Healthy at Home for Kids and Families

Opportunities for joy are abundant when families gather. What can we do today to inspire your little Michaelangelo, Marie Curie, or George Washington Carver?

Healthy at Home for Kids and Families

Weekly Resource Roundup

Weekly Resource Roundup

We're scouring the web for the very best kid-friendly activities and videos! Check back regularly for our latest roll call of links, curated exclusively for Y families.

December 2020

  • Celebrate the end of a tough year and remember moments of joy and resilience by scrapbooking as a family. Check out LifeStyle's scrapbooking 101 for ideas and inspiration.
  • Deep breaths help calm our bodies and the La Crosse Area Family YMCA has compiled a helpful family-friendly resource for the next time you or someone you love needs to take a breath. Who doesn't love the sound of "Hot Chocolate Breath"?
  • Ring in the New Year with a stay-at-home celebration that gets everyone involved! Create a family playlist of tunes to dance to, make each person's favorite snack to eat, celebrate your collective resilience and share the dreams you may have for the year ahead. Discover more ways to celebrate the New Year here.
  • Remote learning breaks are important for kids to release excess energy and keep muscle tension and poor posture at bay. Take five minutes to get up and move your body with this guided video!

November 25, 2020

  • Resilience is our ability to get through challenging circumstances and come out stronger and wiser on the other side. This can be as simple as practicing emotion identification within the safety of your family unit so that together, you can answer the complicated question "How are you?" with self awareness and honesty. Learn more and check out these important resources from the La Crosse Area Family YMCA.
  • Looking for some creative fun for the whole family this holiday weekend? Good Housekeeping has compiled 42 Thanksgiving crafts that center around gratitude!

November 18, 2020

  • Looking for new terrain to explore from the safety of your home? Try exploring the night sky as a family! Incredible Inventors guides you through major sights and activities for family-oriented night sky exploration.
  • Make your own playdough! TinkerLab offers a variety of recipes that will be fun for the whole family to make, not to mention all the creative play that comes when the recipe is complete!

November 11, 2020

  • Handwritten and drawn greeting cards are a fun way for the whole family to get crafty and creative while also reaching out to friends and family! Good Housekeeping has compiled ideas to get your creative juices flowing. For the furry family members and neighbors in your life, why not try making some homemade pet treats!
  • Explore nature right in your own backyard by constructing natural bird feeders. TinkerLab has a step by step guide to crafting one with kids!

November 4, 2020

Kids are natural explorers and bird watching is a great way to get outside, explore the environment and have fun! Audubon has compiled kid-friendly tips and games

  • to get kids "birding".
  • Charitable giving can help kids develop empathy, healthy sharing habits and allows the whole family to feel more connected to their community. What gently-used toys and clothes does your family have to offer those in need? Contact your local Y to see what supply drives are currently underway or start your own with your neighbors!

October 28, 2020

  • NBC News has tips for families and students on how to combat the familiar aches and pains that may accompany long hours of remote learning in front of the computer. Breaking up the day with movement is extra important! This video offers a quick and effective break for both kids and adults.
  • If you have access to the outdoors, your family can get crafty and creative making a seasonal wreath to adorn your front door or home! Here is some inspiration using household and accessible natural materials.

October 21, 2020

  • Many kids and families are missing the learning activities that a typical school year provides, like field trips! Good Housekeeping compiled a list of 35 free virtual field trips so kids of all ages can explore a variety of topics and locations from home.
  • Whether it's spooky or not, there's nothing like a good story! These tips will help you brush up on your bedtime storytelling technique.
  • Learn about the native plants and wildlife in your area with the National Wildlife Federation's Plant Finder. Not only is this a fun, outdoor activity for the whole family, but you'll also feel more connected to your environment!

October 14, 2020

  • YMCA of San Francisco is giving kids public access to fun enrichment activities geared towards 1st-5th graders through their Classrooms For All programming. You and your child can access art, youth yoga, dance, read alouds, STEAM lessons and more.
  • October is Global Diversity Awareness Month. While traveling is not recommended due to the pandemic, you and your child can still explore and learn about different cultures and beliefs with these Celebrating Our Differences activities.

October 7, 2020

  • The CDC recently released considerations for planning holiday celebrations this fall and winter to help protect individuals and families from COVID-19. You can find their full recommendations here.
  • Halloween this year might look different, but it can still be fun and memorable for the whole family with these 10 ideas to make Halloween fun despite COVID-19.

