Parent Resource Page

Parents and kids

Parents, you are facing an unprecedented public health crisis that has turned everyone’s world upside down, and you need support. That’s why we built this page of resources for you, to provide ideas, tips and activities that may help. There are numerous links to blogs and virtual tours to be explored, including museums, NASA and Smithsonian collections. Links to astronauts reading books to kids and access to free ebooks and audiobooks. There’s even a link to the Paris Opera, which will be livestreaming performances.

Watch for regular updates.

UPDATE: March 31 -  Check out an amazing Elementary Parents Resource site, compiled, vetted and curated by SD73 staff. A similar site for parents of secondary students is coming soon.  

Many of the resources listed below come from Big Life Journal, a website dedicated to providing growth mindset resources for families.

Parent Resources

Ministry of Education Resources for Parents

The Ministry of Education has posted Keep Learning - a resource for families with ideas for everyday educational activities, links to free learning resources. There is information about how to help children learn and ensure their wellbeing while they’re at home. Even so, the ministry reminds us that teachers and schools still have primary responsibility for continuous learning.

Here is the news release:

Here is a letter to parents and caregivers from Education Minister Fleming and the BCCPAC

SD73 Resources for Parents

Our staff are working hard to collect, vet and curate resources for parents. Here is an Elementary Parents Support Resource site that you can subscribe to, and receive updates as they are posted. There will be a similar site for parents of secondary students available soon. 

Support for Children and Teens 
Movies, Books, Videos, Podcasts
On Resilience
The Atlantic Monthly’s Ashley Fetters writes in a March 16 article, How Parents Can Keep Kids Busy (and Learning) in Quarantine, that…“Michelle Martin, a professor at the University of Washington’s Information School and the founder of a summer literacy program for children, suggests sending kids who are learning math basics on a mission around the house or the building to count all the windows, for example—and then asking them the average number of windows in each room or apartment. Challenging children to pitch a tent—or, in the absence of a tent, create a play fort—out in the yard or at the park can teach kids innovation and resourcefulness. In a pinch, Martin says, it’s always fun for kids to write spelling words or do math problems on the windows using dry-erase markers. (“It’s almost like writing on a wall, but you’re allowed to do it.”)

Fetters also suggests … “Keeping kids busy during the workday in ways that won’t require supervision is easier the older they are. “For young children”—those younger than 3 years old—“independent play is tough. They really need social interaction,” [Allyssa McCabe, a psychology professor at the University of Massachusetts at Lowell who specializes in children’s language development,] wrote to me. “Parents will be tempted to hand over an iPhone or iPad or the like. This is understandable, but parents should also know that the younger the child, the worse this is for their language and cognitive development.” As alternatives that might keep kids sitting still while Mom or Dad types away at their own screen, she suggests setting kids up with Play-Doh, art supplies, audiobooks, or even homemade recordings of their parents reading their favorite books.

Martin also enthusiastically recommends audiobooks as a way to simultaneously keep kids learning and out of adults’ hair.

For parents in the district, our local Thompson-Nicola Regional Library’s online resources allow you to download free ebooks and audiobooks.

Virtual Tours of Museums and Art Galleries

Google Arts & Culture’s Top 10 list of museums you can explore.

Google’s 3D models of tombs, palaces and ancient landmarks.

12 Museums including the British Museum and museums in New York,  Paris, Berlin and Amsterdam offer virtual tours you can take on your couch.

Space and Science
Story time in Space - Astronauts reading to kids

NASA is making their entire media library publicly accessible and copyright

The Smithsonian’s Fun Stuff for Kids includes four areas for kids to explore: Meet the animals at the zoo, Science Game Centre, Smithsonian Learning Lab, and Smithsonian 3D

Indoor Games and Activities to Get Children Moving
Go on an Alphabet Scavenger Hunt

Make a poster with the alphabet and have your child search for items that begin with each letter.

Play Hopscotch in a Hallway

Use any paper you have on hand (or cardboard) to cut out shapes. Use double-sided tape to place the shapes on the floor to begin your game of hopscotch.

Create an Obstacle Course

Use items around your house (pillows, pool noodles, baskets) to create a fun obstacle course.

