This post is part of a series where I’ll be sharing “bite-sized” ideas and activities for parents to try with their kids. I hope to offer easy, economical, educational, and engaging ideas you can feel good about your kids doing, while buying you some down time. This content may use referral links. Read my disclosure policy for more info.
I have a lot of friends who have both parents working from home while sheltering in place with young kids at home. It is not an easy combination. I don’t imagine they have the time or bandwidth to do a whole lot of research on which websites they like best, or which YouTube channels are safe. I imagine they’re just trying to get through meetings, take care of the kiddos and get through each day. It is a HARD TIME, and probably one of the craziest transitions most working parents have ever had to go through!
To all of your out there: YOU’VE GOT THIS. One day at a time! I am totally rooting for you. You are amazing and selfless and deserve all the coffees and milk teas and naps. BIG AIR HUGS (with 6 ft of space between us, of course).
And in my small way, I want to try to help. So here’s what I have for you today: GoNoodle. It’s one of those wonderful resources that I imagine had been created for schools and teachers, but is somehow–miraculously–free for everyone (even though I think I’d pay $ for it if I had to). This is also how I feel about Khan Academy Kids, but that’s for another post.
If you haven’t already heard of GoNoodle, there’s a good chance your kids have. It is popular with the teachers, especially on rainy days for indoor recess when the kids need to run off some energy but can’t go outside. They have a YouTube channel, so if you prefer, you can just find it there, press play, and let the kids follow along and sing and dance and spin and jump and play! There are silly songs with silly characters, energetic dancers and a costumed moose singing about meatballs. I think if you go through YouTube, there are ads, whereas the website is ad-free from my experience.
Ok I’m in. Where to start?
You can start with one of the many “Indoor Recess” options, which are collections of videos lasting 7-19 minutes long. Here’s one we liked (YouTube link here (YT)). You can also just look at which videos have the most views and go from there. We personally like Pop See Ko (YT), Purple Stew (YT), Bananas Bananas Meatball (YT), A Moose-Ta-Cha (YT), and Fabio’s Meatball Run (YT). And more, but those are the first ones that come to mind.
My personal experience with GoNoodle started with watching my daughter and her classmates yell-singing it at the play structure after school together last year. They would do silly dances and then double over in fits of laughter. I enjoyed their delight, and kept GoNoodle in my back pocket for a future rainy day. Then this past Monday, that rainy day came. Actually, it hailed: literally and figuratively. Because of course on the first day of school closures, it would rain and then hail, right?
Anyway, no matter. The Internet was working, so I put GoNoodle on, and let the kids have at it. Before long, I got up from scrolling Instagram on the couch and decided to join in on the bouncy, cackling fun. After all, Mama needed to get some steps in and the beats were so energetic I couldn’t help myself!
Thanks, GoNoodle, for making this available to everyone. I count this as part of our “PE” time and I feel zero guilt about the screen time. They’re working out and having fun at the same time. Who knows, I might even be able to convince Ben to sneak out of the office for a bit to join us next time!