September 30, 2020

  • With the school year underway, it’s important for youth to play and explore outdoors. Take advantage of the fall weather and a break from school work with these 17 activities for school-aged kids.
  • How can we help kids develop greater empathy and build stronger friendships with peers? Here are 5 steps for children to follow to deliver a meaningful apology when "sorry" isn't enough.

September 23, 2020

  • Although kids may be too young to vote, you can still teach them about civic engagement with these seven activities and resources.
  • Now that many kids are a few weeks into remote learning, you may notice some pain points. These tips will help keep kids focused, interested and balanced while learning from home.

September 16, 2020

September 9, 2020

September 2, 2020

  • Every September, we celebrate what unites us as a community during Welcoming Week. While Welcoming Week (September 12-20) will look different this year in light of COVID-19, many Ys are still planning virtual or physically-distanced events. Learn more and find an event near you.
  • If your kids are tiring of connecting with friends and family virtually, mix things up with these games and scavenger hunts that are easily adapted for Zoom.
  • Even with some schools holding in-person classes, teens may be missing many of the usual connections that a typical school year provides. These tips will help them cope.

August 26, 2020

  • With back-to-school looking much different this year, learn how Ys are supporting virtual learning through out-of-school-time offerings and child care.
  • Two professors who are also parents created Kid Talk: Language Scrapbooking for Science, which "retraces your child’s development through a series of short recordings" and "makes a timeline of your child’s changing speech" that you can share with loved ones far away to maintain connections across physical distances.
  • Inspire your budding artist with this Y Arts video that teaches kids how to recreate Picture of Paris through the Window by artist Marc Chagall.

August 19, 2020

  • The back-to-school season is in full swing! Whether your kids will be learning from home or in a classroom, help ease them back into a healthier sleep routine.

August 12, 2020

  • YMCA of San Diego County updates Y Kids News weekly with fun and educational activities for kids. This week's theme is archaeology, and includes themed crafts, trivia and exercises. There's even a recipe for making cookies that look like fossils!
  • If getting away on a vacation isn't an option for you right now, here are five tips for creating a vacation vibe for yourself or your family at home.

August 5, 2020

  • Taking a walk around the neighborhood is a great way to spend more quality time together as a family. Try turning this time into a fun game with these neighborhood adventure bingo cards.
  • Check out this list of 20 children’s books, listed by age, that help kids learn to be more empathic and help them handle intense emotions they may be feeling.

July 29, 2020

  • With the new school year beginning in a few weeks, parents are making decisions about how to keep their families safe while fostering learning. Learning spaces are popping up in response, including at Ys. Learn more and contact your local Y to see what is available in your area.
  • Increase your knowledge of animals, plants, vegetation and more while flexing your creativity with these free downloadable coloring pages.

July 22, 2020

  • Even though many beaches and public pools may be closed this summer, there are still water safety issues to be mindful of. These four tips will help ensure that kids stay safe around water.
  • 12Bursts has fun new fitness challenges for the entire family! Climb the seven tallest mountains in the world with 7 Summits. Learn about the actual mountains and people who have climbed them as you complete the challenges and collect badges along the way. Try it out!

July 15, 2020

  • With more free time on their hands, summer is an ideal time to teach kids how to prepare their own meals and snacks. Creating food prep activities that put kids in control can teach them independence and reinforce healthy eating. Learn more and try three easy recipes.
  • A new comet, NEOWISE, will be visible from earth this week, and you don't have to be awake during the wee hours to spot it! Use this opportunity to get kids more interested in astronomy while bonding as a family.

July 8, 2020

  • If your kids are spending more time indoors this summer, they may also be spending more time looking at a screen. Here's information on how much screen time experts recommend and ideas for cutting down.
  • Summer vacation looks a bit different this year. Check out these family-friendly alternatives to typical summer activities that may not be available this summer due to health guidelines and restrictions.

June 30, 2020

  • Sparklers, grilling, swimming, etc. this holiday weekend? Check out these tips for keeping your family safe while you celebrate the Fourth of July.
  • Switch up your Taco Tuesday and extend your Meatless Monday with these yummy roasted cauliflower tacos.
  • It's no secret that we love books around here. Biblionasium is another great resource for discovering books by reading level and even participating in "the largest social book club for kids!"

June 25, 2020

June 23, 2020

  • The Civil Rights Movement is an important part of U.S. history and is especially relevant in light of current events. Explore more than 100 historic locations across 15 states on the Civil Rights Trail virtual feature.
  • Have you checked out YMCA of Greater Twin Cities' 12 Bursts lately? It's a great way for kids (and adults) to get recommended daily physical activity in quick 5-minute bursts. Participate in one of the challenges to make it more fun.
  • The Metropolitan Museum of Art presents #MetKids. Explore the iconic museum virtually, hop in the time machine, watch educational videos and more.