Play the Floor is Lava

Decide which furniture is ok to jump on and considered safe. Set a timer. Players take turns calling out where the lava is. All players must get to the “safe” spot before the time runs out.

Go on an Animal Safari

Draw or print different animal shapes and have your child color them in. Hide them around the house for your child to find.

Play I Spy Cleanup

Set a time to put away as many items until the clock runs out. Call out an item for your child to race towards, grab, and put away.

Play a Flashcard Hide and Seek

For younger children, hide flashcards of letters and numbers around the house. Have your child find the cards and tell you the letter or number they found. For older children, hide word or math fact flashcards and have them tell you the answer when they find them.

Play Hide and Seek

One person counts and covers their eyes for 20 seconds while everyone else finds a place to hide.

Dance Your Heart Out

Have a group video call with friends and do a virtual dance party. Use tools like Skype or Zoom.

Play Twister

Dig up your old Twister game and teach your kids how to play. If you don’t have one, cut out different color circles, tape them to your floor, and create a simple spinner.

Play Follow the Leader

Have your family take turns being the leader. The leader gets in front of the line with everyone else behind them mimicking the leader’s actions. Get creative with your movements. For example, wiggling your arms, marching, hopping.

Write the Room

Hide sight words (letters, numbers, spelling words, etc.) around the room or house and have children find and record them using clipboards.

Play Simon Says

A person named Simon is the leader and gives out commands. For example, "Simon Says run in place. Simon Says crawl like a bear." If Simon doesn’t start the command with “Simon Says,” the players to follow the command are out.

Create a Safe Physical Activity Space

If you have an open space like a basement, take an old mattress and place it on the floor for gymnastics or wrestling.

Play Red Light, Green Light

Choose a start and finish line. Have everyone line up against a wall. Red light means stop, and green light means go! One person will yell out either command as everyone races to the finish line.

Do a Deck of Cards Workout

Assign each shape a different exercise. For example, Hearts: running in place, Diamonds: jumping jacks, Spades: push-ups, Clubs: sit-ups. Take turns flipping the cards. For each number, that’s how many times you have to do the exercise.

Play Charades

On pieces of cut-up paper, write down phrases or words to act out. Take turns pulling a single paper out of a container and have fun acting out the description.

Learn a Dance Routine

Create your own or find a tutorial for your favorite dance routine and practice.

Play Musical Chairs

Place a couple of chairs back to back and turn on some fun music. Players move around the chairs and when the music stops, the last one not sitting in a chair is out.

Play Balloon Toss

Throw a balloon in the air and don’t let it fall to the floor.

