community Schools – at home Learning Materials

Food/Lunches for Kids

With kids out of school the remainder of this school year, here is a list of places for lunches and meals.

School Districts Free Food Programs

Portage District Schools –  free sack lunch and sack breakfast availability

Kalamazoo Public Schools –  “grab and go” breakfast and lunch

Gull Lake Community Schoolsfree breakfast and free lunch

Vicksburg Community Schools – free breakfast and free lunch 

Comstock Public Schools  – free “grab and go” breakfast and lunch

Galesburg-Augusta Community Schools – free breakfast and lunch-to-go bags

Otsego Public Schools  – free “grab and go” bags at 11 locations

Schoolcraft Community Schools –  free breakfast and lunch for kids

Battle Creek Public Schoolsmeal pickup dates and locations

Places you can get a Telemedicine Visit

It’s allergy season, other sicknesses are going around, and the coronavirus is in Michigan. Parents and caregivers will find it helpful to have a doctor readily available. If you know of other organizations or provider offices offering telemedicine appointments, please comment below.

COVID-19 Testing Info

Community Resources

With so many feeds, posts, and places to gather information it can be hard to know which ones will truly be helpful. Some we may not know even exist.

If you have sources you love and ways to help our community stay informed please comment below so we can continue to bulk up this list for each other.

Latest news from Michigan.gov. Along with helpful links and Q&A for families, childcare providers, teachers, and more.

Coronavirus Closures and Cancellations around Kalamazoo.

Working from home is our wheelhouse. These tips can help you work remotely.

FREE WIFI access from Charter Spectrum (to enroll call 1-844-488-8395. Installation fees will be waived for new student households) and Comcast for students.

Google is offering its premium workplace chat (Hangouts Meet) for free until July 1, for G Suite customers.

Hospitals: Here’s what Bronson and Ascension Borgess are sharing.

Local News Sources: WWMT and WOOD-TV8 and Fox 17.

Childcare Resources/Information

A list of childcare options for greater Kalamazoo area. If you have leads or information on childcare please leave a comment below.

Ways Your Family Can Help?

COVID-19 has many of us wondering what we can do to actually make a difference and help those in need. Here, a few ways to start:

Check on a neighbor or friend. We can’t gather in person so much for a bit, which can be especially hard for those who live alone, and might feel cut off. Even a 5-minute call can help someone feel connected and loved.

Support local. Purchase a gift card now (many offer online purchasing) and use it later. Gift card purchases will help small businesses keep money flowing.

Find Ways to Give to the Community

Donations. Donate to Bronson’s COVID-19 Rapid Response Fund.

Donate PPE and Make Masks. Information on where and when to donate, and instructions on Mask Making.

Food donations. Contact local organizations to donate food – Kalamazoo Loaves & Fishes.

Give Blood. The Red Cross is asking healthy people to give blood through this time.

Comment and let us know area organizations for food donations.

Kalamazoo, thank you for helping our community by sharing your ideas, resources, and support!

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