June 18, 2020

  • Need more ideas for educational activities as summer break begins? Seussville is full of activities, crafts, and printables to "provide hours of Seussian ideas to engage your child in playful learning."
  • Ignite a passion for learning STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) by creating a tinkering space. These tips were originally addressed to summer camps, but could also be applied to creating a tinkering space at home!

June 16, 2020

  • Do your children love stories? Frost Valley YMCA wants to help make bedtime just a little bit easier with relaxing stories to help your child drift off to sleep. Be sure to watch Story Time with Danielia, Frost Valley YMCA's Director of Group and Family Retreats, which will take place live on Frost Valley’s Facebook page on Tuesday evenings at 6:30 pm ET.
  • Get creative with seasonal vegetables with this kid-friendly kitchen activity: cornmeal crusted vegetables. They're like fries, only healthier!

June 11, 2020

Your kid may be a poet and you don't even know it (yet)! Engage and inspire your children through poetry from award-winning author Kwame Alexander and some of his friends. These short videos and quick lessons 

  • offer a practical and fun way to teach (and learn) at home.
  • Chocolate and zucchini may sound like an unlikely pairing, but you and your family will be pleasantly surprised by how delicious (and nutritious!) these muffins are.

June 9, 2020

  • Racism and racial injustice are ongoing issues and the discussions should continue even as the news cycle moves on. Raising Luminaries has assembled lists of books on topics such as Anti-Racism 102: Why Not All Racial Discrimination is ‘Racism’ , ageism, ensuring kids during coronavirus and more.
  • Take advantage of nature in your community and become a citizen scientist! Citizen scientists include bug watchers, bird counters, frog listeners and other members of the public who collect real data that is used in national and international online databases. Learn seven ways kids and teens can become citizen scientists.

June 4, 2020

This week, we're continuing to share resources on addressing racism with your children.

June 2, 2020

In response to the murders of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Ahmaud Arbery and others and the subsequent protests across the U.S., we've compiled a few resources for teaching your kids about race and racism.

  • Coretta Scott King Book Awards "are given to outstanding African American authors and illustrators of books for children and young adults that demonstrate an appreciation of African American culture and universal human values." Find the most recent list with books listed by age here.
  • NPR and the Sesame Street Workshop produced a 20-minute podcast, Talking Race with Young Children. Find more related resources through the podcast link (you can listen on a computer or mobile device).
  • Follow The Concious Kid on Instagram for resources on "parenting and education through a critical race lens."

May 28, 2020

  • Is there a 2020 grad in your life? On May 28th at 7:30 pm ET, the Y will host a Senior Celebration featuring guest speakers, interactive prompts and a virtual voter registration drive. Invited speakers include Olympians, governors, Y leaders and more! Register here.
  • Are you looking for more remote learning resources? Khan Academy has you covered with dozens of subjects and lessons for learners of all levels.
  • The fate of summer day and resident camps is still uncertain in many areas of the country. Check out these five tips for recreating the camp experience from home.

May 26, 2020

  • Struggling to get your kids to eat healthier? Try these six strategies for convincing kids to try new foods or re-try foods they’ve previously deemed “yucky.”
  • Soar Into Summer” with free flight-themed activities like puzzles, games, crafts and a fun article on why birds fly in a V-shape from Highlights@Home.
  • Get teens reading beyond text messages with these three tips and a summer reading list to get them started. If you can’t make it to the library, check out the Libby app to download e-books and audio books, no e-reader required.

May 21, 2020

  • Revisit Sarah's Music Room, with new videos every Tuesday. Today we'll feature a 20-minute SINGING LESSON!
  • The Academy of Pediatrics recommends children older than two wear masks when outside the home and unable to physically distance. Read these tips for getting your kids to wear and keep their mask on.

Graduation season is here, and most graduation ceremonies are canceled. Here are 14 ways to celebrate this important milestone with the graduates in your life from home.

May 19, 2020

  • Composer and Hamilton creator Lin-Manuel Miranda has launched an online program called #EduHam at Home. The program aims to help students learn about American history and exercise their creativity from home.
  • Art Projects for Kids includes free tutorials on how to draw different objects and scenes. Our new favorite? How to draw vegetables! 
  • Practice skills like counting and matching with free online games featuring kids' favorite Nick Jr. characters.