Play Freeze Dance

One person is the DJ and in control of the music. When the music starts, start dancing but be ready. As soon as the music is paused, freeze.
Online Resources 
I’m Bored – Things I Can Do By Myself
  • Read or listen to a book
  • Journal
  • Make a fort
  • Listen to a podcast
  • Create an “All About Me” board
  • Colour
  • Write a letter or draw a picture to mail to someone
  • Draw or paint pictures and host an art show
  • Make bead or foil jewelry
  • Make clay sculptures
  • Create leaf rubbing art
  • Learn a magic trick
  • Create a spaceship out of a cardboard box
  • Create paper dolls and houses for them
  • Put together a puzzle
  • Create a city with blocks
  • Create an imaginary creature and write its story
  • Paint
  • Write and illustrate a book
  • Do a photoshoot for my stuffed animals
  • Act out commercials
  • Play with toys and figurines
  • Make clothes for my dolls and toys out of scrap fabric
  • Play Cat's Cradle
  • Write a letter to my penpal
  • Go on an alphabet scavenger hunt
  • Create shadow art
  • Make my own magazine
  • Make paper flowers or snowflakes
  • Create affirmation or kindness rocks
  • Build with LEGO bricks
  • Play Mad Libs and word searches
  • Learn to juggle
  • Make a Rube Goldberg machine with household items
I’m Bored – Things I Can Do With a Sibling
  • Play hide and seek
  • Have a figure skating competition in our kitchen
  • Journal together
  • Create our own magazine
  • Play dress up
  • Play a board game
  • Make up silly songs
  • Create art and hold an art show
  • Create a play to perform for our family
  • Play school
  • Read to each other
  • Use socks as puppets and have our own puppet show
  • Make paper airplanes and see which one can fly the farthest
  • Play I Spy Make up a secret language
  • Create an indoor “camp out”
  • Host a radio show
  • Play store
  • Build a house with cards
  • Play library
  • Draw cartoons or comic strips
  • Play superheroes
  • Make up a funny skit
  • Play a card game
  • Play the ABC game Pick a theme (animals, food) and take turns naming an item that starts with each letter of the alphabet
  • Use items in your house (pots, pans, boxes) to make your own instruments
  • Play charades
  • Create a blanket fort under the dining room table or on your beds
  • Play Simon Says
  • Design a board game
  • Sing karaoke
  • Do a science experiment
  • Put on a shadow puppet show using a flashlight
Activities for Teens – Things I Can Do
  • Learn a new skill (coding, origami, animation, instrument)
  • Learn a new language
  • Learn magic tricks
  • Replicate famous art
  • Paint or draw a self-portrait
  • Draw cartoons or comic strips
  • Publish a newspaper or magazine
  • Write or draw a letter or an email to a penpal or relative
  • Video chat with a friend
  • Make friendship bracelets
  • Do a puzzle
  • Solve a crossword or Sudoku puzzle
  • Play Solitaire
  • Journal
  • Write and illustrate a short story
  • Write a play
  • Write and direct a short film
  • Write a song or a poem
  • Make a music video
  • Fix something that’s broken
  • Clean out your closet and put together a bag of items to donate
  • Redecorate or organize your bedroom
  • Host a fashion show in your room
  • Research your family tree
  • Look through photo albums
  • Create a video using family videos and photos
  • Put together a time capsule
  • Make tissue flower bouquets
  • Make paper beads from magazines
  • Create dough art
  • Make pressed flower cards
  • Crochet or cross stitch
  • Create a collage
  • Collect quotes that inspire you
  • Cook a new recipe
  • Bake a treat
  • Start a blog
  • Start an Instagram account for your pet
  • Create a vision or dream board
  • Make a bucket list
  • Design your dream house
  • Plan your dream trip
  • Research a country you want to travel to
  • Take virtual museum tours
  • Take an online class
  • Watch a documentary
  • Learn about constellations and locate them at night
  • Research and create a video about a person you admire
  • Design a board game
  • Make a list of my business ideas
  • Start a business Build a website
  • Learn to dance following a Youtube video
  • Take an online exercise class
  • Do yoga
Activities for Teens – Things I Can Do with a Sibling
  •  Play a board game
  • Cook or bake together
  • Read to each other
  • Hold an art show
  • Make up a play to perform for our family
  • Journal together
  • Take silly selfies
  • Paint pictures or affirmations on rocks
  • Go on an indoor scavenger hunt
  • Build a volcano out of paper māché
  • Create a board game
  • Play balloon volleyball
  • Have a Jenga tournament
  • Sing karaoke
  • Make a movie
  • Make a music video
  • Write and direct a short film
  • Play a card game or learn a new one
  • Play charades
  • Exercise
  • Cook a new meal
  • Have a spa day
  • Design a board game
  • Do a science experiment
Template for Daily Learning Projects
Set this up in your Journal, or create a special page, to help plan your day.


Title: My Daily Learning Projects (Or, make up a creative title of your own)

Date: Put a space in for the day’s date, ____ / _____ / _____   and include space for what day of the week it is.


Make three columns on the page: One thin column, one wide column, and another thin column, and a wide single space at the bottom, like this:








(Make as many lines for things you want to schedule as you like)












One great thing that happened today






Make a schedule for each item you plan to do, and write the time you plan to do it. As you complete each item, mark it done. At the bottom of the page in the space assigned, make a note about one great thing that happened during the day. 

Opera Performances 
The Paris Opera is screening its online performances for free.  Here is the program:

March 30 - April 5: Swan Lake (2019)
April 6 - 12: The Barber of Seville (2014)
April 13 - 19: Tribute to Jerome Robbins (2018)
April 20 - 26: The Tales of Hoffmann (2016)
April 27 - May 3: Carmen (2017)
March 17 - May 3: Cycle of Tchaikovsky's six symphonies played by the Orchestra of the Paris National Opera, conducted by Philippe Jordan 

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