May 14, 2020

  • Manchester Family YMCA is offering fun and engaging family Spanish lessons on their Facebook page. Catch the first video here.
  • Go on a South African safari from your home! Wild Earth broadcasts daily sunrise and sunset footage of animals in their natural habitat.
  • Anxiety may be running high right now. Learn how to help your kids manage their fears productively with these strategies from Child Mind Institute.

May 12, 2020

  • Child psychologist Dr. Beth Trammell shares tools for supporting children's mental health, covering topics such as e-learning success and patience in the podcast Kids These Days.
  • Good news for Disney, Pixar, Marvel and Star Wars fans—Disney is introducing non-medical, reusable cloth face masks featuring all of your favorite characters! Disney is donating one million cloth face masks for children and families in underserved and vulnerable communities across the U.S and all profits from U.S. sales up to $1 million will go to Medshare.
  • Explore free math games by grade level from pre-K to 7th grade and beat boredom while expanding skills with MathGameTime!

May 7, 2020

Sunday, May 10 is Mother's Day! Celebrate with Mother's Day crafts, cards and recipe ideas from PBS Kids for Parents.

  • Disney will be hosting a singalong on Mother's Day! Join in the fun and learn more here.
  • Are there any budding wizards in your home? They can sign up for courses, access a library, and more just like their favorite Harry Potter characters at Hogwarts is Here.
  • Teens may be able to understand the current situation better than younger kids, but they face unique challenges. Here are a few ways you can help your teen through this difficult time.

May 5, 2020

April 30, 2020

  • Ys across the country are offering emergency child care for essential workers and distributing food for families in need. Find child care and food distribution near you by entering your zip code.
  • Live Science regularly updates their list of "lessons, games, science experiments, live demonstrations and virtual tours to help you find options that are educational, creative and entertaining." Recent highlights include "immersive virtual dives at marine sanctuaries; making dinosaur shadow puppets; behind-the-scenes glimpses and digital content from Shakespeare's Globe Theater; and a live butterfly camera!"
  • Get creative and have a great time with these relatively mess-free crafts for toddlers.

April 28, 2020

April 23, 2020

April 16, 2020

The YMCA of the Greater Twin Cities presents 12 Bursts 

! Visit every day for 12 new 5-minute challenges encouraging your kid to achieve 60 minutes of daily physical activity.Quarantine in today's digital world means plenty of FaceTime, Google Hangouts and Zoom video calls, no? 13 Activities to Make the Most Out of Video Chats With Kids details how these chats can become learning experiences, via PBS for Parents: "The research on video chat shows that children—even babies—can learn from these live interactions."

April 14, 2020

April 8, 2020

April 1, 2020

  • How to Talk to Your Kids about COVID-19, via Highlights Magazine: "By now, even younger children are figuring out that this break from our usual routines is different from a spring break or extended snow days. Should you talk to them?"
  • How To Make Kids' Birthdays Special In Spite Of Coronavirus, via HuffPost: "From chalk drawings in the driveway, Easter Bunny deliveries, seeing friends, virtual hugs, social distance visits, homemade cards, presents, video chats, singing from patios, cards in the mailbox, texts, video texts, Facebook messages, drive-by wishes, horns honking, it was an all day celebration!"
  • Do any 80s-kids-now-parents remember The Electric Company on PBS? My kid is in his "learning to read" prime, and out of curiosity, a Google search unearthed this sweet bounty of 50 streaming, full-length episodes from the 2009 reboot, via PBS Education.

March 30, 2020

  • The Mississippi Gulf Coast YMCA offers an incredibly fun workout video for you and your kids, via Mississippi Gulf Coast YMCA YouTube.
  • Smart parent + Mario Cycle + shoes under kid's training wheels = genius!, via @Annacol83614856 Twitter.
  • For those of us that have already used up our pre-made solution, here is our favorite How to Make Homemade Bubbles recipes, via The Artful Parent.

March 26, 2020

March 25, 2020

March 24, 2020

March 23, 2020

March 20, 2020

March 19, 2020

The Y In Action for Families

  • Amid school closures and economic uncertainty, a rapidly increasing number of people are facing food insecurity. In response, hundreds of Ys nationwide are providing free grab-and-go meals to help address this serious issue.


  • With COVID-19-related school closures and the urgency for essential workers to report to work, there is a critical need for safe child care options across the country. In response, the Y is offering emergency child care at more than 940 locations for families of medical personnel, essential employees and first responders.


  • Follow #StayWithUs on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram to see how local Ys are responding to the urgent needs of their communities.